Acclaimed Chicago Children's Choir Graces Denison's Vail Series Stage
Posted: November 4, 2007 / Last Updated: November 5, 2007
The Chicago Children's Choir will take the Swasey stage in their signature red jackets for the next Vail Series concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. Founded in 1956 by the late Rev. Christopher Moore, the multi-cultural, multi-racial choir is housed in Chicago's beaux-arts landmark Cultural Center, but its program extends to 67 choruses in 50 Chicago elementary schools, six after-school neighborhood choirs throughout the city and the 100-voice Concert Choir. Singers in the choir range in age from 8 to 18.
Forty five of the members of the Show Choir group (ages 12 to 18), all from the Concert Choir, will perform at Denison. The program will be selected from a group of works ranging from Johannes Brahms and Maurice Duruflé to South African Xhosa and Zulu songs, spirituals, and Broadway musical numbers. This fall, the Concert Choir will appear with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in its production of La Boheme, at a Thanksgiving Day Service at Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and in a Songs of the Season concert.
Moore's dream was that young people from diverse backgrounds could better understand each other, as well as learn about themselves, by learning to make beautiful music together. It worked. From a handful of kids at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago, the program now involves 3200 children. Josephine Lee, who was appointed in 1999, now serves as artistic director of the choir, the youngest person to hold that position in the history of the choir.
"Sita Ram," the choir's most recent recording, is an epic work of musical theatre that resulted from a Lee's collaboration with David Kersnar of the Lookingglass Theatre Company, Grammy-nominated artist Jai Uttal and Krithika Rajagopalan of the Natya Dance Theatre. "Sita Ram" was nominated for three 2006 Jeff Equity Awards (best original musical theater, best choreography and best musical direction). "50 Years of Music," a two-disc recording featuring re-mastered recordings of the past 50 years of choir performances, is to be released this holiday season.
More information regarding the Denison University Vail Series and its the 2007-2008 season is available at its Web site: vailseries.org
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CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Vail Series presents the Chicago Children's Choir; 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, Swasey Chapel (200 Chapel Drive). A limited number of tickets are available to the public at $15 each. Call (740) 587-6557 to check on availability.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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