Elgin Master Chorale, Midwest Dance Collective to perform holiday favorites with ESO Dec. 9-10

D Handler
Updated 11/28/2017 4:49 PM
  • The Elgin Master Chorale and Midwest Dance Collective will accompany the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in the "Magical Holiday Concerts" Dec. 9-10.

    The Elgin Master Chorale and Midwest Dance Collective will accompany the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in the "Magical Holiday Concerts" Dec. 9-10. Courtesy of ESO

The Elgin Master Chorale and Midwest Dance Collective will perform holiday favorites with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way in Elgin.

The Elgin Master Chorale will sing "A Joyful Noel," "How Great Our Joy," "Christmas at Home," "For Unto Us A Child is Born" and more! The Midwest Dance Collective will perform the "Black Friday Shoppers Overture" to the "William Tell Overture," and "Parade of the Wooden Soldier."

Resident conductor Stephen Squires leads the program, which also features soprano Leila Bowie and tenor Joe Shadday. The Magical Holiday concerts include an appearance by a very special visitor from the North Pole and an audience sing along. There is valet service or convenient free parking. For tickets, which are only $30-$50, visit ElginSymphony.org or call (847) 888-4000.

A cultural cornerstone of Elgin and the Fox Valley, the Elgin Master Chorale creates a thrilling, emotional experience for audiences at each performance by achieving an overall level of excellence in singing, presentation and production. Under the direction of Maestro Andrew Lewis, the Elgin Master Chorale is comprised of nearly 100 volunteer singers from across the Fox Valley. Far from a solitary organization, it creates collaborations with performing arts organizations that elevate and energize the entire community.

In 1947, local musician Dean Chipman had a vision of creating a large vocal ensemble to perform Brahms' famed "German Requiem." His dream became reality when 192 singers from over 15 local choirs joined together to give voice to this grand work. The premiere took place on May 7, 1948 at the First Congregational Church of Elgin. Frank Kratky directed the performance accompanied by two pianos. The house was full, the audience enthusiastic, and the largest vocal group in the Fox Valley, the Elgin Choral Union, was underway.

Incorporated as a nonprofit in 1966, the organization changed its name to Elgin Master Chorale in 2014. In residence at Elgin Community College, the Elgin Master Chorale presents several concerts per year at the Blizzard Theatre at the college, as well as the Hemmens Cultural Center and other locations in the Chicago area.

The Midwest Dance Collective, under the direction of Ellen Werksman, is proud to return for their annual performance with ESO. The company is a diverse collection of dancers from various dance studios, colleges, and college graduates. It creates unique opportunities for these artists which include concert performances, lectures and demonstrations, guest appearances, volunteer work for various charities and scholarships for dancers. Our philosophy of welcoming dancers from many surrounding areas allows for students to maintain studies at their home studios while enriching their dance education. MDC provides professional training where each dancer learns to succeed in a company environment. Highlighting their 15 years of dance are performances with Ruth Page Foundation/Dance Legacy Project, Operation North Pole, Dance Chicago, Ballet Legere, Columbia College, University of Minnesota, and Panama City Arts Alive. For more information, visit Dancewerks.com.

Stephen Squires is a musician with a career that blends his passions for conducting, teaching, and performing. He received his musical training at the Preparatory School of the Eastman School of Music and the Crane School of Music, in his home state of New York. Mr. Squires earned his Master's degree in Instrumental Conducting/Trumpet Performance at California State University, Northridge. Further conducting studies were with Helmuth Rilling, Maurice Abravanel, Daniel Lewis, Tsung Yeh, and at the Aspen Music Festival. Squires is professor of conducting in the Music Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. His current professional appointments include Resident Conductor of the Elgin (IL) Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Rockford, IL), Music Director of the Millar Brass (Evanston, IL), and Music Director of the Illinois Brass Band (Arlington Heights, IL). In addition, he is an accomplished recital accompanist, freelance trumpeter, and frequent guest conductor at educational festivals throughout the country.

Now in its 67th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented four times -- in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016 -- from the Illinois Council of Orchestras. The ESO strives to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the region.

Before concerts, area musicians often perform in the lobby, and patrons can buy drinks at the bar and purchase gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique. Preconcert chats are given by Music Director Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before most performances, and Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to Mingle with the Musicians at area restaurants. In addition, free Listeners Club discussions presented by music historian Jim Kendros are offered in Geneva and Elgin on Wednesdays before ESO Classics Series concert weekends. Flex passes are available for purchase so that you can choose your concerts at a later date based on your own schedule. And if a patron can't make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is a world-class orchestra providing quality musical explorations that are entertaining, hassle-free and conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs.

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