Posts Tagged ‘Wicker Park Choral Singers

17
Dec
12

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 OurUrbanTimes.com 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!
Rachel

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05
Dec
12

Official opinions: WPCS- Chicago’s choir. Your choir. Our concert

Everyone knows that the holiday season would just not be the same without music. This Saturday, December 8 at 3 p.m. the Wicker Park Choral Singers deliver fun, high-quality choral music in their upcoming winter concert “It Takes a Village.” This performance will take place at Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1502 N. Hoyne Ave., Chicago, and as always, the concert is free and open to the public.

As the Nigerian Igbo proverb says, “Ora na-azu nwa,” which translates to, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Join WPCS for international folk songs, modern compositions, and holiday arrangements all relating to the theme of community. Featured works include “The Promise of Living” (Copland); “Walk Together Children” (Hogan); Haitian “Twa Tanbou” (Guillaume), and Kenyan “Wana Baraka” (Kirchner).

Garfield Park's "Voices of the Season"

Garfield Park Conservatory’s “Voices of the Season”

“Five years ago, WPCS began as a community dedicated to the appreciation and performance of choral music,” said Mark Tomasino, president and artistic director of WPCS. “It took the dedication of each member in this community — this village — to grow WPCS into what it is today. The strength of the organization and the refinement of its artistic merit has never been more evident than in this season’s repertoire.”

Here are a couple of sneak peaks of Saturday’s holiday program, including the song serving as inspiration for its theme, “It Takes a Village” by Joan Szymko.

“Noel Ayisyen” (Haitian Noel)

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Caroling at the Garfield Park Conservatory

WPCS already kicked off its holiday festivities at Garfield Park Conservatory‘s “Voices of the Season” program this past Sunday.  In addition to their two live performances in December, WPCS has been invited to perform on Live from WFMT, the acclaimed weekly concert series produced and aired on 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s preeminent classical music station. Tune in to the FM station on Monday, December 10 at 8 p.m. to listen to this special recital.

Want to learn more about WPCS? Click here for an entertaining account of the group’s history.

30
Nov
12

Official Opinions: Chicago is your home for the holidays

Chicago hosts so many holiday events throughout November and December it’s hard to choose which ones to attend. Here at Stitely we once again combed through tons of seasonal events and recommends these as some of the best.

  • For a fun day appropriate for all ages head over to Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest. This indoor winter playground includes an indoor ice-skating arena, rides, obstacle courses and a huge Ferris wheel. Not your thing? Then hide from the winter winds and watch the festive band performances throughout the day. It’s impossible to be a Scrooge at this indoor winter wonderland. (By the way, did I mention it’s indoors?!)
  • For merry melodies check out the upcoming Voices of the Season at the Garfield Park Conservatory on December 2nd. Celebrate the season by enjoying the melodies of various choral groups throughout the Conservatory. One group stands out from the others though, our very own Rachel sings with the Wicker Park Choral Singers who will happen to be participating in the event and its FREE; you have to love that. Come enjoy the music as well as some refreshments and holiday activities.
  • One of my favorite childhood memories is driving through nearby suburban neighborhoods to “ohhhhh” and “ahhhh” at the colorful lights.  Why not bring this experience to Chicago? Hop on the “Holiday Lights Tour” with the Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. to see the beautiful holiday lights of Chicago. Sights include Macy’s holiday windows on State Street, the Daley Plaza tree, Buckingham Fountain and many more.  Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance and check the weather so you know how to stay cozy on the ride!
  • Want to check out some more beautiful lights but don’t want to spend any money to do so? Why don’t you head over to the Lincoln Park Zoo to experience the entire Zoo light up for the holiday season. Check out the animals but also get the mesmerizing lights that make the holiday season memorable. The lights turn on from 5-9pm and Santa is there to take photos with. Besides that though the zoo is offering new 3-D displays, live ice carvings every night and a musical light show. It’s fun for the whole family you won’t want to miss it!
  • While it’s wonderful to be with family during the holidays, there are always those hysterical, awkward, I-CAN’T-BELIEVE-YOU-JUST-DID-THAT moments. This year Second City celebrates these weird holiday experiences with its “Nutcracking Holiday Revue” show. Showcasing a variety of skits along with improv and songs, this show is going to be a hit!  Performances run until December 31st so get your tickets now.

