Department of Music & Theatre Presents Wide-Ranging Guest Artist Series

Press Releases

Close-up shot of hands playing a Steinway & Sons piano.
By Office of Marketing & Public Relations
On October 25, 2022
Series Features Free Performances for the Community and Professional-Level Workshops for Blackburn Students

The Blackburn College Department of Music & Theatre announced that it will host its first annual Guest Artist Series beginning this fall. These events will feature a wide range of professional musicians and artists providing workshops for students and free performances open to the community. The events are planned through February 2023 and will be held on the college campus in Bothwell Auditorium.

Dr. Joseph Welch, Professor of Music at Blackburn College, explained, “There will be something for every music lover and we hope that all of campus and the Carlinville community can join us for these free events. Our new guest artist series will offer an array of styles and professional backgrounds, and we are excited to share artists of this caliber with our students.”

A Jazz Concert featuring the Adaron (Pops) Jackson Trio will help kick off the new year on Friday, January 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm. An educator, musician and clinician, Adaron “Pops” Jackson serves as Assistant Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Originally from East St. Louis, Jackson has toured nationally and internationally with a diverse array of artists, including The Temptations, Frank Morgan, Victor Mendoza, and Ellis Marsalis. He has performed at the Jazz at Lincoln Center: Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Chicago Jazz Festival, Capitol Jazz Festival, and Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival. As a composer and arranger, Pops has written works for various ensembles ranging from small to large, most recently the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Other performances throughout the year include a string quartet from the Illinois Symphony Orchestra performing a chamber music concert on Friday, October 28 and a performance by Meredith Pyle, a Los Angeles-based professional singer, actor, and teacher known for her “vocal chameleon” versatility. Pyle has contributed as a vocalist to the scores for Frozen II, Mulan, Sing 2, and Top Gun: Maverick.

This year, Blackburn began offering a new innovative academic program designed to hone music performance skills and share in-depth entrepreneurial knowledge needed to launch professional careers in the music industry. Several guest artists will also provide individual workshops on campus. This month, students had the opportunity to participate in an Inclusive Theatre Workshop with Joy Addler, an award-winning singer/songwriter, sound healer, and educator who has performed on stages around the world and is a sought-after soundtrack artist for spiritual cinema.

Raven Brooks, a Music major and Faculty Assistant for the Department, added, ” I think the students on campus and those in the community will get a kick out of these events. It’s not often you hear great artists like Pops doing free concerts in Carlinville. Everyone should take this opportunity and come experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. You won’t regret it!”

This series is funded by the Student Experience Fund and presented in cooperation with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Blackburn College. For more information, please contact, call 217-854-5704, or visit the Blackburn Events page.