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Holidays a cappella



CHICAGO— Chicago a cappella, heralded as “the area’s best unaccompanied group,” brings a new collection of songs for the holidays to six Chicago venues, December 6-15.  The ten-member ensemble brings inventive a cappella twists to familiar songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Carol of the Bells,” and “The Dreidl Song,” in a program created and prepared by guest music director Paul Nicholson.  The singers will revel in Renaissance and contemporary works by Jean Mouton, Steven Sametz, and Joshua Fishbein; classic Christmas carols in new arrangements; and festive music for Chanukah. This delightful concert will set the mood for a season filled with joy and warmth.

Holidays a cappella will take place Friday, Dec. 6 at 8:00pm at Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL; Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8:00pm at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL; Sunday, Dec. 8, 3:00pm at St. Clement Church, 642 W Deming Place, Chicago; Friday, Dec. 13 at 8:00pm at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Buchanan Chapel, 115 E. Delaware Place, Chicago; Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8:00pm at Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Ave., Lake Forest, IL; and Sunday, Dec. 15, 7:30pm at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, IL.  For tickets and more information visit or call (773) 281-7820.

Holiday Music Through the Centuries

Beginning with the medieval chant for Christmas Eve at midnight, the singers of Chicago a cappella will traverse an astonishing range of music for the season at Holidays a cappella.  Traditional carols will include David Willcocks’ classic arrangement of the French carol “Quelle est cette odeur agréable” and Malcolm Sargent’s lovely version of “Silent Night.”  A special focus on Chanukah will bring six songs for the Jewish festival of lights, including Three Pieces for Chanukah, a jazz-infused triptych by former Chicagoan Robert Applebaum; a new work by award-winning composer Joshua Fishbein; and even a hip-hop take on the holiday by reggae rapper Matisyahu.  The singers will revisit Robert Convery’s arrangement of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” first performed by Chicago a cappella in 1998 and featured on the ensemble’s first holiday CD. 

Paul Nicholson, music director

Guest music director Paul Nicholson returns for his third concert with Chicago a cappella.  In addition to serving as Director of Music for Saint Clement Parish in Lincoln Park, he has worked with many of the Chicago area’s top ensembles, including the Grant Park Chorus, the William Ferris Chorale, Newberry Consort, and Haymarket Opera.  This marks Nicholson’s first time creating a program for the ensemble, and he has chosen a wonderfully eclectic collection of seasonal music. 

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 27th season in 2019-20.   Chicago a cappella presents an annual Chicago-area subscription series, creates studio recordings 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.  They have been acclaimed for their “clarity, well-balanced tone, and deep emotional involvement” (Washington Post) and “breathtaking ensemble and control” (American Organist).   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 nationally syndicated Performance Today. The ensemble has produced nine CD recordings of music ranging from Renaissance masses to contemporary works.  Performing with an ensemble of 10 singers and no conductor, Chicago a cappella 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

Fri., 12/6/19, 8:00 pm, Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville, IL

Sat., 12/7/19, 8:00 pm, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL

Sun., 12/8/19, 3:00 pm, St. Clement Church, 642 W. Deming Pl., Chicago, IL

Fri., 12/13/19, 8:00 pm, Fourth Presbyterian Church, 115 E. Delaware Pl., Chicago, IL

Sat., 12/14/19, 8:00 pm, Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Ave., Lake Forest, IL

Sun., 12/15/19, 7:30 pm, Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park, IL

Tickets: $43 preferred / $35 general / $32 seniors / $20 under 30 / group rates available

3-concert or 4-concert subscription packages save up to 50%

[Additional $2 each for tickets purchased at the door]

Tickets: (773) 281-7820 or online at

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