We hope you have a very happy holiday season. Now get out there and enjoy it!

20
Jun
12

official opinions: stitely staff sings (and plays guitar)

Unsurprisingly, most of the Stitely staffers are musicians who sing & play on their off hours. This week Chicago is lucky enough to be graced with two shows featuring the talents of Stitely employees and interns.

If you’re free tonight, come check our Planning & Sound Intern, Morgan Haner, and his band Cavepainters, at Uncommon Ground on Devon at 9:30 p.m. Margaret Potts of DePaul University Honors says Morgan Haner Music “…is bright, experimental, and witty, with lyrics pertaining to current social justice issues such as the ongoing war in Iraq and different public policies around the nation. His style resembles his personal inspirations: Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Listening to Haner, I had the privilege to witness what may be the first unveiling of a strong musical voice.”

Cover is only $5 but Uncommon Ground fills up fast! Call 773-465-9801 to reserve your spot. Morgan’s brand new solo album, “War and Cocaine,” is available for download or you can buy it at the show tonight.

For music of a different flavor, try 60 Degrees North, the Wicker Park Choral Singers concert this Saturday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Vincent DePaul Church (1010 W. Webster Ave, Chicago, IL). Rachel has been singing with this community ensemble since its inception in 2008 and says this concert’s program is its most ambitious yet. 60 Degrees North features the music from countries located on or near the titular latitudinal line  including: Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, and Canada.

“I was drawn to the music of these northern countries because each has a strong and enviable choral tradition,” says WPCS Artistic Director Mark Tomasino. “That tradition is rooted in a great emphasis on social identification through singing which has resulted in tremendous musical participation and output for countries of such modest populations.”

The performance is free and open to the public. The concert program runs about 90 minutes and will be followed by a reception where attendees are invited to enjoy thematically appropriate food provided by Stone Root Catering.

30
Mar
12

official opinions: Choose your own choral adventure!

April 21 will mark a new day in the history of classical and choral entertainment in Chicago. In an effort to collaborate with Chicago artists while raising funds for the 2012 season, Chicago’s best neighborhood choir, the Wicker Park Choral Singers, is holding an interactive event with a new twist. Held at the Jackson Junge Gallery in Wicker Park, WPCS’s Choose Your Own Adventure Fundraiser is completely unique in how it allows attendees to vote for the choral music they want to hear. In between mingling with the guests, the choir will perform short 30 second teasers of a variety of pieces throughout the evening, while attendees, using their tokens, vote for the snippets they like. The songs that receive the most tokens will be performed at the end of the evening. So put on your classiest cocktail outfit and come out to support the arts by attending this fun evening of song!

For only $30 you can attend, enjoy complimentary appetizers and drinks, and vote for two pieces. But if you spring for the $50 Adventurer ticket, you get all this, plus an additional 13 voting tokens AND the undying gratitude of a Chicago arts institution. What are you waiting for? Space is limited and tickets are going FAST! Click here to purchase your tickets for what’s sure to be a fun and unique affair!

09
Dec
11

Official Opinions: Chicago’s your home for the holidays

Chicago hosts so many holiday events throughout November and December it’s hard to choose which ones to attend. So with fun as her top priority, Brynne, Stitely’s super-intern, combed through tons of seasonal events and recommends these as some of the best.

