Director Jonathan Miller leads the virtuoso vocal ensemble Chicago a cappella in an inspiring show of choral music set to Chanukah texts. The program includes familiar tunes as well as new versions of traditional melodies and original compositions by American and British composers.
Works include "Lo Yisa Goy," a plea for peace by Stacy Garrop; Bob Applebaum's stirring new version of "Haneirot Halalu"; and movements from the majestic "Hallel Suite" by London-based Daniel Tunkel. Other familiar tunes include "I Have a Little Dreidel" (both in its original Yiddish form and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting), a swing version of "S'vivon" by Steve Barnett, and a lively setting of the traditional melody for "Al-Hanissim" ("For the Miracles") by Elliot Levine. The vocal ensemble, now in its 23rd season, provides liturgical and cultural background as part of this unique look inside old and newer choral Chanukah traditions.
An ensemble of professional singers founded in 1993 by Jonathan Miller (right), Chicago a cappella presents an annual Chicago-area subscription series, creates studio recordings as well as live and broadcast-media musical content, produces educational outreach programming, and gives performances on tour and in special engagements. Long recognized for vocal virtuosity and innovative programming, the ensemble enjoys a reputation as a leader in the choral field.
With more than 350 performances to its credit, Chicago a cappella has produced more than 200 concerts on its Chicago-based series. On tour, the group has appeared in 13 American states and in Mexico. The ensemble has been heard frequently on WFMT radio and through broadcasts distributed by American Public Media, including the nationally-syndicated Performance Today. The ensemble has produced nine CD recordings of music ranging from Renaissance masses to contemporary works.