Our 78th Season: 2013-2014
The theme of this season was "Heaven and Earth" because it took us to Heaven, brought us back to Earth, and returned us to Heaven! Music expresses what cannot be said solely with words and has the power to transform our lives. It is composed for all occasions – to worship, to celebrate love, to commemorate significant events, to rejoice in births and console mourners in death, and to prompt social change.
North Shore Choral Society Assistant Conductor Dr. Julia Brueck assisted Music Director Dr. Julia Davids in preparing for our concerts and other events this season. Members of the NSCS sang in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Community Concert under the baton of Riccardo Muti on September 18, 2013, and at BackStage Evanston on Sunday September 29, 2013. We also joined the Evanston Symphony Orchestra for their popular holiday program, An Evanston Symphony Christmas on December 8, 2013. The NSCS presented a Holiday Concert at Three Crowns Park Retirement Community in Evanston on Sunday, December 15, 2013.
On April 12, 2014, the public heard eight talented young finalists audition for the Donald Chen Young Artist Award, each accompanied by NSCS Accompanist Sharon Rich Peterson. Soprano Ashley Nicole Johnson won the opportunity to perform as a soloist with us in the 2014-2015 season.
Concert 1: Sunday November 17, 2013 3:00 p.m. • Glenview Community Church • 1000 Elm Street, Glenview, IL
"Rejoice! Festive Music for Chorus and Organ"
Julia Davids, Conductor
Glorious music for chorus and organ transported us to the great cathedrals of England, featuring virtuoso organist and Chicago favorite, David Schrader.
Music from diverse periods of history included the majestic I Was Glad by Sir Hubert Parry and the beautifully pastoral The Lord is My Shepherd by Howard Goodall. Benjamin Britten’s renowned Rejoice in the Lamb featured Donald Chen Young Artists Rachel Sparrow, soprano, and Elizabeth Jankowski, mezzo-soprano.
Other choral works included Ave Verum settings by William Byrd and Edward Elgar, Rejoice in the Lord Always by Henry Purcell, John Rutter’s magnificent Te Deum and works for solo organ chosen by Mr. Schrader.
Concert 2: Sunday April 6, 2014 3:00 p.m. • The Unitarian Church of Evanston • 1330 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL
Missa Gaia by the Paul Winter Consort
with special guests: the Evanston Children’s Choir, directed by Gary Geiger, and emerging Chicago gospel singer Felicia Patton.
The North Shore Choral Society and the Evanston Children’s Choir brought us back to earth with a rare opportunity to hear the Paul Winter Consort’s Missa Gaia/Earth Mass. The piece is an environmental liturgy of contemporary music, featuring choirs, a soloist, an instrumental ensemble of soprano saxophone, English horn, cello, piano, organ, percussion, and the recorded calls of wolves, whales, and loons, which celebrates the whole earth as a sacred place. Since 1985 the Earth Mass has been performed annually at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis and the blessing of animals.
We enjoyed the opportunity to sing this unique work, seldom performed in the Chicago area. Our performance also featured pianist Thomas Jefferson, members of the enidsmithdance company, and an exhibition of sculptures by Sharon Gilmore. In addition to the Missa Gaia concert, members of the North Shore Choral Society participated in ecology-related activities during the day on Saturday, April 5.
Concert 3: Sunday June 15, 2014 2:30 p.m. • Northwestern University's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall • 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL
The North Shore Choral Society joined the Evanston Symphony Orchestra for a heavenly season finale celebrating the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth with a performance of his glorious Requiem.
The triumphant composition features a full orchestra including eight trumpets and a powerful part for bass drum.
Soloists pictured at left:
Sarah Hibbard (soprano), Stacy Eckert (mezzo soprano),
Aaron K. Stegemöller (bass), and Eric Ashcraft (tenor)