DuPage Chorale & Orchestra's AMERICANA Concert to Feature Works by Amy Breach and Randall Thompson

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DuPage Chorale & Orchestra's AMERICANA Concert to Feature Works by Amy Breach and Randall Thompson

DuPage Chorale, under the direction of Lee R. Kesselman, with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra performs "Americana" a concert featuring works by Amy Beach and Randall Thompson at the McAninch Arts Center Sunday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.

"DuPage Chorale was the first music ensemble formed at College of DuPage and has been in continuous operation for more than 50 years. Throughout that time, we have had many memorable concerts, but I am particularly excited about this concert. From wonderful selection of compositions to the extraordinary guest artists, to the impressive choral sound of the DuPage Chorale backed by the DuPage Chorale Orchestra, this concert promises to inspire and entertain," says Kesselman.

The program will include the following works

  • "Dixit Dominus" by Ignacio ide Jerusalem (1701-1769), written for the Mexico City Cathedral;
  • "Canticle of the Sun" by Amy Beach (1867-1944) the first prominent woman U.S. composer; and
  • "Testament of Freedom," American composer Randall Thompson's World War II masterwork.

Soloists showcased in the program will include

Sarah Vander Ploeg (soprano). has soloed in London, New York, Chicago, Vienna, around the UK and France, and in several smaller cities scattered throughout the US and Europe. She completed a Masters degree in Voice and Opera at Northwestern University and previously received an MMus with Distinction from the Vocal Faculty of the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2010. Vander Ploegis a graduate of Princeton University, where she studied arts policy alongside music performance.

Denise Gamez (mezzo-soprano) regularly sings recital, oratorio and symphonic repertoire with orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad. At the Merola Opera Program of the San Francisco Opera, where she received the Gropper Memorial Award, she sang Dame Quickly in Verdi's "Falstaff," and Fidalma in Cimarosa's "The Secret Marriage." She is a graduate of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and the Indiana University School of Music. She is currently a member of the voice faculty at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.

Aaron Short (tenor) is the recipient of several awards, most notably a 2018 George London Foundation Award, a Grant Award from the Santa Fe Opera, the Singer of the Year Award at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) West-Central Regional Competition, and Second Place at the Upper Midwest Regional Round of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Recent local credits include Alméric in Chicago Opera Theater's critically acclaimed premiere of "Iolanta" and Flask in the COT's upcoming production of "Moby Dick."

David Govertsen (bass), a COD alumnus, recently stepped in on short notice at Lyric Opera of Chicago replacing the ill Peter Rose as producer La Roche opposite Renée Fleming and Anne Sophie von Otter in "Cappricio." Govertsen made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 as the Herald in "Otello" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera apprentice programs and holds degrees from Northwestern University and Northern Illinois University.

The DuPage Chorale This large community chorus performs choral concerts, usually in conjunction with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra, a professional orchestra. Repertoire includes standard choral works by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Brahms, as well as, modern masterpieces by Orff, Poulenc, Stravinsky and others. No audition is necessary for membership and members include everyone from choral newcomers to singers with a lifetime of experience and even multiple degrees in music. Adult singers of all voice types and ages are welcome. Members come from all of Chicago's western suburban locations. The Chorale is a course in the COD Music Department and membership includes college students and community members with a multigenerational profile. DuPage Chorale was the first music ensemble formed at College of DuPage and has been in continuous operation for since the late 1960's. What unites the members of the DuPage Chorale is an interest in the finest choral repertoire, a strong work ethic and a love of choral singing.

Lee R. Kesselman has been the Director of Choral Activities at COD since 1981. Conductor, pianist, teacher and award-winning composer, he directs the DuPage Chorale, Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. He also founded and conducted New Classic Singers, a professional vocal ensemble, for 30 years. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, Kesselman has conducted Dominick Argento's "Postcard from Morocco" for OperaWorks! in Madison, Wisc. Among his compositions are the opera "The Bremen Town Musicians" and "Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand" for children's chorus and orchestra. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and recipient of over 20 ASCAP awards, Kesselman's many compositions have been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Roger Dean Music, G. Schirmer and Kesselman Press. He is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician and composer-in-residence throughout the United States and abroad. He was named the Outstanding Faculty member at College of DuPage in 1994-95. Kesselman currently serves as President of Illinois Choral Directors Association. Kesselman is particularly known for his broad-reaching choral programs, including a wide span of music across periods, styles, cultures and contemporary social issues.

DuPage Chorale joins DuPage Chorale Orchestra for "Americana" Sunday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Belushi Performance Hall at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage. Tickets are $16 adult/$14 senior and $6 student with valid ID. For tickets or more information, visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.

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