Symphony Orchestra

The CBA Symphony Orchestra is designed for all CBA members who are interested in participating in an orchestra or in smaller chamber ensembles. Rehearsals are held at the Daley Center and public performances are scheduled from September through May. Orchestra members must be CBA members in good standing with the Association. Annual dues to help defray costs are $50 Student, $95 Member and $125 Supporting Members.

Auditions are not required, but openings in some sections may be limited due to musical staffing requirements. In general, the Orchestra can usually accept additional string players and low brass players. Openings for other instruments are very limited (please inquire). Please direct all inquiries via email to cbaso.cochairs@gmail.com.

For further information about the CBA Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, visit www.cbasymphonyandchorus.blogspot.com.



History of the Symphony Orchestra


The Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra is Chicagoland's unique orchestra of attorneys, judges and law students. Growing from just a handful of musicians at its first rehearsal in 1986, the CBASO now regularly fields an orchestra of 75 musicians or more, virtually all affiliated with Chicago's legal community.

The musical momentum initiated by a small group of lawyers has grown into today's CBASO, a musical group collaborating to present exciting and increasingly challenging musical works each season. Under the direction of professional conductor and founding music director, David Katz, the CBASO has performed in venues ranging from Daley Center courtrooms to Chicago's Symphony Center.

The orchestra performs at many public events for the Chicago Bar Association, its prime sponsor, including annual Law Day celebrations on Daley Plaza. Other notable performances have included the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration at Navy Pier with famed author Doris Kearns Goodwin, and a 2010 gala for retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The orchestra is also noted for having presented the very first performances of Gilbert and Sullivan's courtroom operetta, Trial By Jury, in a working courtroom, with a cast, orchestra and chorus made up entirely of legal professionals.

To mark its 20th anniversary in 2006, the CBASO performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at Navy Pier on the final evening of the convention of World Bar Associations. In 2011 the CBASO, CBA Chorus and guest choirs, nearly 300 musicians in all, performed Carl Orff's Carmina Burana at Symphony Center to a sell-out crowd to celebrate the Orchestra's 25th anniversary. The chorus and orchestra returned to Symphony Center in 2015 to present "Something Wonderful!", an evening of music by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

When not at Symphony Center or Daley Plaza, the CBASO's performance home is St. James Episcopal Cathedral at Wabash and Huron in Chicago. 2018-19 concert highlights include Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, and of course the return to Symphony Center in June, including solo performances by Orchestra Members, choral works performed by the Chicago Bar Association Chorus, DePaul Community Chorus, Niles Metropolitan Chorus and the Winners of the American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award, and, of course, the triumphal final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

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Upcoming Events:

A Tribute to Bob Ojeda: Composer & Arranger
October 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St., Chicago IL 
(enter on Plymouth Ct.)
Free Admission
PDF Details  

Oktoberfest
Beer, pretzels, members of the Barristers Big Band wearing funny hats and playing traditional German songs! A perfect way to celebrate a timeless tradition!
Be sure and bring your Lederhosen!
October 26, 2018, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago IL 60604
$50 per person
Order tickets by calling Tamra Drees at 312-554-2057 or tdrees@chicagobar.org.
PDF Details

Brahms and Haydn
Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus  
David Katz, Stephen Blackwelder and Marek Rachelski, conductors 
November 7, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
St. James Cathedral on Huron
Joseph  Haydn's "Mass in Time of War"
Johannes Brahms' "Symphony No. 2"
https://brahmsandhaydn.bpt.me
PDF Details

Holiday Classics
Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus 
Stephen Blackwelder and Michael Poulos, conductors 
Holiday classics and other festive music in a delightful one hour program perfect for the season.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 7:30 p.m.
St. James Cathedral on Huron
https://holidaysparkle.bpt.me

Wine Tasting
Come join the annual CBASO Wine Tasting! Sample wine, enjoy some small bites, and listen to wonderful music performed by small ensembles and soloists who play and sing with the CBA’s Orchestra and Chorus
February 8, 2019, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Stay tuned to for ticketing information.

Barristers Big Band Benefit Ball
The annual tradition continues – live music, dancing, food and free drinks!
April 26, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
The Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago, IL 60604

"Ode to Joy" in Niles
Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus, DePaul Community Chorus, Niles Metropolitan Chorus and Winners of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award
David Katz, Stephen Blackwelder and Marek Rachelski, Conductors 
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 3:00 p.m.
St John Brebeuf, 8305 North Harlem Ave, Niles, IL 
-Overture 
-Robert Schumann Piano Concerto, mvt 1
-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Clarinet Concerto, mvt 2
-Camille Saint-Saëns B minor Violin Concerto, mvt. 3
-Selections by the combined choruses 
-Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th, 4th mvt (“Ode to Joy")
https://odetojoyniles.bpt.me

“Ode to Joy” at Symphony Hall
Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and CBA Chorus, DePaul Community Chorus, Niles Metropolitan Chorus and Winners of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award
David Katz, Stephen Blackwelder and Marek Rachelski, Conductors
Saturday, June 22, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Symphony Center 
-Overture TBA
-Robert Schumann Piano Concerto, mvt 1
-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Clarinet Concerto, mvt 2
-Camille Saint-Saëns B minor Violin Concerto, mvt. 3
-Selections by the combined choruses 
-Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th, 4th mvt (“Ode to Joy”)
Tickets on sale soon at https://cso.org/ticketsandevents