News

Polish Splendor: Songs and Traditions from the Crossroads of Europe Early Alert

Nov 27, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact: Cait Williams
Marketing Manager
cwilliams@chicagoacappella.org | 773.281.7820

CHICAGO A CAPPELLA PRESENTS FOUR U.S. PREMIERES
IN CONCERT CELEBRATING POLAND

CHICAGOChicago a cappella celebrates Chicago’s vibrant and vital Polish community in Polish Splendor: Songs and Traditions from the Crossroads of Europe. The third program of the acclaimed ensemble’s 25th anniversary season, Polish Splendor brings Chicago four U.S. premieres, including works by decorated Polish composers Juliusz Luciuk and Pawel Łukaszewski, the Jewish songwriting team Karasiński and Kataszek, and widely-recognized film composer Wojciech Kilar. Songs include well-known Polish ballads such as Czerwone jabłuszko and the iconic tango Warszawo, moja Warszawo. The final performance takes place at Chicago’s Copernicus Center, the gorgeous former movie palace which is the center of Chicago’s Polish cultural life. Chicago a cappella brings Poland’s dramatic history to life in a concert that honors both the country’s traditions and new works that stem from a people in the crossroads of history. 


Polish Splendor: Songs and Traditions from the Crossroads of Europe: will take place Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 pm at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL; Sunday, Feb. 10 at 4:00 pm at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St, Oak Park, IL; Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8:00 pm at Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL; Sunday, Feb. 17 at 4:00 pm at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL. For tickets and more information visit chicagoacappella.org or call (773) 281-7820.

Chicago a cappella

Chicago a cappella is one of the area’s most accomplished and innovative vocal ensembles. Spanning a repertoire from Gregorian chant to the Beatles and beyond, the group is presenting its 25th anniversary season under founding Artistic Director Jonathan Miller. This season’s concerts, prepared by Principal Music Director John William Trotter and renowned guest music directors, will be presented at eight venues in the Chicago area. The ensemble has been hailed as “the area’s best unaccompanied group” (Chicago Magazine) and “the city’s liveliest, most versatile vocal ensemble” (Chicago Tribune).

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Holidays a cappella: Silver Bells Program Notes

Nov 19, 2018

From Artistic Director Jonathan Miller

Welcome to “Holidays a cappella.” We’re so pleased that you’ve chosen to
spend part of the busy holiday season with us.


Over the 25 years that our group has been together, we’ve created a
tradition of holiday programs that contain songs you generally won’t
hear anywhere else, in combinations that will both calm your spirit and
inspire your heart. Our singers and music director work hard to bring you
that rarest of treats—a world-class professional ensemble singing for you in a live concert
setting. There’s a particular brand of magic that happens in this setting; you can’t get it by
listening to a recording, the radio, Pandora, or Spotify, or by watching TV. The magic here
is a combination of the voices and talents on stage, the music that they are singing together,
and you—yes, you—here with us in this building to experience it in all the ways with which
we experience things.


Kathryn Kamp and Paul Nicholson have shepherded this program with their usual skill and
imagination. While the singers make it look easy on stage, it takes a lifetime of experience to
do what they can do. I invite you therefore to enjoy this concert as deeply as you can, and to
savor it until the next time you come back to hear us. May the holiday season be filled with
peace, joy and blessings for you and your loved ones.


Warmly,
Jonathan Miller
Founder and Artistic Director

From Guest Programmer Kathryn Kamp

Welcome to Silver Bells! Our 25th anniversary season Holidays a cappella
program honors the past, cherishes the present, and looks forward to the
future. Whether you’re a fan of older melodies or more contemporary
tunes, we’ve got you covered. There are several selections by composers
and arrangers whose work has graced our concert stages throughout the
years. Bob Applebaum, Gunnar Eriksson, Gwyneth Walker, Robert L.
Morris, Paul Langford and Anders Edenroth are among those
represented tonight.


VOCES8 and Pentatonix fall on opposite ends of the musical spectrum in terms of style, yet
both sing killer charts worthy of Chicago a cappella. This concert series will be the first time
we’ve brought their arrangements to the Chicago a cappella stage. This will likely not be the
last time we dig into their libraries!


