2011-12 Psalms and Songs

PARK RIDGE, IL, February 18, 2012 – The Northwest Choral Society (“NWCS”), under the direction of artistic director Alan Wellman, will present its spring concert on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Mt. Prospect, IL.

The concert, entitled “Psalms and Songs,” will feature musical selections inspired by the words of the Book of Psalms.   Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" is the featured work on this concert.  Jean-Philippe Rameau's rarely performed grand motet, "Quam dilecta in tabernacula," a musical representation of the familiar "How lovely is Thy dwelling place" text, will open the concert followed by Brahms' setting of the same text from his "Requiem." 

The Dolce Strings, a Chicago-based string quartet, and harpist Cathy Litaker will accompany the chorus, in addition to NWCS’s collaborative pianist Lori Lyn Mackie.

The music of “Chichester Psalms” incorporates six different psalms (nos. 100, 23, 131, 108, 2, and 133) in the classical style elements of Bernstein's beloved jazz, blues and Broadway music.  In commissioning the piece, the Dean of the Cathedral at Chichester (Sussex, England) had indicated that it would not be a bad thing if the Bernstein of “West Side Story” made his presence felt.  Bernstein duly obliged, with excerpts of music he originally had written for his 1957 musical (though they were dropped during the pre-Broadway tryouts).

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. 

“Psalms and Song,” 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. 

Tickets for the “Psalms and Songs” concert are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and may be obtained online at www.nwchoralsociety.org, by calling 224 / 585-9127 or the day of the concert at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 605 West Golf Road, Mt. Prospect, IL.

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. 

NWCS pianist Lori Lyn Mackie is from Michigan, and now lives in the Chicago area.  She has studied at Interlochen, the Bay View Conservatory, the Blossom Festival School and the Koninklijk vlaams Musiekconservatorium van Antwerpen, Belgium. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Piano Performance and German from Albion College and a Master Degree in Piano Performance/Chamber Music/ Accompanying from Northwestern University.  Ms Mackie was featured in 1991, 1993, 1999 and 2008 as piano soloist with the NWCS chorus and orchestra.  She is currently director of music at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Burbank, IL and is pianist for Anshe Tikvah in Arlington Heights.

Harpist Cathy Litaker is a regular member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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.  

Caption:

The Northwest Choral Society presents a concert in 2011, accompanied by orchestra.

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