DuPage Chorale to perform 'From the Heart' with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra Dec. 5 at the MAC

  • Lee R. Kesselman conducting the DuPage Chorale and DuPage Chorale Orchestra

    Lee R. Kesselman conducting the DuPage Chorale and DuPage Chorale Orchestra Courtesy of the McAninch Arts Center

Updated 12/3/2021 4:43 PM

On Sunday, Dec. 5, the DuPage Chorale, under the direction of Lee R. Kesselman, with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra, returns to live concert performances with "From the Heart" at 7:30 p.m. at the McAninch Arts Center's Belushi Performance Hall stage.

"DuPage Chorale was the first music ensemble to perform at College of DuPage and, with the exception of a performance break beginning in Spring 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols, has performed continuously since approximately 1969," says Kesselman. "Throughout that time, we have had many memorable concerts, but I am particularly excited about this concert as our first full live concert in nearly two years. With that in mind, we've selected works to entertain and celebrate this happy occasion."


The program will include the following works:

• Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Mass No. 2 in G major, D. 167. This work was composed in less than a week in early March 1815 and remains the best known of Schubert's three short settings, or "missae breves."

• Bob Chilcott (b. 1955), "Songs My Heart Has Taught Me." In this passionate four-movement work, Chilcott and lyricist Delphine Chalmers explore themes of inclusivity, identity, and unity.

• A selection of heartfelt songs by Canadian composers will complete the program.

Guest vocal artists showcased in the concert include:

• Dr. Jennifer Barnickel-Fitch (soprano) is a frequent recitalist. She has been a member of Chicago Symphony Chorus and Lyric Opera Chorus and has covered the title role of Verdi's "Aida" and Leonora in "Il trovatore" for da Corneto Opera. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan and has won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Counsel as well as Milwaukee Bel Canto Chorus and the Ann Arbor Musical Society. She is a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing and has been part of the faculty at College of DuPage since the fall of 2003.

• Ace Gangoso (tenor) enjoys an eclectic musical career as a singer, music director, pianist and teacher. He has performed with Fourth Coast Ensemble, the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Grant Park Chorus and Chicago a cappella. He is the Director of Music Ministry at St. Nicholas Parish in Evanston and also pianist for the Chicago Black Catholics Choir and a supplementary staff musician at St. Michael in Old Town. Gangoso holds Bachelor's Degrees in Music Education and Voice Performance from the University of Central Arkansas and a Master's Degree in Voice Performance from Northwestern University.

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• David Govertsen (bass-baritone), a native Chicagoan, has been active as a professional singer for nearly 20 years. He has appeared as a soloist with numerous local and regional opera companies, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Tulsa Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and the Haymarket Opera Company and is a member of vocal chamber quartet Fourth Coast Ensemble. As a concert soloist Govertsen has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, among many others. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 as the Herald in "Otello" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Govertsen is an alumnus of the Ryan Opera Center and the Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera apprentice programs and holds degrees from Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University and the College of DuPage. Govertsen is currently on faculty at North Park University, Valparaiso University, Lewis University and College of DuPage.

All three soloists will be featured in the Schubert Mass in G major and in the Canadian songs. Acclaimed pianist William Buhr will accompany the Chilcott's "Songs My Heart Has Taught Me" and the Canadian songs. The DuPage Chorale Orchestra will accompany the Schubert Mass in G major and Kesselman's arrangement of "Auld Lang Syne." Oboist Deb Stevenson will also appear as soloist in some of the shorter pieces.

Lee R. Kesselman has been the Director of Choral Activities at COD since 1981. Conductor, pianist, teacher and award-winning composer, he directs the DuPage Chorale, Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. He serves as Director of Choral Activities at College of DuPage and Music Program Chair. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, Kesselman has conducted opera and musical theater throughout his career. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and recipient of more than 20 ASCAP awards, Kesselman's many compositions have been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Roger Dean Music, Colla Voce and Kesselman Press. Kesselman currently serves as Past-President of the Illinois Choral Directors Association.​

The DuPage Chorale, a large community chorus, performs choral concerts, usually in conjunction with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra, a professional orchestra. Repertoire includes standard choral works by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Brahms, as well as modern masterpieces by Orff, Poulenc, Stravinsky and others. Members come from all of Chicago's western suburban locations. The Chorale is a course in the COD Music Department and membership includes college students and community members with a multigenerational profile.


The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Belushi Performance Hall at the McAninch Arts Center, on the campus of College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn.

Tickets are $17, $15 (senior) and $7 (student with valid ID). Masks are required for all visitors to the MAC. For tickets or more information, visit AtTheMAC.org or call (630) 942-4000.

The box office is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. and one hour prior to performance.

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