Excelsior! Onward and Upward

Our musically and emotionally successful Da pacem Domine spring concert now behind us, Chorale faces a busy summer. Twenty-seven of our members will travel to the Baltic countries and present performances of the music we sang last week: July 8 in Kaunas, Lithuania

July 9 in Vilnius

July 11 in Riga, Latvia

July 13 in Haapsalu, Estonia

July 14 in Tallinn

July 16 in Helsinki

Few of our number have ever set foot in any of these countries, and anticipation runs high in the group, as well as the prevalence of preparatory study (we are, after all, a group of educated nerds). In the weeks before our departure, we are rehearsing to adapt our sound and interpretation to a smaller group. Then, on Sunday, June 28, at 3 PM, we will present our “kick-off concert” at Monastery of the Holy Cross, 31st and Aberdeen, in Bridgeport. We expect that the leaner sound produced by twenty-seven voices will be particularly beautiful in this acoustically resplendent space, and we urge all of our constituency—friends, our regular audience, current members who are not making the trip, and anyone else who is curious-- to come and cheer us on. Tickets are a very modest $10, available either on line or at the door. Whatever you may have to miss that afternoon, to carve out time to hear us, I promise you won’t be disappointed: the choir, the repertoire, and the space, will blow you away. This concert was made for Monastery of the Holy Cross…

Several of our singers will leave for Europe right after the concert, to do some private travel, visit friends, and overcome jet lag; the rest of us will fly over to meet them on July 6. Most of us will return to Chicago on July 17, and immediately begin preparations for our performance at the Ravinia Festival. This summer, we will sing the choral portion of the musical score to the movie Gladiator, accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Justin Freer, conductor, on Sunday, August 2, at 7 PM. These events, at which the film is shown, both on a large screen in the pavilion and on other screens around the park’s grounds, while the music is performed live on the pavilion’s stage, have proved to be major draws, attracting enormous, enthusiastic audiences. Chicago Chorale is extremely fortunate to have been chosen, for a fourth time, to participate; it is the summer’s highlight, for many of our singers.

We will announce our 2015-16 season within the next couple of weeks, after all details have been nailed down. As a teaser, I can say now that we will present an Arvo Pärt 80th birthday tribute in late November; Rachmaninoff’s Vespers in mid-March; and music by Joby Talbot and Herbert Howells in early June. Glorious music sung in wonderfully reverberant spaces. Please plan to purchase a subscription this year, if you have not already been in the habit of doing so; you won’t want to miss any of this wonderful music.