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80-voice barbershop chorus will present ‘Christmas Memories’ on Dec. 16 in Wheaton

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Above / Following their sold-out performance on Dec. 10, eight choruses from Chicagoland and Northern Illinois again will unite as the Northern Illinois Harmony Alliance to present songs of the season. (Photo courtesy Bill Murschel for the Northern Illinois Harmony Chorus.)

More than 80 barbershop singers from across the western suburbs, Rockford, Elgin, Fox Valley and Chicago again will combine their talents for their annual Christmas show to be performed at 3PM Sat., Dec. 16, at the Barrows Auditorium of the Billy Graham Center, 500 College Avenue in Wheaton.

Titled “Christmas Memories,” the 2023 show unites singers from eight area barbershop organizations for a program of Christmas favorites and carols performed in the 4-part harmonies which characterize barbershop music, delighting audiences of all ages for decades. The mass chorus has adopted the name Northern Illinois Harmony Alliance.

“This is a program for all ages, and showcases some of the finest barbershop talent in this part of the state,” said Bill Murschel of Wheaton, one of the organizers of the annual event. “The energy and showmanship created by this many performers on stage is certain to be inspirational, and sure to put attendees in the Christmas spirit.”

On Dec. 10, the chorus performed “Christmas Memories” in the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Charles. (Photo courtesy Bill Murschel)

Murschel said the first concert performed on Dec. 10 in the cathedral-like Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St Charles was sold out. The concert is set to be repeated on Dec. 16 at the Barrows Auditorium of the Billy Graham Center, on the Wheaton College* campus—another of the area’s top performance venues.

Concert-goers can anticipate the classic 4-part harmony of the barbershop musical style with virtually all the selections performed a ‘Capella, without accompaniment. The show features full-chorus selections, quartets and ensembles. 

Part 1 – Tradition holiday favorites 

The first half of the program will feature traditional holiday favorites such as Jingle Bell Rock, It’s Beginning to look a lot Like Christmas, Winter Wonderland and White Christmas.

Part 2 – The Christmas story

The second portion will feature a narration of the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus Christ interwoven with carols such as Silent Night, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Mary Did You Know?  The performance will come to a dramatic close with O Holy Night and the audience joining in singing Joy to the World with pipe organ accompaniment.

Tickets available online or by phone

Tickets (General Admission, $25; Students 18 and under, $15; Child under 5 with Adult Ticket Purchase, Free) are available online at www.chorusofdupage.com/events or by calling the organization’s ticket hotline at (331) 444-2740.

Kindly note, there may be limited tickets available at the door, but interested attendees are encouraged to purchase in advance, as it is likely the performance again will sell out, Murschel said.

*Not a Wheaton College program.

Photos from the Dec. 10, 2023, concert courtesy Bill Murschel.

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.
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