'Swingin' into Christmas' with Naperville Chorus and Pete Ellman Big Band Dec. 9-10
If you're looking for a concert to get you in the holiday spirit, come enjoy the Naperville Chorus presentation of "Swingin' into Christmas with the Pete Ellman Big Band."
The two concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Wentz Hall on the campus of North Central College in Naperville.
This marks the sixth collaboration between the chorus and band. It will feature jazz and traditional arrangements of Christmas favorites and an audience sing-along. Past holiday concerts by these two groups have received standing ovations, so come and rock around the Christmas tree with them!
The Naperville Chorus, founded in 1976, has been led by its energetic and engaging music director, Jeordano "Pete" Martinez for 33 seasons.
This concert will be his last performance with the chorus before his retirement. Under his leadership, the chorus has more than doubled its size and is now back to its pre-COVID membership of 100-plus singers.
Martinez received his undergraduate degree in music theory and literature from Baylor University and began his conducting career as a graduate student at Southern Illinois University. He is an emeritus professor of music and former music department chairman at North Central College. While on the North Central faculty, he received the Fine Arts Medal, First Citizen of the College Award, and two Dissinger Awards for excellence in teaching. He has conducted multiple choral and orchestral productions during his long career and has been a choral adjudicator and clinician throughout the Midwest, Canada and Costa Rica. He is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and a Life Member of the Choral Directors of America Association. All of these achievements and more were accompanied by his trademark humor which endears him to his singers.
The Pete Ellman Big Band was formed in 2009 after Pete retired from the Illinois Air National Guard after 20 years of service. Since then, the band has played regularly in Chicago's Western suburbs at locations such as Mullen's in Lisle and Fitzgerald's in Oak Park.
In keeping with both organizations' commitment to the community, there will be a collection box for the 75th anniversary of the Marine Corps ReserveToys for Tots Program on Friday night only.
Tickets are $25 or $20 for students or seniors. Tickets are available at the North Central College box office in Wentz Hall, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, or online at finearts.northcentralcollege.edu/ticket-information.