The University of St. Francis (USF) Department of Music and Performing Arts announces its spring 2014 Music at Moser schedule.Chicago’s Rembrandt Chamber Players kick off the spring season on Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium. Their performance, titled “The Gilded Age: Music of the Tiffany Era” will include works for flute, oboe, cello and piano by composers who wrote during the Gilded Age– an era best represented by the work of artist Louis C. Tiffany. Music by American late romantics Charles Martin Griffes and Leo Ornstein will be featured, along with their Old World contemporaries, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Camille Saint-Saëns and Benjamin Britten. These composers created beautiful romantic sound pictures of the old world while foreshadowing the beginnings of the 20th century impressionism of Debussy and Ravel.
Next, USF’s Saints on Stage troupe will present Peter Pan, a musical based on the play by Sir J.M. Barrie with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, music by Morris “Moose” Charlap, additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and additional music by Jule Styne. This production was originally directed, choreographed and adapted by Jerome Robbins. USF’s magical interpretation of this wonderful musical will take place Thursday, March 20 through Saturday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. in the Turk Theater. The production will be directed by Ernie Ray (Bolingbrook) with choreography by Elise Korst (Romeoville), featuring thespians from USF and the local community– including students from St. Jude grade school in Joliet.
On Friday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m., the Volcano Radar Power Quartet will perform a show of high energy jazz fusion in the Sexton Auditorium. On the group’s website, Volcano Radar describes itself as “a fusion of ecstatic improvisational energy and Apollonian intellect. A power quartet with dual free jazz/noise/avant guitarists Elbio Barilari and Julia A. Miller, legendary bassist Harrison Bankhead and incendiary drummer Avreeayl Ra, Volcano Radar moves fluently through a stylistic range from noise-funk improvisation to structured sonic forms.”
The USF Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Jessie Pellowski (Chicago), will continue to highlight jazz in its “Candlelight Cabaret” on Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Turk Theater. After making a debut last spring, the ensemble, comprised of students with varied musical backgrounds, looks forward to another season of contemporary stylings with a heavy jazz influence. This performance will include accompaniment by a professional jazz instrumental trio, staged in a nightclub-like setting.
For their spring concert, “Music of the Spirit,” the USF Concert Chorale will spotlight Argentine composer Ariel Ramírez’s “Miso Criolla” and other works on Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium. Miso Criolla is based on Argentine and Andean folk genres and is the first setting of the Mass in Spanish after Vatican II. The chorus will then sing a selection of Lenten and Holy Week anthems by 20th century American composers and arrangers, including the Shaw/Parker arrangement of the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Moanin’ Dove;” Mark Hayes’ arrangement of “It Is Well with My Soul;” Craig Courtney’s arrangement of “Give Me Jesus;” Maxine Posegate’s “Lead On Softly, Lord;” Moses Hogan’s “Jesus Lay Your Head in the Window;” William Mathias’ “Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates;” Z. Randall Stroope’s “Lamentations of Jeremiah” and Chicago’s own Rollo Dilworth’s “Jesus Rose!” The Concert Chorale is made up of singers from Joliet and the surrounding communities and is directed by Willard Thomen (Joliet).
In “A Choral Mosaic” the USF Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Patrick Brannon (Chicago), and the USF Singing Saints, under the direction of Julie Grives (Naperville), will join forces to present a “mosaic” of choral pieces for spring. The concert will take place Friday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium. Schola Cantorum will perform selections from the oratorio “Historia di Jepthe” by Carissimi and a selection of works from Ireland, including Irish chant and a contemporary piece by Irish composer Michael McGlynn. They will also feature Renaissance madrigals by Morley and Bennett, a work by Polish composer Gorecki, and selections from “West Side Story” and “Candide” by Leonard Bernstein. Men from the Schola, informally known as “The Singing Sinners,” will perform a selection of works by Grieg, Hale, and Rogers and Hammerstein. The Singing Saints will celebrate spring in songs about light and the renewed hope felt after a long winter.
To complete the season, the Joliet Symphony Orchestra’s “Dazzling Debuts” on Sunday, April 27 at 3 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium will feature two rising stars from the Joliet area: soprano Karlie Traversa (Plainfield) and cellist Marianne Roszyk (Minooka). Traversa and Roszyk will make their solo debuts with the JSO as winners of its inaugural concerto competition. In addition, the orchestra will dazzle in Saint-Saëns’s rousing “Bacchanale” and Stravinsky’s majestic “Firebird.” The JSO is directed by James Stopher (Naperville).
Both the Sexton Auditorium and the Turk Theater are located in university’s Moser Performing Arts Center, 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, with parking available in the lots at Wilcox and Douglas Streets. Ticket prices are $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65+), alumni and non-USF students; and performances are always complimentary for USF staff and students with an ID. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended; visit www.stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser or call (800) 735-7500. For more information about USF’s Department of Music & Performing Arts, call (815) 740-3520.
The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit www.stfrancis.edu.
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