Artistic Director Transition

Oct 5, 2017

Looking Ahead to 25 Years and Beyond

In the next two or three seasons, you will see a transition as Chicago a cappella identifies an Artistic Director to succeed Jonathan Miller in that role. Jonathan will always be our founder, advisor and friend, as he is to so many of you who have watched CAC grow through the years. At his own request, Jonathan will be stepping back from responsibilities for programming and artistic supervision.  With deep gratitude for the legacy Jonathan has created, the board of directors will undertake a search for his successor.  Jonathan will continue in his role during the transition, allowing us to meet this challenge in a strategic and collaborative way.  

As we approach our 25th anniversary season in 2018, we have many exciting plans ahead and a wonderful history on which to build.  We are looking forward to sharing the next stage of our organization with you in the years ahead!

Program list for ¡Cantare! Chicago

May 5, 2017

Musical works on ¡Cantare! Chicago community concert (May 2017)

Cantos de Primavera (Songs of Spring)   Music: Diana Syrse Valdes
text: Nezahualcoyotl, adapted by the composer

Chicago a cappella High School Intern Ensemble
Ace Gangoso & Susan Schober, directors

Honor Y Gloria-Vals*   Music: Rogrido Cadet, adapted from a traditional Mexican folk tune
Hubbard High School Band
Dave Stahlberg, director
El Pajaro Carpintero*   Music: Rodrigo Cadet, Folk lyrics

El Tejon (Quebradita)*


Music: Rodrigo Cadet, Folk lyrics

Pilsen Community Academy
Bruce Cuscaden, music teacher

Siete Haiku (Movements I, III, V, VII)

  Music: Jorge Cordoba

Chicago a cappella High School Intern Ensemble

La Calavera*   Music: Rodrigo Cadet, Folk lyrics
El Fandanguerito*   Music: Rodrigo Cadet, Folk lyrics
Horizon Science Academy – McKinley Park
Amy Bearden and Jamie Kovatch, music teachers

Prehispanic Landscape*

  Music: Rodrigo Cadet, Folk lyrics

Danzon del Querer*

  Music: Rodrigo Cadet, Folk lyrics

Hubbard High School Choir
Sharon Quattrin Campagna, director

Las Mañanitas   Traditional Mexican; arr. Rámon Noble
Este, ques ves, engaño colorido*   Music: Rodrigo Cadet,
Text: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Bésame mucho   Consuelo Velázquez, arr. José Galván
Chicago a cappella
Benjamin Rivera, Guest Music Director
¡CANTARE!   Music and Lyrics: Jesus Echevarria
Combined Ensembles

* Premiere performance of newly-commissioned work

Ted Fishman’s New Verses to “Modern Major-General”

Apr 26, 2017

Bestselling author Ted Fishman contributed new verses to Gilbert & Sullivan's "Modern Major-General" for our recent concerts, A Night at the Opera.   In case you missed a word or two, here they are!

Verse 2

My iPhone 8 phonates in French, my car intones like Judy Dench,
My PayPal can rupees dispense, YouTube taught me the Allen wrench
I am serene assembling IKEA’s (BJORNFLUNG) FJÄLKINGE bench
When Uber’s late I send it hence because I am an Übermensch.
I’m well aware a cappella’s more than doo wop and barbershop,
that on Broadway founding fathers are beatboxers who sing hiphop,
I can manage without orchestra in Wagner’s Lohengrin,
In Nessun Dorma I can be a Chinese prince in Italian!

CHORUS: In Nessun Dorma he can be a Chinese prince in Italian...”)

Then I can order sushi by their names ichthyologically,
Because I have an app that augments my brain technologically.
In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.



In fact, when I know what is meant by “fake-ed news”; “debate-ed views,”
When I flip cable channels ‘tween O’Reilly reds and Maddow blues,
When such affairs as Wikileaks and testy Tweets I’m wary at,
And when I know if China gets the welcome mat or baseball bat,
When I help Madigan and Rauner act less like begrudge-ed pills,
When I have learnt how Illinois can pass in-balance budget bills:
Since I don’t see much relevance in data sets or news events,
You’ll say I’d make an able aide to state leaders and presidents!

CHORUS: You’ll say he’d make an able aid to state leaders and presidents…

All my cultural literacy is gained from friends who think like me,
and my knowledge of the law comes from Judge Judy on TV; 
At base I am an animal, as brainy as a mackerel,
I am a major model of a very modern imbecile.

CHORUS: At base he is an animal, as brainy as mackerel He is a major model of a very modern imbecile.

Learn About Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Oct 5, 2016

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who pioneered speaking frankly about sexual matters on her radio program, Sexually Speaking, in 1980. Since then, she has had much success on television, on the radio, and in print—both in her newspaper column “Ask Dr. Ruth” and in the 40+ books she has written.

In addition to her fame as a sexuality expert, Dr. Ruth is well known as an orphan of the Holocaust and trained sniper for the Jewish freedom fighters. She immigrated to the United States in 1956, earning her Masters and Doctorate in the US before beginning her radio show Sexually Speaking in 1980.

