FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2016
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Bound for Glory: upcoming spirituals concert features local student choirs


The acclaimed vocal ensemble Chicago a cappella returns to its roots this February, presenting Bound for Glory, a new concert of spirituals, at four Chicago-area venues.  At select venues, a different local choir will join the a cappella ensemble for one song and perform a selection of their own. With repertoire ranging from early choral settings like Burleigh’s “My Lord, What a Morning,” to exciting contemporary and genre-stretching works by musical greats like Moses Hogan and Adolphus Hailstork, this concert will uplift spirits and fill audience members with joy.  Principal Music Director John William Trotter will take the reins for this powerful and moving concert.

Choirs from Evanston Township High School (Feb. 11), Lindblom Math and Science Academy (Feb. 12), and Oak Park River Forest High School (Feb. 17) will be participating.

“Spirituals have been a part of our ensemble’s repertoire since our inception, but they are also deeply embedded in our nation’s history. Spirituals are a wholly American genre,” says Executive Director Matthew Greenberg. “They originated as an oral tradition among slaves and are now a vital part of our country’s choral legacy.”

“Concerts featuring spirituals have always been audience favorites.” says Artistic Director Jonathan Miller. “Even after all these years, paring down the repertoire continues to be a challenge. There is so much wonderful music to choose from.  After six concert programs featuring dozens of new arrangements, and two CDs of spirituals, we have still barely scratched the surface in the genre.”

Chicago a cappella has recorded two CDs of spirituals, Go Down, Moses, and Bound for Glory.

Go Down, Moses traces the history of the African-American spirituals. Music includes early call-and-response and “Dr.Watt’s” style hymns, classic settings by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and virtuosic contemporary arrangements by Moses Hogan, Jester Hairston, Peter Saltzman, and others.

The CD titled Bound for Glory and the upcoming concert of the same name only contain a few overlapping songs though both contain a moving and joyous collection of spirituals. The CD features new settings of powerful melodies by a host of brilliant and innovative composers.  The program includes four works commissioned by Chicago a cappella and nine world premiere recordings, including pieces by Joseph Jennings, Rollo Dilworth, Paul Crabtree, Paul Carey, and Jonathan Miller.  Chicago a cappella brings passion, power, and beautiful interpretations to these new takes on American musical masterworks.


Chicago a cappella: Bound for Glory
John William Trotter, Principal Music Director 

Evanston:  Saturday, Feb. 11, 8:00 PM
Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave.

Chicago/Hyde Park:  Sunday, Feb.  12, 4:00 PM
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Oak Park: Friday, Feb. 17, 8:00PM
Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St.

Naperville:  Sunday, Feb. 19, 4:00 PM
Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave.

Tickets: Single tickets range from $15-$43. Group tickets (10+) are available from $10-$30.


About Chicago a cappella
Chicago a cappella strives to advance the art and appreciation of ensemble singing. With more than 350 performances to its credit, Chicago a cappella presents an annual Chicago-area subscription series, creates studio recordings, produces educational outreach programming, and gives performances on tour and in special engagements. Led by Artistic Director Jonathan Miller and Executive Director Matthew Greenberg, the ensemble enjoys a reputation as a leader in the choral field and has been long recognized for vocal virtuosity and innovative programming.

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