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March 2011

ALAN WELLMAN TO CONDUCT NORTHWEST CHORAL SOCIETY IN THE LORD NELSON MASS ON MARCH 26

PARK RIDGE, IL, February 20, 2011 – The Northwest Choral Society, under the direction of conductor Alan Wellman, will present its spring concert on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Community Presbyterian Church in Mount Prospect, IL.

The concert, entitled “Triumph and Praise,” will feature the chorus, accompanied by a 22 piece orchestra, in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and other classical-era compositions.  Alan Heatherington is the concert master of the Northwest Choral Society Chamber Orchestra.   Lori Lyn Mackie will accompany the chorus on organ.

The Nelson Mass is arguably one of Haydn’s most powerful and inspiring works.  Written in 1798, it is one of six late masses written for the Esterhazy family and has been attributed to the celebration of England’s Lord Horatio Nelson for his defeat of Napoleon and his army during the Battle of the Nile.

Triumph and Praise is the second of three concerts the Northwest Choral Society performs each year.  Founded in 1965, the Northwest Choral Society is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the appreciation, understanding and performance of a wide variety of outstanding choral literature.  Its adult membership resides in Chicago and the northwest suburbs.

The chorus will feature soloists Kathleen Van De Graaff, soprano, Theresa Brancaccio, mezzo-soprano, Kurt Hansen, tenor, and Peter Van De Graaff, bass-baritone.  Mrs. Van De Graaff maintains a busy performing schedule in Chicago and around the globe and can be found on the Naxos music label.   Ms. Brancaccio and Mr. Hansen are on the voice faculty at Northwestern University.  Mr. Van De Graaff, when not performing, can be heard in the evening on WFMT, 98.7, Chicago’s classical music radio station.

A complimentary preconcert lecture and discussion of the music will be hosted by chorus member John Morrison at 6:45 p.m. at the church.

Tickets for the Triumph and Praise concert are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and may be obtained online atwww.nwchoralsociety.org, by calling 224 / 585-9127 or the day of the concert at the Community Presbyterian Church, 407 N. Main Street (IL Rt. 83), Mt. Prospect, IL 60056.

As an innovative conductor, Mr. Wellman has been responsible for the founding of one chorus, expanding and enhancing the vision of several community choruses, and collaborating with peers and colleagues for the benefit of music appreciation. He is on the faculty of The Catherine Cook School in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.   Professional experiences include Music Director for the Windy City Performing Arts choruses, Program Coordinator for the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, Director of Choral Activities for Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Director of Music for First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange, and Conductor and Founder of the Chicago Cross-Collegiate Chorale.

In addition, Mr. Wellman has sung professionally as a soloist and ensemble member in operatic and classical music productions by the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra, California Philharmonic, Roosevelt University, American Opera Group and DuPage Opera Theatre. He holds professional affiliations with the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), Chorus America and the Music Educator’s National Convention.

The Northwest Choral Society invites experienced singers to audition to join the organization.  Basses, tenors, altos and sopranos with previous choral experience and 17 years of age can obtain additional information about the Northwest Choral Society at www.nwchoralsociety.org.