“Songs of War and Peace” opens Chicago Chamber Choir’s season

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First-time collaboration: Chicago Chamber Choir and Milwaukee Choral Artists perform together  


Chicago, IL —To open its 15th season, the Chicago Chamber Choir (CCC), a skilled choral ensemble of 40 singers under the artistic director of Timm Adams, collaborates for the first time with the esteemed Milwaukee Choral Artists (MCA) for “Songs of War and Peace.” Performances take place October 23 in the Milwaukee area and October 24 in the Chicago area.

“Songs of War and Peace” is a special choral meditation on the human cost of war and the hope for peace. The program, featuring music inspired by conflict and the frailty of the human condition, will showcase the skill and creativity of CCC and MCA, separately and together. CCC will perform “Go Down, Moses” from Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time, “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson, “Find the Cost of Freedom” by Stephen Stills and others, while MCA will offer, among others, “Hard Times Come Again No More” by Stephen Foster, “Only Light, Only Love” (with the CCC women) by Joan Szymko and “August 1914” by Joel Boyd, winner of MCA’s Young Composer Contest for 2010. CCC and MCA will perform works together in Latvian, Greek, Hebrew and Latin. This diverse and emotional program includes music inspired by the ravages of several wars, including the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Vietnam Conflict, as well as the wartime oppression of the Jews and the Greek women of Souli. The complete repertoire, subject to change, is enclosed. 

CCC’s 2010–11 season continues with “Canciones de Navidad: A Spanish Christmas,” the second in a series of Christmas Around the World concerts, December 12 at the Music Institute of Chicago and December 16 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Lincoln Park, and concludes with “Soar: Songs of Wind and Air,” the third concert program in its Singing the Elements series, April 9 at Our Lady of the Brook Parish in Northbrook and April 10 at Unity Lutheran Church in Andersonville.

Founded in 1996, the Chicago Chamber Choir promotes the joy of choral music by offering seasonal concerts and charitable performances that educate and entertain children and adults in the Chicagoland area. The choir’s repertoire is culturally diverse and international in scope. Seasonal concerts feature a balance of sacred and secular works, including time-honored classics as well as contemporary selections. As part of its mission, CCC actively seeks performance venues that bring music to under-served individuals and communities. The choir has performed in Chicago’s inner-city schools, retirement homes, homeless shelters and rehabilitation centers. Artistic Director Timm Adams, who has conducted CCC since 2000, is associate professor of music at Rockford College, where he teaches private voice and music theory, conducts three choirs and musical-directs the Performing Arts Department’s mainstage musicals.

CCC’s most recent CD, Hymns & Spirituals: Strength for the Journey, showcases its strongest repertoire: a collection of beloved and soul-stirring hymns and spirituals. Among the highlights are “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord,” “Give Me Jesus,” “Ride the Chariot” and “There is a Balm in Gilead.” The CD is $15 and is available at CCC’s concerts as well as chicagochamberchoir.org.

The Milwaukee Choral Artists (MCA), under the direction of Founder Sharon A. Hansen, is Wisconsin’s premier professional choral ensemble and one of only a handful of professional women’s choral ensembles in the country. Founded in 1998 as a chamber ensemble of professional solo singers, MCA is regularly hailed for its imaginative programming and has quickly established itself in the mainstream of professional music making both within and beyond Milwaukee. Milwaukee Choral Artists enjoys regular appearances with Present Music, Milwaukee’s internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble. The Milwaukee Choral Artists performs three regular season concerts each year at historic venues throughout the Milwaukee area. Committed to presenting music from diverse cultures, the ensemble has performed music in 28 languages from more than 40 world cultures since its inception. For more information, visit milwaukeechoralartists.org.

The Chicago Chamber Choir presents “Songs of War and Peace” with the Milwaukee Choral Artists Saturday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 1615 N. Wauwatosa Avenue in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and Sunday, October 24 at 4 p.m. at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets for the October 23 performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for students, and are available by calling 262-628-5022 or visiting milwaukeechoralartists.org. Tickets for the October 24 performance are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $15 for students and groups of 10 or more. Season subscriptions for all three of CCC’s Chicago-area concerts are $50 for adults, $40 for students. Tickets and information are available at chicagochamberchoir.org or 312-409-6890.

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