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Chicago Chorale Newsletter, March 1, 2011
We’d like to invite you to our performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Sunday, April 3, at 3:00 pm. The performance will take place at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.
There is also a free, pre-concert talk by Dr. Martin Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Divinity School, University of Chicago, at 2:00 pm at Ida Noyes Hall.
For tickets and more information, please visit our website at chicagochorale.org.
Chorale’s performance of this work at Rockefeller Chapel in 2006 won rave reviews and sold out. Advanced ticket sales are highly recommended!
Board President Jana French steps down
As some of you may already know, Jana French stepped down as President of the Board on January 1, 2011. Jana has done an outstanding job of leading Chorale over the past four seasons, and has overseen strong growth in all areas: artistic, organizational and financial. Under her leadership, Chorale has greatly expanded its donor base, board membership, and market presence, and doubled its budget.
Performances under Jana’s tenure include the Rachmaninoff Vespers (All-Night Vigil, op. 37), Requiems of Howells and Durufle; Martin’s Mass for Double Chorus, Handel’s Messiah, Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden, Rautavaara’s Vigilia (All Night Vigil), Shchedrin’s The Sealed Angel, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, among many other works. In August 2008 the Chorale performed at the Ravinia Music Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Erich Kunzel. In this our Tenth Anniversary Season, Chorale performed the world premier of Stephen Paulus’ And Give Us Peace, commissioned by Chorale for the Tenth Anniversary.
Chorale has appeared twice on WFMT (98.7 FM) radio’s “Live with Kerry Frumkin” and recorded two CDs under Jana’s leadership, with the latest, And Give Us Peace, being released April 3, 2011.
Over the years, Jana has hosted many annual donor events in her home, and has greatly strengthened Chorale’s ties with our key supporters. Jana continues to sing with Chorale, and continues to chair the Development Committee as a board member.
Please join me in congratulating and thanking Jana for her years of tireless and dedicated service, and on a job very well done, indeed! She has left a strong organization that is well positioned to continue to grow and deliver on our Artistic Vision and Mission.
Thank you, Jana!
President of the Board
When I joined Chicago Chorale as its Managing Director last summer, most people I knew assumed I would be singing with the group too. A lifelong singer, I decided to refrain from singing with the group so as to maintain some objectivity in my work. Since the beginning of the season, I have a new emotion to deal with: singer envy.
Learning a new piece of music is intoxicating. From opening a new score on the first day of rehearsal, to sharpening your No. 2 pencil, to purchasing a recording for home study…it’s reminiscent of starting back to school in September. And I loved going to school! So, when Chorale started work on Bach’s Mass in B Minor in January I joined in vicariously. And it has been heady indeed to listen to the choir wrestle with the individual movements at rehearsal, to see and hear their excitement and frustration, and celebrate with them in those moments when they absolutely nail a passage.
Chicago Chorale members share vision, passion, and commitment to learning great works, giving thoughtful and painstakingly prepared performances, and actively fostering a community of singing, fellowship, and artistic respect. Their results are breathtaking.
The audience on April 3rd will see only the fruit of an intense labor period—all the choir members poised, ready and performing their hearts out. I am so fortunate to have been in on the ground floor of this journey and to understand the labor of love that created the performance. That initial singer envy has inspired me to go out and tackle something significant, too. I’m certain that our Bach B Minor will likewise inspire our audience. I look forward to seeing you there!
From Into the Bach B Minor, Jan 11, 2011
Chorale wants to do more than present a concert. We want to take a journey. Some of the singers, who have not previously sung the work, will spend the next fourteen weeks in survival mode, just trying to stay on the trail; others, who have sung it before, will be freer to look at the scenery, freer to enjoy the details and gasp in delight, rather than in fear, at the incredible features we will encounter along the way. My own greatest wish for the singers is that we all come to understand, through this experience, that the B Minor Mass is not only the best we humans can come up with, but that it is transcendingly good, and that we are a part of this transcendent goodness; that there is more to us, more to hope for and plan for and celebrate, than the brutality, the violence, the hatred, which we daily confront in one another. A human being, one of us, composed this monumental and life-transforming work; just knowing that, should make us better people.
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If you haven’t visited our recently redesigned website, we encourage you to do so. Not only does it look better and is it easier to use, but there’s a wealth of information now available online.
- Ticket purchase, concert and venue information
- Media kits containing press releases, program notes, publicity photos of the artists, and a review of our sold-out 2006 performance of the Mass at Rockefeller
- Bruce’s Blog, written weekly by Artistic Director Bruce Tammen. The blog provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Chorale, as well as Bruce’s thoughtful commentary on the Mass.
- All of our CDs available for streaming and purchase, and all of our “behind the scenes” videos for viewing.
- Information on our Artistic Vision, Mission, singers, board members and advisory board members
- Downloadable concert posters and season brochures
- Information on advertising in our concert programs