Endless Blessings...

are especially true of this AWAKENING concert. We continue to be AWAKENED by generosity, by abundance and by blessings. I want to share a wonderful blessing with you from this past week. I received a letter from a Family Fund (they want to remain anonymous) who gave this concert a gift of $30,000.  This blessing brings our total net revenue for this concert and the Soup Kitchen and other ministries to $84,728. God bless.  

Be at peace.  Fr Mike



Hunger (when you don’t have enough to eat) and food insecurity (which are circumstances that prevent you from accessing food) is a year-round problem. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the mounting hunger and food insecurity crisis is set to grow even more dire in 2021. The United States Census Bureau* data from mid-November 2020 showed that around 26 million adults reported not having enough to eat. In our neighborhood of Uptown, which has a population of 58,424, 29% or 17,179 are at risk for food insecurity**.

Many are relying on soup kitchens such as ours to have at least one meal a day. Your donations will support our efforts greatly in this ongoing crisis. 

Please let me share how your enthusiastic support is a profound blessing for Our Lady of Lourdes parish   This entire concert was a dream of a lifetime for me and we have exceeded our expectations.  Your gifts are a testament to the mission of Christ that has always characterized Our Lady of Lourdes.  God bless you and Thank You !!!! 





We continue to accept donations:

  • Online giving at GiveCentral

  • Send a check to Our Lady of Lourdes, 4640 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60640. Please write AWAKENING/Soup Kitchen in the memo line.


Fr Michael Shanahan began piano study at an early age. He studied classical piano under Vladimir Leyetchkiss at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. He has remained engaged as a pianist throughout his entire adult life as a priest. For him, music is a form of meditation and connection with God.  He has played professionally in numerous locations throughout Chicagoland. Fr. Shanahan remains connected with music because it enhances his ability to be present to those to whom he ministers as a priest and a therapist. He is the soloist in a two-piano performance in a variation of the Second Piano Concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This musical masterpiece holds deep significance for Fr. Shanahan. For him it speaks of penetrating beauty as well as struggle and perseverance. As God is truly a composer, so this musical work of art powerfully concludes with victory. 



Dennis Smith was a musical prodigy and started playing music at 7 years old at First Corinthians Baptist Church in Chicago.  His parents noticed his gift and brought him his first organ and that is where the magic began.  Dennis further honed his gift attending music school at Lyon and Healey. 

Dennis’s anointing has offered him the opportunity to play with some of the biggest names in Gospel, including Tramaine Hawkins, Kim McFarland, Douglas Miller, Reverend James Moore, Evangelist Beverly Crawford, Angie Spivey and the Voices of Victory to name a few.  Dennis stepped out on faith and completed a CD titled Volume I Smith Brothers.  His CD project is a collection of music that defies genre categorization. It is a blend of Gospel, Jazz, and R&B and promotes healing and bringing people to Christ. Dennis collaborated with his brother Calvin who is also a musician to create The Smith Brothers band, together they produced, played and wrote many of the songs on the CD released in 2017.  

Dennis spear-headed the St. Agatha It’s Over It’s Alright cd project and wrote many of the songs on the CD.

Dennis has shared his gift as a music instructor at Dorolyn Academy for 14 years and  has also served as Minister of Music at St. Agatha for over 20 years. In addition, he previously taught music at St. Sabina Academy.  Dennis is a force to be reckoned with, expect to hear more from this gifted Musician.


Johanna Ortegón is an accomplished pianist who hails from Colombia.  Along with piano performances, Ms. Ortegon is the director of liturgical music for OLOL church.  In addition, she founded the Ortegon School Of Music where she is director and teaches group classes as well as private lessons.  Johanna is both creative and musical director of the Mulati Ensemble, a group that explores various genres of repertoire from classical to folk and celebrates a diversity of cultures through music. Under her direction, all of these groups have performed in venues throughout the Chicagoland area.

