In November of 1986, a group of singers from Western Springs, Hinsdale, and La Grange decided to take advantage of the newly opened Grand Avenue Community Center by using it as a home for a new choral group. Dubbed the Tower Chorale, the group was directed by James Winfield.
The first concert featured nearly 100 performers and the membership continues to range between 80 and 100. But, while the group has its roots here in Western Springs, members hail from as many as a dozen nearby suburbs. Comprised of both amateur and professional singers, the group includes former members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Chicago Opera Theater, and Grant Park Symphony Chorus.
On July 1, 2011, Patrick Goden became the Chorale’s music director, succeeding James Winfield. See photo.
Each year, the not-for-profit Chorale performs three major concerts: December, March, and May. The music can range from classical to more modern pieces. Recent pop performances have included the music of George and Ira Gershwin, as well as a musical tribute to mothers, which took place last Mother’s Day weekend.
Also last year, two dozen members of the Chorale travelled to Italy, where they performed 13 concerts in 8 days. The highlight of the tour was a performance at a mass in the Vatican, including an opportunity to see the newly elected Pope Francis.
If you’ve never attended a performance by the Tower Chorale, your next opportunity will be on May 3rd and May 4th at Bethlehem Academy in La Grange Park. That’s when they will pay tribute to The Beatles by performing more than twenty classic Beatles hits. And, on the morning of May 26, the group will perform patriotic music as part of the Memorial Day festivities on the Western Springs Tower Green.
While the Chorale’s directors, performers and music have changed over the past 28 years, two things haven’t: (1) the group still holds its practice sessions at the Grand Avenue Community Center and (2) the group is always interested in adding new members. For more details concerning upcoming performances or about possibly joining the group, visit the Chorale’s website at www.towerchorale.org.
Each week, the Western Springs Historical Society presents a “Blast from the Past”. To view prior stories, visit us at www.westernspringshistory.org.