Palatine chorus delves into 'Great American Songbook'

Allegro Community Chorus will present "Come On And Hear! Songs From the Great American Songbook" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood St., Palatine.

Tickets are $11 both in advance and at the door. A livestream ticket will also be available for $5, so you can enjoy the concert from the comfort of your home.

To purchase tickets, visit or call (847) 202-5222. Additional fees may apply for online purchases.

Allegro Community Chorus' spring concert will present a collection of songs from the Great American Songbook, with special guest host Michael Lasser.

Broadcaster, teacher, theater critic, lecturer, writer and Peabody Award-winner, Lasser hosted a popular weekly broadcast that one listener described as "radio essays with songs used as illustrations."

Lasser has dedicated more than four decades of his life focusing on the Great American Songbook, much of which was discussed on his national radio show "Fascinatin' Rhythm," which earned him a Peabody Award in 1994.

Because of his expertise, Lasser is the perfect guest host for a concert revolving around popular music from 1920-1950. Lasser will be able to offer a unique perspective and paint a picture of context and emotion that the music will only accentuate.

Allegro Community Chorus was founded in 2003 as a program of Palatine Park District. Since its inception, the chorus has grown to include more than 40 singers and welcomes adults of all ages who love to sing, regardless of experience.

Under the artistic direction of Kevin Kelly since September 2015, the chorus aims to build in size and quality of sound, while retaining its joyful spirit.

"Michael has a vast knowledge of American song, especially before 1950, and he talks about it with great affection and good humor," said Kelly.

"Allegro has dabbled in this repertoire over the years, but Michael's appearance gives us a great chance to explore it more deeply and challenge ourselves with its often jazzy rhythms and harmonies. These songs represent an important part of our national musical history, and many in our audience will find them both familiar and nostalgic.

"Michael's commentary will help enliven the program with fascinating and often funny details of each song."

All are welcome to join the upcoming summer Allegro Community Chorus session. The choir meets from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, May 29-July 31, at the Palatine Park District Community Center, 250 E. Wood St. Experienced singers and those with limited choral experience are welcome. No audition is required.

"Kevin is always sure to give specific, positive feedback to the members of the choir," said a veteran chorus member. "He does a great job of working with all levels of musical ability and makes everyone feel comfortable throughout rehearsal."

For information, contact Palatine Park District Cultural Arts Coordinator Lisa Swan at (847) 496-6237 or, or visit

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.