Mission: Chicago a cappella is a creative enterprise devoted to furthering the art of singing together without instruments.
An ensemble of professional singers founded in 1993 by Jonathan Miller (right), Chicago a cappella presents an annual Chicago-area subscription series, creates studio recordings as well as live and broadcast-media musical content, produces educational outreach programming, and gives performances on tour and in special engagements. Long recognized for vocal virtuosity and innovative programming, the ensemble enjoys a reputation as a leader in the choral field.
With more than 350 performances to its credit, Chicago a cappella has produced more than 200 concerts on its Chicago-based series. On tour, the group has appeared in 13 American states and in Mexico. The ensemble has been heard frequently on WFMT radio and through broadcasts distributed by American Public Media, including the highly-regarded Performance Today. The ensemble has produced nine CD recordings of music ranging from Renaissance masses to contemporary works.
From its inception, Chicago a cappella has been a champion of living composers. Since 1993 the group has presented more than 100 works in their world, national, or local premiere. Chicago a cappella has commissioned new music from composers including Joseph Jennings, Chen Yi, Stacy Garrop, Rollo Dilworth, Tania León, and Ezequiel Viñao.
Chicago a cappella is also active in educational and community engagement. The ensemble produces an annual Youth Choral Festival for young singers from the Chicago area, and leads an innovative High School Internship program, a multi-faceted immersion for selected students in the worlds of performance and arts administration.
Artistic Director Jonathan Miller was the ensemble’s founding low bass and directed rehearsals for the group’s first 14 seasons. Miller stepped back from singing in 2006 to concentrate his efforts on artistic oversight and programming, and Chicago a cappella's concerts are now prepared by Principal Music Director John William Trotter and Guest Music Directors. In 2008, Miller was honored with the prestigious Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America, given in recognition of his efforts in developing Chicago a cappella as a professional vocal ensemble. Matthew Greenberg, a founding singer in the ensemble, joined the administrative staff in 1995 and has been recognized nationally in his role as Chicago a cappella’s Executive Director. Chicago a cappella’s audiences and activity have grown ever since its founding, and the group presents a series of concert programs each year in Chicago, Evanston, Naperville, and Oak Park, IL, performing most usually with an ensemble of nine singers. The group's administrative offices are at the historic Athenaeum Theater building in Chicago.