​Starting her musical education at age eight, Johanna first began at the Instituto Musical Diego Echavarria where she studied piano.  She went on to acquire her Bachelors Of Music with an emphasis on piano performance from Eafit University.  Johanna then earned her Masters Degree in piano performance from Eastern Michigan University where she trained in the studio of the esteemed Dr. Joel Schoenhals. As part of her studies, Johanna performed in many master classes including those conducted by the renowned Rebecca Penneys.  Since then, Ms. Ortegon has had notable performances throughout Colombia, Mexico, The United States and Europe both as a soloist and as part of many various ensembles which even includes a solo audience with the now sainted Pope John Paul II. 


Julian Molina Abad Composer musician, artistic creator and educator. He was born in Medellín Colombia, where the influences of the environment  structured in him a special creativity. In his blood and in his genes runs the inheritance of his great-grandfather Nicolás Molina, prolific and important composer of traditional Colombian music. For this reason, Julián Molina Abad, is one of the pioneers of new Colombian music.

He studied composition, theory and music pedagogy in addition to literature courses, at academies and universities such as La Javeriana, EAFIT and the University of Antioquia.

Always on the paths of innovation he amalgamates in his works, projects and presentation all artistic disciplines: sound, color, form, light, theater, etc. and links them with social and psychological concepts.


Jennifer Carlin At an early age, Jennifer Carlin displayed a talent for harmonizing and improving.  After making her solo debut at age 17 singing in Rome for Pope John Paul II, Jennifer began her music education at College Of DuPage, then went on to earn her Bachelor’s of Music at Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College.  Though the focus of her studies was classical voice, Ms. Carlin’s portfolio includes music from every genre, from opera to gospel. When she’s not spending time with her husband and son, Jennifer can be found singing in various Chicago churches and venues, as well as working part time as a marketing analyst and social media manager.  Jennifer is thrilled to be collaborating with the esteemed Dennis Smith and hopes this is just the beginning of their new musical friendship.



Sam Sharp As a native Chicagoan, Sam Sharp has been part of the city’s music scene for a long time. Born in Beverly, he studied violin at a Suzuki school in Western Springs, before continuing on at Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University. After returning to Chicago, Sam has been an active performer and teacher around the Chicago area. He has performed with many local orchestras and recently released his first album called “Abbey Bowed”, a string quartet re-envisioning of the Beatles’ Abbey Road. He first played at Our Lady of Lourdes several years ago, and has felt blessed to become a regular member of that musical community. Sam is a composer as well, and will make his conducting debut during this concert. He teaches violin at the New Music School and Merry Music Makers. 



Simón Gómez Gallego is a Colombian percussionist and timpanist who splits his time between teaching and performing around the Chicagoland area.  He holds positions as a Percussionist with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and as Principal Timpanist with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. As a teacher, Simón teaches at the Percussion Scholarship Program of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at the People’s Music School.  Simón also frequently performs with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, among others. 

Born in Medellin, Colombia, Simón started his musical studies at the Instituto Musical Diego Echavarria. He then received both his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from the University of Miami and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Percussion Performance from DePaul University. He was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Civic Fellow from 2014 to 2016.  Additionally, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and School for 5 summers, was a recipient of the Charlie Owen Fellowship in 2011 and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Timpani Fellowship in 2012. 

Since the Covid 19 pandemic forced a pause on live performances, Simón has enjoyed making videos with his vibraphone along with playing tennis and running on Chicago’s lakefront path.


Yuen Yee Richardson is a music teacher and performer in the Chicago area. Originally grew up in Hong Kong, Yuen Yee received her Bachelor's degree in Music from Hong Kong Baptist University studying clarinet performance with John Schertle, Assistant principal clarinet of Hong Kong Philharmonic; and piano performance with concert pianist Genevieve Wong, Graduate of The Juilliard School. In 2010, Yuen Yee moved to Chicago to further her musical studies where she earned a Master's degree in Music Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where she studied clarinet performance with Carol Lee Smith, Former clarinet faculty at Roosevelt University; and chamber music under the coaching of Li-Kuo Chang, Assistant Principal Viola of Chicago Symphony Orchestra; John Bruce Yeh, Assistant Principal Clarinet of Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and Eugenia Moliner, Flute faculty at Roosevelt University. 

