The Chicago Master Singers (CMS) was founded in 1979. Our repertoire consists of the great choral and orchestral works of the past as well as contemporary works by living composers. Chorus members are drawn from over 50 communities around the greater Chicago area and come from all walks of life and professions. For some, music is their vocation as professional singers, teachers and choir directors; and for others it is their avocation, a way to enrich their lives by coming together with others who love to sing and performing great works of music. CMS embarks on a European performance tour every two years as ambassadors of goodwill.
Alan Heatherington, Music Director
Alan Heatherington has built his career in the Chicago metropolitan area as a choral and orchestral conductor, a violinist/concertmaster and an educator. So distinguished are his accomplishments that the Chicago Tribune named him a Chicagoan of the Year in the arts in 2004. The Illinois Council of Orchestras awarded him the title of Conductor of the Year for 2005 and again in 2012. In 2010 he received the Cultural Leadership Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Illinois Council of Orchestras, for “sustained leadership, extending beyond his own organizations and community, that has profoundly impacted the state of the arts in Illinois.” He was the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award from Chicago Classical Review. He has held the post of Music Director of the Chicago Master Singers (CMS) since 1989.
What the critics say
“Chicago Master Singers, by almost any measure, has to be considered among the city’s top choral ensembles.” Kyle MacMillan, chicagoclassicalreview.com
“…what came through powerfully was the deep emotion and intense spirituality of the music. Heatherington’s focused, scrupulous direction of his forces—vocal quartet, orchestra and large chorus—conveyed … the intense drama of the music, deftly varying the slow tempos to provide expressive variety.”
Lawrence Johnson, chicagoclassicalreview.com
“Conductor Alan Heatherington, his Ars Viva Orchestra, a quartet of vocalists and the Chicago Master Singers were top-flight companions in large works of sacred music by Schumann and Bruckner. The music seemed tailor-made for the Divine Word Chapel, a cathedral with a live-wire acoustic …”
Bryant Manning, chicagoclassicalreview.com
“… the transparency of Chicago Master Singers is extraordinary, to be sure. Heatherington kept a tight rein on dynamics, balances and diction all evening and, despite the resonance of the space, lines and texts remained clear.” Dennis Polkow, chicagoclassicalreview.com
“The Chicago Master Singers – 129 strong – delivered daunting corporate power … and dedication in their challenging role. … the vocalism and tonal refinement was impressive" Lawrence Johnson, chicagoclassicalreview.com