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Much ado at Moser

Performances planned for coming weeks at center

Published: Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 8:59 a.m. CST

JOLIET — The University of St. Francis Music at Moser Series offers a variety of performances in February and March.

This Sunday, Feb. 12, Friends of the Gamelan will perform at 3 p.m. This group has been dedicated to the performance and instruction of Javanese gamelan music in Chicago since 1980. The concert will feature engaging and exotic music performed on East Asian instruments including chimes, gongs, and percussion. After the concert, the professional performers from the University of Chicago will invite the audience onstage to examine — and even play — various instruments.

On Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m., the debut of the USF Wind Ensemble will take place under the direction of USF professor Robert Stumpf. Arizona composer Michael Markowski and trumpeter Robert Kase will be featured, along with musical selections by Gossec, Holsinger, Pennington, and Sousa. Markowski dedicated his new work “Walden” in honor of the band program at USF.

Last year, his “Dreamland” was commissioned by a consortium including bands from Naperville, St. Charles, New Trier, Downers Grove. Markowski will be with the Wind Ensemble for the weekend of the performance. Kase, USF’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is well-known across the spectrum of academia and professional associations including the National Association of Schools of Music and various state and national music education organizations. He is a performing artist for the Schilke Corporation. Kase will be featured playing famous trumpeter Rafael Mendez’s virtuosic “La Virgen de la Macarena.”

The university’s previously announced spring play, “Julius Caesar,” has been replaced with “A Theatre and Opera Pastiche” to be presented the Department of Music and Performing Arts and the Sometimes Thespians student theater company at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2.

This performance will include staged scenes and excerpts from operas inspired by Shakespeare, scenes from three Mozart operas, as well as soliloquies and scenes from Shakespeare’s “Othello” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Singers will appear as Cleopatra in an aria from Handel’s “Giulio Cesare,” as Desdemona singing the “Willow Aria” from Verdi’s “Otello,” and as Nanetta invoking the forest sprites in Verdi’s “Falstaff.” The performance will also include the opening scene from “The Magic Flute”—serpent and all—and scenes from “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Così fan tutte.”

The Robert Gruca classical guitar performance that was canceled in January due to a winter storm has been rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 30.

All performances will take place in the Moser Performing Arts Center at the University of St. Francis, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet, Ill. For more information on the entire Music at Moser spring series, visit www.stfrancis.edu/music-at-moser. Reservations are strongly encouraged for all performances and can be made by calling (800) 735-7500. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for USF alumni, senior citizens and non-USF students.

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