Our 20th Anniversary Season!
Friday, July 18, 2014
An American Eagle Production of
“James and the Giant Peach”
A musical based on the story by Roald Dahl
Irving Park Fine Arts Committee will present “James and the Giant Peach” on Friday, July 18th at 10:00 a.m. A musical based on the children’s classic by Roald Dahl, “James and the Giant Peach” recounts a young English boy’s adventures when he goes to live with two horrible aunts. This exciting musical about loyalty and friendship brings Roald Dahl’s book to life with song, dance, costumes and sets. Fun and fast-paced, its catchy music and family-friendly themes will appeal to adults and kids alike!
American Eagle Productions, a Chicago-based theatre company specializing in children’s classics, created the show.
The performance will be held at Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding Ave. The show is free of charge, but donations will be accepted gladly.
The Irving Park Fine Arts Series, now in its 20th season, was begun by Roger Bingaman, artistic director. The intent of the series is to bring high quality, professional musical and theatrical events to the Irving Park neighborhood. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee receives funding from Carlson Community Services, a community service 501c3. The mission of Carlson is to connect the Irving Park community with programs that enrich lives through education, culture and service.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Jeffrey Kust, Classical Guitar
The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee will kick off its 20th season with a performance by classical guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Kust. The concert is Sunday, September 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding Ave.
Kust will be playing three instruments — classical guitar, Puerto Rican cuatro and a homemade tiple (Puerto Rican mandolin). Selections will include original compositions, rock classics, a Japanese folk song and Brazilian choros.
“The music I’ll be performing goes beyond traditional classical guitar music,” said Kust. “I’ll be performing pieces on unusual instruments in ways that will surprise and delight the audience.”
As a solo guitarist, Kust has toured the United States, Europe and Brazil, and performed numerous concerts in the Chicago area and on Chicago radio station WFMT. He has toured and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as with their chamber ensembles. He is also a member of the Chicago Cuatro Orchestra.
As a member of several rock bands, Kust has performed at such iconic venues as the Los Angeles Whiskey-A-Go-Go and New York’s CBGB’s. His current band, Kaldi Jones, performs often in the Chicago area. Kust holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in classical guitar performance. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in music education.
The concert is free, though donations are welcome. A reception with the artist follows the concert. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee is celebrating its 20th season of providing high-quality, professional music and theatrical events to the Irving Park community at a price
“It’s a testament to Roger that the series has thrived when so many other arts organizations folded during the economic down turn,” said Liz Mills, executive director of Carlson Community Services, the organization that sponsors the series. “Roger is passionate about making great, professionally performed music accessible to our neighborhood. His artistic vision and programming choices have kept audiences returning, while giving talented young musicians a chance to perform,” she said.
Acclaimed artists featured in the series have included jazz vocalist Frieda Lee, soprano Marcy Stonikas, harpist Ben Melsky and pianist Amy Briggs.
December 7, 2014
The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee will present George Frideric Handel’s Messiah Sunday, December 7th at 3:00 p.m. at Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding Ave. The Christmas section of Handel’s famous oratorio will be performed by four soloists and a 10-piece chamber orchestra. The audience is invited to sing the choruses. Admission to the concert is free, but donations will be accepted gladly.
Soloists are soprano Erin Thomas, mezzo soprano Jessye Wright, tenor Tobias Wright and baritone Christopher Richard. Series artistic director Roger Bingaman will conduct.
Soprano Erin Thomas earned her Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance from DePaul University and has since performed in Chicago with The Chicago Symphony Chorus, Light Opera Works, Lifeline Theatre, The Savoyaires, Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company and Emerald City Children’s Theatre.
Mezzo soprano Jessye Wright was among just four mezzos recently named “Upwardly Musical Artists on the Move” in Symphony Magazine’s Guide to Emerging Artists. Previous seasons for Ms. Wright include a performance in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall of Mozart’s Requiem with the National Chorale, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. Ms. Wright received the Ardis Krainik Memorial Prize in Voice from Chicago’s National Bel Canto Foundation and won 2nd place in the International Classical Singer Competition.
Tobias Wright, tenor, is a recent graduate of Northwestern University. Most recently he was seen as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Lawrence Opera Theatre. While at Northwestern he portrayed Al Joad in The Grapes of Wrath and Lorenzo in Lucrezia. He was a young artist with Nevada Opera, Opera in the Ozarks and the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg. Mr. Wright will be seen as St. Brioche in Light Opera Works upcoming performance of The Merry Widow.
Baritone Christopher Richard holds degrees from Butler University and the University of Southern California. He has performed with DuPage Opera Theatre, Bowen Park Opera, Light Opera Works and Drury Lane Oakbrook. He has appeared with Sarasota Opera, Indianapolis Opera, the Aspen Music Festival Opera, Brevard Music Center, the Mexico National Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the New World Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Richard teaches private voice lessons at Oak Park & River Forest High School and is Music Director for Chicago Opera Theater for Teens and Light Opera Works Youth Programs.
“It’s a joy to bring these talented professional soloists and musicians to our community,” said Roger Bingaman, artistic director of the series. “I guarantee that on the ending note of the Hallelujah Chorus, your spirits will be lifted and you’ll be ready for the holiday season,” he said.
A lavish holiday reception follows the concert. Chorus scores will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. The Fine Arts Committee last presented The Messiah in 2009. This will be the fifth time in its 20 year history that the Irving Park Fine Arts Committee has presented a free Sing-Along Messiah. The Greater Independence Park Neighborhood Association (GIPNA) is a supporting sponsor.
The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing high-quality, professional music and theatrical events to the Irving Park community at a price everyone can afford.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Classical Music Love Letters
Duos for Flute and Cello
Marie Bennett, Flute
Dorothy Deen, Cello
The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee will present romantic duos for flute and cello on Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 p.m. at Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding Ave. The program is titled “Classical Music Love Letters” and will feature cellist Dorothy Deen and flutist Marie Bennett. The program will include Gary Schocker’s Pas a Deux, a Beethoven duo, Burlesque pieces by Wanek and romantic opera favorites. Grab your sweetheart and join us for a romantic afternoon!
Dorothy Deen is a native of Chicago who has been a freelance cellist in the area for 25 years. She received a Master’s degree in cello performance and pedagogy from Northern Illinois University. Currently, she performs with the New Philharmonic and is the principal cellist with Light Opera Works. She also works with several other trios and ensembles.
An active freelancer and recitalist in the Chicago area, Marie Bennett holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from DePaul University, both in flute performance. She has performed with many regional and international orchestras. Bennett is Adjunct Professor of Flute at North Central College in Naperville, IL where she teaches private lessons, musicianship and music theory classes and directs the flute ensembles.
Admission to the concert is free, though a free-will offering may be made. A reception with the artists follows the concert. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing high-quality, professional music and theatrical events to the Irving Park community. The Irving Park Fine Arts Concert Series is sponsored by Carlson Community Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit connecting the Irving Park community with programs that enrich lives through education, culture and service.