The Apollo Chorus of Chicago is the area's premier volunteer chorus. Its 125-plus auditioned members include men and women of all ages, races, creeds, and occupations brought together by their abiding love of music. The voices of college students blend seamlessly with the voices of retirees who have belonged to Apollo over fifty years. The singers’ dedication, artistry, and passion produce performances of unrivalled majesty.
Apollo performs the masterworks of the choral repertoire in concert halls and cathedrals all over the Chicagoland area. In recent years, the Chorus has performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Mass in b minor, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Berlioz’s Requiem. Apollo’s annual performances of Handel’s complete Messiah have become a beloved holiday tradition for Chicago families. Apollo embraces new masterpieces too and has featured contemporary composers Eric Whitacre and Eleanor Daley in its repertoire. Annual Cathedral Concerts showcase the Chorus’s range spanning from spirituals to sambas, Baroque to the Blues.
In addition to its own season, Apollo has frequently been invited to perform in music festivals and concert series with top orchestras and conductors around the Midwest, including the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Peninsula Music Festival.
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago has a matchless heritage. Founded in 1872, it is the oldest volunteer choral society in the United States and the oldest musical organization in Chicago. Apollo has produced the Chicago Messiah every December since 1879. And it has ushered in each new era of Chicago’s rich musical history, with performances inaugurating every major musical venue in the City.
The Chorus was founded in the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire, in an effort to restore civic pride and boost the morale of Chicagoans following incredible devastation. Prior to the Fire, the City had boasted many neighborhood and ethno-centric choruses, but, along with much of the City, their rehearsal halls and music collections were destroyed. From its very beginning, therefore, Apollo was meant to be an organization that brought singers from diverse communities in Chicago together into one ensemble that would carry on beloved traditions and create new ones. Since 1872 the Chorus has continued to be a welcoming community of singers who are drawn together by their mutual love of music and their dedication to the cultural life of Chicago.
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago is a world-class musical organization that performs preeminent choral works at premier venues. As a volunteer community chorus bound together since 1872 by a shared love of choral music, Apollo continually strives to advance musically and to increase appreciation of choral music by presenting concerts and educational programs for diverse communities throughout Chicagoland.