Oakton announces May performing arts program

Buy your tickets for concerts, speaker showcase and improv/forensics before they sell out.

Des Plaines, Ill. (April 28, 2023) – Mark your calendar now and get your tickets before they sell out to immerse yourself in musical experiences, laugh out loud, participate in improv and be persuaded by speakers. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy great performances. Oakton’s performing arts lineup has something for everyone during the month of May!

”Whether you like guitar or trombone, jazz or classical music, improv or the art of public speaking, you will find an event that will inspire you and make you want more,” said Oakton Performing Arts chair Robert Gynn.

String Ensemble Concert
Monday, May 8, 8 p.m.
The Oakton String Ensemble will highlight beloved music by Arturo Márquez, Henry Mancini, Ennio and Andrea Morricone. Directed by Daniel Golden, the ensemble will also present a miniature orchestral masterpiece by Felix Mendelssohn. The performances will evoke the dance halls of Mexico City, the concert salons of Vienna and Leipzig, as well as the movie emporiums of Italy and Hollywood.

“The Ensemble members are eager to test their mastery of the colors and rhythms of Danzon No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez. We will feature multi-talented ensemble member Gloria Liu on the piano in one of the most beautiful film scores of all time, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ by Ennio and Andrea Morricone. And for icing on the cake, our violin section will lead the charge through Henry Mancini's hilarious ‘Pie in the Face Polka’ from ‘The Great Race,’” said Golden.

$8 general admission, $6 students and seniors; Footlik Theater, Des Plaines campus

Guitar Ensemble Concert
Wednesday, May 10, 8 p.m.
Under the direction of Thomas Clippert, the Oakton Guitar Ensemble will perform a wide-ranging program that spans both time and the globe. Familiar favorites will be heard alongside fresh sounds. Come and enjoy an evening that celebrates the guitar's diverse offerings with the sounds of jazz, classical, rock, and world music!

$8 general admission, $6 students and seniors; Footlik Theater, Des Plaines campus

Choral Concert
Thursday, May 11, 8 p.m.
Under the direction of Mallory Harding, the Oakton choir will take the stage this spring with music from around the world, featuring songs from the United States, South Korea, Italy, the Czech Republic, Ghana, Japan and more!

“The Oakton Choir is made up of singers with a wide range of experience, from total beginners to people who have been singing for decades. We hope to demonstrate the beauty of different cultures and languages with our concert, ‘What a Wonderful World,’” said Harding.

$8 general admission, $6 students and seniors; Footlik Theater, Des Plaines Campus

Jazz Invasion
Friday, May 12, 8 p.m.
Under the direction of a music instructor, Mark Olen, the big band and smaller combos will delight you with jazz classics and big band hits. There’s no better way to welcome spring!

The evening's program includes compositions by Paul McCartney, Wayne Shorter, Louis Prima, Sammy Nestico and Frank Foster. Several of the selections were made famous by Count Basie and Benny Goodman Orchestras, and additional work was arranged by Tom Matta in tribute to composer Gil Evans. The concert also features a world premiere big band arrangement of the Hoagy Carmichael song “One Morning in May”' by Oakton trombonist Tom Bartlett.

$8 general admission, $6 students and seniors; Footlik Theater, Des Plaines campus

Speaker Showcase
Tuesday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss Oakton’s best speech students and speech team members as they present the finest public speaking of the semester. Join Showcase director Bob Gynn, and listen up as Oakton students showcase their presentation skills on topics that span the spectrum from educational to inspiring to comic.

“Now in its 13th year, ‘Speaker Showcase’ allows talented speakers to share their speaking talent with an audience outside the traditional classroom setting. It includes those students who have displayed notable speaking skill and talent while presenting an exemplary, enlightening, insightful, and/or informative/persuasive speech in their speech class,” said Gynn.

Free admission; Footlik Theater, Des Plaines campus

OMG Improv & Oakton’s Competitive Speech Team’s Annual FUNdraising Performance
Saturday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy side-splitting laughter with Oakton’s improvisational comedy troupe and experience the energy of our powerful Speech team performances in dramatic duo, informative speaking, comedic persuasive speaking and more! This combined fundraising performance will allow you to witness firsthand why the speech team is nationally ranked and why OMG! Improv frequently performs at some of Chicago’s most popular comedy venues.

“This year’s forensics team is academically the smartest in my 20 years of coaching. They are all honor students involved in student clubs and campus life. This is also my first all-female team, including my coaching staff,” said director David Nadolski. “This year’s improv team will be trying new games to engage the audience, which we hope to incorporate during our performances at the Second City and the Annoyance Theatre later this year.”

$10 general admission; Studio One Theater, Des Plaines campus

For more information about events at Oakton, please visit Oakton's Events Calendar. The Box Office offers several convenient ways to purchase tickets. Visit Oakton's Performing Arts Center Box Office to learn more.

An artist's work is never complete, and just as art, music and theater trends evolve, an artist's education is also ongoing. We're always looking ahead to what comes next, including what comes next for you after Oakton. We welcome all degree-seeking students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university and major in the arts, along with students interested in personal development and shorter programs. The portfolio of work you create here at Oakton will be a founding step in your unique journey, regardless of where it takes you. To learn more, please visit Oakton's Fine, Performing and Applied Arts page.