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 Long Live Fair Oriana

History, Funders, and Information About the Ensemble

  • Thirty Years of the Oriana Singers (in 2009)
  • Our Generous Funders
  • A Brief History of the Ensemble

    The Oriana Singers have been performing their "breathtaking range" of a cappella songs from classic to fun since 1979. They've sung everything from Renaissance madrigals to Broadway classics in hundreds of concerts around the U.S. and abroad. The group has performed at the Ravinia Festival and the Chicago Civic Opera House, and are regular guest artists of the world famous Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.

    The ensemble's mission is to perform and promote a wide range of music for one-on-a-part a cappella voice choir for listeners ranging from sophisticated festival audiences to school groups. Programs achieve a balance between scholarly authenticity and the audience's desire for entertainment. Wynne Delacoma of the Chicago SunTimes has called the group "a small ensemble with a large imagination." John Von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune cheers their "spirit-lifting difference." The Oriana Singers seek music that is off the beaten track, and enjoy comparing rare forms of singing with the familiar. All Oriana programs combine serious musicianship with entertainment, skill with joy. They help cross boundaries: ethnic, musical, and cross-disciplinary.

    Over the course of their twenty years, The Oriana Singers have performed more than 300 concerts and radio broadcasts in 12 states, in Spain, Costa Rica, and Germany. The Singers have appeared live on Chicago's renowned WFMT Radio (98.7 FM), which regularly broadcasts their recordings. They have also been featured on WCLV "The First Art," WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, and more. The ensemble has performed for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series and has appeared twice at the Ravinia Festival. In June 1992, they received the third place award at the first Internationaler Wettbewerb für Vokalensembles (International Competition for Vocal Ensembles) in Korntal, Germany. In August 1995 the ensemble represented the U.S. at the V Internacional Festival de Musica in Costa Rica. Their third international tour took them to eight cities in Germany and Spain in the fall of 1996, ending with the 28th International Tolosa Choral Competition. The ensemble is singled out in several Chicago guide books, including Fodor's Chicago.

    In addition to their acclaimed concerts, The Oriana Singers are well known for innovative collaborations. The ensemble has performed with numerous dance companies including Joseph Holmes Dance Theater and the Joffrey Ballet. They have also appeared with storytellers Beth Horner and Shanta. Ladybug magazine produced a series of children's cassettes featuring The Oriana Singers with the Chicago Children's Choir, with whom they have also appeared in concert. Chicago Parent magazine called the ensemble's music for children "hypnotic." The group has commissioned works by numerous composers including Ralph Shapey, Richard Proulx, and Eric Christian Reese.

    Major Funders of our 20th Season

    The Oriana Singers are grateful for the funding from these organizations:

    Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
    WPWR Channel 50 Foundation
    Sara Lee Foundation
    Superior Coffee and Foods
    Illinois Arts Council
    Skokie Fine Arts Commission
    Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
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