While it’s fun to discover great arrangements that could become part of our future repertoire,
it’s even more thrilling to be presented with custom arrangements written by someone we
hold close to our hearts who truly understands our sound. Patrick Sinozich’s affiliation with
Chicago a cappella pre-dates our debut concert—he served as accompanist for the first
round of auditions 25 years ago and has since served as rehearsal coach, Music Director,
producer of four Chicago a cappella CDs, and Guest Programmer for several concerts.
He has perfectly captured the spirit of the season—and of Chicago a cappella—with his
arrangement of “Silver Bells.” We are grateful for his incredibly creative contributions and
eternal support.


The program would not be complete without an offering by our Founder and Artistic
Director Jonathan Miller. When asked which chart in his ever-growing set of arrangements
would be most appropriate for Chanukah he suggested Shehecheyanu, and he was absolutely
right. I believe, however, his greatest contribution to this program lies in the years of hard
work he has dedicated to unearthing gems from days past; discovering the work of (and
building relationships with) composers and arrangers from around the world; and pushing
the boundaries of choral programming. To date Jonathan has crafted a whopping 86
programs for Chicago a cappella. This is the basis for tonight’s program, and the reason why
we are able to celebrate 25 years as Chicago a cappella. I am fortunate to have such a vast
array of programs and songs from which to draw inspiration, and am thankful for Jonathan’s
feedback and encouragement as I worked through the creation of this program.


I’d like to extend a special word of thanks to our Guest Music Director Paul Nicholson. His
deep understanding of performance practice across all genres of music is extraordinary, and
his ability to teach the singers how to best honor those traditions while bringing his own
beautiful artistry into the mix is a unique gift. I believe his generous, kind spirit is reflected
in each note you will hear tonight, and appreciate him more than words can express.
Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to each of you. Chicago a cappella would not be who
we are today without your support. We are honored each time we have the opportunity to
share an evening with you, and this feeling is amplified by the celebration of our 25 years
together. May our performance bring you light, love and peace as you move through this holiday season.

Notes on the Music by Kathryn Kamp

Plainchant, Mode 7: Puer natus est nobis
This Gregorian chant expresses the overwhelming joy of the birth of the Christ child. It
is traditionally sung as celebrants enter the sanctuary on Christmas Day. Jonathan Miller
programmed the medieval Mass chant as the opening tune of the 1997 Holidays concert, and
it seems fitting to include it as a representation of the many very early music settings we’ve
performed over the years.

 

arr. J. David Moore: Il est né, le divin Enfant

If Puer natus est nobis doesn’t exactly sound full of “overwhelming joy” to your 21st century
ears, you’ll certainly get your fill of excitement here. J. David Moore’s 2004 arrangement of
the traditional French carol announces the birth of Jesus with a brilliant fanfare bookending
a lovely chorale.

 

 

Jonathan Miller: Shehecheyanu
The Shehecheyanu is a Hebrew prayer recited at happy occasions and festivals of significance
such as Chanukah. Jonathan Miller wrote: “Composing it literally came to me as I was
walking down the street, and the rhythm of my feet on the pavement gave rise to the
quarter-note pulse for the melody. Once that was done, the piece pretty much wrote itself.

arr. Robert Applebaum, from “Three Pieces for Chanukah”: Maoz Tzur

Maoz Tzur is traditionally sung on Chanukah after the lighting of the menorah. The Hebrew
song is thought to have originated in the 13th century: However Bob Applebaum’s blues and
jazz harmonies bring an updated spin. Chicago a cappella has performed more than 15 works
written or arranged by Bob over the years, and it’s an honor to bring you yet another gem from
this gifted artist.

 

Gwyneth Walker: The Christ-Child’s Lullaby
Gwyneth Walker’s ability to fashion an endless number of textures, timbres and effects delivers
a stunning experience for the listener. Her vocal lines are a joy for singers to produce and
present, and her text-driven approach always gives a clear sense of direction and character.
This extended, dramatic rendition of the traditional Scottish “Hebrides Lullaby” begins and
ends with Mary alone as she expresses feelings of unworthiness to tend to the needs of her
child. This is contrasted by a celebratory choral “Alleluia” in the middle of the work. Mary,
however, remains steadfastly in her own thoughts throughout.

