This large community chorus performs choral concerts, usually in conjunction with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra, a professional orchestra. Repertoire includes standard choral works by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Brahms, as well as, modern masterpieces by Orff, Poulenc, Stravinsky and others. No audition is necessary for membership and members include everyone from choral newcomers to singers with a lifetime of experience and even multiple degrees in music. Adult singers of all voice types and ages are welcome. Members come from all western suburban locations. The Chorale is a course in the COD Music Department and membership includes college students and community members with a multigenerational profile. DuPage Chorale was the first music ensemble formed at College of DuPage and has been in continuous operation for since the late 1960’s. What unites the members of the DuPage Chorale is an interest in the finest choral repertoire, a strong work ethic and a love of choral singing.
COMPOSER JAMES WHITBOURN
James Whitbourn is an internationally-renowned composer recognised by The Observer as “a truly original communicator in modern British choral music”. A graduate of Magdalen College, University of Oxford, his career in music began in the BBC, for whom he has worked as composer, conductor, producer and presenter. His compositional output is admired for its direct connection with performers and audiences worldwide and for its ability to “expand the experience of classical music beyond the edges of the traditional map of classical styles” (Tom Manoff, NPR).
His largest composition is the concert-length choral work Annelies, which sets words from The Diary of Anne Frank. Other notable works include Luminosity, written for the Westminster Choir College and the Archedream dance ensemble, Son of God Mass for saxophone, choir and organ and The Seven Heavens for choir and orchestra – a portrayal of the life of C. S. Lewis in the imagery of the medieval planets.
His choral works have been performed in many prestigious venues, and have been presented on acclaimed recordings, including four complete discs of his choral music. Of the latest of these – Annelies (Naxos) – Gramophone writes “the greatest accomplishment here is that James Whitbourn has written some music of great beauty”, Choir and Organ adding, “Whitbourn’s devastatingly beautiful and restrained treatment of the subject matter makes it all the more poignant”.
Whitbourn has been commissioned to compose the music to mark several national and international events, including music for the broadcast of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and music for the national commemoration of 9/11 at Westminster Abbey – subsequently performed in New York on the first anniversary of the attacks. His commissions have included a work for the enthronement of the Bishop of Salisbury and for the anniversary of the foundation of the Belfast Philharmonic.
He is popular on both sides of the Atlantic as choral advisor and also enjoys a profile as a conductor and producer, with three GRAMMY nominations to his name (including Best Choral Performance for Annelies, 2014) among many other international awards.
James Whitbourn is an Honorary Research Fellow of St. Stephen’s House, Oxford and a member of the Faculty of Music in the University of Oxford. Since 2001, he has held an exclusive publishing agreement with Chester Music, London.
Soprano Soloist LINDSAY KESSELMAN
Hailed by Fanfare Magazine as an “artist of growing reputation for her artistry and intelligence… with a voice of goddess-like splendor” Lindsay Kesselman is a soprano who passionately advocates for contemporary music, actively commissioning and collaborating with a diverse array of composers to create unique, groundbreaking, and dramatically-inspired works for the voice.
This season Kesselman will have the honor of being the featured singer at John Corigliano’s 80th birthday concert celebration at National Sawdust. Other season highlights include her debuts with the North Carolina Symphony and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, as well as the 2017 release of Antique Violences on Blue Griffin, featuring Songs from the End of the World by John Mackey, written for Kesselman and chamber winds. Her performance on this recording was praised in Fanfare Magazine: “…Kesselman sings the uncommonly beautiful songs with heartbreaking restraint….”
In the 2015-16 season, she made her debut with both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dutch National Opera in a leading role of a new opera by composer Louis Andriessen entitled Theatre of the World. A live audio recording with the Los Angeles Philharmonic was released on Nonesuch Records in September.
In 2012-2015 she sang with the Philip Glass Ensemble on an international tour of Philip Glass’ ground-breaking opera Einstein on the Beach, which included 15 cities and the Latin American premiere of the piece. In 2013 this production won the prestigious Laurence Olivier award for Best New Opera Production.
Kesselman is the resident soprano with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and in that capacity has performed music by Joseph Schwantner, Louis Andriessen, John Corigliano, Amy Beth Kirsten, Chris Cerrone, Dan Visconti, David Stock, Mathew Rosenblum, and a staged production of Kieren MacMillan’s Drunken Moon and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. She will be featured on an upcoming binaural recording of John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man with this ensemble.
Recent highlights include Kesselman’s Carnegie Hall debut singing Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man, Louis Andriessen’s La Commedia (Béatrice) as part of the Andriessen 75 Festival with the Great Noise Ensemble, the Poulenc Gloria with the Buffalo Master Chorale, the premiere of The End of Knowing, a song cycle by Robert Beaser for soprano and wind symphony, collaborating with Tony Arnold and the Adrian Symphony (MI) on Virtue by Christopher Theofanidis, and the release of Kesselman’s debut album of American contemporary music in 2014 on the Bad Wolf Music label, entitled If this world could stop. A track from this album was featured on the I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Spring 2015 mixtape.
Other recent appearances include Orff’s Carmina Burana and Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with the Akron Symphony Orchestra (Ohio), a holiday concert with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra (Pennsylvania), Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with members of the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Cleveland Heights Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass in metro Chicago, and several concerts with Houston’s Camerata Ventapane at the 2nd Annual Baroque Music Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
HAVEN, Kesselman’s trio with Kimberly Cole Luevano, clarinet and Midori Koga, piano (www.haventrio.com) actively commissions and tours throughout North America. They recently released two albums on the Fleur de Son Classics label entitled Bright Angel and Atonement. HAVEN was the recipient of a 2015 Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant with composer Jon Magnussen.
Kesselman holds degrees in voice performance from Rice University and Michigan State University. She currently lives in Winston Salem, NC with her husband, conductor Christopher James Lees, and son Rowan.
LEE R. KESSELMAN, DIRECTOR
Lee R. Kesselman has been the Director of Choral Activities at COD since 1981. Conductor, pianist, teacher and award-winning composer, he directs the DuPage Chorale, Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. He also founded and conducted New Classic Singers, a professional vocal ensemble, for 30 years. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, Kesselman has conducted Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco for OperaWorks! in Madison, WI. Among his compositions are the opera The Bremen Town Musicians and Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand for children’s chorus and orchestra. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and recipient of over 20 ASCAP awards, Kesselman’s many compositions have been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Roger Dean Music, G. Schirmer and Kesselman Press. He is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician and composer-in-residence throughout the United States and abroad. He was named the Outstanding Faculty member at College of DuPage in 1994-95. Kesselman currently serves as President of Illinois Choral Directors Association. Kesselman is particularly known for his broad-reaching choral programs, including a wide span of music across periods, styles, cultures and contemporary social issues.