USF Choral Director to Co-Direct JoyFest in Rockford on October 4 and 5

Joliet, Ill. – The Illinois-American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA) and the Music Department at the University of St. Francis (USF) proudly present JoyFest, an event for directors and singers in which gospel, spirituals, and traditional music will be used as a vehicle for bridging cultures, communities, and approaches to meaningful music making. The event will be held at SecondFirst Church, which is located at 318 North Church Street in Rockford, Ill.

USF’s Director of Choral Activities, Paul Laprade (Illinois-ACDA) and conductor Donald Dumpson (founding conductor of the Westminster Choir College Jubilee Singers) join together to create this communal event of music making, community bridging, and sharing. JoyFest will extend Dumpson’s successful work in creating new communities through choral music to the greater Illinois community, share some of his favorite works, and lead to an afternoon concert of joy and sharing.

“JoyFest is intended to create community and shared experiences through choral music, with an eye toward bringing people from diverse socio-economic, racial, and ethnic heritages together in a joyful experience.  I have been honored to work with Dr. Dumpson on this project for over a year, and the genesis of this event is watched carefully by many,” Laprade said.

JoyFest will begin with a communal meal at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct 4. Choral singers and directors can attend the meal at 6 p.m., come for the first rehearsal at 7 p.m., or simply participate in Saturday’s rehearsals (9 a.m. – 3 p.m., with lunch).  The event will conclude with a celebratory concert at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. Suggested donations for participation include $25 per director, $10 per choir member, $10 per person for the optional Friday evening dinner and $5 per person for the Saturday lunch. Registration forms and payment are due September 30.  Visit to register. For more information, contact Paul Laprade at

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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