The Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the oldest performing-arts organization in Illinois, brings together singers from around the region and from all walks of life, united in their joy of making beautiful music. Apollo provides a place for community members to learn and grow as musicians and as people.
Apollo’s history is inextricably tied to the history of Chicago itself. Started as the Apollo Music Club in the ashes of the Chicago Fire, Apollo was a place for individuals from throughout Chicago to come together, bringing the music of Händel, Mendelssohn, and Bach to heal a city torn apart by the Fire. Apollo was there at the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition, the opening of concert venues like Orchestra Hall and Rockefeller Chapel, and even the star-studded Oprah finale.
Today, the Apollo Chorus of Chicago has grown from humble beginnings into a premier choral organization. This past season the chorus celebrated its 150th anniversary season. Apollo includes 100+ auditioned members of the Chicago community. The Apollo of today is much different from the Apollo of the past. Though we still follow many of our choral traditions — performing Händel’s Messiah every December since 1879, and programming concerts with the great choral-orchestral works of yesterday and today — Apollo has also branched out to new music, new opportunities, and new collaborations. Apollo has provided backup for singers like Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, and Aretha Franklin; we provided a chorus for such programs as Distant Worlds: Music of Final Fantasy, Star Wars in Concert, and Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses; we have worked with contemporary composers like Eric Whittacre, Stephen Paulus, Jeff Beal, and Eleanor Daley; and we continue to explore new musical styles, from Broadway to Jazz to Latin music.
John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune stated that “the Apollo Chorus sings robustly,” and New City remarks “Alltop’s unbroken track record for training his chorus to express such varieties of style and color that it rivals any other in the city.” To learn more about Apollo Chorus of Chicago visit apollochorus.org.