Fall 2014 Performing Arts Series begins Thursday, Sept. 18

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Musical performances, theatre productions combine for Lewis University’s Fall 2014 Performing Arts Series

Published: August 15, 2014.

Lewis University will host a variety of performances as part of the Fall 2014 Performing Arts Series. All performances are located on the university’s main campus in Romeoville. Admission to all events is free for Lewis students, $5 for guests and $10 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling (815) 836-5500.

The first performance, “Songs of American Labor” by Bucky Halker will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in the Sancta Alberta Chapel. Halker grew up in Ashland, Wis., a blue-collar, iron ore, lumber town on Lake Superior. At 13 years old, Halker plugged in his guitar and was playing at teen rock dances. At 16 years old, he discovered Woody Guthrie, blues piano, songwriting and solo gigs. Dividing time between gigs and footnotes, Halker came back to the Midwest in 1976 and earned a Ph.D. in U.S. labor history at the University of Minnesota.

As the second performance of the series, Willie Pickens will perform American Jazz at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29 in St. Charles Borromeo Chapel. A piano powerhouse, Pickens began his career on Eddie Harris’ 1961 national hit record, “Exodus,” since then playing with James Moody, Roy Eldridge, Max Roach, Clark Terry, Ira Sullivan, and going on the road with Elvin Jones for five years. Instead of staying on the national and international jazz scene, Pickens chose to make a home in Hyde Park, become a Chicago Public School (CPS) teacher, an active member of the Hyde Park Union Church and a mentor to scores of upcoming musicians.

The 16th Street Theatre will take the stage with their production, “Agreed Upon Fiction” for the third performance of the series. Written by Shayne Kennedy and directed by Megan Shuchman, the play is a story about a good mother, Katie. She’s forced to protect her family and neighbors when the most vulnerable member of the community is revealed as a threat. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13 in the Philip Lynch Theatre.

The fourth event of the series will be the Electronic Music Midwest Festival in the Philip Lynch Theatre. Nine concerts will be performed during the three-day musical festival, which begins Oct. 16. Craig Hultgren, an American cellist and improviser, will sit in on several of the concerts. He has taught at Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama Birmingham and the Alabama School of Fine Arts, as well as teaching privately. Hultgren is a cellist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and has been a member of several chamber groups such as the Chagall Trio, the Luna Nova Ensemble, and the Ensemble for contemporary chamber music, Thamyris. He is an active performer and performs regularly as a soloist on the cello and e-cello. Hultgren also made a name for himself among improvisational musicians.

Pianist Bryan Stanley will perform as the fifth performance of the series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 in the St. Charles Borromeo Chapel. Dr. Stanley, accomplished pianist-composer originally from Atlantic, Iowa, is music director at the Park City Community Church in Utah and head of the piano faculty at the Utah Conservatory. He is published by Hal Leonard, Boosey & Hawkes and G. Schirmer, which include two arrangements of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring for violin/piano and solo piano, the latter of which was played at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival; and a Hal Leonard Vocal Library book of American Folksong concert arrangements.

The final performance of the series featured Ronald Keaton in his one-man show “Churchill.” Based on the life and writings of the Prime Minister who saw England through its darkest hours, “Churchill” explores the life of one of the greatest leaders of the Greatest Generation. Experience the man who famously proclaimed, "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter..." Hear Winston discuss his failures and his successes, his love of art, liquor, and women, and the bravery of Britain's finest hour. History enthusiasts, Anglophiles, and lovers of great theater will not want to miss this portrayal of the first man to become an honorary citizen of the United States. Politician, painter, Nobel Prize winning author and raconteur, Churchill will continue to leave his mark on future generations. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24 in the Philip Lynch Theatre.

The Performing Arts Series is being presented as a part of Lewis University’s Arts & Ideas Program, providing cultural and educational programming for students and the community. A portion of the Arts & Ideas events is sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. For additional information, please contact Dr. Michael Cunningham, director of Arts & Ideas, at (815) 836-5385.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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