Chorus Staff

Stephen Blackwelder

Chorus Director

Stephen Blackwelder is currently Director of the DePaul Community Chorus (since 2005), Director of the Chicago Bar Association Chorus (since 2017) and Music Director of North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield (since 2016). 

Previous positions include Music Director of the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra (2000-2018) and Music Director of the Hinsdale Chamber Orchestra (1983-94), plus numerous civic/educational orchestral, opera, and choral ensembles in the greater Chicago area. As a professional singer, he performed frequently under conductors Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Robert Shaw and Margaret Hillis while a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Aspen Chamber Choir. 

Over a number of decades, he served on the conducting staff of Chicago Opera Theater, Opera da Corneto, Opera Illinois, Hinsdale Opera Theater (IL) and Harford Opera Theater of Baltimore. Academic and teaching positions include East Carolina University, Northern Illinois University, Lake Forest College and (currently) DePaul University’s Community Music Division. 

Blackwelder holds a BM from the University of North Carolina (1978) and a MM from Northwestern University (1979). Professional study included four seasons with the Aspen Music Festival and conducting master classes with Sir Georg Solti, Max Rudolf and Erich Leinsdorf.

Jeremy Vigil
Jeremy Vigil

Pianist and Accompanist

With musical tastes ranging from classical-tune to chiptune to showtune, Jeremy Vigil is known for his versatility and adaptability in many different genres. As a pianist, organist, percussionist, and occasional baritone, he has worked across disciplines, performing with dancers, film, and narration, and has performed extensively in contemporary music and large ensembles. In addition to being a choral singer himself, he’s served as organist/pianist for Orange City United Methodist Church (FLA) and as pianist for Eastman School of Music’s summer Choral Institute. 

An avid proponent of new music, Jeremy is always looking for opportunities to collaborate directly on new works. He was a founding member of Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble, and has performed with other organizations, such as New York Composers Circle and Composers Concordance. Jeremy has worked with a variety of composers, including Helmut Lachenmann, Lori Laitman, Baljinder Sekhon, and Austin Wintory for performances of their compositions.

Jeremy recently held a position of Collaborative Pianist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has also been on faculty for summer festivals, such as Fresh Inc Festival (digital), and Si parla, si canta in Arona, Italy, where he made his operatic debut. 

With his new friends in the Chicago Bar Association Chorus, Jeremy is excited to bring some of the great choral works to life, and, along the way, gain insight into the composition of the legal world. Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Stetson University and a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music. He currently resides in Chicago with his wife and duo piano partner Florence Mak.