TRIBUTE AWARD: ANIMA-YOUNG SINGERS OF GREATER CHICAGO
Serving the community since 1964, Anima (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus) is widely recognized for its musical excellence, innovative and effective educational philosophy, and outreach programs that bring rich educational and cultural opportunities to children who would not otherwise have such experiences. As one of the nation’s leading community youth choruses, Anima has been an artistic and educational model across North America for decades.
Founded as a park district program, the Chorus quickly established strong ties with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra because of the professional level of its training. By the early 1970’s, it had expanded to reach children from dozens of Chicagoland communities. It grew to international prominence under the musical directorship of Dr. Doreen Rao, and the group has performed frequently with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Orchestra, and Lyric Opera. It has participated in four Grammy Award-winning recordings and has toured extensively on six continents.
Nationally recognized as a leader in the field of youth chorus directors, Emily Ellsworth has served as Anima’s Artistic Director since 1996. She also serves as Lecturer in Choral Conducting at Northwestern University, where she conducts the University Singers. Her work with Anima received the 2009 Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award, given by Chorus America and the American Composers Forum, as well as Chorus America’s once-in-an-organizational-lifetime 2008 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. In frequent demand as guest clinician/conductor throughout the U.S., she has served on the music panel for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. and is the advisor of Boosey & Hawkes’ Opera Workshop series. We are thrilled to honor Anima for its tremendous contributions to Chicago’s choral community for 50 years, with special recognition of Emily Ellsworth’s brilliant artistic leadership.
FRIEND OF THE YEAR: WILLIAM K. FLOWERS
A CPA with more than thirty years of experience in public accounting, industry and nonprofit organizations, Bill Flowers serves as Finance Manager & Secretary for the not-for-profit classical recording label Cedille Chicago. Bill joined Chicago a cappella’s Board of Directors in 2003. He is also a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where he has served as a Vice President of the Board of Directors and member of Council, respectively. He is a member of the Founders’ Council of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. Bill and his wife Jeanetta are both Chicago natives and reside in Waukegan.
During his tenure, Bill has served as Chicago a cappella’s Board President, Vice-President, and Treasurer, as well as chair of the Finance Committee. With his keen financial expertise and nonprofit experience he has provided invaluable leadership for over a decade as the organization has undergone tremendous growth. With unflagging enthusiasm for the ensemble’s music-making, Bill has attended virtually every performance for more than fifteen years. His welcoming personality and warmth have become the personality of Chicago a cappella itself. We are pleased to honor him as our 2014 Friend of the Year.