Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo
Too Hot to Handel

Too Hot to Handel

Posted: 12/21/2012

Roosevelt Review, Fall 2012 [ PDF ]

By Veronica Randolph Batterson

When Too Hot to Handel, The Jazz Gospel Messiah returns to the Auditorium Theatre Jan. 19 and 20 for its eighth season, the Roosevelt University presence will take center stage. A jazz and gospel version of Handel’s Messiah, the production includes a 200-voice choir, a 37-piece orchestra, soloists and a jazz combo. Several Roosevelt University alumni and faculty members will perform.

Soprano Alfreda Burke (BM, ’84; MM, ’87) will be one of three soloists featured in the production. She has appeared in concert throughout North America and Europe. Some of Burke’s highlighted performances include concerts in conjunction with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, Cincinnati Pops Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

She has served on Chicago’s Arts & Culture Advisory Council and as alumna ambassador for Roosevelt University’s 60th anniversary. She currently serves on the RU CCPA Advisory Board. Burke has performed Too Hot to Handel at every production in Detroit and Chicago from its inception.

Additional Roosevelt University- featured connections include members of the Too Hot to Handel Orchestra who are faculty of the Jazz and Contemporary Music Studies Program: Ruben Alvarez (percussion), Stephen Berry (trombone), Jerry DiMuzio (saxophone) and Jim Gailloreto (saxophone). Also participating are alumni Andrew Dowd (viola), Barbara Farley (violin), Jocelyn Butler (cello), and Roberta Freier (violin).

Choir members include alumni Rose Mary Day and Michael Murphy, while Too Hot to Handel ambassadors include alumni Ysraelia Garbutt and Pamela Black.

For ticket information, call 800-982-2787 or visit

Last updated 03/28/2013