After graduating from Roosevelt University, Yuen Yee actively performed as a soloist as well as with local music organizations including Chamber Opera Chicago, Access Contemporary Music, Chicago Clarinet Ensemble, Chicago Concert Winds, Seasoned Trio and Concerts at Unity. Currently, Yuen Yee maintains a full time teaching studio and participates in local performances as well as serving a variety of community music series in Chicago. 


Dalia Chin is a Chicago-based, Costa Rican flutist and is a founding member of Fonema Consort and regular member for the Chicago Composers Orchestra, both of which are dedicated to performing music by living composers. She has appeared as a guest artist with Eighth Blackbird, Fulcrum Point and Unsupervised Ensembles. She has been in residence and given performances at institutions including New England Conservatory, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Oberlin Conservatory, Harvard University, Columbia University, the Universidad de Costa Rica, Scripps College, UNAM (Mexico City), the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the 113 Composers Collective and North Central College. She has performed in festival and at venues including Visiones Sonoras (Morelia), the Florida Flute Convention, Festival Interfaz (Monterrey), Omaha Under the Radar, the Ear Taxi Festival, the Festival Internacional de Chihuahua, the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico City), the Teatro Sucre (Quito), the City of Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion, and National Sawdust.

As a soloist she has performed Pablo Chin’s flute concerto Inside the Shell with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Costa Rica Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia, and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Orchestra. She is featured on the recently released album Three Burials New Focus Recordings) which compiles the flute works of composer Pablo Chin. She can also be heard on Fonema Consort’s albums Pasos en otra calle (New Focus Recordings) and FIFTH TABLEAU (Parlour Tapes+).

Dalia works in close collaboration with composers as a soloist, with Fonema Consort and with the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra. Recent commissions and premieres include works by Stratis Minakakis, Pablo Chin, Fernanda Aoki Navarro, Francisco Castillo Trigueros, Bethany Younge, Julio Estrada, Monte Weber, and Tiffany Skidmore. Dalia earned a Post-Masters degree from DePaul University, her Masters in Music Performance at Florida State University, and her Bachelors Degree in Music Performance at the University of Costa Rica. Dalia is an active educator in the Chicago area teaching at the DePaul Community Division, Near North Montessori, and has a private flute studio.


Angélica María Ortegón began her studies of horn with Professor Florentino Sierra at the Diego Echavarría Musical Institute; she completed her undergraduate degree at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá with Susan Kynkor; and her Masters' in horn at DePaul University in Chicago with Oto Carrillo from the Chicago Symphony and Jonathan Boen from the Chicago Lyric Opera. She took part in the 2010 horn training course with Will Sanders in Karlsruhe Germany.

She has received master classes from the horn players Dale Cleavenger, Alessio Allegrini, Gerd Seifert, Gale Williams, Stefan Jesiersky, Samuel Seidenberg, Mark Grubber among others. 

Angélica has been part of the Bogotá Philharmonic, the Colombian Opera and the Eafit Symphony Orchestra, and of orchestras in Europe and the United States such as the Bavara Camerata Franconia Symphony Orchestra in 2018 and the Chicago Civic Orchestra in 2008. 

Since 2008 she has been a soloist in the Eafit Symphony Orchestra and a teacher at the University of Antioquia, pursuing undergraduate studies in law at the University of Sabaneta in Colombia, and a diploma in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Navarra, Spain.


Sharing the joy of music animates Daniel Hoppe’s activities as a cellist and educator. He has performed as a soloist with the Carleton College Symphony Orchestra and the University of Kentucky Philharmonia as well as performing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, The Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, and The Northbrook Symphony. He has recently been a featured artists at the SXSW Festival with the pop band Subhi and the Festival de Paques with the Verdi String Quartet. Daniel teaches Suzuki cello and musicianship at the Music Institute of Chicago. He also teaches cello and conducts the reading orchestra at the Chicago Center for Music Education. He holds degrees from Carlton College, The Boston Conservatory, and The University of Kentucky. His principal teachers include Tanya Carey, Benjamin Karp, Andrew Mark, Thomas Rosenberg and David Hoppe.



  AWAKENING Committee:
  Fr Michael Shanahan, Iris Brenk, Jennifer Carlin, Aurora Olgado, Johanna Ortegon
Mary Eileen Sullivan, and John Haley (not pictured).