Cloud Gate choirs set the soundtrack to the season

By Jesse Wright | Staff Writer

The Christmas season means cold weather, good family, friends, warm wishes and…music.

No matter the age, the political bent or, heck, even the religious beliefs of so many people, classic Christmas songs like “Silent Night” and “White Christmas” still strike a chord. In Chicago, these songs—as well as more modern fare—are best heard by the Bean, or Cloud Gate, in Millennium Park as part of the city’s annual Caroling at Cloud Gate program.

“I would just say Chicago is a fabulous city with so many fantastic artistic opportunities,” said Kayleigh Dudevoir. “Just go. It’s really fun to introduce yourself to music that’s less accessible and to learn more about what the city has to offer.”

Dudevoir should know—she is the executive director of the Chicago Chamber Choir, the group slated to perform at Cloud Gate Dec. 7. She offered a peek behind the scenes of the choir circuit, and she said her choir has been busy preparing for months. “Usually our official season begins in October, but we get Christmas requests as soon as mid-November,” she said.

This month at Cloud Gate, Dudevoir said guests can expect to hear a mix of Christmas music.

“Some traditional Christmas carols like ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Deck the Halls’ and so on, as well as Christmas-themed but not traditional carols” will be sung in the park, she said.

Dudevoir said the choir has been performing at Cloud Gate for several years—it’s her sixth season with the group—and she said it’s always enjoyable for the choir and for the attendees. “We’ve done a number of performances there and there are always lots of children,” she said.

Guests will bring hot chocolate to sip while they listen and, Dudevoir said, if it’s not too terribly cold, the choir tries to wear festive sweaters, so it’s not so formal.

The city invites folks to hear some of the best choirs in the city perform Christmas carols for free at Cloud Gate.

The Chicago Chamber Choir will kick off the December Cloud Gate events on Dec. 7. All performances begin at 6 p.m. and wrap up by 7 p.m. Admission is free. The other performances will be Dec. 12 and Dec. 14 at the same times. To check out the Chicago Chamber Choir, its website, www.chicagochamberchoir.org/season, includes all upcoming dates.

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