North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College ensembles ‘Explore the Sound’ Feb. 24

Print Email Share

North Central College presents “Explore the Sound IV: Untraveled Worlds” in identical Feb. 22 and 24 concerts that invite listeners to hear several of the College’s choral and instrumental ensembles and discover the stunning acoustics of Wentz Concert Hall.

Ensembles will perform in every possible location—from the side balconies, aisles, sound chambers, side stairways, loft, stage and more. “Explore the Sound IV” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 and Friday, Feb. 24, in Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $5/adults, $3/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

The program will feature the College’s 50-voice Women’s Chorale and the 20-voice mixed Chamber Singers—both under the direction of Ramona Wis, Mimi Rolland Professor in the Fine Arts, professor and chair of music—and the 55-voice Cardinal Chorus, under the direction of Jacqueline Schutt, visiting instructor of music.

The choral ensembles will be joined by the Flute Choir, directed by lecturer of music Marie Bennett, and the String Ensemble, directed by lecturer of music Mara Gallagher. Additional performances include Barbara Vanderwall, adjunct assistant professor of music, Frank Caruso, instructor of jazz and classical piano, Jonathon Kirk, assistant professor of music, student percussionist Brian Riordan and guest harpists.

“The focus of Explore the Sound is a seamless performance of a wide variety of choral and instrumental music, performed from virtually every nook and cranny in Wentz Concert Hall,” Wis says. “With theatrical lighting and unusual staging, Explore the Sound is more of a sound and visual experience than a traditional concert and always features surprises for the audience.”

Highlights of this year’s program include Paul Halley’s “Untraveled Worlds,” based on the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem which gives this year’s concert its subtitle; Stephen Hatfield’s wordless “La Lluvia,” complete with a percussive “rainstorm” created by the performers; Eric Whitacre’s evocative “Little Birds” and beautiful “Five Hebrew Folk Songs”; Ivan Hrusovsky’s challenging “Rytmus”; and a new composition by faculty composer Jonathon Kirk, assistant professor of music, featuring Bennett on flute. The performances will feature a variety of flute, string and piano pieces, as well as music using electronic sound sources.

“Explore the Sound” is hosted by the Women’s Chorale and evolved from an off-campus series of annual concerts the Chorale gave in Oak Park with invited faculty and student guests. This year’s event is a fundraiser for the Women’s Chorale’s upcoming tour of Ireland in June, with proceeds going to help offset costs for the singers, who are paying their own way.

North Central College offers undergraduate programs of study in music, jazz studies and music education in choral and instrumental. Students take a combination of core music classes, private lessons, ensembles and other classes suited to their area of specialization or interest. For more information about the College’s music program visit

USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors of North Central College’s 2011-2012 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).