The Grande Prairie Singers (formerly the Park Forest Singers) was organized in 1977 by Sandy Chabot, a choral music teacher at Bloom and Bloom Trail High School in the 1970s while working on her Doctorate at the University of Illinois.
The musicians of the Grande Prairie Singers have been dedicated to sharing their passion for the vocal arts, and breathing life into the classic and modern masterworks of choral literature for almost 40 years. They are doctors, students, engineers, teachers, lawyers, and accountants from communities across the Chicago Southland who gather weekly to perfect their craft and revel in each other’s love for song. Under the inspiring direction of Jo Rodenburg, the Grande Prairie Singers continues to build upon the foundation of excellence that has led it to be recognized as one of the region’s premier arts organizations.
Audiences have enjoyed professional soloists as well as local students and local instrumentalists as guest artists. They have performed with other Arts organizations, including the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, the Southwest Symphony Orchestra and with legendary Margaret Hillis and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus. They have performed with the University of Chicago Chorus and the Rockefeller Chapel Choir.
Although based in Park Forest, the Singers became recognized internationally through their concert tours to Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, England, Scotland, Wales, Hungary, and Slovakia. They represented the State of Illinois while singing at the Papal Audience with John Paul II.
Many children have had the opportunity to study music in the Grande Prairie Children’s Choir, important when funding for the arts in local schools has been cut. Students from Kindergarten through 8th grade benefit from the power of singing in their lives and share in the joy that only ensemble singing can bring.
Through the years, this group has been guided by many excellent Music Directors, Board Members, donors and audiences. Current director, Jo Rodenberg, a voice teacher at DePaul University, and Board President, Sue Koelling, have worked closely with Prairie State College to give local students performance opportunities to help them go on to University or Conservatory programs.
Information on our 2016-2017 season and auditions is available on our website at grandeprairiechoral.org.