The stage, the aisles and the balconies were alive with the sound of music at for third annual “Explore the Sound” concert, Wednesday night.
Audience members were treated to the sounds of several of the college’s choral and instrumental ensembles, as they showcased the stunning acoustics of the concert hall. Featured groups included the Women's Chorale and Chamber Singers, the Cardinal Chorus, the String Ensemble and the Flute Choir.
“When we opened our Wentz Concert Hall in 2008-09, it was clear that as performers, we needed to learn about the hall—its acoustics, its perfect spots, and its challenges,” said Ramona M. Wis, Mimi Rolland Professor in the Fine Arts Chair, of North Central’s Department of Music. “So I devised a concert theme designed to do just that. ‘Explore the Sound’ was my title for this concert and due to the success that first year and the interest among the performers, we have made it an annual event.”
The show opened with the Flute Choir performing the theme from Mission Impossible from the balconies as the singers snuck onto stage James Bond style. Song selections ranged from traditional pieces such as Bach's Suite in G Major I. Prelude to modern pieces like Sting's Fields of Gold and Jai Ho from the movie "Slumdog Millionaire."
“The goal of the concert was simple, to bring together a variety of choral and instrumental ensembles and faculty solo artists to perform a wide variety of repertoire from virtually every nook and cranny of Wentz Concert Hall,” Wis said. “We program repertoire that we want to perform in the hall, often chosen specifically for the space and the visual effect, because we use theatrical lighting and a seamless concert flow. This means this is a concert 'experience' — as you sit in the audience you will hear and see music from all around you, some far away and some very close to you.”
Mary Beth Bowman of Naperville brought her husband and five- and nine- year-old children to the concert.
"We have never been to a production at Wentz Hall because our kids were always too young to enjoy it," Bowman said. "Now they are old enough to sit through a performance. This was a close and affordable way to expose them to the arts."