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2014-15 Season

Music In Person Series: Alex de Grassi
Grammy-nominated classical and jazz guitarist Alex de Grassi, who helped lay the foundation for contemporary finger-style guitar, delivers a rare Chicagoland concert at Oakton’s Performing Arts Center. Join this world-renowned artist for a master class in his unique finger styling—and stay for his concert. Whether you’re a guitar player yourself, or just a fan, don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear guitar legend Grassi, whose style is described by Billboard Magazine as “intricate finger-picking technique with an uncanny gift for melodic invention.”

The Underpants (A Staged Reading)
By Carl Sternhelm; Adaptation by Steve Martin
Directed by Timothy Edward Kane
The hilarious Steve Martin’s adaptation of the 1910 German farce Die Hose lampoons class and the ups-and-downs of marriage. The whole town is talking about Louise’s underpants, which fell down at the annual parade—much to the dismay of her prudish husband, who is only trying to keep his government job and rent the upstairs room. Laughs take center stage as two would-be renters show up with ulterior motives and suitcases filled with hilarity. Be forewarned—clever words and lambasting language will leave you in stitches.

Intimate Apparel
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Kathleen Carot
The year is 1905. New York City resident Esther, an African-American spinster, sews exquisite lingerie for both Fifth Avenue wives and Tenderloin District prostitutes. And while her skills give her a rare level of economic independence, she is painfully lonely. But life changes when Esther falls for a Barbadian laborer who woos her with long-distance love letters. Full of heartbreak and gentle humor, playwright Lynn Nottage has stitched together a genuinely American tale of a woman shaped by gender, race, and class—who is working for a better life.

Jazz Lounge
Get toasty with select members of the Oakton Jazz Band in a unique space overlooking beautiful Lake Oakton. Robert Evans directs an evening of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Mike Tomaro, and Dave Wolpe. Oakton’s Jazz Combo also showcases its improvisation skills. Refreshments served after the program.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jacksonl
Book by Alex Timbers
Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
Directed by Jason A. Fleece
Performed in the dirty rock cavern that was once Studio One, don’t miss this experiential musical from the team that brought you last season’s Sweeney Todd. Who was the only president to fight in three wars and be held as a prisoner of war? Which president fought in—and won—the most duels? Survived an assassination attempt? Launched the Democratic Party? Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a rock-n-roll comedy about the man who shaped the way our political system works today: the people’s president, the American Lion, America’s Raging Id, Old Hickory, the hunter from Kentucky … BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON.

Life is a Cabaret Musical Brunch
Master vocalist Eileen Berman and friends welcome you with great music and delicious food—set against the backdrop of Oakton’s gorgeous autumnal woods. Celebrate the season with a medley of songs, opera arias, and duets by composers ranging from Mozart to Gershwin—as well as perennial favorites from Cabaret, Carousel, and Fiddler on the Roof.

The Art and Music of Nature
A delightful collection of student work celebrating the colors and beauty of autumn. Experience the best work of Oakton's art and music students all in one place. Don’t miss this annual tradition! 

The Winter Noteworthy Festival
Throw off the winter blues and join us as students take the next step in their musical education. Our week-long festival highlights talented student musicians with a variety of recitals.

  • Guitar Ensemble   
    Start the festival off on the right note—with a little classical guitar! Selections range from modern to classic—and include an original composition. Students perform solo and combo pieces under the direction of Tom Clippert, a member of the Avanti Guitar Trio and graduate of Yale University School of Music.
  • String Ensemble
    Celebrate winter with the String Ensemble’s “Winterfest.”  Featuring guest violin soloist Domnica Lungo and seasonal favorites,
    including Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This classical mix is blended with Klezmer-style Hanukkah music and Charlie Daniels’ hit, The Devil Goes Down to Georgia—all under the direction of Oakton music faculty member Daniel Golden.
  • Vocal Recital
    Voice students directed by Eileen Berman, a member of Oakton’s music faculty, perform solos and duets. Audience favorites from Broadway, opera, classical, and contemporary songbooks fill this recital with a little something for everyone.
  • Choral Recital
    Just in time for the holidays! Drop by and tune in for a wonderfully warm collection of seasonal, classical, Broadway, and contemporary songs performed by the Oakton Community Choir, directed and conducted by Eileen Berman.
  • Jazz Invasion
    Oakton’s award-winning Jazz Band performs a toe-tapping selection under the direction of Robert Evans. Playing everything from blues to bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz, all accompanied by a visual history of the music, this classic seasonal concert is sure to get you in a festive mood!

