’Compelling’ musical experiences planned for 70th Wheaton College series

Ballet 5:8, the only major Christian professional ballet company in the Midwest, performs the worldwide debut of The Space in Between on Nov. 1 at Wheaton College. (Ballet 5:8 photo)

Tickets are now on sale for the 70th Wheaton College Artist Series, one of DuPage County’s premiere seasons of performing arts events.

From Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna to The Langston Hughes Project’s Ask Your Mama – 12 Moods for Jazz, the lineup offers evidence that the series keeps getting better and better.

“We celebrate an Artist Series that has served campus and community for 70 years, offering thousands of world-class artists to at least 400,000 audience members,” said Tony Payne, Wheaton College Artist Series general manager. “For this 70th season, we’re eager to provide a compelling musical experience with great music close to your home. The Wheaton College Artist Series is committed to excellence and passionate about the cultural legacy of our community.”

Here’s what the series has in store for the 2019-2020 season:

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., Edman Chapel.  The quartet kicks-off the series with its Grammy Award-winning sounds that span a variety of styles. From Latin to African, Far East to Irish, and Folk to American Classics, LACQ will have audience members swaying in their seats to their interpretations of “Whistling Molly” and “Corral Nocturne,” among other compositions.

Ballet 5:8 Performs “The Space in Between”, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., Edman Chapel. Ballet 5:8, the only major Christian professional ballet company in the Midwest, performs the worldwide debut of The Space in Between, Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager’s interpretation of the C.S. Lewis novel, The Great Divorce. The ballet, which tells the story of bus passengers on a ride between heaven and hell, is sure to captivate the eye and the mind with its colorfully costumed athlete-dancers and its thought-provoking message.

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Novl 16, 7:30 p.m., Edman Chapel. Not your average orchestra, the dynamic Irish Chamber Orchestra has collaborated with DJs and dance companies—expanding the definition of what small orchestra ensembles can do. Clarinetist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann has helped lead the creative charge—working with American soprano Claron McFadden for this performance.

Ian Bostridge, Tenor with Xuefei Yang, Guitarist, Jan. 24, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Edman Chapel. British tenor Ian Bostridge and Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang perform music by John Dowland, Benjamin Britten, and Franz Schubert, among others, in a unique collaboration for Wheaton College. Their program, which mixes styles and composers, reflects the diverse musical backgrounds that they both bring to the stage.

Morten Lauridsens Lux Aeterna, Feb. 21, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Edman Chapel.  American choral composer Morten Lauridsen created this moving work of choral chants inspired from sacred Latin sources, back in 1997 for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Grammy Award-winning conductor Jerry Blackstone will keep tempo for the Wheaton College Choirs, organist Nicole Simental and the Gaudete Brass quintet, who will all be performing Lux Aeterna together.

The Langston Hughes Project: Ask Your Mama – 12 Moods for Jazz, March 21, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Edman Chapel.  Dr. Ron McCurdy, professor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, wrote a jazz score to Langston Hughes’ Ask Your Mama – 12 Moods for Jazz. Inspired by a variety of sounds from boogie woogie to the blues, McCurdy created an unparalleled musical experience, which complements the reading of Hughes poem—and is sure to have  audience members enthralled.