 

arr. Robert Leigh Morris: Children Go Where I Send Thee
Paraphrasing the arranger Robert L. Morris, freedom, literacy, and numeracy were the
intangibles most desired by slaves. To seek such knowledge was as great a threat to the
institution of slavery as were overtly rebellious behaviors, so attempts to educate slaves were
cloaked in subterfuge. Since Jesus was perceived as a source of revolutionary inspiration,
references to him were disguised beneath the identities of other Biblical characters. This
explains the limited repertoire of Christmas spirituals when compared to spirituals of
other types.

These same biblical figures are the vehicle for the songs’ immediate purpose, which is to
learn the number system backwards and forwards. The backward count returns to Jesus, the
freedom figure, who “was born in Bethlehem.” The underlying belief of this song, hidden
beneath the joy, may well be that knowledge leads to freedom.

Traditional Swedish; arr. Gunnar Eriksson: Kristallen den fina
Gunnar Eriksson is a Swedish arranger, choral conductor and founder of the 12-voice Rilke
Ensemble. Jonathan writes: “I have never found a vocal ensemble more akin to Chicago a
cappella than the Rilke Ensemble—both are virtuoso ensembles made up of soloists, which
imbue the music at hand with individual passion while remaining committed to flawless
tuning, blend, and ultimately, expressing the score itself. Both ensembles are favorites of
living composers, and so on. Until I met Gunnar, I didn’t know there was any other group
out there like ours. I am happy that he had been at it for a decade or so before me, and
grateful for his generous collegiality.”
Kristallen den fina is an old Swedish tune expressing love for the Virgin Mary with texts
depicting quite passionate images. Gunnar’s arrangement brings together the original tune
(sung by the two highest voices) with two other sacred Swedish melodies: A Lutheran
chorale in the tenor and an old Gregorian melody bracketed by the two.

Juan García de Zespedes (1619-1678): Convidando está la Noche
This joyous holiday guaracha contrasts rapid tempos with a slower section. Traditional
images of the newborn child are represented in the slower section, while the lyrics in the
faster section are more animated, theatrical and dramatic. This is probably the best-known
piece of Mexican composer Juan García de Zespedes (1619-1678), and performances
typically included instruments and dancing.

arr. James Winfield: O Tannenbaum
The roots of this folk song date back to the 16th century. The original text did not refer to
Christmas or Christmas trees, which didn’t evolve as a custom until the 19th century. It
was simply a folk song using an evergreen as a representation of faithfulness and constancy.
In 1819 Joachim Zarnack adapted the text to correlate the treu (true, faithful) evergreen
tree with a faithless lover to create a somewhat tragic song. In 1824 Ernst Anschütz wrote
additional verses directly referencing Christmas, thus flipping the perspective of Zarnack’s
version into something more positive and hopeful. At some point in the 20th century—after
Christmas trees had become a solid custom—the word treu was changed to grün (green).

arr. Jim Clements: Gabriel’s Message
Jim Clements is a British composer, singer, arranger, and orchestrator. He has written
countless charts for a cappella groups including The King’s Singers and VOCES8. This
glorious arrangement of a Basque Christmas folk carol was nominated for the Best Classical
Song in the 2009 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards.

Anonymous & James Lord Pierpont, arr. James L. Clemens: Jingle a cappella
Written for Chicago a cappella’s 2003 Holidays program, James E. Clemens’ take on James
S. Pierpont’s 1857 tune brings fun, contemporary harmonization’s to a classic Christmas
standard. The fugue in 7/8 time in the middle section is based on Bach’s Fugue 23, BWV 868,
from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Volume 1. Don’t try this at home, folks!

Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn, arr. Paul Langford: Christmas Waltz
This chart is one of many Paul Langford forwarded to me for consideration. Being a longtime
fan of The Christmas Waltz I was thrilled to see it included in the list. Originally written for
Frank Sinatra, it has since been covered by a range of artists including The Carpenters, Pat Boone, Robert Goulet, Rosemary Clooney and Johnny Mathis. When I asked Paul if he had any thoughts he’d like to share about his arrangement he confessed: “I stole the introidea for Christmas Waltz from an old Peggy Lee Christmas record my dad used to play when we were kids.” Paul’s arrangement was written for Voices of Liberty (the in-house a cappella group at Epcot Center), and is an excellent fit for Chicago a cappella.

Felix Bernard & Richard B. Smith/Bobby McFerrin, arr. Pentatonix: Winterwonderland/Don't Worry, Be Happy

In 1934 the Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra finished a recording session early, and with the
remaining time laid down a track for a new tune called “Winter Wonderland.” Among the
many New York studio musicians in that session was a 24-year old clarinetist named Artie
Shaw. Within a few years Shaw would be regarded as one of jazz’s finest clarinetists and
big-band leaders.


“Winter Wonderland” has been recorded over 200 times by a range of artists including
Elvis Presley, The Andrews Sisters, Aretha Franklin, Dean Martin and the Eurythmics. The
Pentatonix version is yet another fun variation on his classic holiday tune, one which might
help alleviate symptoms of holiday stress. Don’t worry, be happy!

 

Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, arr. Patrick Sinozich: Silver Bells
Whether producing an album, music directing, creating entire concerts comprised only of
custom arrangements (Rock and Soul, anyone?) or cheering us on from the audience, Patrick’s
influence on the Chicago a cappella sound and spirit has been a persistent creative force
throughout our history. He was a natural choice to serve as arranger for the title track for
our Silver Anniversary program. His lovely dedication on the title page of “Silver Bells” will
forever associate this arrangement with our 25th Anniversary Season. Thank you, Patrick, for
all your incredible gifts!

Anders Edenroth: The World for Christmas
Anders Edenroth writes:
“For The World for Christmas, I’ve chosen to frame my lyrics with several lines from Clement
Clarke Moore’s and Henry Livingstone Jr.’s famous Christmas poem, ‘Twas the Night Before
Christmas, which describes the moments of anticipation while waiting for presents
from Santa.


For a long time I have been trying to express my concern for the future of our planet in music
and words. I only had the phrase “Give me a present for the future,” which with its double
meaning captured my feelings exactly. But I couldn’t come up with anything else.
So one day last winter I met my friend Emma’s three day old daughter, Lela. She made me
realize that it wasn’t my worry that needed to be expressed but rather Lela’s unspoken wish. I
have borrowed her voice in order to ask you all to take care of our planet so that one day she
and all the childrenof the world can inherit the beautiful blue-green, healthy planet of their dreams.

Holidays a cappella: Silver Bells Playlist

Sep 28, 2018

Title Composer/Arranger
Puer natus est nobis Plainchant, Mode 7
Il est né, le divin Enfant arr. J. David Moore
Shehecheyanu Jonathan Miller
Maoz Tzur Robert Applebaum,
from "Three Pieces for Chanukah"
The Christ-child’s Lullaby Gwyneth Walker
Children Go Where I Send Thee arr. Robert Leigh Morris
Kristallen den fina Traditional Swedish,
arr. Gunnar Eriksson
Convidando está la Noche Juan García de Zespedes (1619-1678)
O Tannenbaum Traditional German carol,
arr. James Winfield
Gabriel's Message Basque carol,
arr. Jim Clements
Jingle a cappella Anonymous & James Lord Pierpont, arr. James L. Clemens
Christmas Waltz Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, arr. Langford
Winter Wonderland/Don't Worry Be Happy Felix Bernard & Richard B. Smith/Bobby McFerrin,
arr. Pentatonix
Silver Bells Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, arr. Sinozich
The World for Christmas Anders Edenroth

Holidays a cappella: Silver Bells Early Alert

Sep 28, 2018

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Press Contact: Cait Williams
Marketing Manager
cwilliams@chicagoacappella.org | 773.281.7820

