To add a poetic physical tone to the concert, each singer and the musical director wore green shirts - the color representing grass, nature and growth.
I just returned from the first of the three final concerts which conclude the
Choir's 2009-2010 season. What a truly special way to recognize and revere our planet with this assortment of musical styles, eras and composers.
The premier was at The Unity Lutheran Church (1212 West Balmoral) in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago. All I really knew before this concert was that its 40- member ensemble would sing songs about Earth with a wide variety of themes from around the world. I had no idea how their musical voices would come together and engage the audience with a globally diverse collection of songs honoring our planet - from mountains and valleys to gardens and forests.
All I do know is that it worked beautifully and that I sat through the
performance mesmerized by the songs selected from many countries, including
England, Germany, Venezuela, Japan and North America. The event made me feel very fortunate and grateful to be part of this most wonderful, livable planet we often take for granted.
I enjoyed the exciting mix of songs including the music of Haydn, Brahms, and Vaughan Williams. The first half of the performance extolled the beauty and majesty of our earthly home while the second half presented a more cynical perspective of our human relationship with the planet.
The last three musical selections were familiar and upbeat as I secretly mouthed the words to "What a Wonderful World," "This Land (is my land)" and "Let There be Peace on Earth."
Timm Adams has been the artistic director of the Chicago Chamber Choir for ten of its 14-year history. As Adams explains, "the elements are such an integral part of each person's everyday life, and we sometimes take for granted their power and beauty." "We are thrilled to explore those songs and pay homage to our most trusted commodity," he added. The audience in this magnificent gem of a church, with windows lit full of blue mosaic religious themes, enjoyed each piece whether it was in English or another language. Music is universal as is the joy we receive from magnificent voices coming from these 40 men and women of all ages.
Founded in 1996, the Chicago Chamber Choir promotes the joy of choral music by offering seasonal concerts and charitable performances that educate and entertain children and adults in the Chicagoland area. The choir's repertoire is
culturally diverse and international in scope.
The Chicago Chamber Choir actively seeks venues which bring music to under-served individuals and communities, including inner city schools, retirement homes, homeless shelters and rehabilitation centers.
Artistic Director Timm Adams is also an Associate Professor of Music at Rockford
College. His busy life includes teaching private voice and music theory,
conducting three choirs, and musically directing the Performance Art Department's mainstage musicals.
The April 17 performance will be at 7:30 pm at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, 600 West Fullerton Parkway in Chicago. The last performance is on Sunday, April 18 at 3 pm at St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 1509 Ridge Avenue in Evanston.
Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $15 for students and groups of 10 or more.
Tickets and information are available at www.chicagochamberchoir.org or 312-409-6980.
There is also a Chicago Chamber Choir's new CD Hymns & Spirituals, available at all performances for $15 and also at www.chicagochamberchoir.org.
The best advice I can give you is "Go." Nature beckons.