By TONIA HILL
The Chicago Children’s Choir’s performing ensemble, Voice of Chicago, is set to embark on a performance tour in Italy from Tuesday, July 4, to Thursday, July 13. Over the span of the nine-day tour the choir will perform in six cities including the world-renowned Ravenna and Ravello festivals.
The trip this year marks the CCC’s third tour of Italy. Voice of Chicago members have visited 25 countries and performed with such as Luciano Pavarotti, Yo-Yo Ma, Eddie Vedder, Samuel Ramey, Chance the Rapper, Andrea Bocelli and Bobby McFerrin.
“We are honored to provide these opportunities and hope that Voice of Chicago’s example as international ambassadors will continue to inspire the 4,600 children in our programs across Chicago,” Josephine Lee, president and artistic director of Chicago Children’s Choir, said in a written statement.
The Chicago Children’s Choir was founded in Hyde Park in 1956, with the mission to unite young people of diverse backgrounds. The group has 4,600 members who are enrolled across 57 Chicago zip codes, and there are 106 choirs within 80 Chicago schools.
Among the Voice of Chicago, members are Hyde Park and Kenwood residents that attend Walter Payton College Prep, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Whitney Young High School and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
Additionally, Voice of Chicago students will participate in a daylong workshop with partner school, Cometa, in the city of Como. The collaboration began in 2016 with a focus on achieving excellence in musical performance.
Cometa established Coro di Oliver, a choir of 40 students inspired by the model of Chicago Children’s Choir with the support of Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
“I believe that music is one of the main ways through which to connect people of different cultures,” Muti said in a written statement. “It is our duty to teach young musicians about what it means to be an artist; that it is a job that requires awareness, morality, passion, and devotion to understanding other ways of living.”
The tour includes internationally acclaimed festivals and venues, including Ravenna Festival, which is led by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, wife of Riccardo Muti. It will close in one of the oldest and renowned festivals in Italy, the Ravello Festival, which is known as the “City of Music.”
The performances will be available for live stream on ccchoir.org/italy.