Austin’s Celebration of Song Returns!



Benefiting Conspirare

Craig Hella Johnson & A Company of Voices

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Between Friends, anything is possible . . .

Hidden Music is a concert like no other—an intimate, unforgettable evening of song. This year we welcome Isaac Cates, composer, pianist, and singer. Cates will join Conspirare founder and artistic director Craig Hella Johnson at twin grand pianos. Something magical happens when two friends talk, play, and make soulful song together!


5:30 PM, Thursday, May 11
Distribution Hall
1500 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78702

Sponsorships/Tables: $3,000-$10,000
Couples Ticket: $450
Individual Ticket: $250


Craig Hella Johnson
Composer, Pianist & Singer
Founder & Artistic Director of Conspirare

Craig sings of love and wonder in his signature vocal style. He is the founder and artistic director of Conspirare, Austin’s own GRAMMY®-award winning choir, opening hearts and minds through music.

Isaac Cates
Composer, Pianist & Singer
Founder & Director of Ordained

Isaac sings from his soul. A born pianist, composer, and vocalist, he leads Ordained, the Kansas City gospel choir celebrated in the U.S., Sweden, and beyond. Gospel World recently named Cates an “Artist to Follow.”

Conspirare audiences last saw Isaac Cates with his Gospel choir, Ordained, at 2021’s Conspirare Christmas. Hailing from Kansas City, Cates recently narrated the documentary “I’m So Glad: Kansas City and the Roots of Black Gospel Music.” Just back from an international tour of concert halls, Cates will reunite with his friend Craig Hella Johnson for one magical night only.

 Together, Craig and Isaac riff, rejoice, and raise the roof in the way only two friends can!


Kathlene Ritch, Conspirare Soprano

Kathlene is a beloved presence in the soprano section. You can hear her powerful storytelling in such Conspirare favorites as “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” Considering Matthew Shepard, and most recently in “Sunflowers.” Kathlene hosts Santa Fe’s KHFM Choral Hour, a monthly radio show heard around the country and is one of Conspirare’s singers who provides master classes at Central Texas Title I schools. A founding member of Conspirare, Kathlene joyfully connects our past to the future.

Elliott Forrest, Peabody Award-winning Broadcaster

Elliott hosts the syndicated radio concerts from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and can be heard on WQXR.org. A member of the Conspirare board, Forrest directed the “fusion oratorio” Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare for KLRU, PBS TV-Austin. He was also Producer and Projection Designer for the national tour An Evening with Itzhak Perlman and the Michael Feinstein concert celebrating Judy Garland at 100.


You will start your evening with smooth cocktails and artful surprises. Then partake in delightful flavors while mingling with familiar friends and new ones.

Flavor Co.

Enjoy global cuisine with local roots. Our uniquely curated foodie experience includes inventive bites, savory plates, artful grazing boards and more.

Typewriter Rodeo

Request an original poem for yourself or as a gift written by an experienced sparkly poet on a vintage typewriter.


Dinner at the home of Craig Hella Johnson & Phil Overbaugh
You and five of your friends at Craig and Phil’s home! Enjoy a delicious catered meal with wine and nonalcoholic beverages perfectly choreographed for you and your guests. Get to know Craig and Phil more intimately through a shared meal and conversation. Dates to be determined at a mutually available time.
Opening Bid: $3,500

Luxury Backstage to Conspirare Christmas
This is for anyone who loves to experience what happens behind the scenes! Embed yourself with Conspirare at the Long Center on December 4, 2023. The lucky winner will join us for a Conspirare Christmas soundcheck in the afternoon, enjoy dinner with the artists, and then enjoy private box seating for up to 8.
Special delights throughout the day will provide a glimpse into how this audience favorite concert comes together. (This experience is limited to 2 groups.)
Opening bid: $2,500

Dine with Isaac Cates
Join Guest Artist Isaac Cates for a conversation and food during the week leading up to Conspirare Christmas 2023 at a fine Austin restaurant.
Your time together will conclude with a personal serenade from the piano!
(This experience is limited to 6 people.)
Opening bid: $2,000

Evening Songs at the Kodosky Home
Enjoy food and drinks with a twilight view and be serenaded by Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare singers at the one-of-a-kind Kodosky home in beautiful west Austin on September 20, 2023. (This experience is limited to 50 people.)
Bid: $1K per person


Gather in the relaxed setting of a lovingly restored mid-century modern space. Distribution Hall is Austin’s newest party venue located in the heart of East Austin. Originally constructed to house Austin’s first German beer importer, this thoughtfully restored mid-century structure has that Austin vibe that marks our city with open sightlines to see and hear performers up-close and personally.



Conspirare is grateful to this year’s Hidden Music Committee:

Marvin Brittman
Susanna Finnell
J. Patrick Lundquist
Bill O’Meara
Linda Parrish
Joni Wallace
Carol Williams



Lynne Dobson & Greg Wooldridge

Marvin Brittman
Nancy & Randall Baden and Trish & Bob Karli
Fran & Larry Collmann
Lee Manford & Casey Blass
Dan Bullock & Annette Carlozzi

Kathy & Henry Leighton
Amy McCaffrey
Red Bird Foundation
Nancy Scanlan & Jolynn Free
Carol Williams & Joni Wallace

DeeAnne & Steve Paulson
Dr. & Mrs. Craig Lubin

Linda H. Parrish
Nancy Lesch & Janet Bezner
Susanna & Richard Finnell
Carolyn J. Keating

Wendi & Brian Kushner and Richard Hartgrove