Center for Life and Learning

For men and women 60 and more

The Center for Life and Learning (CLL) was founded in 1965 on a commitment to intellectual and creative challenges for its patrons. Each year more than 250 active men and women 60 years and more take advantage of daily opportunities to explore new interests, strengthen friendships, and continue to shape their lives and communities. Our participants represent a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds. All are welcome!

Save the Date: Encore
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Save the date!
Encore logo

Join us for Encore--the second annual Center for Life and Learning benefit--on Saturday, June 20!   

Tom Clear, the CLL's very own Music History instructor, is putting together an enjoyable evening of music to be presented in the gorgeous Buchanan Chapel of Fourth Presbyterian Church.

Local musicians soprano Desirée Hassler and violinist Zhanna Bullock will join pianist Tom for a selection of pieces from such favorites as Carmen and My Fair Lady.

Come enjoy a cocktail reception before the performance, mingle with CLL members and friends, and enjoy a fun evening out--all while supporting the CLL!

Saturday, June 20, 2015 
Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 E. Chestnut St.

5:00 p.m.
Wine, Beer, Hors d'oeuvres, and Dessert 
Gratz Center Commons

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Musical event in Buchanan Chapel   

Cocktail Attire

Individual tickets are $75
Premium reserved seating is $150

All reservations will be held at the door.

Purchase Tickets Here 

The deadline to RSVP for Encore is Friday, June 19.  

Please note that this event is open seating.
If you wish to have a reserved seat, premium tickets are available.
For handicap accessible seating, please contact  
Susan Quaintance at 312.981.3387.

Event proceeds support the Center for Life and Learning,
a learning community for older adults at Fourth Presbyterian Church.

$8 discounted parking is available at the 900 N. Michigan parking garage.

Our performers for the evening

Tom Clear

In addition to being the CLL's popular Music History teacher, Tom Clear has served as pianist, music director, and/or performer in more than 340 musical productions, from the Goldenrod Showboat in St. Louis, Missouri, to the Chicago tryout of Kinky Boots (Cyndi Lauper). He has been the general music teacher, choral director, and music director at Whitfield School, St. Louis, Missouri; the French American International School in Portland, Oregon; and Chicago Montessori.

As a performer, Tom has appeared with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, the Oregon Symphony (Guys and Dolls), and the First Unitarian Universalist Choirs in both St. Louis and Portland, Oregon.

Desiree Hassler

In addition to singing in the full-time chorus at Lyric Opera of Chicago, soprano Desirée Hassler has sung and covered roles at Lyric in Tannhäuser, Oklahoma!, Manon, Macbeth, Boris Godunov, Show Boat and Elektra. Recent performances include Bach's Mass in B-Minor with Chicago Bach Project (John Nelson, conductor), Violetta in Verdi's La traviata with the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, Ellen in Oklahoma! at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kondja in The Rose of Stambul with Chicago Folks Operetta, soprano soloist in the Brahms Requiem (Los Angeles, California), Barber's Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with the Prairie Ensemble, Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony, as well as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass with the Wichita Symphony.

A California native, Dr. Hassler has successfully competed from the regional to international levels at the Bel Canto Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the International Franz Liszt Competition and is the recipient of many distinguished awards. The soprano enjoys performing music from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century in recital, concert, and opera medias. Dr. Hassler graduated in 2011 with a doctorate in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she completed a master's degree in 2003. Dr. Hassler serves on the voice faculty of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Bullock

Zhanna Bullock was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she graduated from Rimsky-Korsakov-St. Petersburg State Conservatory. She has worked with the St. Petersburg State Conservatory Opera and Ballet Theatre and performed with various chamber and symphony orchestras. In fulfilling her passion for chamber music, Ms. Bullock has worked with various ensembles such as the Nevsky Piano Trio, Baltic String Quartet, Astoria String Quartet, and the Violet String Quartet. For the past ten years she had been working with "Zazerkalie" State Opera Theatre. In December of 2010, she moved to Chicago.

On July 4, 2012, Ms. Bullock received the Joseph Jefferson Theatre Award (a nonprofit committee that celebrates Chicago theaters) for such achievements in Artistic Specialization as Music Coach of the OPUS production at Redtwist Theatre. Ms. Bullock is currently Principal Viola chair in Wheaton Symphony and is teaching in ACM school of Music, Terra Sounds, and Upbeat Music School as a violin/viola and piano teacher.  

A special thank you to our sponsors for the evening!

Encore Sponsors
The Clare

Program Sponsors
Right at Home
Warren Barr Gold Coast
Marilee Hopkins
Jacqueline Taylor

Reception Sponsors
Brookdale Lake Shore Drive (Formerly The Hallmark)
CJE SeniorLife
Senior Bridge
Barbara Joabson
Diane Kelliher

In Kind Sponsors
Pinstripes Catering
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Trader Joe’s River North
Mighty Nice Grill

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Our Members

CLL participants come from across Chicago, from Hyde Park to Edgewater. They are men and women who seek out new challenges and relationships in a community of peers. A variety of professional, educational, and cultural backgrounds are represented, creating a rich and dynamic flow of ideas. Each individual participates as much as his or her time and interest allow. Everyone 60 years and more are welcome to attend.

Learn about registration information and how to participate here!

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Our Programs

Arts and the Humanities Classes
Special Events
Fitness Classes
Free Lectures
Special-Topic Classes
Wellness Education

View the Center for Life and Learning calendar here.

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Our Location

Our programs take place at Fourth Presbyterian Church in the Gratz Center, located at 126 E. Chestnut St., just west of Michigan Avenue.

For more information, call the CLL front desk (312.981.3387) to confirm program location.

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Traveling to the CLL

Via car: When traveling south on Lake Shore Drive, take the Michigan Avenue exit. When traveling north on Lake Shore Drive, take the Chicago Avenue exit to Michigan Avenue.

Via the “El”: Take the north-south Howard Red Line to the Chicago Avenue stop (at State Street).

CTA Bus Information
Southbound Michigan Ave. buses stopping at Pearson: 10, 33, 125, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151

Southbound Michigan Ave. buses stopping at Superior: 3, 10, 26, 33, 125, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151

Northbound Michigan Ave. buses stopping at Walgreens corner: 3, 10, 26, 125

Northbound Michigan Ave. buses stopping at Water Tower Place: 33, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151

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Contact Us

We invite your comments and questions about our programs!

Ashley Elskus

Susan Quaintance
Program Coordinator

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CLL Email Newsletter

Join our email newsletter list here.

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CLL Photos

Valentine’s Treats with the CLL | February 13, 2013

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