Enjoy Christmas at the Motherhouse with USF

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Music & Performing Arts Department presents Christmas at the Motherhouse: From Darkness to Light at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4 in St. Joseph Chapel in the Motherhouse on the main USF campus in Joliet (520 Plainfield Road). USF’s own Claritas Master Chorale and Schola Cantorum will join forces to sing traditional works by J.S. Bach, Holst, and newer works by Susan Labarr and others. 

Tickets are free of charge. To reserve your tickets, please email kjimenez@stfrancis.edu.  Due to COVID restrictions, tickets are limited to four per party and will be available only on a first-come, first-served basis.  Proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 72 hours of the event will be required for entry to the performance.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

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

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USF, ACDA to Host Music and Social Justice Presentation on April 5

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Music and Performing Arts Department and the Illinois chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) will host Jason Max Ferdinand, DMA, for a special virtual presentation and discussion on the intimate connections between music and social justice in a session for choral directors, students, and the community on Monday, April 5 at 7 p.m. CDT.

Ferdinand’s book, “Teaching with Heart: Tools for Addressing Societal Challenges through Music”, will serve as platform for the discussion, which will delve into Ferdinand’s experiences as conductor of the Aeolians of Oakwood University and as an agent for cultural change.

Paul Laprade, USF Music and Performing Arts Department chair, said the presentation and discussion hold a special significance within the USF choral curriculum.

“We have been among the first schools to incorporate Dr. Ferdinand’s work into our choral curriculum this year, so this is a special honor for all of us.  The ACDA grant, which has made this event possible, supports the costs of hosting, advertising, and bringing Dr. Ferdinand–a 2020 Grammy nominee for his choral work–to our classroom and to the wider ACDA organization,” Laprade said.

To sign up for the event, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C48AAAF2FA0FEC52-drjason or contact Paul Laprade, USF Music and Performing Arts Department chair, at plaprade@stfrancis.edu for more information.

About Jason Max Ferdinand

Jason Max Ferdinand is the director of choral activities, professor, and chair of the music department at Oakwood University. He directs the Aeolians of Oakwood University and, as evidenced by noteworthy awards, has distinguished himself on the national and international choral stages.  In 2017, he earned the Outstanding Director and Choir of the World awards at the Llangollen International Musical Festival, in Wales. In 2018, his choir won three gold medals at the 10th World Choir Games held in South Africa, and also won the competition’s overall championship in both the Spirituals and University Choir categories. He is a published composer with GIA publications, and is exhilarated about  his new choral series with Walton Music. In 2018, he was named “Teacher of the Year” by Oakwood University. The Aeolians made their first appearance at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in 2019 and the term “they broke ACDA” was used to describe their outstanding presentation. “Teaching with Heart” is a new book released by Ferdinand and is a useful choral compendium for all choral directors. Ferdinand holds non-terminal degrees from Oakwood University, Morgan State University, and a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Maryland.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

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

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USF Announces “Music at Moser” Spring 2020 Performance Series

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis Department of Music and Performing Arts is proud to offer exciting music and theater performances to the Joliet and Will County communities through its “Music at Moser” series. All performances have open seating and take place on the main USF campus located at 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet unless otherwise indicated. Please note all performances are subject to change. Visit stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser or call 815-740-3395 or for up-to-date performance information and to purchase tickets (indicated in event listing). Ticket prices are the same for all performances, unless noted otherwise in the event listing, and are as follows: $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65+), alumni and non-USF students; current students and staff admitted free of charge with valid USF ID.

Joliet Symphony Orchestra Family Concert
Saturday, January 18 at 11 a.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Free admission

A special concert for children and families! This interactive concert will teach children all about music through a variety of music compositions. Following the performance, children of all ages can take part in a variety of hands-on activities, including trying out the instruments themselves! This concert is conducted by Dr. Dianna Fiore, USF director of orchestra.

In Recital: Rae Myra Hillard, Soprano
Saturday, February 15 at 3 p.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

USF voice faculty member Rae Myra Hillard presents a concert of music composed by Black-American composers, featuring the texts of Black-American poets and orators. She will sing the music of such honored composers as Valerie Capers, Robert Owens, Adolphus Hailstork, Regina Harris Baiocchi, H. Leslie Adams and Dr. Charles Lloyd Jr. The music is set to timeless poetry and texts by Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Clarissa Scott Delany, and others. Rae Myra will be accompanied by Dr. Dana Brown, piano and Allegra Nontanari, cello.

EVENT CANCELED – In Recital: Teresa Walters, Piano
Friday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

This event has been canceled as a preventative measure in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Questions about this cancellation can be directed to plaprade@stfrancis.edu. Dr. Teresa Walters has performed as recitalist and orchestral soloist on six continents and in most of the 50 states in the U.S. at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Cortot in Paris, Moscow’s Great Hall, Australia’s International Conservatorium and Jerusalem’s Concert Hall. Her Lincoln Center recital in New York earned a standing ovation from a capacity crowd. She will present her acclaimed program, “Celebrating Our World,” at USF, a concert of music for solo piano, which honors the world’s shared heritage and common humanity.

EVENT CANCELED – The Swinging Saints Sing a Rainbow—A Concert about Colorful Music and Colorful People
Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. | San Damiano (Motherhouse/Donovan Hall) | Tickets required*

This event has been canceled as a preventative measure in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Questions about this cancellation can be directed to plaprade@stfrancis.edu. USF’s vocal jazz ensemble, the Swinging Saints, sing about colors and colorful people in this exciting performance! Classics like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” will be accompanied by favorites like favorites like “Orange Colored Sky,” “Black Coffee” and “Am I Blue?” Conducted by Paul Laprade, USF assistant professor of music.

