Oak Park Chorale performs Mendelssohn, Copland in concert

April 16th, 2009 in the Oak Leaves
By: LILLI KUZMA, Contributor

Oak Parker Jacqueline Ingram originally questioned whether her background in gospel choir was enough to make the esteemed Oak Park Concert Chorale. After all, other than some piano lessons as a child, she wasn't a classically-trained musician adept at sight-singing.

"But the director, Paul Lindblad, contacted me after I auditioned, and said my ear training could make up for it," said Ingram, 34. "He heard in my voice that I could sing classical music. But I was the most inexperienced person and it was hard to keep up. So I went to extra rehearsals."

That was six years ago. Ingram has been involved continuously since that time, and looks forward to the upcoming spring concert.

Lindblad will conduct the Chorale as they sing "A Copland and Mendelssohn Celebration" April 25 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park, and April 26 at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago.

The concert will feature soprano Susan Krout as she joins the chorale for Aaron Copland's a capella work, "In the Beginning," based on a verse from Genesis. Also featured will be a variety of choral works from composer Felix Mendelssohn, in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.

"The featured piece, 'In the Beginning,' is music that covers the creation of the earth," said Ingram. "We are absolutely in love with this piece, and happy to share it with the community. It is a very challenging work, and a capella performance requires that you be absolutely in tune. You are the instrument."

She continued: "I've made some wonderful friends in the Chorale. We are a family, and we all come together to do what we do. And (Paul Lindblad) has such a nurturing and caring attitude toward the Chorale. I have so much respect for him."

"Paul also conducts musicianship classes in theory and vocal technique. The classes are one of the perks of being in the chorale," said Ingram. "We coined the term, 'Paul groupie' and I am definitely a Paul Groupie. I am amazed at how much time Paul gives in making us better musicians, and helping us perfect our craft."

Ingram also has given extra time to ensure the ongoing vitality of the Chorale.

"My career is in event production and management, and I applied my knowledge (in this area) to the Chorale. I helped put together the first gala, the first formal fundraiser. And I have been on the board of directors for the last three years. It is all a joy."

'A Copland and Mendelssohn Celebration'

Oak Park Concert Chorale led by Paul Lindblad at 7 p.m. April 25 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 611 East Randolph St., Oak Park and 4 p.m. April 26 at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, 3121 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago. $18, $10 seniors/students, free children 5 and younger. (708) 383-4742, www.OakParkConcertChorale.org or e-mail info@OakParkConcertChorale.org.

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