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CBA Chorus

Photo: Carmina Burana, Symphony Center, June 5, 2011


Mission - The CBA Chorus Seeks to:

  • Promote and enhance the public's understanding and image of The Chicago Bar Association by sharing the musical excellence of its members.
  • Perform 5-6 concerts a year and provide choral music for CBA-sponsored events
  • Attract new members to the CBA by offering opportunities for civic involvement and artistic expression
  • Complement The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra
  • Promote civic service among CBA members
  • Provide an opportunity for CBA members to exchange ideas and information through interaction in a social setting
  • Offer a valuable service to CBA members in response to a known demand


A Brief History of the Chorus:

Since its inception, the chorus has collaborated with the CBA Symphony Orchestra on such masterpieces as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Haydn's Creation, Poulenc's Gloria, Pinkham's Christmas Cantata, Orff's Carmina Burana, Thompson's Frostiana, Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, choruses from Borodin's Prince Igor, Copland's The Tender Land, Puccini's Madame Butterfly, Verdi's Nabucco, Rachmaninoff’s Cherubic Hymn, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, Haydn’s Te Deum and Bruckner’s Te Deum. The chorus has performed at Navy Pier on several occasions, including the CBA's Lincoln Bicentennial Gala and Family Holiday Festival and the Pier's Winter Wonderfest. The chorus has also performed holiday concerts at the Harold Washington Library.


In commemoration of Lincoln's Bicentennial, the chorus presented its first "solo" concert during its 2009-2010 season. The concert featured popular music of the era and the rousing campaign song, "Lincoln and Liberty."


In addition to major concerts, the CBA Chorus has performed at Law Day events in Chicago and has sung the National Anthem at US Cellular Field. In 2011 and 2012, the Chorus collaborated with the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Choir and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Choir in holiday conerts at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Chicago.


The Chorus' 2013-2014 season program included Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, a concert of traditional songs of the Americas, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.


Big Apple Razzle Dazzle: The CBA Chorus' Joint Concert with the New York City Bar Chorus

On March 28, 2014, the CBA Chorus joined the New York City Bar Chorus for a concert of popular American songs in the historic New York City Bar Association Building.


Photo: New York City Bar Association Building, March 28, 2014


Lincoln and His America: A Musical Celebration

On February 16, 2013, the CBA Chorus and select members of the CBA Symphony Orchestra presented a concert of Lincoln-era songs, folk music and spirituals, along with musical works and narrative readings about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era, at historic Representative Hall in the Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL.


Representative Hall, Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL, February 16, 2013


For more on the Springfield concert, see “Celebrating Lincoln’s Legacy”, CBA Record, May 2013.


The CBA Chorus' 5th Anniversary Celebration: Carmina Burana

On June 5, 2011, in celebration of the CBA Symphony Orchestra's 25th anniversary and the CBA Chorus' 5th anniversary, the Orchestra and Chorus, joined by the Naperville Chorus and the Young Naperville Singers, presented their season finale performance of Carmina Burana at Symphony Center in Chicago. To view photos of the concert, visit and  To view the concert program, click here.


Listen to an excerpt of "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana.


Photo: Carmina Burana, Symphony Center, June 5, 2011


Video Clip: The CBA Symphony Orchestra and Chorus rehearse for their upcoming performance of Carmina Burana in "Some Musicians You Should Know: The Bar Association Orchestra." Thanks to orchestra member and CBS 2 anchor Harry Porterfield for doing this story, which aired on Channel 2 on May 27, 2011.


Justice John Paul Stevens Awards Ceremony and Gala Celebration

On September 15, 2010, the Chorus gave a special concert performance at the 11th Annual Justice John Paul Stevens Awards Ceremony and Gala Celebration at the Chicago Hilton. The chorus performed Aaron Copland's "The Promise of Living" and patriotic songs. See a letter of appreciation from Justice Stevens.


Join the CBA Chorus for its 9th Anniversary Season!

Join the CBA Chorus for a season of masterpieces rehearsed and performed under outstanding professional conductors. The chorus has openings in all sections. Rehearsals are held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at the CBA Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court. To join, contact Jennifer Widmer.


No auditions are required. All our members have had previous choral experience and all new members should have vocal experience, preferably choral experience. There is a $50 annual membership fee and an additional music fee of approximately $25. Dues for students are $25. All members of the CBA are welcome to participate. If you are not already a CBA member, call 312-554-2133 for a membership application or join online.


Recent Events:

The CBA Chorus’ 2014-2015 included:

  • Chamber Concert – September 21, 2014
    Featuring chamber ensembles from the CBA Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a diverse program of instrumental and vocal selections.
  • Songs of Asia – November 19, 2014
    Music of China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines in traditional and contemporary settings, and original works inspired by Asia’s musical traditions.


Upcoming Events:

The CBA Chorus’ 2014-2015 season will include:

  • Something Wonderful – The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein: Preview Concert With the CBA Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Master Chorale – March 22, 2015 at Blizzard Theatre, Elgin Community College. Click here for tickets.
  • Something Wonderful – The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein:  With the CBA Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Master Chorale – April 26, 2015 at Orchestra Hall/Symphony Center. Click here for tickets.
    Music from Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music and more, and featuring award-winning soloists of The American Prize in Voice.


Purchase tickets on line at
For more information about the 2014-2015 season, see the CBA Symphony and Chorus blog at



The CBA Chorus' Bar Chorus Friends:


Listen to Sounds of the CBA Chorus



Related Files
Justice Stevens Thank You Letter
Carmina Burana Program Booklet June 2011
Article: Chorus in Springfield