News Release

“Aureole,” a commissioned orchestral overture written by Chicago composer Augusta Read Thomas, will have its world premiere at the DePaul University School of Music’s annual spring concert, May 29 at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Conducted by Cliff Colnot, the DePaul Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform the new work preceding Beethoven’s majestic Ninth Symphony.

Tickets for the concert, which marks the DePaul School of Music’s centennial celebration, are on sale for $5 at the Symphony Center Box Office, 220 S. Michigan Ave. Tickets also may be purchased with an additional service fee at 312-294-3000 or online at

“For more than 30 years the DePaul Symphony Orchestra has performed at Orchestra Hall as a culminating event for the faculty and students at the School of Music,” said Donald Casey, dean. “This year’s concert is particularly celebratory as it involves nearly 200 DePaul students, four faculty soloists, one of the best-known and greatest symphonies ever written, as well as a very special piece commissioned for the occasion.”

The concert will open with “Aureole,” written by Thomas, an illustrious and prolific composer. She has been inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters and lauded for her creative work, as well as her work as an educator. “Aureole” was composed as a prelude to the soaring and triumphant Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and was commissioned by the School of Music to commemorate its centennial.

The DePaul Chorus, prepared by Steven Grives, will join the students of the DePaul Symphony Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Ninth with esteemed faculty soloists Elizabeth Byrne, Jane Bunnell, Michael Sylvester, and Marc Embree. All four soloists are accomplished stars of the opera stage and have performed at top venues around the world, including the Lyric Opera, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera and Paris Opera. Colnot, director of orchestra activities at the School of Music, has been principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary MusicNOW ensemble since its inception. He also is principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

The School of Music was established at DePaul University 100 years ago with the noble mission of educating promising young musicians. Additional information about the school, which is located on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus in Chicago, is online at or 773-325-7260. More information about the May 29 concert is online at

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Rita Mannelli
(773) 325-4356

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