Conservatory Opening Events
Wheeling, W. Va., Dec. 4, 2013 - During a weekend of festivities and reunions held November 16 and 17, 2013, Wheeling Jesuit University opened its newest gem - an intimate recital hall, gallery and office space honoring Mount de Chantal, the private girls' school that was a Wheeling institution for 160 years.
The facility is on the first floor of the university's Center for Educational Technologies building, only yards away from the former Mount de Chantal property.
"What began as a dream several years ago during visits with the Sisters of the Visitation has finally come to fruition, and we at Wheeling Jesuit are very pleased to announce completion of the first phase of our new music facility," said Rev. James J. Fleming, S.J., president of Wheeling Jesuit University. "This expansion provides our students with ideal spaces for study, practice and performance, and it honors the legacy of the Mount and the Sisters of the Visitation - our longtime friends."
Donors, friends, university board members, Visitation Sisters and Mount de Chantal alumnae converged at the university to celebrate the facility's completion, and a public open house offered the community a look at the new spaces, which continue the legacy of Mount de Chantal while providing Wheeling Jesuit students with a home for music-making and study.
During the events, visitors were entertained in the new Recital Hall by the university's choir, and by professional musicians who graduated from Mount de Chantal in the '70s, '80s and '90s.
In addition to providing Wheeling Jesuit students and faculty with new spaces for classes, rehearsals and performances, the new facility offers the community an ideal venue for recitals, chamber music concerts, small dramatic productions, lectures, classes, meetings and films.
The recital hall will be the center of musical activity at Wheeling Jesuit as the number of students participating in the university's musical groups continues to grow. Now in its third season, under the leadership of Dr. James Gourlay, the WJU Symphonic Band has tripled its membership since the 2012-13 academic year and performs most of its concerts with members of Pittsburgh's River City Brass. Also in its third year, the WJU Pep Band entertains spectators at many University home games.
The University Chamber Singers and Chapel Choirs, under the leadership of Robert Troeger, entertain at many events on and off campus and provide music and song during masses at the university's Chapel of Mary and Joseph.
Several band and choral scholarships are available to Wheeling Jesuit students, and in the fall of 2013 the university added the Mount de Chantal Music Scholarship. Established by the Sisters of the Visitation, the scholarship continues their legacy of exemplary music instruction as an important element in a liberal arts education.
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