DES PLAINES, IL, November 4, 2010 – The Northwest Choral Society (“NWCS”) will present its holiday concert on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights, IL and Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. at Edison Park Lutheran Church on the northwest side of Chicago.

After a yearlong search process, the NWCS welcomes Alan Wellman as its new Music Director.  Pianist Lori Lyn Mackie will accompany the chorus.

The concert is entitled “The Christmas Star.”  The holiday program will begin with the first movement of Bach’s cantata BWV 1, “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star.”   The “stellar” theme continues with Grieg’s “Ave Maris Stella” and Lauridsen’s hauntingly beautiful “O Nata Lux.”  Familiar songs of the season include the spirituals “Rise Up, Shepherd” and “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” and the popular “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  The concert will conclude with Benjamin Harlan’s arrangements of familiar carols in “The Christmas Canticles”.  Audience participation is welcomed as the Northwest Choral Society fills the sanctuaries with Yuletide song!

A complimentary preconcert lecture and discussion of the program’s music will be hosted by chorus member John Morrison 45 minutes prior to the concert on both days.

Tickets for the “The Christmas Star” concerts are $16 for adults and $13 for students and seniors, and may be obtained online at, by calling 224 / 585-9127, or an hour prior to each concert at the respective church.  Southminster Presbyterian Church is located at 916 East Central Road, Arlington Heights and Edison Park Lutheran Church is located at 6626 North Oliphant Avenue, Chicago.

Alan Wellman is pleased and proud to take the baton and conduct his inaugural concert as the newly appointed director of the Northwest Choral Society.  Mr. Wellman completed a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the California State University, Los Angeles, and has been teaching at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood for the past six years.  Previous appointments include Music Director for the Windy City Performing Arts, First Presbyterian Church of La Grange and the Elmhurst Maenner and Damen choruses.

NWCS pianist Lori Lyn Mackie is from Michigan, and now lives in the Chicago area.  She has studied at Interlochen, the Bay View Conservatory, the Blossom Festival School and the Koninklijk vlaams Musiekconservatorium van Antwerpen, Belgium. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Piano Performance and German from Albion College and a Master Degree in Piano Performance/Chamber/Music/Accompanying from Northwestern University.  Ms Mackie was featured in 1991, 1993, 1999 and 2008 as piano soloist with the NWCS chorus and orchestra.  She is currently director of music at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Burbank, IL and is pianist for Anshe Tikvah in Arlington Heights.

“The Christmas Star” is the first of three concerts the Northwest Choral Society will perform for the 2010-2011 season.  Founded in 1965, the Northwest Choral Society is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the appreciation, understanding and performance of a wide variety of outstanding choral literature.  Its adult membership resides in Chicago and the northwest suburbs.

The Northwest Choral Society invites experienced singers to audition to join the organization.  Singers, from 17 to 117, with previous choral experience can obtain additional information about the Northwest Choral Society at