NIU’s Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and University Chorus to host in-person and virtual concert


Northern Star File Photo

The NIU University Choir performs “World Voices” in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in this Oct. 15, 2009 file photo.

By Parker Otto

DeKALB – NIU’s Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and University Chorus will host a concert, available for in-person viewing for family members and virtual streaming, from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building. The event will be the first live concert from these three groups since February 2020.

The three music groups will be performing separately with the University Chorus performing global folk music, the Chamber Choir with music of the 17th Century English Madrigal school and the Concert Choir with original compositions, said Eric Johnson, NIU’s director of Choral Activities.

“[The Chamber Choir] are presenting a world premiere of a new choral work commissioned specifically for the NIU Concert Choir,” Johnson said. “It is called “Isolation” and was written by New York based composer Karen Siegel. This piece is born out of the COVID-19 experience of the composer and all of our students.” 

Poetry, artwork and artist reflections of the past year will be shown in addition to the music, Johnson said. 

With a large number of students in these three groups, strict rules have been imposed for the students to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the students and family members in attendance. 

“For rehearsals, the choral ensembles have been following strict rules of social distancing, always wearing masks, shortened rehearsals and moving to alternate rooms to allow time for HEPA filters to clean out the air after a period of singing,” Johnson said. “The university has also been diligent in regular COVID-19 testing of students participating in music ensembles. This has been difficult, but the student’s dedication to creating great music, and their desire for connectivity with their peers have motivated them to make the best of a difficult situation.”

Admission is free, but tickets must be purchased at The School of Music’s tickets website. The concert can also be live streamed on the School of Music’s website, according to the event’s website.