Chicago a cappella (ensemble)
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Chicago a cappella is a creative enterprise devoted to furthering the art of singing together without instruments.
An ensemble of professional singers founded in 1993 by Jonathan Miller, Chicago a cappella presents an annual Chicago-area subscription series, creates studio recordings as well as live and broadcast-media musical content, 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.
With more than 325 concerts to its credit, Chicago a cappella has produced more than 200 performances on its Chicago-based series. On tour, the group has appeared in 11 American states and in Mexico. The ensemble has been heard frequently on WFMT radio and through broadcasts distributed by American Public Media, including the highly regarded Performance Today. The ensemble has produced eight CD recordings of music ranging from Renaissance masses to contemporary works.
From its inception, Chicago a cappella has been a champion of living composers. Since 1993 the group has presented more than 100 works in their world, national, or local premiere. Chicago a cappella has commissioned new music from composers such as Joseph Jennings, Chen Yi, Stacy Garrop, Rollo Dilworth, Tania León, and Ezequiel Viñao.
As part of its work to give back to the community, Chicago a cappella has been increasingly active in the area’s schools. From an initial residency on Chicago’s West Side, the ensemble undertook residencies in Chicago Public Schools during both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. In 2012, Chicago a cappella produced its first annual Youth Choral Festival and launched the ensemble’s High School Internship program, a unique multi-faceted immersion for selected students in the worlds of performance and arts administration.
Artistic Director Jonathan Miller was the ensemble’s founding low bass and directed rehearsals for the group’s first 14 seasons. Miller stepped back from singing in 2006 to concentrate his efforts on musical direction and programming. In 2007, focusing further on programming and long-range planning, Mr. Miller appointed Patrick Sinozich as the group’s first Music Director. In 2008, Miller was honored with the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America, given in recognition of his efforts in developing Chicago a cappella as a professional vocal ensemble. Matthew Greenberg, a founding singer in the ensemble, joined the administrative staff in 1995 and has been recognized nationally in his role as Chicago a cappella’s Executive Director. Chicago a cappella’s audiences and activity have grown ever since its founding, and the group now presents a series of concert programs each year in Chicago, Evanston, Naperville, and Oak Park, IL, performing most usually with an ensemble of nine singers. After a successful five years of service, Patrick Sinozich was designated Music Director Emeritus in 2012, and Chicago a cappella will welcome Guest Music Directors for three concert programs in 2012-13, with Artistic Director Jonathan Miller returning to direct the season-opening concert in October 2012.
- Palestrina: Music for the Christmas Season (1996)
- Mathurin Forestier:Missa Baises moy; Missa L'homme armé (1999)
- Go Down Moses: Tracing the Roots of the African-American Spiritual (2001)
- Holidays a cappella Live (2003)
- Eclectric (2005)
- Shall I Compare Thee?: Choral Songs on Shakespeare Texts (2005)
- Christmas a cappella: Songs From Around the World (2008)
- Days of Awe and Rejoicing: Radiant Gems of Jewish Music (2011)