NWCS INVITES PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS TO AUDITION

WELCOME TO MEET & GREET

Northwest Choral Society is pleased to announce two events for prospective members prior to the start of its 2019-20 season on September 10.  Auditions for new members will be held on Tuesday, August 20 and Wednesday, August 21 beginning each day at 7:30 p.m. at St. Raymond Catholic Church, at the corner of Lincoln Street and Elmhurst Avenue in Mount Prospect.

In addition, new and prospective members are invited to a casual social “Meet & Greet” on Tuesday, September 3 between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. at St. Raymond Catholic Church, 301 South I-Oka Avenue, Mount Prospect (different entrance than above).  

Prospective members must be 17 years of age and have previous four-part choral experience – high school, college, church or community group.   Please call 224-585-9127 for an audition appointment:  Plan to bring a short piece to sing at the audition; you also will be asked to sight read other music.

The “Meet and Greet” evening will include welcoming prospective members and refreshments.  Artistic Director Kevin Kelly will outline his plans for the chorus for the 2019-20 performance season, including the December 15 holiday concert featuring Ottorino Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem on March 22, 2020 and songs from the Great American Songbook on June 6.

Through the Northwest Choral Society, singers enjoy the personal growth and satisfaction that comes from active participation in a performing arts organization known for excellence and camaraderie.  During the year, members sharpen their singing skills and learn a varied repertoire of sacred and secular, classical and popular music that has become the hallmark of the group.

NWCS meets on Tuesdays from after Labor Day through the beginning of June in Arlington Heights at First Presbyterian Church from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.   Concerts are performed in venues in the greater Chicago area.  

The 2019-20 season will mark NWCS’s fifty-fourth year of performances. The small size of the chorus (approximately 40 members) means members will see familiar faces each week, and find the group friendly, supportive, and fun.  

For further information regarding the Northwest Choral Society, visit its website at www.nwchoralsociety.org  or call 224/585-9127.

                                              

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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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Northwest Choral Society Explores 'Celestial Songs' and Premieres Starlight at April 8 Concert

PARK RIDGE, IL, March 6, 2018 – It is rare that one has the opportunity to attend a choral concert that brings together three major themes. However, the Northwest Choral Society’s (“NWCS”) concert on Sunday, April 8 at 4:00 p.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines will feature these three premises: the premiere performance of a choral piece that it commissioned, all of the music on the concert program are “Celestial Songs,” and nearly all of the music was composed or arranged by artists alive today.

Carling FitzSimmons is the guest conductor for the April 8 concert.

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Northwest Choral Society's Plans for 2018

Northwest Choral Society is preparing for it’s April 8th concert, “Celestial Songs” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines. We welcome Carling FitzSimmons as our guest conductor. During this performance, NWCS will feature the premier of its commissioned piece Starlight by Thomas LaVoy. We know you will enjoy this new work. Also on the program will be his work Orbits.  In addition, Sure on This Shining Night by Lauridson, The heavens are telling by Haydn, Stars by Eriks Eišenvalds, Follow the Drinking Gourd by Vincente Chavarria and other pieces contributing to the theme of “Celestial Songs.”  It will be an afternoon of music to bring forth the glorious, divine, and ethereal feelings from mostly living composers.

Carling FitzSimmons is a conductor and soprano and a native of Oak Park. She received degrees in English and music from Kenyon College. She also is an arts educator at Merit School of Music and serves as artistic director of La Caccina, a professional women’s vocal ensemble that she founded in 2011. La Caccina’s next concert is “Open Book: Reprise” on Saturday, February 10th at Glenview Community Church.  Carling is the guest conductor for William Ferris Chorale and she conducted their Christmas performances of “In the Moon of Wintertime.” Their next concert will be May 5th.

NWCS’ search for a new artistic director is in the final phase.  Two candidates will direct the chorus for the June 2nd concert. Come see who our new artistic director might be.

Mark your calendar, put it on your phone:  Sunday, April 8th at 4:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church for “Celestial Songs.”  Enjoy an afternoon of beautiful and sublime music by this talented chorus.

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