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Musical theatre star Chad Hilligus to appear in Olivet concert celebrating George Gershwin

Posted: Oct 11, 2012

Olivet presents a musical tribute to composer George Gershwin (1898–1937) in “By George!” on Friday, October 20, 2012, 7:00 p.m. in the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel. Featured singers and instrumentalists from Olivet’s Department of Music join musical theatre star Chad Hilligus in this revue featuring many of the tuneful creations from one of the most famous and beloved American composers.

Hilligus, a 2003 Olivet graduate, is the newest member of the multi-platinum Australia-based rock-opera group The Ten Tenors. Performing an average of 250 shows each year across seven continents, this group has also appeared on “Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and at the opening ceremonies for EURO 2012 in Warsaw, Poland.

Starring as Tony in the critically-acclaimed 50th Anniversary World Tour of “West Side Story” gained Hilligus international attention. His performance as Tony with the Tokyo NHK Symphony was nationally televised in Japan. He has also performed with many opera companies and orchestras throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. In addition to his music degree from Olivet, Hilligus earned a master of music degree from the University of Utah’s School of Music. He has also completed post-graduate studies in Italian at Centro Studi Italiani in Italy and in French at the Azurlingua School in France.

Kay Suzanne Welch, Olivet alumna, will be a featured soloist and will also sing with Hilligus. She was the 2009 Women’s Voice first prize winner in the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist competition, and has been a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition. She is also an Olivet music professor, teaching voice and directing Chrysalis Women’s Choir. In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Olivet, she earned her master’s degree and is completing her doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Accompanying the singers will be Dr. Ovid Young, artist in residence at Olivet, as pianist and musical director. Dr. Neal Woodruff will conduct the University Orchestra and direct the Concert Singers.

There is no admission charge for this concert. For more information, call 815-939-5258.

Intramural sports in which Olivet students can participate, ranging from basketball and soccer to euchre and dodgeball