No experience is necessary to join any of our Choirs. Joining a particular Choir depends upon a combination of a singer’s natural musical abilities, age, and the type of choral experience that singer is looking for. Our choirs sing a diverse repertoire, in various languages and styles. Most of our Choirs perform in our three self-produced events each year—our Holiday Concert, our Spring Concert and our March fundraiser. Beyond those events, the Concert Choir is our primary group for other special performances, collaborations, etc., although our other Choirs may occasionally enjoy other performance opportunities as they might arise. Please see Join Us for more detailed information on how to join.
*Note: We are continuing to adapt to the ever-changing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to getting as many members singing in person as safety protocols, and comfort levels, will allow. The working rehearsal and performance plans outlined below may be somewhat altered as the situation evolves and CDC guidelines are further updated. We do expect the rehearsal days and times listed here to generally stay the same. That said, here is our current plan, given what we expect the fall scenario to be:
Rehearsals this Fall Semester will include combinations of Zoom and in-person formats, with appropriate safety protocols in effect. All ECC staff are fully vaccinated, and we had zero cases among all in-person attendees in all ECC Choirs last season. Our COVID-19 protocols with regards to unvaccinated persons include masks, Lysol wipe-downs of high-contact areas, screening upon entry, limiting in-person rehearsal time, following current physical distancing guidelines and limiting the number of attendees accordingly, and running a medical-grade HEPA filter during and between rehearsals.
Our Holiday Concert this December will be a live concert featuring some onstage singing by vaccinated members and a combination of masked onstage singing and/or screenings of “virtual choir-style” presentations by other members. Please watch for possible further updates, and thank you for your continued understanding and flexibility as we all navigate through these unusual times.
This is our top ensemble. Singers must audition for this performance-oriented Choir, displaying a solid sense of pitch and good focus. In addition to that, we are looking for singers who take particular pride in performing at a high level—who view singing not only as a fun activity but also as a vehicle for personal achievement and growth. A wide variety of musical styles and genres are explored in this enriching program. This is a true mixed-age group, accepting qualified singers grades 3 through high school (boys with unchanged voices), with limited special internship opportunities for exceptional high school students. Under normal circumstances, in addition to our self-produced events, the Concert Choir would take on the ECC’s highest-profile performances such as official City of Evanston events, major private events, or collaborations with other arts organizations like the Evanston Symphony and the North Shore Choral Society, as well as occasional outreach performances. Concert Choir members rehearse twice a week, and a typical number of performances would normally be 5-6 per semester. For Fall Semester 2021, both vaccinated and unvaccinated singers will be able to do a limited degree of live performing. Unvaccinated singers would perform with masks. Any singer with COVID-19-related concerns may opt out of live onstage performing. For our Holiday Concert, singers choosing not to perform live onstage would work towards making “virtual choir” recordings similar to this past season. Our Holiday Concert will feature some combination of live onstage performing, singing live along with pre-recorded videos, and the possible presentation of some video-only virtual choir presentations.
Days/Times: This season, vaccinated Concert Choir singers will rehearse in-person during this Choir’s traditional Tuesday/Thursday rehearsal times. Unvaccinated singers will participate via Zoom on Tuesdays for their first weekly rehearsal, and will choose between a similar Zoom rehearsal on Thursdays or an in-person rehearsal on Fridays for their second rehearsal. The in-person, vaccinated group will learn its own set of repertoire for the first half of its rehearsals. Then, unvaccinated Concert Choir members will be livestreamed in via Zoom to learn a joint set of repertoire with the in-person members. There will be a 15-min. portion of the Thursday rehearsal for Zoom members only, in order to more directly address any of their particular questions or concerns. The Friday in-person rehearsal for unvaccinated singers (for those choosing that option) will follow appropriate COVID-19 protocols. Here is the full schedule:
Vaccinated singers, in person at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center (attendance both days is required):
Unvaccinated singers (attendance at Tuesday Zoom and either the Thursday Zoom or Friday in-person rehearsal is required):
- Tuesdays, Zoom 5:05-5:45
- Thursdays, Zoom 4:50-5:30
- Fridays, in person (optional) 5:15-5:55
Under normal circumstances, rehearsals for all would be Tuesdays, 4:15-5:45 and Thursdays 4:15-5:15 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.
