The Chicago World Music Chorus was founded in 2013 as a Midwest offshoot of Vermont-based Village Harmony. Led by VH director Patty Cuyler and University of Chicago choral director Mollie Stone, the ensemble met for its initial five years in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. In 2018 we accepted a generous invitation from the University of Chicago to move our rehearsals to the campus's historic Fulton Hall, where we will once again rehearse this coming year after a too-long pandemic break of meeting online.
We are thrilled not just to resume full in-person rehearsals this season, but to welcome Lonnie Norwood—a passionate South Side educator of African American folk/sacred music—as a third co-director.
As in years past, we will be meeting one Sunday each month, from 1-4pm. Our first rehearsal of the 2022-23 season will be Sunday, October 9, 2022.
The innovative non-auditioned Chorus is open both to members of the University community and to any other interested adult or teen singer. We perform authentic choral music chosen from among the world’s most powerful harmony singing traditions, including repertoire from South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, Corsica, Bulgaria, Scandinavia, Latin America, the United States, Western Europe, and more.
Supplemental online materials will reinforce the live teaching for much of our repertoire, with individual voice parts recordings, performance samples, pronunciation tracks, word sheets, translations, scores and a generous variety of digital background resources to dive into.
Our singers historically include university students, retirees, teens, professional singers, choral directors, beginners, fluent sight-readers, and singers who only learn by ear. Participants do not need to sightread music fluently or have a lot of prior singing experience (although both of those attributes are welcome) to join. Singers do need to be able to match pitch, comfortably hold their own part when singing along with others in harmony, and have a can-do attitude when confronted with unfamiliar languages and singing styles.
Our rehearsals take place one Sunday per month from 1-4pm. The schedule for the 2022-23 season is as follows:
• October 9
• November 13
• December 11
• January 15
• February 12
• March 12
• April 16
• May 21 (rehearse 1-4pm, potluck 4:30-5:15pm, concert 5:30-6:15pm)
Tuition for the choir is $175 for the year. We have a self-selected reduced tuition of $125, and will further reduce tuition for anyone who requests it. While we'd appreciate full payment when you sign up, you may also register online to join us at the first rehearsal weekend on a trial basis.
Tuition to participate is waived for University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate students. We also offer an alternative tuition at $250, for those who wish to help sponsor the Chorus.
Given the still-prevalent transmission of covid-19, we will start the year singing masked, a policy with which we hope everyone will readily comply. While we also highly recommend that everyone also be fully vaccinated and boosted for their own protection, we will not be requiring proof of vaccination for choir members.