The Monmouth College Chorale is preparing for a concert this fall as it keeps an eye focused on the spring.

Along with the Chamber Choir and the Concert Choir, the chorale will present the annual Fall Choral Concert at 7:30 p.m Saturday in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. Free and open to the public, the concert will feature a wide range of styles, from classical to folk to jazz-influenced contemporary.

Faculty member Tom Clark directs the Concert Choir, which features community members as well as students. Music department chair Tim Pahel leads the Chorale and Chamber Choir.

Three performers will return to the stage on Oct. 28 as the chorale hosts its annual spaghetti dinner from 5-7 p.m. at Faith United Presbyterian Church, located one block south of campus at 200 S. Eighth St.

The cost is $5 for all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. Proceeds from the event will support the chorale’s spring break trip.

During the dinner, the student trio Mello Hello will perform what Pahel called “an eclectic mix of music, from old jazz standards to mellow contemporary hits.” The group includes AJ Furness ’23 of Indianola, Iowa (voice); Zach Lundquist ’24 of Aurora, Illinois (keyboard); and Eli Kelly ’24 of Aledo, Illinois (drums).

The spaghetti dinner is one of various fundraisers that Pahel and his students put on to raise money for their annual trip, which next March will take them to Colorado, with a stop on the way back in Kansas City.

“In Colorado, we will visit Denver and Colorado Springs and perform concerts, connect with alums and family, perform at the high school of an alum, and visit state and/or national parks,” said Pahel. “In Kansas City, we will visit a high school and perform an evening concert.”

National speaker to teach master class on making theater more inclusive to the deaf

Monmouth College students and faculty will learn what more can be done to make theater more inclusive to members of the deaf community.

Jo-Ann Dean, CEO of SIGNmation, a New York City-based organization that promotes deaf artists and American Sign Language (ASL) and culturally accessible content for arts, will be on campus Oct. 24 to lead the conversation.

Dean will speak at 7 p.m. in Wells Theater, along with Mary Hould, a New York City-based actor/singer who works professionally as an ASL interpreter and media consultant. Their presentation will be a master class covering creative marketing, funding and outreach to create a box office draw to untapped audiences: the deaf and hard of hearing, blind and disability community.

Sponsored by Pat Elmone, who is originally from Monmouth and attended high school with Monmouth theater professor Doug Rankin, the event is free and open to the public.

Why a master class on inclusion and access?

“Theater is for everyone. Inclusion is an intention,” said Dean. “How do we do it? What do we do? These two questions always follow the ‘Why?’ Inclusion is not an afterthought or to be added in post-production or marketing. It starts at conception in your budget. Put a line in your budget for accessibility.”

Dean said that basic concept applies, whether an individual is studying the arts as an actor, director, writer, producer or stage manager.

“Learn how to make your show you cast, create or produce be as diverse on stage as your audiences,” she said. “Draw new audiences to your box office and learn creative ways to fund accessibility. Diversity in theater cannot be truly achieved without including the disability community.”

Dean is a producer of new media, open caption screenings and ASL-interpreted panels within film, theater festivals and the entertainment industry. Her company produces and promotes deaf artists and ASL productions, both live and streaming, with culturally accessible content for arts, theater, film and television. It offers creative consulting for fiscal budgets, grants and community outreach for its clients’ productions.