NaperVoice, Naperville’s newest choir group, asks, “For what are you most grateful?” The nonprofit, formed and incorporated just over a year ago, posed the question as a prelude to its inaugural concert, “Gather in Gratitude,” set for 3PM Nov. 20, at Grace United Methodist Church, 300 E. Gartner Road, Naperville.
The performance, suitable for all ages, will include a variety of choral music selected to reflect the theme of appreciation: for home, for love, for the gift of song, and for moments in time.
Philip Spencer, professor emeritus of music at Joliet Junior College, might say he is thankful to live in a community that is receptive to the arts. After retiring from a career of conducting choral ensembles, teaching music, and serving as coordinator of the college’s Musica Viva Concert Series, Spencer launched NaperVoice, a choir with the specific mission of singing well and doing good. He would accomplish these goals by blending performances with philanthropy and supporting local service organizations by donating concert profits.
In April of 2022, Spencer posted audition notices and began building a mixed group of professional and amateur singers in preparation for the upcoming concert.
“I felt truly honored by the response to my invitation to sing in this unique new ensemble!” Spencer said. “After 40 hours of auditions, we assembled an excellent group of 35 singers comprising 16 professionals and 19 volunteers: 21 women and 14 men of all ages including many in their 20s and 30s up through 60s and one gentleman who is 75.”
The concert features musical selections from a cross-section of genres, from classical to gospel, musical theater to vocal jazz, composed by Brahms, Whitacre, Rutter, Runestad, and Powell. Collaborative Percussionist Shelley May Hutchison will accompany the singers on many of the works and will invite children in the audience to pick up instruments and join in the Cuban rhythm.
Tickets range in price from $15 to $20 and are available now at napervoice.org or at the door for cash or check only.
During rehearsals, choir members expressed their enthusiasm by saying, “I needed something like NaperVoice to recharge my soul after the past two years of the pandemic.”
All are hopeful that audience members will feel the same way after attending the concert.
Net proceeds from “Gather in Gratitude” will benefit Feed My Starving Children, the designated charitable organization for this concert.
For concert information and tickets, go to napervoice.org.