Quick Center Stage Named in Honor of Carole Ann Maxwell, DSM

Quick Center Stage Named in Honor of Carole Ann Maxwell, DSM

Dr. Maxwell posing with visiting alumni singers beneath new stage name sign.

Dr. Maxwell and visiting alumni singers pose beneath the new Quick Center sign bearing her "stage name."

The performance stage of the Aloysius P. Kelley Theatre has been officially named the Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell Stage, in honor of the choral director's illustrious 44-year career at Fairfield.

I came into their world, but they changed my world completely. Their mission, their ideals, I would say the Jesuits were number one.

— Carole Ann Maxwell, DSM

Having shaped the musical talents and aspirations of thousands of students during her 44 years at Fairfield, Director of Choral Activities Carole Ann Maxwell, DSM, P’02 will retire from the University at the end of the spring 2024 semester. To honor her legacy and celebrate her illustrious career at Fairfield, 140 singing alumni returned to campus on April 6 to join current Glee Club members in a special concert performance conducted by Dr. Maxwell at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Sharing the stage with Dr. Maxwell and the 200-plus singers for this special “Ticket to the World” concert were accompanist Beth Palmer and Festival Brass.

Outgoing Campus Ministry director and University chaplain Rev. Keith Maczkiewicz, S.J.,’04 has served this year as Glee Club chaplain and is himself a Glee Club alumnus. Paying tribute to Dr. Maxwell during the concert, he told her, “On behalf of my brother Jesuits who have served as chaplain over the years, and in the name of Glee Club singers past and present — those on this stage and those still making music far from campus — let me say simply, thank you, we love you, and we will miss your consistent presence, creative energy, and your passionate desire to make music for and with others.”

Fr. Maczkiewicz then announced on behalf of University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, that the Quick Center stage — upon which countless memorable concerts under her direction have taken place — “will henceforth be named the Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell Stage.”

The decision to name the stage for Dr. Maxwell comes as a fitting tribute to her remarkable career and the many lives she has touched through her music. “Every performance was such a joy,” said Dr. Maxwell when asked about her most memorable concerts. “I most appreciate how hard the students worked, and how diligently they prepared for each performance.”

During her career on campus, Dr. Maxwell said that she has loved innovating and experimenting in performances, giving contemporary artists an opportunity, and giving soloists a spotlight. “They always appreciated the chance to show what they could do.”

As news has spread of her retirement, colleagues, alumni, and students have been posting notes of gratitude for Dr. Maxwell on a virtual Kudoboard farewell card. Reading them, she is struck by the big hearts and strong bonds within Fairfield’s choral music community. “Music is always the foundation,” she said, “but it takes the people in the ensemble to bring the heart to it. It’s so important: if they’re in the right frame of mind, the right focus, the heart is there.”

Three major forces have sustained Dr. Maxwell during her decades at Fairfield. “For starters,” she noted, “I have been very lucky with the people placed in charge of me – that awesome task! They’ve always been supportive and encouraging of new ideas. The students, too, have been absolutely amazing – exciting to be around, innovative, unique, and ever-challenging.”

But the biggest nurturing force in her life at Fairfield? “Definitely the Jesuits,” she said. “I came into their world, but they changed my world completely. Their mission, their ideals, I would say the Jesuits were number one.”

Dr. Maxwell leaves Fairfield confident that the choral music program is in the capable hands of the next generation. During the April 6 concert, she introduced the audience to her former student and successor, Michael A. Ciavaglia ’04, DMA, who has been a regular guest conductor of the Glee Club since his time as an undergrad. He will step into the roles of director of choral music and director of the Glee Club, and professor of the practice in music, effective July 1, 2024.

After graduating from Fairfield in 2004, Dr. Ciavaglia attended the Boyer School of Music and Dance at Temple University and received his doctor of musical arts degree from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. “He has done opera, choral music, orchestral music at times, and he is very well known on the East coast,” said Dr. Maxwell. “Michael has done more in his young life than most choral directors ever get a chance to do.”

View Images From the April 6 Concert

View Images From the April 6 Concert

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