CHICAGO A CAPPELLA PRESENTS SILVER ANNIVERSARY HOLIDAY CONCERT
FEATURING BELOVED HITS FROM THEIR LAST 25 YEARS AND CONTEMPORARY WORKS NEW TO THEIR STAGE

CHICAGO— Chicago a cappella invites you to ring in the acclaimed ensemble’s Silver Anniversary with a sparkling collection of musical treasures. These December concerts have become a staple Chicago holiday tradition, and this year you’ll delight in bright and beloved favorites from the group’s first 25 years.  Prepared by guest music director Paul Nicholson, the ensemble will present lively Christmas spirituals, songs for Chanukah, familiar holiday chestnuts like “Silver Bells,” contemporary favorites (including an arrangement by Pentatonix), and glistening music new to their stage. This resounding celebration is a Chicago tradition not to be missed!


Holidays a cappella: Silver Bells will take place Friday, Dec. 7 at 8:00 pm at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, IL; Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3:00 pm at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 E. Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL; Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3:00 pm at St. Clement Church, 642 W. Deming Pl., Chicago, IL; Friday, Dec. 14 at 8:00 pm at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Michigan Ave. at Delaware, Chicago, IL; Saturday, Dec. 15 at 8:00 pm at Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL. For tickets and more information visit chicagoacappella.org or call (773) 281-7820.

Chicago a cappella

Chicago a cappella is one of the area’s most accomplished and innovative vocal ensembles. Spanning a repertoire from Gregorian chant to the Beatles and beyond, the group is presenting its 25th anniversary season under founding Artistic Director Jonathan Miller. This season’s concerts, prepared by Principal Music Director John William Trotter and renowned guest music directors, will be presented at eight venues in the Chicago area. The ensemble has been hailed as “the area’s best unaccompanied group” (Chicago Magazine) and “the city’s liveliest, most versatile vocal ensemble” (Chicago Tribune).

###


Calendar Editors, Please Note:
[Category: Performing Arts / Music / Classical Music]
Chicago a cappella: Holidays a cappella: Silver Bells
Fri., 12/07/18, 8:00 pm, Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, IL
Sat., 12/08/18, 8:00 pm, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
Sun., 12/09/18, 3:00 pm, St. Clement Church, 642 W. Deming Pl., Chicago, IL
Fri., 12/14/18, 8:00 pm, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Michigan Ave. at Delaware, Chicago, IL
Sat., 12/15/18, 8:00 pm Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL
on the campus of North Central College
Sun., 12/16/18, 3:00 pm, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
Tickets: $43 preferred / $35 general / $32 seniors / $20 under 30 / group rates available
[Additional $2 each for tickets purchased at the door]
Tickets: (773) 281-7820 or online at www.chicagoacappella.org
Chicago a cappella is supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; the Illinois Arts Council Agency; a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; and the Oak Park Area Arts Council, in partnership with the Village of Oak Park and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chicago Chicago: Annotated Program Notes

Sep 17, 2018

"Chicago, Chicago" with Geoffrey Baer

October 2018

Chicago, Chicago traces the history of our great city through song.  Enjoy this sneak preview of the songs included, along with some historical background for each:

Traditional Fr. Canadian, arr. Miller: C'est l'aviron
This is a song of the French voyageurs who explored the Great Lakes, including what is now Chicago, and traded with Native Americans;  it was sung as early as the 1690s and was one of the most popular songs at the settlement of Michilimackinac, now Mackinac Island.  The song sings of "going up," which is what they called paddling from "Lower Canada" (Montreal and Toronto, along the St. Lawrence) to "Upper Canada" (points west).  Read more about the early fur trade around Chicago.

Traditional, arr. Bustin/Dalglish/Larsen/Miller:  Shawneetown
Before Chicago became a huge metropolis, the way most Anglos traveled to Illinois was down the Ohio River, where they would cross at Shawneetown or Shawnee Ferry.  This is a folksong from the Ohio Valley, telling people about life on the river, floating down and paddling back up to pursue trade, including the narrator's three women in different ports!

