PARK RIDGE, IL, November 7, 2013 – The Northwest Choral Society (“NWCS”), under the direction of artistic director Alan Wellman, will present its first concert of the season, entitled “Joy to the World!”, on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL, and Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ in De Plaines, IL.


The concert will feature Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, along with John Rutter’s arrangements ofa number of popular Christmas carols and hymns.  The NWCS Chamber Orchestra will accompany the NWCS. 

English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten was a central figure of British classical music, having written a wide range of 20th-century works including opera, choral music, orchestral and chamber pieces, as well as film music.  A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28was written in 1942 while Britten was at sea, going from the United States to England.  It consists of eleven movements, with the majority of the text taken from The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems, as edited by Gerald Bullet. It was originally written for treble choir and harp; because of the popularity of the piece, Julius Harrison arranged the mixed chorus setting that the NWCS will perform.

Harpist Catherine Litaker will accompany the NWCS on A Ceremony of Carols.  She has performed in many festivals around the world, and is a founding member of the Chicago Harp Quartet.

A complimentary preconcert lecture and discussion of the music will be hosted by chorus member John Morrison 45 minutes prior to each concert.

The following Chicago-area companies are sponsors of the concert through their much appreciated financial contributions: Lipke-Kentex-Hesse, Inc. of Chicago, Haven Distributors, Inc. of  Skokie and Unichem, Inc. of Chicago.

Tickets for the “Joy to the World!” concert are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and may be obtained online at, by calling 224 / 585-9127 or an hour prior to either the December 7 concert at the Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division Street, River Forest or the December 8 concert at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 766  Graceland Avenue, Des Plaines. 

“Joy to the World!” is the first of two concerts the Northwest Choral Society will perform for the 2013-2014 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 the greater Chicago area.

The Northwest Choral Society invites experienced singers to audition to join the organization.  Basses, tenors, altos and sopranos with previous choral experience and 17 years of age can obtain additional information about the Northwest Choral Society at



The Northwest Choral Society presented a 2012 holiday concert at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest.