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updated: 2/14/2012 1:03 PM

'Variety' spices up Lombard chapel fundraisers

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  • The variety series raises money for the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society, which works to maintain the 1870 church, and allows visitors to see the restoration work the society has funded at the Lombard landmark.

      The variety series raises money for the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society, which works to maintain the 1870 church, and allows visitors to see the restoration work the society has funded at the Lombard landmark.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Historical impersonator Terry Lynch will appear as Meriwether Lewis at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Maple Street Chapel in Lombard to share stories about the Lewis and Clark expedition during the first of three variety series events sponsored by the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society.

      Historical impersonator Terry Lynch will appear as Meriwether Lewis at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Maple Street Chapel in Lombard to share stories about the Lewis and Clark expedition during the first of three variety series events sponsored by the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society.
    Courtesy of Ken Bohl

  • Village Vocal Chords, a Glen Ellyn-based women's chorus, will perform a 40-minute concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18, as the second act in the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society's annual variety series.

      Village Vocal Chords, a Glen Ellyn-based women's chorus, will perform a 40-minute concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18, as the second act in the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society's annual variety series.
    Courtesy of Ken Bohl

  • Lombard's Maple Street Chapel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts the annual variety series that will include a history presentation and musical performances.

      Lombard's Maple Street Chapel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts the annual variety series that will include a history presentation and musical performances.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Video: Lynch as Meriweather Lewis

 
 

When Ken Bohl organizes the annual variety series at the Maple Street Chapel in Lombard, he always includes an element of history.

After all, the performances that make up the variety series are fundraisers for the Maple Street Chapel Preservation Society, which works to maintain the historic 1870 church.

The series gets rolling at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, with historical impersonator Terry Lynch appearing as Meriwether Lewis to discuss the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804.

"That's something we try to get in every year -- a historic interpreter," Bohl said. "With this being a historical landmark, we try to bring in some element of American history."

Aside from highlighting history, the variety series brings people inside the chapel, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That way the public can see the results of the preservation society's work to fix the chapel's roof and maintain its interior, said Bohl, the preservation society's facilities director.

"We wanted it to serve a purpose, and that purpose is that it's a meeting place for people to have fun and be an active part of the community," Bohl said.

The second performance will feature the women's chorus Village Vocal Chords of Glen Ellyn singing a 40-minute concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18.

"We sing a cappella music, four-part harmony, barbershop harmony," Village Vocal Chords President Jean O'Connor said. "We're delighted to be performing for them."

The variety series, supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, will conclude with the 12th annual American Heritage Concert featuring a full orchestra and dancing at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

The orchestra includes performers with ties to the preservation society and Bohl, while the dancers are middle school- and high school-aged students at The Dance Centre in Lombard.

The concert, with the theme "Love of the Musical/Thrill of the Dance," will highlight Bohl's arrangement of the song "Victory," by the string quartet Bond. The arrangement will serenade dancers performing choreography by Dance Centre owner Penny Bovelli.

"It's original for me to arrange the piece, and then she's doing an original choreography," Bohl said. "Everything is just totally creative and new about it."

Dancers will wear long "liturgical skirts," like the gowns worn by gospel singers or altar servers, and they will use the fabric to create movement, Bovelli said.

"It's going to be unique because we're using the aisles between the pews as well as the space in front of the orchestra," Bovelli said. "The choreography really had to be conducive to using that type of space because it's very limited."

A package of tickets for all three performances costs $40. Tickets to the Meriwether Lewis appearance are $15, $10 for students; tickets to the Village Vocal Chords concert cost $15; and tickets to the American Heritage concert are $20.

Tickets are available by calling (630) 627-0171 and pressing 1, or by clicking on "variety program series" at maplestreetchapel.org.

Audience members at any of the performances will enjoy -- as the name suggests -- variety, Bovelli said.

"I just think this is going to be a great collaboration," she said.

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