Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble
Jean-Christophe Leroy, director
The Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble will explore this unique musical tradition which is still practiced today in Cuba. This African diaspora-based music and culture is a living example of how art is can be a manifestation of the human desire to stay connected to one’s roots, ancestors, belief system, and home, even in the darkest of situations. Born of deep African origins, this form involves hand drumming, percussion and singing.
Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in the Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble. Community members who are interested in the art, culture, and music of the region are also welcome. All participants work together to make music while utilizing and expanding their own personal skills. There are no requirements regarding prior musical background required to participate in the ensemble.
The Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble rehearses on Monday evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Goodspeed 402.
Chicago World Music Chorus
Mollie Stone, Music Director
Again this season, the Department of Music will partner with the Chicago World Music Chorus to provide an additional opportunity for choral singing at the University. Under the joint direction of Mollie Stone (Director of the University of Chicago Chorus and Women’s Ensemble) and Patty Cuyler, this innovation, non-auditioned world music choir is open to members of the University of Chicago community as well as to all interested Chicago-area singers. The CWMC performs authentic choral music from across the globe, embracing many of the world’s most powerful harmony singing traditions – including those from South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, Corsica, Bulgaria, Scandinavia, Latin America, the United States, Western Europe, and more. The ensemble rehearses once a month on the University of Chicago campus, and presents an informal concert at the end of the season. For more information: http://www.chicagoworldmusic.org/
Guild of Carillonneurs
Joey Brink, director
The famous carillon in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel the single largest instrument ever constructed, and it is played by the Guild of Carillonneurs every weekday when the University is in session. The Guild is composed of twenty students that perform on the 72-bell Rockefeller Chapel carillon and receive weekly carillon lessons. No prior carillon experience is required, but interested students must be fluent in both treble and bass clefs, and must have at least three years left in their academic program. Signups are open during the first week of autumn quarter by contacting Joey Brink (firstname.lastname@example.org). All interested students will receive weekly lessons from a Guild member before auditioning in November. Guild members have the option to prepare for their associate or professional carillonneur exams through the North American Guild.
A Cappella Ensembles on Campus
Opportunities to join a campus a cappella ensemble are many and varied. The a cappella ensembles are student-generated and student-led, and are sponsored by the Campus and Student Life Center for Leadership and Involvement. The groups vary in size, choice of repertoire, in musical style, as well as in both type and frequency of performances. Several UChicago a cappella groups have produced CDs and garnered awards at competitions and festivals throughout the country.
For more information on campus a cappella ensembles, explore the University of Chicago A Cappella Council website.
Musical Theatre on Campus
The University hosts several prime opportunities for participating in musical theatre. In conjunction with the Department of Music, the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company produces a mainstage production every March, for which the University Chamber Orchestra serves as pit orchestra. Students are encouraged to audition for principal roles and for chorus positions. Auditions for the March 2020 production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance are scheduled for October 2019. Rehearsals begin in late January and continue through the remainder of Winter Quarter.
Other musical theatre productions are sponsored by Theater and Performance Studies/University Theater and often feature both student directorship and student participation as actors and as pit musicians. Some of these musical theatre productions – such as the 2008 presentation of Urinetown – include collaborations with and direction by Chicago-area professionals.
An addition to the a cappella ensembles, the campus musical scene encompasses such student-led musical groups as Golosa, The University of Chicago Russian Choir; the University of Chicago Pep Band; Kojo Daiko, a Japanese Drumming Ensemble; and more. Many of these musical groups are sponsored by the Campus and Student Life Center for Leadership and Involvement. Explore the UChicagoArts website for more information.