Openhouse westtown

Musical Connections

Forge cross-cultural connections while expanding technique with musical experts from around the world.

Tuesday, January 24 from 5:15-6:30pm

Workshop with Blue Heron Vocal Ensemble

Blue Heron Vocal Ensemble, currently the Don Michael Randel Ensemble in Residence, visits Hyde Park Vivace and Presto. Learn more about the Blue Heron Vocal Ensemble.

Thank you to the UChicago Department of Music for their assistance in arranging this workshop.


Multiple locations and dates

Drumming Workshop with Sekou Conde, Kafolike School of Percussion

In preparation for our Black History Month Concert Series, Sekou Conde will present three in-person drumming workshops with singers from School Programs in varying locations around the city. During the two concerts at the Chicago Symphony Center on February 27 and 28, workshop participants will be invited to the stage to participate alongside Sekou Conde as an invocation to the concert.

Founded by Sekou Tepaka Lunda Conde, the Kafolike School of Percussion is known for its intensive curriculum, cultural history, ethics, morals, technique, folklore, and learning of traditional West African drums, and rhythms of the Mandingue diaspora. Learn more about Kafolike School of Percussion.

Dates and locations

  • Saturday, February 4 from 2:30pm-3:30pm; Location: Old Town School of Folk Music, Szold Hall (4545 N. Lincoln Ave.)

  • Tuesday, February 7 from 3:30pm-4:30pm; Location: Belmont Cragin Elementary (6112 W. Fullerton Ave.)

  • Thursday, February 9 from 3:30pm-4:30pm; Location: South Shore Fine Arts Academy (1415 E. 70th St.)

Saturday, February 11 from 10am-4pm

Neighborhood Choir Black History 365 Workshops

Neighborhood Choir members from across the city will take place in workshops with Lonnie Norwood, Director of Africana Studies, as part of our Black History 365 initiative.

Location: UIC Forum Conference Rooms (DEF and GHI)

  • Albany Park, Rogers Park and West Town Neighborhood Choirs: 10am-12:30pm
  • Lincoln Park/DePaul, Humboldt Park and Austin Neighborhood Choirs: 1:30-4pm
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Saturday, February 25 from 1:30-4:30pm

Masterclass with Audrey Dubois Harris

Audrey DuBois Harris will be a featured performer at the Black History Month Concert Series at Chicago Symphony Center on February 27 and 28. She will be providing two masterclasses with select singers from Voice of Chicago and Presto Neighborhood Choir singers.

Audrey DuBois Harris’ rich and diverse repertoire encompasses opera, classical, jazz, oratorio, sacred songs, gospel and inspirational hymns. With a vocal range that moves from the depth of a mezzo-soprano to the highs of a full lyric soprano, DuBois Harris performs in a majestic and spirit-affirming style reminiscent of some of our most treasured classical artists, including Leontyne Price, Marian Anderson, Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle and Gospel great Mahalia Jackson. Learn more about Audrey DuBois Harris.

Location: Chicago Cultural Center

  • Presto Neighborhood Choirs: 1:30-2:30pm
  • Voice of Chicago: 3-4:30pm

Wednesday, March 15 at 5:15pm

University of Illinois Varsity Men's Glee Club Workshop with Medgar Evers Elementary School

The University of Illinois Varsity Men's Glee Club will conduct a workshop with the Medgar Evers Elementary School program as part of their Tour. This workshop includes a public concert at 7:30pm at the Chicago Cultural Center. More details coming soon.

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Saturday, March 18 from 10am-4pm

Neighborhood Choir Black History 365 Workshops

Neighborhood Choir members from across the city will take place in workshops with Lonnie Norwood, Director of Africana Studies, as part of our Black History 365 initiative.

Location: UIC Forum Conference Rooms (DEF and GHI)

  • Beverly, Hyde Park and Off The Street Club Neighborhood Choirs: 10am-12:30pm
  • Pilsen/Little Village, Gage Park and Englewood Neighborhood Choirs: 1:30-4pm

Tuesday, March 28 from 4:45-7pm

Musical Exchange with TmbaTa Orhcestra

Voice of Chicago singers will take place in a musical exchange with TmbaTa Orchestra, a youth Armenian vocal ensemble.

TmbaTa Orchestra is currently touring the U.S. and recently performed at SXSW. Learn more.

Location: Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St., 5th floor)

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Monday, May 8 from 5-6:30 pm

Workshop with Friends of the Gamelan (FROG)

Singers from Englewood and Pilsen/Little Village Neighborhood Choirs will be invited to attend this workshop in the FROG Studio.

The Friends of the Gamelan is an educational organization dedicated to the performance and instruction of Javanese gamelan music in Chicago since 1980. Learn more here.

Location: Morgan Arts Complex, 3622 S. Morgan St.

Throughout Spring

Canto Latino Workshops with Ballet Folklórico de Chicago

In line with the Canto Latino 2023 curriculum, Ballet Folklórico de Chicago will provide two workshops to the Neighborhood Choir singers about zapateado. Singers will learn about how these movements are executed when singing son jarocho - a regional folk musical style of Mexican Son from Veracruz, a Mexican state along the Gulf of Mexico. At Canto Latino 2023, Uniting Voices Chicago singers will be performing a son jarocho piece, Sembrando flores.

Learn more about Ballet Folklórico de Chicago.

Workshop Dates

Monday, April 10, 5:15pm-6:45pm

Location: Arturo Velasquez Institute (2800 S Western Ave)

Neighborhood Choirs: Englewood, Pilsen/Little Village, West Town, OTSC

Thursday, April 27, 5-6:30pm

Location: North Park Covenant Church (5250 N Christina)

Neighborhood Choirs: Rogers Park, Albany Park, Lincoln Park/DePaul

Thursday, May 11, 5:15-6:45pm

Location: First Unitarian Church (5650 S Woodlawn)

Neighborhood Choirs: Beverly, Hyde Park, Gage Park, Austin, Humboldt Park

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