Traditional, arr. Zanzig: El-A-Noy
Like any area wanting to grow, Illinois had its early "boosters," who wrote this song painting an idyllic picture of the state's glories.  The verse about the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon visiting the state is hilarious.   Read the complete lyrics to El-a-Noy.

Barry Moore, arr. Nick Page: City of Chicago
The Irish immigrants came in waves following the Great Potato Famine.  This is a recent folksong about the Irish coming to Chicago and what they endured, both on the journey and when they got here.

Johannes Brahms: Die Wollust in den Maien
Germans were one of the major immigrant groups in Chicago's early history. This is a song that would likely have been performed by their many singing societies. 

Spiritual, arr. Allan Koepke: Follow the drinking gourd
The Chicago area, including Maywood and Graue Mill in what is now Hinsdale, were stops on the Underground Railroad. This is a slave song/spiritual that helped to tell runaway slaves how to get across the Ohio River to freedom.

Trad., arr. Shaw/Parker:  Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
The Civil War hit Chicago hard, as it did the entire nation.  This haunting folk tune laments the men going off to war, including some 36,000 from the Chicago area who enlisted and were sent into battle. 

Samuel Ward and Katharine Lee Bates, arr. Deke Sharon: America the Beautiful
As the city emerged into greatness, this song became an emblem of national pride;  the verse about "alabaster cities' gleam" refers to the White City in the Columbian Exposition of 1892-93.

Sturges/Schleiffarth, arr. Miller:  Song of the Ferris Wheel
George Ferris's wheel constructed at the Columbian Exposition was 30 stories tall and was meant to rival the Eiffel Tower, which had wowed visitors to the Paris World’s Fair four years earlier. This charming waltz celebrated the astounding attraction.

Fred Fisher, arr. Miller: Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)
The great tune popularized by Sinatra gets a new a cappella setting here, including all of the original words.

INTERMISSION

Jerry Troxell, text of Carl Sandburg:  Prayers of Steel
Carl Sandburg wrote odes to skyscrapers, and Jerry Troxell's haunting composition perfectly illuminates Sandburg's awe at beholding the stark urban beauty of Chicago's new downtown area.

arr. Gwyneth Walker:  This Train
The Great Migration of black Southerners to the north between World War I and 1970 was one of the largest movements of a people in history.  Many bought a ticket on the Illinois Central railroad and ended up in Chicago, perhaps with this spiritual in their minds.

Lovie Austin, arr. J. Miller: Chicago Bound Blues
Chicago has become synonymous with the blues.  This is a song written by Chicagoan Lovie Austin and made popular by Bessie Smith, in a new a cappella version, the lament of a woman left behind in Mississippi.

Thomas Dorsey, arr. Sevier: Precious Lord
In the 1930s, Thomas A. Dorsey created gospel music, and this is his most famous song, in a stunning arrangement by Chicago's own Arnold Sevier.

Traditional Mexican, arr. Ramón Noble: Las Manañitas
The large Mexican-American community in Chicago began to grow in earnest after 1910.  This is the traditional song (in the famous arrangement by Ramón Noble) sung at birthdays and celebrations here ever since Mexicans began moving here in the early 20th century.

Traditional Polish, arr. Sykulski: Goralu, czi ci nie zal
Poles immigrating here made Chicago one of the most vital Polish-speaking cities in the world.  This touching folksong reminds us that, despite the thriving community they created, it was hardship that brought those first Poles to our city.

Robert Johnson, arr. Sinozich: Sweet Home Chicago
Blues legend Robert Johnson may have sold his soul to the devil, but not before he gave us this timeless standard, sometimes called the unofficial anthem of Chicago.

Norworth and Von Tilzer, arr. Anne Heider: Take me out to the ballgame
People gotta have fun!  This jaunty setting by Anne Heider incorporates all of Jack Norworth's original lyrics.  Root, root, root for the ... Cubbies? ...White Sox?

Join us October 6-21, 2018, for this remarkable musical tour of The Windy City!  Tickets and information.

Share your Chicago photo!

