Chicago a cappella Announces 2020-2021 Season

Chicago a cappella

Chicago a cappella is pleased to announce its 28th season, the first under the direction of new artistic director John William Trotter, featuring four exciting and thought-provoking concerts performed, as always, by the ensemble’s 10 outstanding vocalists. The four concerts are:

  • Studs Terkel: Music to Our Ears — Oct. 17-24
  • Holidays a cappella — Dec. 4-13
  • A La Mode: The Power of Musical Modality — Jan. 30-Feb. 6
  • Swing, Swing, Swing: Music of the Big Band Era — April 16-25

One of the highlights of the group’s upcoming season is “Studs Terkel: Music to Our Ears,” created by Kathyn Kamp and directed by John William Trotter, which was generated in partnership with the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History at the Chicago History Museum. This innovative concert will include songs inspired by conversations that beloved Chicago historian Studs Terkel had throughout his career. With archival audio of Studs and his guests guiding the way, audiences willear music based on his unforgettable dialogues, from classical and opera, to jazz, gospel, folk and contemporary songs.

In addition, the Studs Terkel concert will feature a world premiere of a new choral work by acclaimed jazz and classical composer Patrick Zimmerli, set to the text of Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago.” The piece is part of Zimmerli’s “Views of Chicago” project, in which he is writing original works for nine different Chicago-based performing arts groups, including Chicago a cappella, eighth blackbird, Lincoln Trio, Geof Bradfield Nonet and others. Plans for the project also call for a final concert, where each group will perform its selection, and then perform a tenth new work, written for all the groups playing together. Dates for the final group concert have not yet been announced. 

The other Chicago a cappella concerts that make up this year’s season are also sure to delight audiences who love a wide range of vocal music, from classical to jazz, pop, swing and more.

Holidays a cappella, created by ensemble member Joe Labozetta and directed by Paul Nicholson,  is an energetic program featuring rare choral treasures from Norway, the Republic of Georgia, Puerto Rico and more plus new takes on holiday favorites such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

In A La Mode, created and directed by John William Trotter, audiences will delve into sound worlds both familiar and exotic, and discover how mood, color, and character shift as they travel through the musical modes. This concert will include songs with a variety of tonal palettes, such as ancient melodies and sea chants, medieval hymns and Renaissance motets, beloved folk songs and jazz classics. From Bruckner to the Beatles, from Schütz to “Sweet Home Alabama,” the program will convey the power of modality in unexpected ways at this rousing musical event.

And in Swing, Swing, Swing, audiences will get to travel back to the age of zoot suits and the Lindy hop, as Chicago a cappella’s singers take on the irresistible rhythms and sentimental ballads of the 1930s and ’40s, including great songs by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and more, in exciting new arrangements made just for Chicago a cappella.

Performances will be held at nine different venues in Chicago, Evanston, Lake Forest, Naperville, and Oak Park, including at four new venues for the organization — the Chicago History Museum, St. Josephat Church in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Allen Recital Hall at DePaul University, and the Epiphany Center for the Arts at the edge of Chicago’s West Loop.

Season subscriptions are on sale now. This year, Chicago a cappella is offering three different subscription options: a four-concert package, a three-concert package, and a new Flex Pass, which gives audiences the option of purchasing for four passes that can be redeemed at any point during the season, so patrons don’t have to select their concert dates in advance.

Individual tickets for all shows are $45 for preferred seating, $35 for general seating, $32 for general seating for seniors, and $20 for general seating for people under age 35. There is a $2 fee for buying tickets at the door. Single tickets are scheduled to go on sale Aug. 1. 

2020-2021 Season

Studs Terkel: Music to Our Ears
Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. — Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park
Sunday, Oct. 18 at23 p.m. — Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago
Friday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m. — Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
Saturday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m. — Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Holidays a cappella
Friday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. — Fourth Presbyterian Church, 155 E. Delaware Place, Chicago
Saturday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m. — Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
Sunday, Dec. 6, 4 p.m. — Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park
Friday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m. — Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. — Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E Westminster Ave., Lake Forest
Sunday, Dec. 13, 4 p.m. — St. Josephat Church, 2331 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

A La Mode: The Power of Musical Modality
Saturday, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. — Allen Recital Hall/DePaul University, 2330 N. Halsted St., Chicago
Sunday, Jan. 31, 4 p.m. — Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park
Friday, Feb. 5, 8 p.m. — Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
Saturday, Feb. 6, 8 p.m. — Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Swing Swing Swing: Music of the Big Band Era
Friday, April 16, 8 p.m. — Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
Sunday, April 18, 4 p.m. — Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park
Saturday, April 24, 8 p.m. — Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
Sunday, April 25, 4 p.m. — Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago

 

Chicago a cappella

Chicago a cappella is one of the area’s most accomplished and innovative vocal ensembles. Spanning a repertoire from Gregorian chant to the Beatles and beyond, the group’s vocal virtuosity and eclectic programs have earned a reputation for leadership in the choral field.  Founded in 1993, the 10-voice ensemble has been heard frequently on radio and has produced nine CD recordings, including releases on the Cedille, Centaur, and Gothic labels. Chicago a cappella has been hailed as “the area’s best unaccompanied group” (Chicago Magazine) and “the city’s liveliest, most versatile vocal ensemble” (Chicago Tribune)