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Seasons tapestry inspired by Rockefeller Chapel meditates on the passage of time

When I think of Rockefeller Chapel, I think Gothic. I think stone, gargoyles, arches, vaulting, wooden pews, red velvet seats, metal lanterns, and stained glass. I think strength, structure, and command.

You can imagine my shock, then, when I walked into Rockefeller’s east transept bay (the small section of pews off to the right) to behold Libby Chaney’s newest fabric installation, Seasons—a profusion of color, textures, and patterns. Not Gothic, to say the least.

This Cleveland-based fiber artist’s impressionistic compilation of chronological snapshots, broken up into four vertical panels, totals 450 square feet and covers all three walls of the east transept. Not only does this work feature each distinct season, but it also depicts those fleeting and elusive transitional periods between each season—that not-yet-quite-fall-summer, that baiting winter-spring warmth. Seasons is playful and unexpected.

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Graduate student Kate Pukinskis’ composition to premiere at Rockefeller Chapel

Kate Pukinskis loves to sing in choirs, to be on stage with others enveloped by the “crazy, loud sounds” of Beethoven’s Ninth or Verdi’s Requiem. “Choral music comes very naturally to me,” said Pukinskis, a doctoral student in composition in the Department of Music who has sung in professional choirs since she was a child.

“There is great joy in making music with other people—and it’s such a cool thing to use your voice as your instrument and feel it resonate inside your body.”

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The four seasons

Amid winter’s darkness, an art installation multiplied the colors in Rockefeller Chapel.

The grayest months of a stubborn winter found Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in full bloom. In artist Libby Chaney’s evocative fabric installation Seasons, which hung in the east transept gallery and on the chapel’s lower level from January to early March, hundreds of cloth scraps were sewn into scenes of summer, fall, winter, and spring, rich with color—and, the closer one got, with pattern and texture too.

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Shelter from the storm

As an early February blizzard blew, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel’s Candlemas service fed the spirit and the senses.

Seasons is the title of artist Libby Chaney’s fabric installation that currently graces Rockefeller Memorial Chapel (it will be up through March 3). So it was fitting that on February 1, the morning Chaney delivered the sermon at the chapel’s Sunday service, Chicago was in the middle of the fifth-biggest blizzard in its history.

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World-renowned instrument at Rockefeller Chapel inspires College student’s music studies

— Posted in performance, organ, students, organ studio, organ scholar, and Chelsie Coren

When Chelsie Coren stepped inside Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on an autumn day in 2012, she heard the majestic thunder of the chapel’s E.M. Skinner organ echoing through the high-domed space.

“It seemed like all the stops were pulled out; the entire building just shook,” recalls Coren, then a high school senior visiting campus as a prospective student. “I knew right away that I had to learn to play that organ.”

An accomplished pianist and clarinetist, Coren says she spent the rest of her senior year in suburban Wheeling, Ill., dreaming about finding someone to teach her.

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Rockefeller Chapel opens its fourth season of Quire & Place with Schütz’s Christmas Story and excerpts from Kile Smith’s Vespers

— Posted in Quire & Place, choral, music, and performance

On Friday November 21, 2014, 7:30 pm, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel launches the fourth season of its signature Quire & Place concert series with seventeenth century Heinrich Schütz’s charming Christmas drama Weihnachtshistorie and his Deutsches Magnificat alongside contemporary composer Kile Smith’s spectacular Vespers, written for Renaissance band Piffaro.

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Haydn’s “Seven Last Words” finds luminous expression with Seraphic Fire and Spektral Quartet

Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross is a luminous, compact jewel, a deeply felt, subtly colored contemplation of Christ’s crucifixion that lasts less than an hour.

Wednesday night two gifted ensembles—the Florida-based a cappella chorus Seraphic Fire and Chicago’s own Spektral Quartet—combined forces for an unusual and potent version of Haydn’s work at Rockefeller Chapel in the University of Chicago Presents series.

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Prairie Home Companion choir VocalEssence performs at the University of Chicago

— Posted in Performances

Rockefeller Chapel welcomes Minnesota gem VocalEssence at the next Quire & Place concert, Sunday, March 2 at 3 pm. The performance will feature a collection of American and Mexican choral music of the kind championed by VocalEssence, including the première performance of Timothy Takach’s new work To Love, To Be Swallowed Up. Takach’s work is receiving broad notice for its strong melodic lines and intriguing harmonies.

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