  • For a fun day appropriate for all ages head over to Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest. This indoor winter playground includes an indoor ice-skating arena, rides, obstacle courses and a huge Ferris wheel. Not your thing? Then hide from the winter winds and watch the festive band performances throughout the day. It’s impossible to be a Scrooge at this indoor winter wonderland. (By the way, did I mention it’s indoors?!)
  • For merry melodies check out the upcoming Wicker Park Choral Singers concerts.  Saturday’s performance is in Wicker Park and the Sunday show is out in Northbrook. WPCS will be reprising their program on Friday, 12/16 with a concert at Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Ave at noon.  Come by to hear some gorgeous holiday music then head on down the Magnificent Mile to finish up your shopping. Friday afternoon WPCS is also participating in the “Caroling at Cloud Gate” series. This free program in front of “The Bean” showcases Chicago choral groups and invites visitors to participate in a holiday sing-along.“Each Friday night, hundreds of singers gather for a magical evening of music right in the heart of downtown Chicago in Millennium Park,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “This cherished tradition is a perfect start to the weekend before heading off to the neighborhoods with family and friends.”
  • One of my favorite childhood memories is driving through nearby suburban neighborhoods to “ohhhhh” and “ahhhh” at the colorful lights.  Why not bring this experience to Chicago? Hop on the “Holiday Lights Tour” with the Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. to see the beautiful holiday lights of Chicago. Sights include Macy’s holiday windows on State Street, the Daley Plaza tree, Buckingham Fountain and many more.  Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance and check the weather so you know how to stay cozy on the ride!
  • While it’s wonderful to be with family during the holidays, there are always hysterical, awkward, I-CAN’T-BELIEVE-YOU-JUST-DID-THAT moments. This year Second City celebrates these weird holiday experiences with its “Dysfunctional Holiday Revue” show. Showcasing a variety of skits along with improv and songs, this show is going to be a hit!  Performances run until January 1st so get your tickets now.

We hope you have a very happy holiday season. Now get out there and enjoy it!

Cheers,
Brynne

07
Dec
11

official opinions: Eat, Drink and Be Merry with WPCS

Ah, the hustle & bustle of the holiday season.  If you’re like me, you’re already exhausted with 2011 and just want to relax with a cup of warm cider and enjoy the holidays.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or just want to do something fun, take a break from the madness and check out the FREE Wicker Park Choral Singers concerts this weekend.

Wicker Park Choral Singers begins its fourth season with a series of free concerts of Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – a choral celebration of the holiday season featuring a musical stew of gastronomically-inspired works. “The holiday season is a time for sharing food, drink, and joy with one’s family and friends, and we are hoping to capture the essence of this with our concert program,” says WPCS Artistic Director Mark Tomasino. Selections include seasonally-appropriate pieces by Gustav Holst, Anton Bruckner, and Orlando di Lasso among others. “We are especially thrilled to be premiering Sir Loin, The Noble, a work by the up and coming composer Edward F. Davis.”

All three performances are free and open to the public. In the spirit of our food and drink theme, WPCS is partnering with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We encourage all attendees to bring non-perishable food items to the performances in an effort to help the organization fight hunger in Chicago.  The concert program runs about an hour and will be followed by a reception where attendees are invited to continue the eating, drinking, and merriment along with the performers, including Stitely Staffer, Rachel Mikolajczyk.
Concert Details:

  • Saturday, December 10 at 3:00 p.m. at Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1502 N. Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL,
  • Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. at Our Lady of the Brook, 3700 N. Dundee Rd, Northbrook, IL
  • Friday, December 16 at 12:00 p.m. at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St, Chicago, IL

About Wicker Park Choral Singers
Wicker Park Choral Singers has quickly grown from a grassroots effort in the spring of 2008 to an established performing arts ensemble in the Chicagoland area. Its approximately forty members are passionate about making world-class choral music accessible to the community, and are committed to producing concerts that are free and open to the public. With repertoire ranging from Renaissance motets to contemporary works of today’s foremost composers, WPCS aims to provide something to excite and engage each and every audience member.




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