Saturday, February 12, 2011


The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra is Chicagoland’s unique orchestra of attorneys, judges and law students. 

Founded in 1986 by two lawyer-cellists who shared a stand at a Do-It-Yourself Messiah performance conducted by Margaret Hillis, it was she (via the Chicago Symphony's Evelyn Meine) who recommended David Katz, her Elgin Symphony associate conductor, to be the group’s music director. Growing from just a handful of musicians at its first rehearsal, many of whom still play with the ensemble, the group now regularly fields an orchestra of 75 musicians or more, virtually all affiliated with Chicago’s legal community. 

Among notable performances in the orchestra’s long history are the first performances anywhere of Gilbert & Sullivan’s courthouse operetta, Trial By Jury, in which the entire cast—soloists, chorus and orchestra—was made up entirely of legal professionals, performing in a working courtroom. The CBASO has collaborated with such notable soloists as Grammy Award winners William Warfield (Copland’s Lincoln PortraitRobert Black (Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto), Chicago Symphony principal tubist, Gene Pokorny, and former Lyric Opera concertmaster Henry Criz

The ensemble has performed for many public events of the Chicago Bar Association, its prime sponsor, including annual Law Day observances on Daley Plaza, the culminating event commemorating the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, and the recent celebration dinner for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. To mark its 20th anniversary in 2005, the CBASO presented Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Navy Pier on the final evening of the convention of World Bar Associations. The choral ensemble formed for that performance became the CBA Chorus, now celebrating its fifth anniversary. Under the direction Rebecca Patterson, the Chorus has performed many times with the CBASO in repertoire ranging from Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s Creation to the Faure Requiem and Poulenc Gloria

The CBASO & Chorus join together next season for an evening of opera choruses. Additional repertoire for the 2011-12 season includes Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Gershwin’s Concerto in F and the Schumann Piano Concerto, all presented at the CBASO’s performance home, St James Episcopal Cathedral, Wabash at Huron, Chicago.


The Naperville Chorus is pleased to be joining the Chicago Bar Association Symphony
in this presentation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The Naperville Chorus has a long history of collaborative orchestral and choral performances including such classics as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances. Most recently the Naperville Chorus, along with the Dupage Symphony Orchestra, performed Alexander Nevsky by Sergei Prokofiev.

Since its founding in 1976, the Naperville Chorus has seen growth both musically and in size and now boasts a membership of more than 125. It presents two concerts a year in the wonderful acoustic space of Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College. In the last 35 years, the chorus has presented major choral works, with orchestral accompaniment, to the Naperville and surrounding community. It has also sung new works by local composers, including Ann McKinley's Psalm 46, which was written to honor Commander Dan Shanower, a former Naperville resident, who was killed in the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Preceding the present chorus, was a choral ensemble created in the 1960s by Dr. Paul Warren Allen of the North Central College Music Department. That original chorus introduced the format we continue to use today, which melds the vocal talents of students, college personnel, and community members into a strong organization. In 1976, a chorus was created to celebrate the bicentennial in Naperville and the present chorus is an outgrowth of that group. The chorus has had two directors in its 35-year history. It was founded and directed by Robert O. Jaynes for its first 15 years until his retirement. Professor Jeordano Martínez of North Central College took over the baton and the role of music director, with Jon Warfel as assistant director. The Naperville Chorus Chamber Singers, directed by Ross Berkley, has presented programs in more intimate settings and for local community organizations. If you would like to know more about the Naperville Chorus and its programs, please visit our website at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

about CBASO music director DAVID KATZ

David Katz is one of the most versatile performing artists currently working in the Chicago area. Award-winning composer, guest conductor of more than sixty orchestras and opera companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico, David is now celebrating his 25th season as the founding music director of The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra. During his long tenure, Chicagoland’s unique all-lawyer ensemble has performed more than one hundred times, in repertoire ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

David' guest appearances include concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony and Corpus Christi Symphony. Former associate conductor of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra under music director Margaret Hillis, and for twelve years music director of the Adrian Symphony Orchestra and co-founder of Opera!Lenawee in Michigan, Katz is currently artistic director of Hat City Music Theater and the Candlewood Symphony in Connecticut, and serves The American Prize, the national performing arts competitions, as Chief Judge. Also a professional playwright, actor and arts advocate, Katz tours internationally in his acclaimed one-man play, MUSE of FIRE, about the secrets of conducting, which he presented at Theater Building Chicago in 2008.

David Katz holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees in composition and conducting from the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford. He was a student of the great Lithuanian maestro, Vytautas Marijosius, and was the first in the school’s history to be awarded an Artist’s Diploma in Conducting.  Katz also studied for five years under Maestro Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine, and later founded Opera Maine, the Monteux Opera Festival, and the Chamber Orchestra of Maine. He has partnered such artists as Itzhak Perlman and Misha Dichter in concert and has worked with some of the greatest composers of the age, including William Schuman, Hans Werner Henze, Milton Babbitt and Elliott Carter. Katz’s own compositions are published by Carl Fischer and G. Schirmer, among others.

about REBECCA PATTERSON, CBASO chorus director

Choral director Rebecca Patterson brings thirty years of professional experience to her work with the Chicago Bar Association Chorus. In 2006 she led the Chorus in rehearsals for its performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Navy Pier. Since then, she has prepared the chorus for performances of Fauré's Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation and Poulenc’s Gloria. Shortly after the Chorus’s formation, Rebecca led the group in the National Anthem at a Chicago White Sox game. Before conducting at baseball games, Rebecca served as music director for various churches in the Chicago area. As a soprano soloist, she has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, and regional orchestras, and in operatic performances she has portrayed a wide variety of characters. Rebecca is a popular voice teacher and works with classical and musical theatre singers.