Chorale is going to Europe!
In honor of our Tenth Anniversary Season, thirty-three members of Chorale will fly to Barcelona on June 17, travel north through France by bus as far as Cahors, and then by train to Paris, flying back to Chicago on June 27.
Our concert schedule is:
19 June: BARCELONA. Evening Concert, Basilica de Santa Maria d’Igualada
21 June: CARCASSONNE. 9.00 pm, Eglise d’Alzonne
22 June: CAHORS. 8.30 pm. Participate in La Chorale de Cahors’ Annual Concert
24 June: GOURDON. Evening Concert, Eglise Saint Pierre
26 June: PARIS. 4.00 pm, Eglise de la Madaleine
Our repertoire will consist of a cappella favorites from among the pieces we have sung, and recorded, during our ten years together, with emphases on American music, and on motets which will sound particularly good in the reverberant acoustics of the ancient stone buildings in which we will sing.
Planning for this undertaking began nearly two years ago, with a meeting at then-board president Jana French’s house, during which the question was thrown out, “What do we want to do in recognition of our accomplishment during this first ten years?” Among other events (including our recent performance of the Bach Mass in B minor at Rockefeller Chapel), we felt it would be appropriately rewarding to travel as a group and sing our repertoire in the venues for which the majority of it was originally composed, buildings in which the acoustic is an equal partner with the singers and the repertoire. We knew such a trip would be difficult to pull off-- our members are busy people with professions, families, and other, pressing responsibilities; and many would not be able to afford it, especially in the present economic downturn. But we decided to forge ahead, and formed a committee, headed by francophile Dan Bertsche, to solicit preliminary bids and itineraries from reputable tour companies, and then present our findings to the choir. Miraculously, enthusiasm for the project ran high, and more than half of our members, in neatly balanced sections, decided to commit themselves to the venture. We have been paying in installments for a year-- and, last week, held our first rehearsal devoted expressly to music for the tour. Up until then, the project was a matter of faith and theory; now, we know what the group will sound like, we know what we have to accomplish musically by June, and all of our energy is bent toward the tour.
Saturday, June 4, is Chorale’s official “birthday party”-- current singers, alumni, audience members, and friends will gather at Hyde Park Union Church, beginning at 8 p.m., to celebrate our organization, our music, and the contribution we have made to our community. The evening will commence with a concert by the tour singers, of music prepared specifically for the tour; following that, we will enjoy a selection of French and Spanish wines (chosen for their appropriateness to the regions in which we will sing) as well as food chosen to go with the wines. In the course of the evening, alumni and friends will serenade the gathering with Palestrina's Sicut cervus, a piece familiar to all of them, and then current members will join alumni and friends in Bach’s Dona nobis pacem from the Mass in B minor.
June 4 falls during Alumni Weekend at the University of Chicago, as well as Hyde Park’s annual Art Fair. We hope that old friends, former students, interested music lovers, and others, will decide to spend that Saturday evening with Chorale, renew ties with fellow singers and choral enthusiasts, and help us kick off our tour, and our eleventh year, in high style. Check our website <chicagochorale.org> for more information.