Chatham News

Chatham University Women’s Institute Presents Kassia Ensemble on January 23

PITTSBURGH:  The Chatham University Women’s Institute and Guest Artist Series presents the Kassia EnsembleFrench Liaisons, to be held in the James Laughlin Music Center, Shadyside Campus, on Saturday, January 23, at 3:00 pm.   Although the concert is free and open to the public, a $10 donation is suggested.

Ensemble Kassia 2016
Ensemble Kassia 2016

The concert will be preceded by an art show featuring local female Pittsburgh artists, curated by Fran Flaherty.  Artists to be presented will include:  Fran Flahery, Samantha Gibbs, Emily Miller, Sarah Keeling, Sasha Williams, Tatyana Williams, Julie Mallis, Dafna Rehavia-Hanauer, Megan Shalonis, Stephanie Armbruster, Kara Skylling, and others.  A reception will follow the concert.

Kassia Ensemble is a newly-formed chamber group in the City of Pittsburgh, seeking to empower women through quality performance, collaboration, and outreach.  Comprised exclusively of women, its members also hold positions in the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet orchestras, the West Virginia Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony, and the Canton Symphony Orchestras.

The members of the Kassia Ensemble came together in an effort to supersede the gender barrier that is prevalent in classical music. The decision was made to form an all-female ensemble in effort to create an empowering environment of mutual respect and support that frees women to collaborate and express themselves at the highest levels of musicianship, artistry, and performance. The Kassia Ensemble promotes female entrepreneurship and leadership in the arts, while simultaneously embracing the performers’ unique experiences as women that deepen and expand their own creative output.

Kassia Ensemble offers unique programming, from the classics to contemporary music, highlighting male and female composers from the past and the present. Their flexible instrumentation allows for refreshing variety in performance.  The full ensemble currently consists of a string quintet, harp, and clarinet.

As a result of their own life experiences, the members of the Kassia Ensemble feel a sense of responsibility to use their talents to promote social justice and engage in charitable projects for the benefit of struggling women.

Kassia was a Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer, whose talent and character serve as inspiration for the ensemble.

For additional information, please contact Dawn Posey at 812-455-9168 or

About the Chatham University Women’s Institute
Established by the Board of Trustees in 2014 and launched in 2015, the Women’s Institute continues Chatham University’s 145-year commitment to advancing the causes of women and gender equity. Serving as an umbrella to draw together the university’s broad range of gender initiatives as well as its centers of excellence – the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and the PA Center for Women and Politics – the Women’s Institute works across campus and into the broader community, with the goal of eradicating social inequalities through education, research and outreach.