Posts Tagged ‘WPCS


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!


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)


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.


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.


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!


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.


Official opinons: Get in holiday spirit with choral music

Ah, the hustle & bustle of the holiday season.  If you’re like me, now is the time to run frantically from one store to the next buying gifts, cook massive numbers of cookies and festoon your apartment with enough lights to rival the Chicago skyline.  For those of you who need a break from all this holiday madness or if you’re just looking to enjoy this special time of year, I urge you to check out the Wicker Park Choral Singers concert, Star of Wonder, this Saturday, December 4 at 3:00 p.m. at Wicker Park Lutheran Church OR Sunday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church.  Both performances are completely FREE and open to the public.

Wicker Park Choral Singers Presents Star of Wonder

Wicker Park Choral Singers Presents Star of Wonder

I’ve been a member of the WPCS almost since its inception in the spring of 2008.  Originally, a grassroots effort, WPCS has quickly become an established performing arts ensemble in the Chicagoland area with  approximately forty members who 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.

This year’s concert, Star of Wonder, explores the aspects of light and our innate human tendency to look up at the sky through pieces that highlight the Star of Bethlehem. Star of Wonder will unfold a luminous tale to audience members with a wide range of pieces, including The Three Kings by Healey Willan, There Shall a Star from Jacob by Felix Mendelssohn, O nata lux de lumine by Thomas Tallis, Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, and Gladsome Light from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers.

“Portraying the mystery and beauty of light is something that composers have tried to do throughout all of history, and our choir has the privilege of ringing in the holiday season by performing a rich sampling of these beautiful works,” says Mark Tomasino, WPCS President and Artistic Director.

For more information about the concerts, don’t hesitate to check out I hope you can make it out from fantastic choral music to celebrate the start of the holiday season.


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July 2020