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The return of the Galesburg Community Chorus

Courtesy photo
The Galesburg Community Chorus in December, 2019

Due to the pandemic, it has been nearly two years since the Galesburg Community Chorus performed in public. That hiatus will come to an end this weekend.

“We’re very excited about the idea of being able to connect with a live audience again,” said Tim Pahel, who directs the choral group.

The concert will be held Saturday, November 20, 2021, 7:30 p.m., at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg. Pahel said tickets will be sold at the door: $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and admission is free for all students.

Pahel said the group will perform two works, both by contemporary composers:

  • Ola Gjeilo’s Luminous Night of the Soul, which was composed in 2012
  • Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, which was written in 2013

“It’s beautiful music. Both of those pieces are just gorgeous,” said Pahel. “They’re just really expressive (with) beautiful melodies, beautiful harmonies, and the singers have loved learning this music so I think the audience will enjoy hearing it.”
He said this will be the Galesburg premiere of both compositions.

Pahel, who is also Director of Choral Activities at Monmouth College and Chair of the Department of Music at the college, said the community chorus started rehearsing the works in January, 2020. The pandemic forced the group to stop rehearsals by mid-March of that year, but members held onto the hope they would one day perform the pieces.

“We loved the music so much and we had gotten so far along in learning it that we didn’t want to let go of the opportunity of performing it. The concert intended for Spring of 2020 is the one we’re doing now,” he said.

About the group

The Galesburg Community Chorus was founded in 1945. Pahel said it is a non-audition group, meaning anyone can join. Its members come from communities around the region.

“We’re lucky to have a very dedicated group of singers,” Pahel said.

He said its members have ranged in age from people in their 20s to their 80s.

He said the group rehearses on Monday nights.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.