'Midnight Mass' featured at Northwest Choral's Concert Dec. 2

PARK RIDGE, IL, November 6, 2018 – French baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s lively Messe de Minuit pour Noël (Midnight Mass for Christmas) will be featured at the Northwest Choral Society (“NWCS”) holiday concert, “Once, As I Remember: Old and New Music for Christmastime,” on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Raymond de Penafort Church in Mt. Prospect.

NWCS’s 53rd annual holiday concert also will include songs made popular by Elvis Presley, Indigo Girls, Mariah Carey, and Pentatonix, as well as other traditional and contemporary music.  The NWCS’s new Artistic Director Kevin Kelly will conduct the chorus and the nine-piece Northwest Choral Chamber Orchestra for the December 2 concert.  “For our first concert together, I have enjoyed working weekly with our singers the last few months, preparing what I think will be a beautiful program of Christmas music to showcase their considerable collective talent!” Mr. Kelly said after a recent rehearsal.

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Northwest Choral Society 2018-2019 (53rd) Concert Season

Once, As I Remember
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Christmas 4St. Raymond de Peñafort Church
Elmhurst Avenue & Lincoln Street, Mt. Prospect
3:30 p.m.        Pre-Concert Chat
4:00 p.m.         Concert
Our annual holiday concert features the Midnight Mass for Christmas by French baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Lively and tuneful, the music is based on old French Christmas carols, with vocal soloists, flutes, strings and organ. The remainder of the program ranges from 17th- and 18th-century carol settings to songs made popular by Elvis Presley, Indigo Girls, Mariah Carey, Pentatonix—with a Calypso-style spiritual and a new setting by Tom Shelton of the ancient carol “A Spotless Rose.”
If Music Be the Food of Love
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Immanuel Lutheran Church
200 N. Plum Grove Rd., Palatine
7:00 p.m.         Pre-Concert Chat
7:30 p.m.         Concert
with pianists Lori Lyn Mackie and Philip Seward

The Liebeslieder Waltzes—“Love Song Waltzes”—by Johannes Brahms headline this concert of love-inspired music by classical composers across the centuries, from madrigals and anthems of liturgical love to contemporary classics and poetic settings. Brahms’s settings of 18 love poems by George Daumer are essentially mini-Viennese waltzes in folk style, with voices accompanied by piano four-hands.

Cherish the Ladies
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Our Lady of the Brook
3700 Dundee Rd., Northbrook
7:00 p.m.         Pre-Concert Chat
7:30 p.m.         Concert

This delightful and varied program will showcase the signature songs by some of America’s great ladies of popular song—singers and singer-songwriters—from the early days of jazz to contemporary folk, country and pop. Expect songs that became hits for Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Carole King, The Wailin’ Jennys and so many more—including a brand-new arrangement made just for NWCS!

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NWCS Selects Kevin Kelly as Artistic Director

KevinKelly Web version


Northwest Choral Society (“NWCS”), the premier community-based choral group in the northwest Chicago suburbs, has named Kevin Kelly its Artistic Director.  Northwest Choral Society was founded in 1965, and Mr. Kelly will be NWCS’s fourth Artistic Director when the chorus begins rehearsals for its fifty-third season on September 4.

Mr. Kelly moved to the northwest Chicago suburbs in 2014, after 23 years living in Champaign-Urbana. In 1996, he founded a uniquely entertaining professional chamber orchestra called The Prairie Ensemble, with a mission to “make first-rate music fun, approachable and affordable.” Kevin has been honored three times by the Illinois Council of Orchestras for his work with the Ensemble: for Programming of the Year in 1999 and 2003 and for Meritorious Service in Orchestral Conducting in 2002. Since 1993, he has conducted the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra—the ICO’s Youth Orchestra of the Year in 1999—and Kevin continues to commute to Champaign for Sunday rehearsals. After 13 years as a classical music host at public radio station WILL-FM in Urbana, he served as host and producer of “Live and Local,” which featured interviews with, and frequent live performances by artists across many musical genres, theater and dance. In the fall of 2015, he became Artistic Director of the Allegro Community Chorus, a program of the Palatine Park District, and Conductor for the Lake County Núcleo of Sistema Ravinia, an outreach program of the Ravinia Festival.

Kevin’s work with choirs included 17 years as choirmaster at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in Champaign. As music director of The Prairie Ensemble, he conducted collaborative performances with the University of Illinois Concert Choir and Women’s Glee Club, Amasong, the Chorus of the Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana and the Central Illinois Children’s Chorus. He previously directed the Sangamon Valley Youth Orchestras in Springfield and the Illini Statesmen Barbershop Chorus in Champaign-Urbana, and he has been active in musical theater with the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company.

Kevin holds bachelor’s degrees in English and music history and criticism from Northwestern University, and master’s degrees in orchestral and choral conducting from the University of Illinois. He has sung with several Chicago-area choral ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, The City Musick, Basically Bach and His Majesties Clerkes (now Bella Voce). He has studied conducting with Kenneth Kiesler, Paul Vermel, Victor Yampolsky and Harold Farberman.

NWCS invites experienced singers from the greater Chicago area to audition to join the organization.  Throughout the chorus’ season (September through mid-June), a variety of sacred, secular, classical and popular music is prepared and performed at three concerts, and this repertoire has become a hallmark of the group.  Basses, tenors, altos and sopranos with previous choral experience and 17 years of age or older can obtain additional information about the Northwest Choral Society at www.nwchoralsociety.org.  


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Mission: Audition Featured at Northwest Choral's June 2 Concert

Selecting a new dynamic, knowledgeable and personable leader is a major undertaking for any organization. However, that is the enviable challenge facing the board of directors and the forty-five members of the Northwest Choral Society (“NWCS”) as they consider the finalists vying to become the next artist director of the chorus. Their concert on June 2, entitled “Mission: Audition”, will be a unique opportunity to both celebrate the rich tradition of NWCS’s contemporary American music repertoire and meet the two finalist candidates who have been chosen from a wide field of applicants interested in being the next artistic director of Northwest Choral Society.

NWCS’s final concert of the 2017-18 season on June 2 will be at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights at 7:30 p.m. Each of the two artistic director finalists, Kevin Kelly of Elgin and Guillermo Muñoz Küster of Chicago, have selected the concert music to be performed during one half of the program. They have rehearsed with and prepared the chorus on alternative Tuesday evenings for the last two and a half months, and will be present at the concert to conduct their respective part of the program.

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