EVENT CANCELED – Songs of Peace – A Choral Concert
Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. | St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral (604 N. Raynor Ave, Joliet, IL 60435) | Tickets required*

This event has been canceled as a preventative measure in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Questions about this cancellation can be directed to plaprade@stfrancis.edu. The University of St. Francis continues the celebration of its centennial with a concert of more premieres! USF’s own Claritas Master Chorale, Schola Cantorum, and Swinging Saints will join forces to sing about peace. The concert will include the premiere of Dr. Robert Kase’s “Mass for Peace,” a work written especially for this concert celebration. The program will also include Gwyneth Walker’s “Tree of Peace,” Mendelssohn’s “Grant Us Peace” (“Verleih uns Frieden”), Joan Szymko’s “All Works of Love,” Frank Ticheli’s “Earthsong,” and many other gems about our common desire for peace in this world.

Joliet Symphony Orchestra “A Centennial Celebration”
Saturday, April 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 2020, 5 p.m. | Sexton Auditorium (Moser Performing Arts Center) | Tickets required*

The Joliet Symphony Orchestra (JSO) performs a concert honoring the University of St. Francis Centennial with works by Strauss, Dvorak, and Mendelssohn. The program will also feature “Declaration” by Ben Goldberg, the winner of the JSO’s annual composition competition. The concert is conducted by Dr. Dianna Fiore, director of orchestra, USF.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 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 stfrancis.edu.

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

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“Music at Moser” Series Showcases the Arts at USF

December 10, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

The University of St. Francis (USF) Department of Music and Performing Arts is proud to offer exciting music and theater performances to the Joliet and Will County communities this winter and spring. All performances have open seating. Please note all performances are subject to change. For the most up-to-date performance information, visit stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser.

JSO Family Concert: “Rhythms of Nature”
January 12, 2019 at 11 a.m. ǀ Sexton Auditorium ǀ Free Admission

A special concert for children and families! This interactive concert will teach children all about rhythm through a variety of music compositions. Following the performance, children of all ages can take part in a variety of hands-on activities, including trying out the instruments themselves!

Faculty Recital: Jiafeng Yan, Piano 
February 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. ǀ Sexton Auditorium ǀ Tickets Required*

Virtuoso piano faculty member Jiafeng Yan presents an evening of music by some of the most highly-regarded composers of the piano repertoire, including Bach, Beethoven, Medtner, and Scriabin.

KAIA String Quartet: “Music of Latin America” 
March 17, 2019 at 3 p.m. ǀ Sexton Auditorium ǀ Tickets Required*

The Chicago-based KAIA String Quartet has devoted itself to presenting the essence of Latin American culture as expressed through the string quartet. They will present an afternoon of exquisite music by Latin American composers including celebrated Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas.

The USF Swinging Saints Explore the Heavens
March 29, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. ǀ San Damiano Hall (Motherhouse) ǀ Tickets Required*

“Fly Me to the Moon,” “Another Day in the Sun,” “Starlight,” and other works from the American jazz tradition will be brought to life by USF’s own Swinging Saints. Snacks, drink, and toe tapping accompany this heavenly program.

Spring Musical
April 5-6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7, 2019 at 3 p.m. ǀ Sexton Auditorium ǀ Tickets Required*
The Little Shop of Horrors This sci-fi horror-comedy rock musical tells the story of a meek floral assistant who discovers a strange and sensational new breed of plant, but soon learns it has devious intentions. With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, this hit show has devoured audience’s hearts for decades with its catchy tunes and unexpected twists. (Note – Auditions for The Little Shop of Horrors are scheduled for January 22-23, 2019 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in USF’s Turk Theater. Auditions are open to USF students and staff, as well as the community. Those interested in auditioning should prepare a song from a musical and be prepared to read from the script and learn a short dance.)

Jazz Ensembles 
April 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. ǀ Location TBA
The USF jazz combos perform a concert of jazz favorites as well as their own compositions.

USF Choirs: “The World in a Concert” 
April 13, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. ǀ Sexton Auditorium ǀ Tickets Required*

The Claritas Master Chorale and Schola Cantorum join forces to travel the world through choral music. Fascinating works from the African continent, India, China, Japan and Australia will be heard, along with more commonly-heard pieces from Great Britain, Germany, South America, Canada, Spain and the United States. Come travel the world with USF’s choral groups!

Joliet Symphony Orchestra
April 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. and April 28, 2019 at 5 p.m. ǀ Sexton Auditorium ǀ Tickets Required*

“War and Peace” The JSO is joined by a plethora of special guests as it explores the dichotomy of music written about war and peace, including Holst’s “Mars: The Bringer of War” and Handel’s “Overture from Royal Fireworks Music.” The concert ends with Beethoven’s monumental “Choral Fantasy,” featuring faculty piano soloist Jiafeng Yan and USF’s Schola Cantorum and Claritas Master Chorale (Paul Laprade, director) joining forces with the JSO to present Beethoven’s vision for peace and joy through art and music.

*Individual tickets for events cost $10 per adult and $7 per senior citizen (65 and older) and non-USF student. USF students and staff with ID are admitted free of charge. Event tickets can be purchased online at stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser or by phone at 815-740-3395. Event tickets may also be purchased at the door, but availability/admission are not guaranteed.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 49,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

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