Tower Chorale celebrates Gershwin
Carlotta Wing Conley rehearses for the upcoming Gershwin concert with the Tower Chorale. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
‘A Night of
Tower Chorale, Nazareth Academy auditorium, 1209 W. Ogden Ave., LaGrange Park
7:30 p.m. May 5 and 3 p.m. May 6
$18 adults, $15 seniors/students, 10 and younger free
Tickets at the door or at towerchorale.org
Updated: May 2, 2012 2:11PM
Anyone who attends the Tower Chorale’s spring concert is sure to recognize more than a few tunes on the program.
As is the tradition for the Western Springs-based chorus, the singers are putting a casual twist on the spring concert. This year, it features the music of George and Ira Gershwin.
A prolific pair, these brothers wrote many iconic tunes, more than 20 of which will be performed by the 80-voice choir and their special guest, Lindsay Whisler.
The 15-year-old freshman at New Trier High School is this year’s winner of the Tower Chorale’s sixth annual High School Vocal Contest.
“I have a really diverse range,” Whisler said. But her passion is in musical theater. That makes this concert a perfect fit for the Winnetka teen.
“I love musical theater. I think musical theater is what I want to do with my life,” said Whisler, who will sing “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” which was part of the score of two Broadway shows, “Treasure Girl” and “Strike Up the Band,” and “By Strauss,” a song recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, at the May concerts.
“She’s also singing the ‘Summertime’ solo in our ‘Porgy and Bess’ medley,” said Chorale member Barb Miner. “For such a young girl, she just has a lovely, lovely voice.”
Whisler said she was “floored” to be asked to join the chorus as soloist on “Summertime.”
Director Patrick Godon said Gershwin was an easy choice for the first spring concert under his direction. Not only are the Gershwins among Godon’s favorites, this year also is the 75th anniversary of George’s death.
The May concerts conclude the Tower Chorale’s three-concert season. The 26-year-old chorale is known for its diversity, said Godon, who took over for founding director James Winfield last
Accompanying the chorus will be a band led by the group’s accompanist, Dennis Zimmer.
“He’s fantastic,” Godon said.
Godon said his first season at the helm of the Western Springs group was a success.
“I’ve just added my spin on to what they had been doing,” he said. “The momentum is almost palpable.”
A lifelong Gershwin fan, Godon said he’s challenged to pick favorites, but he’s certain everyone will find something they like among the songs on the program.
“There are so many good ones,” he said.