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A Community of People
Since its inception in 1936, the North Shore Choral Society (NSCS) has grown to combine 120 voices in what is the preeminent mixed chorus on the North Shore. Over the years, it evolved from programming shorter works to presenting major choral compositions such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Brahms’ German Requiem.
The ESO and the NSCS first performed together in May 1978. The chorus performed “Spring” from Haydn’s The Seasons and Beethoven’s Fantasia in C Minor for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra. The relationship blossomed into six regular-season concerts over 14 years and since 2011, ten holiday concerts that Evanston and surrounding communities have grown to cherish.
Orchestra members love the collaboration. Violinist Cheryl Haack says, "When we play with Northshore Choral Society it is usually because it is a big piece and an exciting sound. It’s really thrilling to play with them."
“Human voices coming together is one of the most moving forms of artistic expression,” says Penelope Sachs, violist. “When we play with the choral society, these voices wash over the orchestra an inspire us.”
According to violinist Laura Cinat, “Playing with the chorus also extends the feeling of being a part of an incredible community of musicians on the North Shore. When performing together our numbers more than double, and it’s a powerful feeling.”
When asked what makes the NSCS work, NSCS Music Director Dr. Julia Davis replied that the people are always more important than the music. The chorus is a “community of people who genuinely care for one another. When you sing together, you get to know their stories and see what they bring to each other; in learning from one another and together, you get to like each other more.”
Julia says that the ESO-NSCS collaboration is a “really great thing for the chorus because there are a lot of philosophical things that align. The collaboration with the ESO means working with gifted amateurs who have the same spirit as the NSCS.”
Julia’s favorite concerts with the ESO to date have been the Verdi Requiem in 2014 and the ten holiday concerts because of the variety of the music. She appreciates the directness of communication with ESO Music Director Lawrence Eckerling. “It’s refreshing. We call one another for advice and can be direct. We’re aligned in wishing a rewarding musical experience for members and audience alike and hope to do something big every few years.”
Larry Eckerling is equally complimentary: “Over the years, Julia has been an outstanding collaborating partner. I have great respect for her knowledge and ability to prepare her choirs.”
SHOP and Support the ESO!
Are you looking to buy a gift for someone at Amazon? Need to stock up on supplies from Amazon?
Amazon has a special program called Smile, where the company donates a small amount of your purchase to your designated charity. Once you select the ESO as your Smile recipient, just point your browser to smile.amazon.com each time you want to shop at Amazon and the Evanston Symphony will benefit. It won’t cost you a thing!
Thanks, and happy shopping.