Bel Canto Chorus
Press Release

Bel Canto Chorus Announces 2017–18 Season

Highlights include Music Director’s 30th season, emerging composers, and the return of a holiday favorite

By - Aug 18th, 2017 04:31 pm

Bel Canto Chorus announces its 87th anniversary season of connecting singers, audiences, and the community by creating experiences featuring diverse choral music. This year’s season, Roots & Wings, combines timeless, traditional choral pieces with the sounds of new works by living composers.

Roots imply all that grounds us—our common and personal histories, our shared humanity, and our cultural traditions. Wings suggest that which is ahead of us—flights of fancy, achievements, and the future,” said Bel Canto’s music director Richard Hynson. “The programs that I have selected [for this season] reflect both of these characteristics.”

The season kicks off in October with Evensong. The concert will focus on music for the unaccompanied voice and will include works that recall some aspect of cultural history. Taking place at the breathtaking Basilica of St. Josaphat, a venue often frequented by Bel Canto, the program features three large-scale works including music director Richard Hynson’s Evensong, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Mass in G Minor,  and Grammy award-winner Eric Whitacre’s first sacred work: Alleluia.

Bel Canto Chorus brings in the holiday season with its annual Christmas in the Basilica at the Basilica of St. Josaphat. The well-loved holiday concert continues a tradition that has lasted for a decade, and which was started by Hynson. He credits his own childhood as the source for his desire for the chorus to sing in a space with such rich history and stunning architecture as the Basilica. This year’s seasonal concert will include traditional carols, the always-anticipated sing-alongs, as well as new Christmas music by Milwaukee composer, Daniel Van Gelderen. Three performances of the concert will take place December 8–10.

March’s concert, Voices & Strings, includes a well-known work alongside the original sounds of two emerging composers. Music by noted British and American composer Tarik O’Regan, and well-established Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten, will be juxtaposed with a unique combination of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and his Agnus Dei.

The season ends in May with The Immigrant Story. Appropriate to the title of the concert, Bel Canto will be performing at a new venue—the Irish Cultural & Heritage Center of Wisconsin. As current as today’s headlines, the story of many immigrants coming to America to put down new roots will be accompanied by the songs that comforted these travelers as they sought a better life in the New World.

Season and Individual Tickets:

Bel Canto Chorus 2017–18 season and individual tickets are on sale now. Purchase season tickets and save up to 15% versus single ticket prices through October 13, 2017. Tickets are available to purchase online at or by phone at 414-481-8801.


Founded in 1931, Bel Canto Chorus is Southeastern Wisconsin’s oldest continually performing arts organization.  The organization is committed to connecting singers, audiences, and the community through experiences with diverse choral music.  The group includes an auditioned adult performance chorus of approximately 100 singers and a Senior Singers program for those 55 or better who want to sing in an organized performance chorus (with more information coming within the next year about an updated youth program).  Characterized by a heartfelt belief in the value of Bel Canto Chorus’s mission and vision, and supported by devoted singers and audiences, talented artistic and administrative staff, and dedicated Board members, the group’s passion for sharing the thrill of live choral music has remained steadfast throughout its long, proud history. For more info, visit

Mentioned in This Press Release


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Bel Canto Chorus Pays Tribute to Wisconsin’s History Through Song & Rich Storytelling

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7:30pm. Irish Cultural & Heritage Center of Wisconsin

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Bel Canto Chorus Presents Christmas in the Basilica

Annual concert finds balance between holiday favorites and a world premiere

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