After three trips over the past eight years to Carnegie Hall in New York City and to the Lincoln Center in Washington D.C., the Newman University Chorale is set to make its debut in Chicago, Ill.
A group made up of 20 Chorale members and four faculty and staff members left at 3 a.m. Thursday, May 21 for Chicago to make two performances over the Memorial Day weekend at "Chicago SINGS! Festival of Choirs."
Newman Director of Music Deanne Zogleman planned the festival last year with Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music John Leavitt of MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. Leavitt, a former Newman instructor and chorale director, is internationally recognized as a composer, conductor, performer and educator.
Zogleman said Newman students and faculty have been rehearsing the music for the past two months. The group will rehearse the mornings of Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 in Chicago, then perform Saturday afternoon at the Field Museum of Natural History, one of the world's largest natural history museums. On Sunday the group will perform in the historic 4th Presbyterian Church. In both shows, the Newman group will perform a set of songs by themselves, then join the Festival Chorus, which will consist of chorale members from Newman, MidAmerica Nazarene, and three other schools from cities across the country. Zogleman will sing with the Festival Chorus. The Chorus will be directed by Leavitt.
"This is such a great opportunity to work with another conductor and show what Newman music offers," Zogleman said. "This will also be great exposure and publicity for Newman University."
In addition to the performances, Zogleman said Newman students will have the opportunity to explore Chicago's Magnificent Mile, museums, the Shedd Aquarium and many other attractions.
To save money on each person's trip, students decided to forego airlines and instead take the train from Newton, Kan., to Chicago. The group will return at 3 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, in Newton.
Newman University "Chicago SINGS! Festival of Choirs" Performers:
Student Life Coordinator Mic Brunner
Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education Steve Dunn
Adjunct Instructor of Music Christy Railsback
Newman Director of Music Deanne Zogleman