October 9, 2012
Chicago, IL—Gracias Choir made its penultimate stop on its 2012 Christmas Cantata Tour at Evanstown Township High School in Chicago last night. A group of nearly 1000 people were on hand to witness the Cantata firsthand, along with a few very special guests.
The preparation for the Chicago Cantata faced a few major hurdles, including a change of venue and the usual staffing limitations. However, Gracias Choir put forth their very best effort for a very good reason.
In the audience last night was Michael J. Anderson, the president of the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM), who was in town and made it a point to see the Choir on behalf of his organization. Anderson was part of the judging panel for the 2009 Jeju International Choir Festival where Gracias Choir won the Grand Prize. In addition, he also met the Choir’s chief conductor, Boris Abalyan, through that competition as well as an international choral festival in Beijing, China. IFCM was founded in 1982 for the purpose of facilitating communication and exchange between choral musicians throughout the world. Part of their mission statement reads:
“In a world that develops nuclear weapons, that lives with the expansion of terrorism, and that abuses the environment, choral singing is one of the most powerful unifying forces between nations. Differences in culture, political ideology, race and language disappear when people sing together. Literally, they merge as one voice to become part of a global family.
IFCM is the official representative of choral music on the International Music Council. The Council recognizes that there are perhaps more people in the world participating in choral music than in any other group activity and that choral musicians need an organization such as IFCM to encourage and facilitate international communication and cooperation.”
After the Cantata ended, Anderson delivered some powerful words of praise for Gracias Choir. “Whether in Beijing or tonight in Chicago, Gracias Choir always creates an amazing choral sound. I think they’re the best choir group in Asia.”
One attendee named Ellie declared, “The music of Gracias Choir touched me. My son didn’t even want to come to night but now look how happy he is. The flow of the music was right on and they really set the tone well tonight. This could be a Broadway show. It was also amazing to feel the heart of the pastor who preached the message. And the performance right after was so harmonious. Please come back next year, Gracias. I promise to bring more people.”
The Christmas Cantata finale at the Masonic on October 10 is upon us. Stay tuned for a comprehensive Tour recap soon. The next and final stop: Detroit, Michigan.