CCPA welcomes new season
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 19:09
The fall semester brings new changes and a full performance schedule for Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.
The CCPA obtained new practice space on the first floor of the Auditorium Building, the former space of the university’s bookstore. The space is used primarily by the music conservatory. Currently, ensembles are using it daily for rehearsals. Most ensembles rehearse five days a week.
“We were outgrowing our space,” said Carolyn Bernstein, music conservatory director of performance activities. “With 90 students in some ensembles, a conductor and instruments, when the space became available, it became clear we’d use it for music.”
The brass ensemble is also new to the music conservatory, which was created to give players more performance opportunities outside of orchestral ensembles.
“We have so many talented brass students, and they needed a chance to shine,” Bernstein said.
Free performances are held in Ganz Hall most days of the week.
These performances are held by the CCPA’s wind, brass and percussion ensembles; Baroque, chamber and symphony orchestras; student composers with new music; piano students and faculty during the five-day PianoFest with faculty and guest artists.
“These concerts are an amazing aspect of the Music Conservatory and CCPA,” Bernstein said. “They’re a real service to the community.”
The String Chamber Music Showcase, which students compete to perform in, is also held on two different dates. This is the fifth year for OperaFest, a full day of opera performance in Ganz Hall and the Murray-Green Library. The CCPA conservatory chorus and chorale performs at Fourth Presbyterian Church and the Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center.
CCPA Jazz Combos, JazzFest and Jazz Ensembles perform at The Jazz Showcase, an off-campus venue, throughout the season.
“It’s one of the premiere jazz clubs in Chicago,” Bernstein said. “It’s free to get in, and it’s the perfect place to hang out if you need a break.”
Bernstein also said students should attend performances in order to tap into their adventurous spirits.
“They don’t have to know anything about music,” she said. “They might find it can open their minds to new ways of thinking and energize them when they’re feeling low.”
The theatre conservatory is developing off-campus space in 218 S. Wabash with modern dance studios, a camera studio, dressing room space and possible performance space.
The theatre conservatory also added a new degree concentration, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with studies in Acting or Musical Theatre and concentrations in Voice or Dance. The university is launching a new faculty search to support the program. It will hire one or two more adjunct faculty members.
“We’re going to get new interest in our program because of the dance concentration,” said Kendall Kelley, managing director of the theatre conservatory.
Kelley said a dance concentration is a rare offering at most universities.
A $1.2 million renovation of the new space is in development and is estimated to be completed by fall of 2013.
“We’ll have to change how we’ve done things during the budget process this year,” Kelley said. “Obviously, we’ll be requesting a lot more, but expected enrollment growth will cover that. Budgets have been very strained across the university in the last couple years, and this year is no different. But, there is good news, and we are improving.”
The theatre conservatory’s fall schedule includes William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”; Tom Stoppard’s comedy, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”; musical comedy by Douglas Carter Beane “Lysistrata Jones”;“Almost, Maine”, a romantic comedy by John Cariani; “The Grapes of Wrath,” a play by Frank Galati and “Spring Awakening,” a rock musical by Steven Sater.
“We have a really fun season this year,” Kelley said. “I think we’ll have a lot of attendance for ‘Spring Awakening.’ It’s been around town, and now it’s our turn.”
The Theatre Conservatory will also hold “At Risk,” a contribution the “IN>TIME” performance festival taking place in January and February in Chicago.
“I’m excited about all the growth,” Kelley said. “It’s a unique time to be here. Come see our shows.”
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