Chicago’s William Ferris Chorale has won accolades both at home and abroad for its exciting concerts, world premiere recordings and passionate singing of contemporary music. Some of the 20th century’s greatest composers have been guests at their concerts – Gian Carlo Menotti, William Schuman, John Corigliano, Vincent Persichetti, Ned Rorem, William Mathias, David Diamond – and the ensemble has performed at both the Spoleto and Aldeburgh Festivals. They now can add the honor of being named Artist in Residence at Loyola University Chicago to their laurels.
Loyola’s appointment of the Chorale as Artist in Residence helps fulfill the University’s desire to create a vital performance presence on the Lakeshore Campus at the Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. In partnership with the Chorale, the University will continue its mission of outreach into both the student population and its neighbors in the Rogers Park, Edgewater and Evanston areas. The partnership also provides “hands on” exposure for students into the operations of a professional choral ensemble through open rehearsals and internships.
Founded in 1971 by composer/conductor William Ferris and tenor John Vorrasi, the Chorale has given over 175 world, American and Chicago premieres of music by serious established artists and by new and emerging mainstream talents. In addition to its apostolic zeal for presenting the new and unusual, the Chicago Tribune proclaimed: “The William Ferris Chorale is decidedly not stuffy!” and was responsible for actress Jean Stapleton singing the Chicago premiere of Lee Hoiby’s operatic spoof of Julia Child, Bon Appetit. Since 2004, the ensemble has been conducted by Paul French, a distinguished composer in his own right and a rising star on the national choral conducting scene.