Gala Concert on April 12 Celebrates Father von Arx's 10th Anniversary at Fairfield
The Fairfield University Glee Club with Festival Orchestra presents Bravissimo!, a Gala Concert to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Reverend Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., as President of Fairfield University at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The concert features the world premier of “Mass in honor of St. Robert Bellarmine,” a work specifically commissioned for this event by The Center for Catholic Studies and composed by Christopher Willcock, S.J. The concert features performances by The Fairfield University Glee Club conducted by Carole Ann Maxwell, D.S.M., with Festival Brass and Percussion, and Glee Club members in a variety of collaborations. Also performing are The Bensonians, an all-male a cappella group directed by Timothy Rhone, Sweet Harmony, an all-female ensemble of chamber singers directed by Nicole Raposo, and the Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Maxwell. General admission tickets are $10; Students are $6.
“The Center for Catholic Studies is delighted by this event, honoring the first decade of Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.’s tenure as the eighth President of Fairfield University,” said Paul Lakeland, Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies, and Director, Center for Catholic Studies. “Almost from the moment he made the move from Fordham in the summer of 2004, it was apparent that his commitment to students, to the arts and to the Catholic intellectual tradition would be markers of his presidency. For these past ten years he has been a constant presence to and a principal fan of the University Glee Club and Chamber Singers. Equally, he has been a generous and wise supporter of the work of the Center for Catholic Studies. For these reasons the Center for Catholic Studies was pleased to commission the distinguished Australian Jesuit composer, Christopher Willcock, to write a mass in honor of President von Arx and to mark his ten years leading Fairfield University. And how appropriate that its first performance should be presented by the University Glee Club under the baton of Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell. Dr. Maxwell and I are deeply gratified to be able to celebrate our President’s support for the Glee Club and the Center for Catholic Studies with such a splendid musical occasion.”
Composer Christopher Willcock, S.J., was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1977 and then did doctoral studies in sacramental and liturgical theology at the Institut Catholique in Paris conjointly with Paris-IV (Sorbonne). In the field of liturgical choral music he has published and recorded six collections and was the winner of the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award.
The Fairfield University Glee Club, founded in 1947, is the oldest club on the Fairfield University campus. The members share a deep love for music and a common desire to achieve excellence in it. The Glee Club numbers over 130 undergraduate and graduate singers. The Glee Club is the parent organization of two additional choral ensembles: Sweet Harmony and The Bensonians. The Fairfield University Chamber Singers is the first mixed choir on campus. Founded in 1982 by Dr. Maxwell and Dr. Orin Grossman, it is an ensemble of auditioned singers, whose advanced repertoire, both sacred and secular, have led to a wide acclaim in the area.
Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.