1st Fall Semester Rehearsals: Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
Members: Grades 3 through high school, by audition (virtual or in-person with masks)
Instructor: ECC Artistic Director Gary Geiger
Tuition: vaccinated: $440/semester; unvaccinated: $390/semester (reduced); financial assistance and sibling discounts available
Youth Chorale Pops
This is a mixed-age, mixed-level group for grades 1-8, with a contemporary/pop theme. No audition is required—sign up and sing! This is our group for young beginners, as well as for kids who are a little older but are not ready for—or may choose not to participate in—the Concert Choir. Material is adapted to suit the group as a whole, and individual members take on roles within the group appropriate for their ability levels. Older singers in Youth Chorale serve as section leaders and mentors for their younger counterparts. The focus of this group is on developing good vocal skills and habits, and experiencing the joy of singing. Under normal circumstances, the Youth Chorale would perform at our Holiday Concert in December, at our March Fundraiser and at our Spring Concert in May, with other performances possibly being added as opportunities might arise. For this semester's Holiday Concert, Youth Chorale members--the vast majority of whom will likely be unvaccinated--will be invited to perform live onstage while wearing masks. Those opting out would work towards making “virtual choir” recordings similar to this past season. In the concert, the onstage singers would sing along with those pre-recorded videos, so everyone can be included.
Day/Time: Youth Chorale singers may opt for Zoom format or an in-person rehearsal. In-person rehearsals will include unvaccinated singers and will therefore follow appropriate COVID-19 protocols. Rehearsals are:
- Mondays, in person 4:15-4:45 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center
- Mondays, Zoom 5:00-5:30
Under normal circumstances, rehearsals for all would be Mondays, 4:15-5:15 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.
1st Fall Semester Rehearsals: Monday, September 13th, 2021
Members: Grades 1-8, no audition required
Tuition: $200/semester (reduced); financial assistance and sibling discounts available
Family Choir is literally for everyone. This is our version of a community choir, in which adults and kids of all ages and levels can have fun discovering the joy of all types of music by singing together in one group. This is our most open, casual group. Family members can sign up and sing together, but adults or kids may also sign up individually. There is no formal age limit, and all ability levels are accepted. Older kids for whom Concert Choir isn’t the right fit may find Family Choir to be an appealing option. Boys with changed voices can also join this group. As with our Youth Chorale, Family Choir songs are adapted to suit the group as a whole, and individual members take on roles within the group appropriate for their ability levels. And the director is happy to consider requests regarding which songs you’ll sing. There is no audition for this group, although the director may ask a new member to hum a few bars of something to get an idea of their voice type and range. Literally anyone who can follow along can join! There are special rates for pairs of family members (e.g. a parent-child combo or couples), and for unlimited access for an entire family. Rehearsals are on Friday evenings, at a time when adults can get home from work, grab a quick dinner and join rehearsal, but still early enough to accommodate younger singers (and it’s not a school night).
Day/Time: Family Choir has been suspended indefinitely. Watch for a possible reboot in the future.
In the past, rehearsals rehearsals have been on Fridays, 6:30-7:45 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.
1st Fall Semester Session: N/A
Members: All ages, all ability levels, no audition required
Instructor: ECC Associate Director Bryan Johnson
Story Choir! Fall Session: Trolls (2016)
Everyone loves a good story, and it’s even better when you can sing along with it! Each session will feature songs and narration from one story, either from a popular movie or other classic tale. Fall Session will feature songs and narration from the 2016 animated movie Trolls. This group is geared towards grades 1-5, and no audition is required. Sessions are shorter than our typical semesters, running 8 weeks each. It’s like a mini-musical without tech week!
Day/Time: Story Choir will switch back to an in-person group this fall, following appropriate COVID-19 protocols. Singers opting for Zoom, or those who can’t attend in person because we’ve reached capacity, will be livestreamed in via Zoom. The joint in-person/Zoom rehearsal will be on Fridays, 4:15-4:55 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.
Under normal circumstances, rehearsals for all would be Fridays, 4:15-5:15 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.
1st Fall Session Rehearsal: Friday, October 15th, 2021
Members: Grades 1-5, no audition required
Tuition: in-person: 170/session; Zoom: $145/session (reduced); financial assistance and sibling discounts available
Wilmette Pops Children’s Chorale
Wilmette Pops is BACK! This is a mixed-age, mixed-level group for grades 1-8, modeled after the ECC Youth Chorale and run in partnership with the Wilmette Park District. The focus of this group is on exploring music from pop and contemporary genres while using it as a vehicle for developing good vocal skills and habits, and simply experiencing the joy of singing. Material is adapted to suit the group as a whole, and individual members take on roles within the group appropriate for their ability levels. No audition is required—sign up and sing! Under normal circumstances the Wilmette Pops Children’s Chorale would perform in a Holiday and an end-of-school year concert in Wilmette, and possibly in conjunction with other opportunities as they might arise.
1st Fall Session Rehearsal: Friday, September 10th, 2021
Members: Grades 1-8, no audition required
Instructor: ECC Associate Director Bryan Johnson
Tuition: Please see the registration page of the Wilmette Park District