Dr. Ruth became a nationally and internationally celebrated figure and personality, with national television shows, syndicated newspaper columns, and numerous speaking engagements and awards. Dr. Ruth resides in New York and teaches at Columbia University.

Learn About Dr. Laura Berman

Oct 5, 2016

Laura Berman, PhD, is a world renowned sex and relationship educator and therapist; popular TV, radio and Internet host; New York Times best-selling author; and assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Considered a thought leader in her field, Dr. Berman has helped countless couples build stronger relationships, improve their sex lives, and achieve a heightened level of intimacy through her TV and radio shows, books, columns and website, along with her private practice based in Chicago. Dr. Berman is a New York Times best-selling author of many books on sexual health and pleasure, a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, and host of the radio program “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman.” She has appeared on Fox News, CNN and the TODAY Show, as well as in The New York Times, USA Today, and every major woman’s magazine. Dr. Berman serves on the advisory board for The Dr. Oz Show and is a regular guest on The Steve Harvey Show.

Chicago Tribune raves about “Shakespeare a cappella”

Feb 16, 2016

The Chicago Tribune's John von Rhein raves about Chicago a cappella's "classy pizzaz" in Shakespeare a cappella: "The performances were achieved at a very high level — fresh and spirited, yet with exacting attention to intonation, blend and tonal refinement."  Read the short review here (it appears at the end of article).

Donnelley Challenge Grant

Dec 7, 2015

Chicago a cappella has received an exciting challenge from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.  This season, the Foundation will match any new gifts, increased gifts, or returning gifts up to $25,000!

  • If you have never made a gift to Chicago a cappella, your entire contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar!
  • If you made a gift last season, any increase of your gift this year will be matched dollar-for-dollar!
  • If you gave in previous seasons but not last year, your entire gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

This is a wonderful opportunity, but we need your help to make it reality.  Your tax-deductible gift will support our educational and artistic programming.  Help us meet this challenge: donate now!

A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella

Dec 1, 2015

Chicago a cappella has produced an hourlong radio special for the WFMT Fine Arts Network, called A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago a cappella.  Hosted by our Artistic Director, Jonathan Miller, the program includes performances of Chanukah music from the ensemble's concert and CD recordings over the last 15 years.  In addition to the broadcast on WFMT in Chicago (on Dec. 6), stations around the country are airing it throughout the month.  Check your local NPR or classical radio station schedule!  The full program is also available online.  

Outreach program receives national recognition

Jun 9, 2015

Chicago a cappella’s work with high school students has received national recognition.  The national service organization Chorus America recently focused on high school choral festivals for the cover story of its magazine, The Voice.  Four organizations were presented as outstanding examples: Carnegie Hall, Chanticleer, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and…Chicago a cappella!  The article states, High school choral festivals engage teens, produce powerful music, and leave a lasting impact.”  One student interviewed “says that his festival experiences with high-level professionals showed him ‘music has the power to change lives.’Read the entire article here.

Chicago a cappella's Youth Choral Festival includes high school students from all over the Chicago area.  This year's festival will be held Saturday, November 7, 2015, at the Logan Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park.  We invite you to join us for the inspiring public concert (5 PM) that caps off the day.  If your school is interested in participating, contact Education/Outreach Coordinator Susan Schober.

2015 Non-Profit Community Partner Organizations

Jan 30, 2015

In conjunction with our A Cappella en Español concerts, Chicago a cappella is honoring and partnering with four exceptional non-profit organizations, each serving the Latino/Spanish-speaking community surrounding one of our concert locations.  Each organization will be honored on our concert stage and a representative will take a few minutes to educate our audience about the extraordinary work they do in their community. 

Centro Romero is a community-based organization located in Rogers Park, serving the refugee immigrant population on the northeast side of Chicago and the surrounding suburban areas.  Their mission is to provide opportunities for community residents through education, emphasizing the development of the whole family unit, the creation of community leadership and self-reliance.  Their interrelated programs include Youth Learning and Leadership Development, Women’s Empowerment Projects, Adult Education, HIV/AIDS Outreach and Education, and Legal Services.
Corazon Community Services is a Cicero-based organization seeking to improve the quality of life for families, children and youth through holistic social services offered in a culturally sensitive environment.  They offer local residents a comprehensive set of programs, focusing on Prevention, Intervention, Education and Health, in a ‘settlement house’ style using a bilingual/bicultural approach.

Latinos Progresando is a well-established and highly-effective community organization located in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, the largest Mexican community in the Midwest.  Their mission is to serve immigrants with the highest quality, low-cost legal immigration services, community education and engagement, and advocacy/organizing around policy that affects immigrants.  Executive Director Luis Gutierrez is a dedicated community leader, and has been extremely helpful and generous with his time and resources helping CAC staff establish relationships within Chicago’s Mexican-American community.

Family Focus Aurora is one of seven Family Focus direct service centers throughout the Chicago area.  The Aurora center is helmed by Gonzalo Arroyo, a leader in the west suburban Latino community for almost two decades.  Their mission is to assist families in low-income, immigrant communities in giving their children the best possible start in life through customized classes, support groups and referral services in a warm, caring environment.

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