Jul 2, 2018

Our season-opening concert, Chicago, Chicago with Geoffrey Baer, will feature vivid projections of our city...and we want you to participate! Share a photo of yourself in front of an iconic Chicago view for a chance to be featured in a projection during the show!

Photo Upload Instructions:

—Open the Chicago a cappella flickr page in a new window using this link: www.flickr.com/groups/4486235@N25/

—Log in using your own flickr account OR our guest account: Username: Chicagoacappellaguest@gmail.com | Password: Projections2018

—Upload your photo to the "Chicago, Chicago Projections" Group page.

That's it! You're all done. We can't wait to see your photo submissions! 

Submissions due by August 1.

Need help? Contact Marketing Manager Cait Williams at cwilliams@chicagoacappella.org

Chicago, Chicago with Geoffrey Baer Program List

May 30, 2018

Chicago, Chicago with Geoffrey Baer

Song Composer/Source Arranger
C'est l'aviron    Trad. French Canadian Jonathan Miller
Shawneetown    Trad. Midwestern Bustin/Dalglish/Larsen/Miller
El-A-Noy    Trad. Midwestern Augustus Zanzig
City of Chicago    Barry Moore Nick Page
Die Wollust in den Maien    J. Brahms  
Follow the Drinking Gourd          Trad. Spiritual Allan Koepke
Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier    Trad. English/American Shaw/Parker
America the Beautiful    Ward/Bates Deke Sharon
The Song of the Ferris Wheel    Sturges/Schleiffarth Jonathan Miller
Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)    Fred Fisher Jonathan Miler
  I N T E R M I S S I O N   
Prayers of Steel       Jerry Troxell  
This Train    Traditional Gwyneth Walker
Chicago Bound Blues        Lovie Austin Jonathan Miller
Precious Lord    Thomas A. Dorsey Arnold Sevier
Las Mañanitas    Trad. Mexican Ramón Noble
Goralu, czi ci nie zal Trad. Polish Jacek Sykulski
Sweet Home Chicago    Robert Johnson Patrick Sinozich
Take Me Out to the Ballgame    Albert von Tilzer Anne Heider

Artistic Director Search

Mar 19, 2018

Artistic Director Search Officially Opens

As we announced last fall, Jonathan Miller will be stepping down from his role as Artistic Director over the next two seasons.  Today, we are excited to announce the search for Chicago a cappella's second Artistic Director.  Details of the search are available here.  The initial call for submissions closes June 1, 2018.  As we approach our 25th anniversary season, 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!

The History of Rock and Soul, Part 2 Program List

Feb 19, 2018

Song Original Artist Songwriter
Don't Stop Fleetwood Mac Christine McVie
     
Medley:    
Both Sides Now Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell
How Sweet It Is James Taylor Holland-Dozier-Holland
I Feel the Earth Move Carole King Carole King
     
Roundabout Yes Jon Anderson, Steve Howe
     
Medley:    
Midnight Train to Georgia Gladys Knight & the Pips Jim Weatherly
Love Train The O'Jays Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Theme from Shaft Isaac Hayes Isaac Hayes
     
Medley:    
Your Song Elton John Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Don't Go Breaking My Heart  Elton John and Kiki Dee Carte Blanche and Anne Orson
     
Changes David Bowie David Bowie
     
Somebody to Love Queen Freddie Mercury
     
  INTERMISSION  
Reelin' In the Years Steely Dan Walter Becker, Donald Fagen
     
Medley:    
I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor Freddie Perren, Dino Fekaris
She Works Hard for the Money Donna Summer Donna Summer, Michael Omartian
     
Medley:    
Three Little Birds Bob Marley Bob Marley
Wonderful World, Beautiful People Jimmy Cliff Jimmy Cliff
     
Blitzkrieg Bop The Ramones Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Tommy Ramone
     
And She Was Talking Heads David Byrne
     
Celebration Kool and the Gang Kool and the gang
     
Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Again) Sly & the Family Stone Sylvester Stewart

