News & Events

CUC Patriotic Pops Concert to feature Keanon Kyles as vocal soloist


The University Band of Concordia-Chicago will perform its annual Patriotic Pops Concert on June 24 on the university campus, celebrating community and country with timeless music while honoring service men and women.

The free concert will begin at 6:30 p.m., with concessions opening at 5:30 p.m., on the Addison Hall lawn, 7400 Augusta St., River Forest, IL. In the event of rain, the concert will be held in Werner Auditorium. Free, handicapped-accessible parking is available in the visitors’ lot north of the University parking structure off Bonnie Brae Place.

The vocal soloist for the evening will be the “singing janitor” Keanon Kyles, who landed his first overseas opera role while working as a custodian at ABC 7 News. Kyles made his opera debut as Colliné in “La Boheme” with Kor Opera Productions, has performed in Trento, Italy as Betto in “Gianni Schicchi,” and recently performed in the world premiere of Floating Opera Company’s “War and Peace.”

The Patriotic Pops Concert will feature “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Amazing Grace,” “You Raise Me Up,” and “Carmen: Toreador Song,” all with Kyles on vocals. Annie Grapentine will be the trumpet soloist on “Trumpeter’s Lullaby” by Leroy Anderson. The evening will conclude with a selection of patriotic songs, a sing-along and a salute to the armed forces.

Jean Harrison Bojes will provide commentary, introducing the repertoire and providing interesting facts on each piece performed.

The University Band comprises approximately 70 musicians, including residents from surrounding communities as well as Concordia University Chicago students, faculty and staff. Dr. Richard Fischer, distinguished professor of music and the Fred and Jane Wittlinger Endowed Chair for Music Performance, conducts the ensemble. Fischer has been director of bands at Concordia-Chicago since 1974.

Ice cream, boxed meals and water will be available for purchase. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs; a limited number of folding chairs will be available. For questions, call 708-209-3122 or email