Posts Tagged ‘chicago choirs


official opinions: Happy Haitian Holidays!

On Saturday December 8 my choir (“Chicago’s choir”), the Wicker Park Choral Singers, debuted our holiday concert, It Takes A Village. While the whole program was filled with fantastic music, two of my favorite songs to sing were by Haitian composers. Written in Creole, these songs incorporated a number of percussive elements derived from the sounds of traditional Haitian instruments, syncopated rhythms, and A LOT of multicultural flair. Here’s a nice write-up from about Saturday’s performance and click here for program notes to give you more info about the pieces. Check out the concert recordings below and enjoy!

“Twa Tanbou” by Sydney Guillaume

“Noel Ayisyen” by Emile Desamours

Cheers and Happy Holidays!


Guest Star: The Lakeside Singers

Just like the Stitely Renaissance man Andrew Distel, The Lakeside Singers is one of Chicago’s most musically-diverse choral groups.  With the motto of “Celebrating music from Renaissance to Rock,”  these performers combine a lot of different styles to create a musical melting pot unlike any other in Chicago.  Founded in the fall of 1999, The Lakeside Singers are “dedicated to bridging the worlds of classical and popular choral music by presenting a wide range of musical styles— including cross-cultural, classical literature from around the world as well as stylistically authentic arrangements of jazz, gospel, rock, folk, R&B and other popular genres.” Each of their concerts begins with classical music followed by popular songs often performed with a live band.  An audience sing-along is also a standard concert feature.

Stitely musician Andy Distel is one of the 25 professional singers, composers and arrangers from Chicagoland that make up this unique group.  Half of the ensemble have the majority of their performing experience in the classical choral world, and the other half in non-classical styles.  Individually, they have performed in TV & radio commercials, Broadway shows & operas, film scores and classical & popular concerts across the country. Throughout their 12 years of performances the ensemble has demonstrated mutual respect for its members’ differing skills while delivering the highest level of musicality no matter the style.  The Lakeside Singers’ diverse musical offerings allow their audience, as well as their ensemble members, the opportunity to indulge their individual musical tastes while acquiring an appreciation of other styles.

The ensemble is also active in their community with their outreach program called Kids on Track. In this program the singers go into Chicago area public schools to work with the staff and kids on one classical and one popular piece of music.  After three or four rehearsals conducted by an ensemble member students are taken to a professional recording studio where they record the pieces with professional instrumentalists. After the recording session, a completed CD is given to each student. The program culminates in a performance with the ensemble.

If you’re interested in checking out an upcoming concert, their first holiday event is happening on Friday December 2, at Nichols Hall in the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston.

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July 2020