Love Stories Press Release

Jan 4, 2018

CHICAGO A CAPPELLA FUSES THEATRE AND MUSIC
IN INTIMATE VALENTINE’S DAY CONCERT


CHICAGOChicago a cappella takes audiences inside the warm and intimate relationship of a long-time married couple at the ensemble’s upcoming program, Love Stories. With an original script by Jeff Award-winning playwright Tom Mula, veteran Chicago actors Karen Janes Woditsch and Michael Weber join the acclaimed singers of Chicago a cappella for a touching journey through the layers of love, from red-hot passion to wistful melancholy and beauty in the everyday.  Along the way, the music ranges from Italian madrigal and Spanish flamenco to “My Funny Valentine” and the jazz standard “Fever.” The compelling intimacy of this ever-eclectic concert will make an unforgettable musical Valentine.


Love Stories will take place Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 pm at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL; Sunday, Feb. 11 at 4:00 pm at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th St., Chicago, IL (Hyde Park); Friday, Feb. 16 at 8:00 pm at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, IL; and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8:00 pm at Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave, Naperville, IL, on the campus of North Central College. For tickets and more information visit chicagoacappella.org or call (773) 281-7820.


A Poetic Musical Feast


The ten singers of Chicago a cappella, prepared by Principal Music Director John William Trotter, will demonstrate their stylistic breadth at the group’s upcoming concert, Love Stories. Audiences will hear musical illustrations of love by 16th century master Claudio Monteverdi; Broadway greats Rodgers and Hammerstein; and living composers Morten Lauridsen, Evanston’s Stacy Garrop, and the ensemble’s artistic director Jonathan Miller. With songs featuring texts by Shakespeare, Rilke, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, the singers bring deeper expression to a poignant love story filled with wit and humor in this unique melding of theater and music.


Karen Janes Woditsch and Michael Weber


Karen Janes Woditsch is a Jeff-award winning actor whose accomplished career holds roots in Chicago. She has appeared with the acclaimed Writers Theatre in Glencoe in over 20 productions. Additionally, she performed the role of Julia Child in the world-premiere of To Master the Art originally produced at Timeline Theatre and later at the Broadway Playhouse, earning her a Jeff nomination. Additional acting credits include performances with Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Court Theatre, and more. TV credits include Patriot, Chicago PD, Runner and Crisis. Film credits: Bad Johnson and American Fable.


Michael Weber is the Artistic Director of Porchlight Music Theatre and previously served as Artistic Director for the inaugural season of Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place and at Theatre at the Center.  Acting credits include Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy (both starring Patti LuPone) at Ravinia, appearances with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, First Stage Milwaukee, Cleveland Playhouse, and more.  Weber directed Jeff nominated productions for Best Production-Musical that include: Sweeny Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pal Joey, Assassins, Side Show, Grand Hotel and She Loves Me. Weber is proud to serve as a pledge host on WTTW, Channel 11.

Chicago a cappella

Chicago a cappella is one of the area’s most accomplished and innovative vocal ensembles. Spanning a repertoire from Gregorian chant to the Beatles and beyond, the group is presenting its 25th season under founding Artistic Director Jonathan Miller. This season’s concerts, prepared by Principal Music Director John William Trotter and renowned guest music directors, will be presented at eleven venues in the Chicago area. The ensemble has been hailed as “the area’s best unaccompanied group” (Chicago Magazine) and “the city’s liveliest, most versatile vocal ensemble” (Chicago Tribune).

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Calendar Editors, Please Note:
[Category: Performing Arts / Music / Classical Music]
Chicago a cappella: Love Stories
Sat., 2/10/18, 8:00 pm, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
Sun., 2/11/18, 4:00 pm, Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL (Hyde Park)
Fri., 2/16/18, 8:00 pm, Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, IL
Sat., 2/17/18, 8:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL, on the campus of North Central College
Tickets: $43 preferred / $35 general / $30 seniors / $15 students / group rates available
[Additional $2 each for tickets purchased at the door]
Tickets: (773) 281-7820 or online at www.chicagoacappella.org
This program is generously supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. Chicago a cappella is also supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; the Oak Park Area Arts Council, in partnership with the Villages of Oak Park, Forest Park and River Forest; and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.

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