art and culture Chicago Children's Choir

Chicago Children’s Choir & Sphinx Virtuosi Perform New Work by Daniel Roumain

Sunday, December 06, 2015 tgoandco

Chicago Children's Choir empowers singers to bridge cultural divides and become ambassadors of peace in their communities. It works with close to 4,000 kids annually with programs in more than 70 Chicago schools, 9 after-school neighborhood programs. The Choir also has performed with or for such celebrities as Andrea Bocelli, Al Green, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones, BeyoncĂ©, Yo-Yo Ma, Enrique Iglesias, Kathleen Battle and Celine Dion and has for dignitaries Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, former Chinese President Hu Jintao, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Monday, December 7th, 2015, they will combine forces at the Harris Theater’s Second Annual Holiday Concert at a joint concert with Sphinx Virtuosi to unveil Daniel Roumain’s work ‘Jean and Susanne’ at it's World Premiere. “This collaboration is perfect – Roumain’s naturally collaborative spirit and style lends itself to the platform. These young artists are the best of the best.” said Harris Theater President and Managing Director Michael Tiknis.” Monday night will see music history made in Chicago.

The three parts to this mix all have a base ingredient that is key: commitment to diversity, ambassadorship, and artistic excellence in bringing music to Chicago’s school children.
The sound of Chicago Children’s Choir blending with Sphinx Virtuosi performing the work of one of music’s most ground breaking composers is bound to be inspiring, if not jaw dropping. Roumain’s work is lively and genre-jumping and has been described as “an evening of chamber music with the accessible feel of a rock concert.” The NY Times has described his work as “true to form, these vary greatly in style, from slow, introspective Neo-Classical ruminations to rhythmically complicated, riffy pieces that would not be out of place in a dance club.” As a composer and a violinist, he has spanned more than two decades and has earned international praise and recognition. He has composed and collaborated with orchestra of Dallas, Des Moines, Memphis, San Antonio, St. Louis, and most recently Brooklyn Philharmonic, the North Dutch Orchestra, and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras.

The Voice of Chicago Choir, the pinnacle of the Chicago Children’s Choir experience. It is composed of 100 exceptional and advanced singers that are selected from the In-School and Neighborhood Choir Programs. These programs are part of the Chicago Children’s Choir suite of music initiatives that span Chicago’s neighborhoods bringing a commitment to peacefully unite a diverse world through education, musical expression and excellence. Their music repertoire is unique among children’s choirs with music selections spanning classical, world, gospel and popular music. As a national and international touring ensemble, Voice of Chicago has performed in 5 continents. Under President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, the Choir has undertaken many successful international tours and was featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary Songs on the Road to Freedom. It has been featured on television and radio performances, including NBC’s Today, Oprah and the PBS series From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall. The CCC is a regular feature at Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. Monday, December 7th, they take the stage with the equally talented Sphinx Virtuosi.


The Sphinx Virtuosi

The Sphinx Virtuosi is led by the Catalyst Quartet — is one of the nation’s most dynamic professional chamber orchestras.  Comprised of 18 of the nation’s top Black and Latino classical soloists, these alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition come together each fall as cultural ambassadors to reach new audiences. The name Sphinx represents these founding principles that has guided the ensemble’s mission. A historical and geographical touchstone for many minorities, the Sphinx exemplifies the power, wisdom and persistence that is instilled in each of it’s participants. The Sphinx constitutes a mystery —it’s an enigma just as music shares this puzzling aspect: it is born from the experiences and aspirations of the composer as well as the performer. “Like the Sphinx, it is up to the beholder, the listener, to interpret and appreciate from the music what is ultimately a reflection of internal emotions and spiritual experiences,” President and Artistic Director, Afa Sadykhly Dworkin said.

The Sphinx Virtuosi’s founding and mission were formed out of the life experiences of Aaron Dworkin, the organization’s founder. As a young Black violinist, he was acutely aware of the lack of diversity both on stage and in the audience in concert halls. He founded Sphinx while a graduate student at the University of Michigan, to address the stark under-representation of people of color in classical music. President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts, Aaron P. Dworkin currently serves as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Like the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Sphinx has four guiding principles: Education & Access, Artist Development, Performing Arts and Arts Leadership.

It is currently led by violinist, President and Artistic Director, Afa Sadykhly Dworkin who has has worked with the Sphinx Organization since 1999. Until 2015, she served as Executive and Artistic Director, overseeing all fundraising and programs for the organization’s operations.  She has developed key partnerships with dozens of symphony orchestras around the country in addition to leading the organization’s most successful short-term fundraising campaign.

Get Tickets

Get get tickets for the event, go to
Tickets will be available also at the door.  Prices range from $10 to $55.
For more information about the Chicago Children’s Choir, go to   
or to find out it’s neighborhood initiatives, go to
For more information about the Sphinx Virtuosi, go to: or take a look at their video.

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