It’s the kind of music that affects you in a way that’s more than just moving to the beat. This is music that can be felt in your bones; it makes your heart beat stronger, and you have no choice but to feel a part of it. But part of it isn’t the music at all. It’s the singers that make the Chicago Children’s Choir so unique and special.
Chicago Children's Choir — Photo courtesy of Chicago Children's Choir
The singers are truly representative of Chicago's cultural thread. They are not chosen to participate. Rather, any child in third grade and up, from any part of the city, can audition to be part of one of the Choir’s nine neighborhood choir programs.
“Singers enter our programs at varying levels of ability and participate in rigorous rehearsal schedules to improve both as individuals and as an ensemble,” says Josephine Lee, president and artistic director of the Chicago Children’s Choir.
As the children progress, they have the opportunity to move up within the organization, participating in more advanced ensembles.
Chicago may be a city of neighborhoods, but it’s very possible for a child from one part of the city to never come in contact with a child from another part of the city. This is one of the reasons the Chicago Children’s Choir is so special.
“At its core, Chicago Children’s Choir’s mission is to bring these people together, breaking down all the barriers we put between each other on a daily basis – racial, religious, socioeconomic or otherwise,” adds Lee. “What our singers discover is that no matter how different they are, music unites them, and they get the chance to learn from one another and create beautiful art together.”
Creating beautiful art together is an understatement. United, the choir elevates the music into something dream-like. Most in the audience who have never heard the Choir perform are unprepared for the thunderous voices that these kids belt out.
Chicago Children's Choir caroling at Cloud Gate — Photo courtesy of Chicago Children's Choir
In 2014, locals and visitors have the opportunity to hear the world-renowned Chicago Children’s Choir at some of the city’s most iconic and historic concert halls, theaters and public spaces, including the following locations:
World Music Festival
Saturday, Feb. 1, at 3:30 p.m. - Athenaeum Theatre
Chicago Children’s Choir singers spend the day learning about the rich and diverse musical traditions of various countries. The day will culminate in a concert featuring the Neighborhood Choirs, DiMension, Voice of Chicago and special guests Children of Uganda.
Black History Month Concert Series
Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 24-26, at 11 a.m. - Navy Pier
This annual concert series takes place over three days, bringing together all 65 of Chicago Children’s Choir’s In-School Choir Programs and celebrating Black history in the United States.
Dancing in the Street: A Celebration of Freedom
Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. - Harris Theater for Music and Dance
Martha and the Vandellas’s “Dancing in the Street” serves as the centerpiece of the Voice of Chicago’s spring concert, exploring the pain of inequality, the struggle for justice and the joy of freedom as viewed through two lenses: the American Civil Rights Movement and the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement.
Paint the Town Red
Thursday, May 22, at 11 a.m. - Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park
Experience the power of 3,500 Chicago Children’s Choir singers in an annual celebration. This event features singers from the Choir’s 65 in-school programs, nine neighborhood choirs, DiMension and the world-renowned Voice of Chicago.