Distinguished Alumnus Wayne Messmer '72 to Perform During Homecoming

Wayne Messer '72 shared this photo on Facebook after singing the national anthem at Game 5 of the 2016 World Series.

Oct. 9, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Illinois Wesleyan University alumnus Wayne Messmer '72 — recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award — will speak and perform Friday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium during Homecoming festivities. Messmer will be joined by bandleader Ron Bedal '76 and jazz artist Angel Spiccia-Slykas for “The Business of Music,” an event which is free and open to the public.

As part of the event, Messmer, Bedal and Spiccia-Slykas will share their experiences as working, professional musicians. The event will include a lecture, a master class and a concert set, including on-stage participation by selected Illinois Wesleyan students. With Bedal as musical director, the event will feature vocal performances by Messmer and Spiccia-Slykas.

A Chicago native, Messmer is a professional speaker, singer, broadcaster, author and actor. The long-time former public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs, Messmer is known as the popular “Voice of Wrigley Field” for singing The Star-Spangled Banner before many Cubs games, including in the 2016 World Series.

In addition, Messmer will sing the national anthem before the Homecoming football game against Carroll University, which begins Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.

A pianist, saxophonist, composer and arranger, Bedal is one of the Midwest's premier bandleaders. With over 20 years of experience, Bedal is the founder of the Ron Bedal Orchestra, a group that covers all styles and genres of music and performs at corporate events, charity galas and upscale weddings.

A jazz artist, Spiccia-Slykas performs in a variety of jazz venues throughout the Chicagoland area. She is also a partner in her father's social event business, Musickworks LTD, where she both performs and books/manages music entertainment. Spiccia-Slykas earned her bachelor’s degree from Millikin University.

The event is sponsored by Phi Mu Alpha, Illinois Wesleyan’s music fraternity. For additional information, please contact the School of Music at (309) 556-3061.

By Vi Kakares '20