Speaker Showcase
Don’t miss Oakton’s best speech students and speech team members as they present the finest of the semester’s public speaking. Join Director Bob Gynn and listen as our students wield their presentation skills on topics the span the spectrum—from educational to inspiring to comic.

Jazzin' Around
This concert is positively hopping! Start the season with a big band bang as Oakton music faculty and friends take to the Footlik stage for
an amazing night of jazz. Lead by instructor of music, Mark Olen, Jazzin’ Around features classic and contemporary favorites, with a little something for everyone.

Linden Cello Duo
Oakton cello instructor Alexa Muhly and Lyric Opera cellist William Cernota make their debut appearance on the Footlik stage this winter as the Linden Cello Duo. The Linden tree, a symbol of versatility, is used around the globe for making everything from musical instruments to marionettes. Join this diverse duo as they present works from Bach and the Ottoman Empire as well as Klezmer classics.

These Shining Lives
By Melanie Marnich
Directed by Tara Mallen
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s artistic director Tara Mallen guest directs this true story. The roaring 20s have arrived, bringing new opportunities for women to work outside the home. Catherine and her young friends feel lucky to have positions painting watch faces at Ottawa’s Radium Dial Company—until the radium they thought harmless exacts its price.

Spoon River Anthology
By Edgar Lee Masters; Directed by Mary Ringstad
Conceived, adapted, and arranged by Charles Aidman
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Humor and sincerity pepper this beautiful piece of theater adapted from the collection of poems about a small town and its eclectic citizens. Set in a graveyard and accompanied by live music, the “ghosts” of rural Illinois tell their stories in verse—recounting lives, loves, and regrets.

Six Piano Ensemble
The Oakton Six Piano Ensemble, founded by Glenna Sprague, Oakton professor and coordinator of music, has amazed and delighted sold-out audiences near and far for more than 25 years. Showcasing classical, ragtime, and popular music as well as symphonic repertoire transcribed for the pianos by Sprague, the group’s rich, layered sound is comparable to an orchestra, with each pianist playing a different part of a composition. Critics from Honolulu to Vienna hail the group as “unique,” “impeccable,” and “technically superb.” Get your tickets early for this Oakton Performing Arts Center favorite!

Luck of the Irish
By Kristen Greenidge
Directed by Veronda Carey
In an effort to circumvent the racism of an affluent, segregated Boston suburb, the Taylors—an African-American couple—enlist an Irish family to buy a house on their behalf. Fifty years later, the Irish family wants “their house” back. Themes of home and America are explored in this staged reading.

The Noteworthy Festival
Celebrate the end of the spring semester with Oakton’s traditional season closer, theNoteworthy Festival, featuring traditional recitals and concerts in the Footlik Theater. Join the audience and play a key role in Oakton’s music education program as the College’s talented student performers and outstanding music faculty showcase their talents.

  • Guitar Ensemble
    Kick off the festival with the Oakton Guitar Ensemble as it presents thoughtful selections of classical and contemporary guitar music. Coordinated by Yale School of Music alumnus and instructor of music, Tom Clippert, this musical treat features solos, duets, and selections performed by the College’s guitar students and special guests
  • String Ensemble
    Guest cello soloist and Oakton music faculty member Alexa Muhly performs with the ensemble, under the direction of Oakton music instructor, Daniel Golden. Enjoy “Pièces en Concert,” a hauntingly beautiful suite by Couperin, Tchaikovsky’s waltz from “String Serenade,” Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” (rondo movement), and selections of Gypsy, Klezmer, and Middle Eastern music.
  • Vocal Recital
    Voice students directed by Eileen Berman, a professionally performing member of Oakton’s music faculty, showcase their talents with dazzling tunes. Don’t miss the only Oakton recital that features Broadway and classical favorites!
  • Choral Recital
    Full of seasonal selections, this annual audience favorite is sure to warm you after a long winter. Oakton music instructor, Eileen Berman, leads this crowd-pleasing evening of solid voice.
  • Jazz Invasion
    Oakton’s award-winning Jazz Band performs a toe-tapping selection under the direction of Robert Evans. Playing everything from blues to bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz, all accompanied by a visual history of the music, this classic seasonal concert is sure to get you in a festive mood!

Student Profile

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As a student ambassador at Oakton, Michael Underwood is helping others avoid his mistakes.