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End-of-year NCC shows offer entertainment value

‘North Central College Student Groups’

♦ 7:30 p.m. May 11, Cardinal Chorus

♦ 7:30 p.m. May 18, “A Great Evening of Jazz”

♦ 7:30 p.m. May 19, Women’s Chorale

♦ 8 p.m. May 24, Concert Winds

♦ 7:30 p.m. May 25, Chamber Singers

♦ 8 p.m. June 3, Concert Choir

♦ Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville

♦ Tickets, $3-$5

♦ (630) 637-7469

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

These days, five bucks doesn’t get you far — a gallon of gas, two gallons of milk.

But during May and June, a fiver can get you a night of entertainment at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall. The college’s many students groups will be staging end-of-the-year performances in the coming weeks, beginning with the May 11 Cardinal Chorus concert.

The Cardinal Chorus, conducted by assistant music professor Jackie Schutt, will perform choral classical favorites, folk songs and spirituals for its final concert of the season. The group is in its second year. Cardinal Chorus is a mix of music majors and students who just love to sing. It boasts 53 members.

“I‘m proud to say we have two graduating seniors,” she said. “We will honor them and initiate them into the first inaugural group of seniors leaving Cardinal Chorus.”

Cardinal Chorus performed at the homecoming concert in the fall and will reprise two of those numbers, as well as two songs from February’s “Explore the Sound” concert. They’ll also debut songs they haven’t performed live yet.

“It’s kind of a nice hodge-podge,” she said of the evening’s repertoire. “We’ll do a couple of Latin pieces, a couple of spirituals, some Americana pieces, and then some jazz pieces. It’s a nice smorgasbord.”

They will do a jazz arrangement of The Beatles’ “In My Life,” a Swahili number, a Brazilian chant song, and a piece from composer John Rutter.

The concert will be a trim 45 to 60 minutes.

On May 18, “A Great Evening of Jazz” showcases all the student jazz ensembles of the North Central College Jazz Studies Program. Repertoire will include compositions and arrangements by such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Don Grolnick, Bobby Troup, Janice Borla and others.

The evening will feature about a dozen of the college’s student jazz groups, said Jack Mouse, drummer and member of the Jazz Studies faculty.

“We’ll feature the big band, all of the combos, the chamber jazz ensembles, vocal jazz ensemble, the jazz guitar ensemble … pack a lunch,” he joked.

The evening is a showcase – each band will perform just one tune, he said. It’s a broad cross-section of vocals and instrumental groups. The concert will last about two hours.

“That’s our last hurrah for the year,” he said. “People can expect to hear everything from bebop classics to standards to fusion music. It covers pretty much the entire spectrum of jazz. All the groups sound different. It’s a pretty exciting evening.”

The Women’s Chorale “Finale!” concert will be May 19, featuring a repertoire of sacred and secular music.

On May 24, the Concert Winds performs its annual Graduation Concert.

On May 25, the Chamber Singers will present a concert titled “Metamorphosis,” which showcases a select 16-voice mixed ensemble in presenting a retrospective of their music from its season.

Jeordano “Pete” Martinez oversees the Chamber Singers. In addition to pieces the group has performed throughout the year, the Chamber Singers will perform a piece called “Butterfly.”

“They will be doing some pop things. It will be a varied program…some madrigals and contemporary pieces,” Martinez said.

On June 3, the College’s 48-member Concert Choir will present its annual Graduation Concert accompanied by a full orchestra, which Martinez is also overseeing.

“This year, we’re doing Faure’s Requiem. It is a very beautiful, sacred work; very dramatic,” he said. “Then we’ll do some traditional choral things and say goodbye to our seniors.”

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