Greetings from Yasuko Oura, Interim Music Director

It is such an honor to be named the interim music director here at Bethany United Church of Christ. I have been subbing for Stephen Hargreaves, the former music director, for many years, and over the years, I had sincerely come to cherish my time at Bethany as something very special. I am so excited to be joining the church family in a more official capacity. My three year old daughter, Emi, has been enjoying coming to this church for many Sundays now, and I also look forward to making music with my husband, Nicholas Photinos, who is the cellist of a three time GrammyAward winning ensemble, eighth blackbird. I intend to bring beautiful music to this congregation, and I hope we can all make music together. Thank you so much for this wonderful


Yasuko Oura is known as pianist, vocal coach, educator, and assistant conductor. She is on the faculty at Northwestern University, and she is also on the music staff for Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Des Moines Metro Opera. Until recently, she was the principal production pianist and coach for Florentine Opera and she has also worked for Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, and AIMS in Graz, Austria. Her performances have been featured on Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, WFMT, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight among others. She resides in Chicago, where she also works with Grant Park Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Light Opera Works, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Wisconsin District. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Julliard School, where she was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow.