Grant Park Chorus | Harris Theater | Classical | Chicago Reader

Grant Park Chorus Recommended Free Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Tue., June 30, 6:30 p.m. and Thu., July 2, 6:30 p.m. 2009

WFMT’s Exploring Music With Bill McGlaughlin, which airs weekday evenings in Chicago, is one of the most compelling and informative classical-music programs in the country. In-depth yet casually presented, it makes even the most difficult material comprehensible—thanks in large part to McGlaughlin’s warm and engaging manner, exceptional insight, and top-shelf musicianship. He has a tremendous depth of broadcast experience with outlets like the BBC and PBS, hosting not only Exploring Music (since 2003) but also Saint Paul Sunday (since 1980), both of which are nationally syndicated. He’s also played trombone with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony; served as conductor for several other groups, including the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and published many well-received works as a composer. Tonight he’ll join the Grant Park Chorus to host a program of 20th-century American music. The program opens with pieces by Hovhaness, Corigliano, and Lauridsen as well as an early Copland—Four Motets, written in 1921, while he was a student of Nadia Boulanger. Next the chorus will sing Paul Crabtree’s Five Romantic Miniatures (From The Simpsons), a portrayal of the cartoon characters’ inner selves that’s both hysterical (Lisa’s maniacally repetitive, singsongy “I Like Langdon Alger”) and tender (Homer’s “Marge, I Need You”). The concert concludes with Samuel Barber’s Sure on This Shining Night (1938) and Steven Sametz’s gentle, jazz-infused I Have Had Singing (1993). Christopher Bell conducts; the program will repeat at the same time and place on Thursday, July 2. —Barbara Yaross

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