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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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Tallis Scholars bring a seasonal Marian celebration to Rockefeller Chapel

By Lawrence A. Johnson at Chicago Classical Review

A bit of live concert serendipity intruded on the Tallis Scholars concert Friday night at Rockefeller Chapel when screaming police sirens en route to a crime scene forced director Peter Phillips to stop his singers after the first bar of a setting of Nunc dimittis (“Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace.”).

Happily, there were no other interruptions and the venerable early music ensemble continued with its discerning and tasteful program of seasonal sacred music. The event was presented by the University of Chicago Concert series and played to a surprisingly full house in the vast space.

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MacMillan choral work premiered at Rockefeller Chapel

By Lawrence A. Johnson at Chicago Classical Review

Compared to the performance of Bach’s epic St. Matthew Passion that drew a thousand people to a Lincoln Park church in April, the second event offered in Chicago by Soli Deo Gloria was a relatively intimate affair.

The Glen Ellyn-based organization presented the premiere of James MacMillan’s new choral work, Alpha and Omega Saturday afternoon at Rockefeller Chapel. The Soli Deo Gloria commission was heard as part of the annual “Best of Rockefeller” concerts, presented in collaboration with Crossway publications and the University of Chicago.

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