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WELCOME!

We extend our sincere thanks to all of those who supported the Michael Teolis Singers during our 7th season. True to our mission, we introduced and reintroduced hidden musical gems as well as the music of some important composers. Among the selections we featured in December were Nathaniel Dett’s “Ave Maria;” Katherine K. Davis’ (“The Little Drummer Boy”) “This Is Noel ;” Oak Park native John La Montaine’s “Songs of the Nativity;” and a truly fun performance by our women of “Hail Holy Queen” from the film Sister Act, with a memorable solo by sopranos Linda Coberly.

Our spring concert featured a guest artist, piano soloist Justin Kolb, as he brought to life Peter Schickele’s “Concerto for Piano and Voices: The Twelve Months,” with his skill and virtuosity. We also premiered “You Bring Me Happiness,” by the eminent composer/conductor Sir David Willcocks, and we presented the Midwest premiere of a “Te Deum,” written by a then 20-year old John Philip Sousa.

The season saw our attendance grow, as we raised our visibility through print and social media. We were included in one of John von Rhein’s special “picks” in the Chicago Tribune. Wait until you see what we have planned for next year! Please watch for details for our exciting 8th season.

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AUDITIONS

In anticipation of openings in the ensemble, auditions for the 2014-2015 season of the Michael Teolis Singers will be held:

Dates:
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 6.00-7.00 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2014 6.00-7.00 PM

(If you wish to audition but are unable to attend one of the suggested dates, please let us know and we will try to accommodate you.)

Location:
To be determined

Materials:
- 2 brief songs or arias, preferably
- 1 in English and -1 in a foreign language

There will be some sight-reading Singers are accepted based on:
- Available openings within sections
- Vocal quality; Sight-reading ability; Performance proficiency

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MIKE’S NOTES

March 17, 2014

Through some friends, in 1999, I happened to meet the eminent British conductor/composer, Sir David Willcocks. Then almost 80, he took me and a friend on a brisk walking tour of King’s College, Cambridge University, that left us scrambling to keep up — all the while telling anecdotes of his time as a student, teacher, and Director of Music at King’s College.

During a return visit in 2010, I was able to visit him once again at his home in Cambridge. Although that visit was short, we spent a good portion of it talking music. After giving me an impromptu lesson on the execution of phrasing in psalmody, he showed me a proof of a piece he submitted to Oxford University Press, his publisher.

The song was “You Bring Me Happiness.” He sat down at the piano, played through it, and explained that it was one of a few songs he wrote as a soldier during Word War II. The song, arranged for piano and SATB chorus, evokes tenderness in a “jazzy style,” and is reminiscent of something from a British music hall, complete with a big piano glissando at the end.

He also wrote the words — although, while I was there, he kept trying to attribute them to his daughter Anne, who was also there and kept insisting he wrote them all. At one point, while showing me the proofs, he mentioned that he has a reciprocal arrangement with his friend John Rutter: Rutter would check his proofs and David would check Rutter’s.

With the support of David’s family, particularly from his son Jonathan, also a composer of note, we are happy to premier his song in the United States. This song shows another side of this legendary musician.

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Michael Teolis Singers
2518 West Coyle Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60645