Chicago a cappella lights up Chicagoland with its 'Holidays a cappella' concert series

Natalia Dagenhart
Updated 11/29/2017 11:35 AM
  • This ensemble of ten professional singers is happy to announce its beloved "Holidays a cappella" concert series that will run at six Chicago-area venues. Chicago a cappella

    This ensemble of ten professional singers is happy to announce its beloved "Holidays a cappella" concert series that will run at six Chicago-area venues. Chicago a cappella

"The human voice was the first instrument and remains the most powerful and effective method of musical creation and emotional transference," said the 'a cappella guru' Deke Sharon. Members of Chicago a cappella prove this statement every day by demonstrating the power, the beauty, and the ability of the human voice to nurture, comfort and charm the human heart. This ensemble of ten professional singers is happy to announce its beloved "Holidays a cappella" concert series that will run at six Chicago-area venues with music direction by seasoned pop arranger and producer Paul Langford.

Founded in 1993 by talented composer, cantor, conductor, and producer Jonathan Miller, Chicago a cappella is a vocal ensemble known for its fun and innovative concerts. This group approaches its twenty-fifth anniversary season in 2018 and is happy to apply its wonderful history to its exciting future achievements. Each performance of these highly skilled singers is a musical gem full of various colors, emotions and feelings. Their professionalism and vocal virtuosity brought "Chicago a cappella" the reputation of being a leader in the choral field.

It became a good tradition for this great a cappella ensemble to delight its audience with an annual Holiday concert series. This year, Chicago a cappella will present familiar holiday songs in fresh new ways and will bring to the stage more audience favorites than ever. The group will bring an international flair to its musical celebration of the holiday season by mixing up beloved well-known carols, Christmas spirituals, and Chanukah melodies with the sounds of musical flavors from Mexico, Poland, Russia and many more.

Artistic Director Jonathan Miller notes, "Every December, Chicago a cappella offers an alternative to what people are likely to hear in malls, on elevators, and on the radio. Our holiday concerts contrast joyous carols with more reflective music, older favorites with very recent arrangements, and English lyrics with those in other languages, such as Polish, Spanish, and Hebrew. We like to think that our concert is a sort of oasis of beauty and stillness amidst the extra-frantic pace that holiday-time creates in our culture."

The group is honored to welcome Guest Music Director Paul Langford and to introduce his own arrangement of American folk group Peter, Paul & Mary's "Light One Candle". This special arrangement of this beautiful song, which honors the mysterious victory of Maccabees, their Godly spirit and special strength, will demonstrate all the shadows and depth of human voice and human soul. "Don't let the light go out! It's lasted for so many years! Don't let the light go out! Let it shine through our love and our tears," says the song, and Langford knows exactly how to make these words shine by waking up our feeling of freedom through the means of music.

Besides that, Chicago a cappella will present Langford's unique arrangement of five beloved carols, all heard in their Chicago premieres. Among them the arrangement of traditional English song "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", traditional Russian song "Carol of the Bells", Jester Hairston's song "Amen", and traditional English songs "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "Coventry Carol". Sure enough, the sparkling new arrangements and the gorgeous voices of the singers will make this concert series enchanting and unforgettable.

Another highlight of this concert program will be the U.S. premiere of "Gdy Sliczna Panna," composed by Pawel Lukaszewski, five-time Fryderyk winner (Polish equivalent of U.S. Grammy award). Recently, Chicago a cappella's Founder and Artistic Director Jonathan Miller traveled to Poland where he studied and engaged with Polish composers. He particularly met with Lukaszewski who currently serves as vice--rector and professor of composition at Fryderyk Chopin Academy in Warsaw. Lukaszewski is highly recognized in Europe, particularly in the UK, where several choral ensembles have commissioned him to write new works. Miller spent quite a bit of time with Lukaszewski discussing his compositions and is happy to feature his work "Gdy Sliczna Panna" in "Holidays a cappella".

Besides that, Chicago a cappella prepared a few more interesting musical discoveries that will create a special mood for this jolly holiday season. This accomplished and innovative vocal ensemble will bring joy and happiness to everyone who chooses to attend its "Holidays a cappella" concert series.

Performance dates and locations are: Friday, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. at Wentz Concert Hall on 171 E. Chicago Avenue in Naperville; Saturday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue at Delaware in Chicago (Gold Coast); Sunday, December 10 at 4:00 p.m. at First Unitarian Church on 5650 S. Woodlawn Avenue in Chicago (Hyde Park); Friday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall on 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston; Saturday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Clement Church on 642 W. Deming Place in Chicago (Lincoln Park); and Sunday, December 17 at 4:00 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church on 460 Lake Street in Oak Park. For tickets and information, please call 773-281-7820 or go to

Natalia Dagenhart

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