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The Illinois College Fine Arts Series kicks off its 40th season bringing outstanding, inspiring music to the Jacksonville area.

2019 - 2020 Upcoming Series Events

CAROLBETH TRUE TRIO WITH DEBBY LENNON :: Saturday, September 14, 2019 :: 7:30 p.m. :: Rammelkamp Chapel

Our grand 40th anniversary season opens with the return of St. Louis’ acclaimed jazz pianist Carolbeth True and her trio Two Times True, with the stunningly captivating soprano Debby Lennon. Carolbeth has received many awards from St. Louis organizations and publications, and has been called “a cornerstone of the St. Louis jazz scene, and one of the hardest working jazz educators this town has ever seen.” Debby has been called “brassily irresistible” by the Boston Globe, as well as “vivacious and always watchable,” “delicately nuanced,” and “soulful.” These four extraordinary musicians are all favorites of Jacksonville audiences, and will thrill you with an evening of jazz and popular favorites. 




CHRISTINE BREWER, SOPRANO, WITH PIANO AND CELLO :: Thursday, October 17, 2019 :: 7:30 p.m. :: Rammelkamp Chapel

FACULTY COLLAGE :: Friday, October 18, 2019 7:30 p.m. :: Rammelkamp Chapel

You are cordially invited to attend the Engelbach-Hart Music Festival, to be held again this year in October. This admission-free event is a gift to the community and will consist of two concerts. Thursday’s program will feature the return to our stage of internationally acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer. Named by BBC Music Magazine as one of the top 20 sopranos of the 20th century, Ms. Brewer will be joined by Russian-American pianist Alla Voskoboynikova (who played on our series in March 2018) and St. Louis Symphony cellist Bjorn Ranheim in Songs of Love, Loss and Desire, featuring music of Cesar Franck, Richard Strauss, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Andre Previn, and more. Friday’s program will be a Faculty Collage Concert, highlighting the  exceptional talents of the Illinois College music faculty.


Show dates and times*:

  • Thursday, November 7, 2019 :: 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 8, 2019 :: 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 9, 2019 :: 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 10, 2019 :: 2 p.m.

We pay tribute to this area’s acclaimed playwright and Illinois College alumnus, the late Ken Bradbury ’71 H’98, with a production of his play “Bradbury by Bradbury” (aka Cries of Faith), a collection of one-act plays that chronicle the journey of faith. It is a cross-section of some of Bradbury’s greatest and most personal work. Written for Illinois College and premiered exactly 20 years ago in November 1999, you will not want to miss this poignant and moving evening of theatre, performed by a cast of area performers who were all close associates of Mr. Bradbury.

*PLEASE NOTE: Since there will be four performances of this play, and we are expecting large audiences, season subscribers will need to call Jennifer Phebus in advance at 245-3260 to reserve tickets for a specific performance.

KHASMA PIANO DUO :: Sunday, February 9, 2020 :: 3 p.m. :: Rammelkamp Chapel

The Khasma Piano Duo returns to the Rammelkamp stage for an engaging evening of brilliant music for piano duet and two pianos. Pianists Ashlee Mack and Katherine Palumbo enjoy a national reputation for the quality and enthusiasm of their performances. They are dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, and have premiered piano duets by a number of notable living composers. Their performance here will include music by three major, pioneering composers of the 20th century, Boulez, Debussy and Messiaen.

STEPHEN THARP, ORGANIST :: Friday, February 21, 2020 :: 7:30 p.m. :: Rammelkamp Chapel

We are thrilled to bring back one of Illinois College’s very own, virtuoso organist Stephen Tharp ’92. A magna cum laude graduate of
Illinois College, Mr. Tharp has become one of the world’s great organists, a consummate musician, renowned for performances that are both insightful and exciting. He has concertized throughout the United States and Europe (he recently completed his 58th concert tour of Europe), was organist at both St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, and was official organist for the New York visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. The Dallas Morning News wrote that he is “one of the most brilliant concert organists around these days,” and Diapason magazine called him “the best organist in America.”

THE STAN KENTON LEGACY ORCHESTRA :: Friday, April 24, 2020 :: 7:30 p.m. :: Rammelkamp Chapel

We conclude our 40th anniversary season with an exciting group, new to Jacksonville, The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra. Alumni from the 1956-1978 Stan Kenton orchestras, plus some wonderful young new members, come together to perform some of the well known music of the Stan Kenton Orchestra; plus, in keeping with Kenton’s insistence on not just performing nostalgia type music, the orchestra performs fresh new material written in the Kenton style, as well as original material written by members of the band. The ensemble enjoys the blessing Leslie Kenton, Stan Kenton’s eldest daughter, who approves of all the Orchestra is doing to keep the Kenton Legacy alive. Don’t miss this 18-piece big band, which is carrying on Kenton’s tradition of dedication to creative music and to jazz education.

Family Night Series 

To expand the celebration of our 40th anniversary, we’ve added two Family Night events: shorter narrated programs by area storytellers and musicians, designed to appeal to both children and adults, starting at the “kid-friendly” time of 6:30 p.m. on two Wednesday evenings. Adult admission to Family Night events is included in the Series season ticket. Single adult admission to each Family Night event is just $5, and, as always, children and students are admitted free of charge

TALES AFTER DARK :: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 :: 6:30 p.m. :: Locations on IC campus TBA

Children and adults alike will feel the Halloween spirit when they come to hear three master storytellers spin spooky tales of the season. The evening will be led by Jacksonville’s own Mike Anderson ’74, whose combination of music, storytelling and humor has made him a much sought-after performer throughout the Midwest. Mike will be joined by two equally talented friends, Dan Keding of Urbana and Bobby Norfolk of St. Louis, who will tell their tales in separate locations, with the audience rotating between the three venues.

THE ROOTS OF RURAL MUSIC :: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 :: 6:30 p.m. :: Sibert Theatre

Nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter, folk musician and educator from central Illinois, Chris Vallillo, will present this lively, family-oriented program, which traces the songs of rural America, from the first pioneers through the era of steamboats, trains and early radio (including the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers), and their impact on our lives today, while also performing on vintage instruments. This program is sure to delight both adults and children of all ages.

Special Event 

Death by Chocolate featuring the Rob Killam Trio :: Sunday, September 29, 2019 :: 3-4:30 p.m. (open house style) :: Barnes House 

This is a fundraiser to support the Fine Arts Series, this delicious event is not included in the price of the Series season ticket. Admission for great chocolate and jazz is just $20.00

Ticket Information

Individual tickets for the Illinois College Fine Arts Series can be purchased for $15 a piece. Season tickets are available for $70 each. Students of all ages receive free admission. 

Season ticket holders: please reserve tickets for a specific performance of "Bradbury by Bradbury," November 7-10 .
You may purchase tickets by phone at 217.245.3260, checks may be made out to Illinois College Fine Arts Series.