Gloriana Chamber Choir

Go, Go, Gloriana!

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Gloriana Chamber Choir’s concerts, Life and Breath: Songs of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water, are approaching quickly. Rehearsals are going well. We are eager to share this beautiful music with central Illinois audiences. If we are going to make music and share it with others, there are costs involved in both the music-making and in the sharing. To that end, please join us in saying, “Go, Go, Gloriana!”

“Go, Go, Gloriana!” is our flash campaign to raise funds to support this set of concerts and to make sure that Gloriana Chamber Choir can flourish into the future. Your gift of any size will make beautiful choral music possible now, next year, and beyond.

When you say, “Go, Go, Gloriana!”, you will:

  • Support excellence in choral music.
  • Partner with us to bring inspiring music to audiences in central Illinois.
  • Celebrate with us!

All funding is good funding – from $5 to $5,000! Join us and we will show our deep appreciation.

$5-99   Friend

Recognition in our concert program

$100-249 Contributor

2 concert tickets with preferred seating.

Recognition in our concert program

$250-499 Partner

Surprise gift from Gloriana

2 concert tickets with preferred seating.

Recognition in our concert program

$500-999 Benefactor

Photo with the Choir taken after a concert

Surprise gift from Gloriana

2 concert tickets with preferred seating.

Recognition in our concert program

$1,000+ Sponsor

  • CD of our concert
  • Photo with the Choir taken after the August 3 concert
  • Surprise gift from Gloriana
  • 4 concert tickets with preferred seating.
  • Recognition in our concert program


To say “Go, Go, Gloriana!”, click on the donate button to your right, visit our donate page, or send us a check old-school style:

Gloriana Chamber Choir
P.O. Box 123
Chatham, IL 62629


On Yearning and Feeding the Spirit – Part II


In less than three weeks, Gloriana Chamber Choir will present two concerts of Life and Breath: Songs of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. The poetry included in this concert speaks of the basic elements of life; of earth, wind, fire, and water; of our human desire to satisfy both our bodily and spiritual needs. This concert spans a wide variety of composers and treatments of texts related to yearning and quenching. There is yearning for love (Morley’s Fire, Fire, My Heart), for peace (Frank Ticheli’s Earth Song), for home (Fissinger’s By the Waters of Babylon), and for God (Palestrina’s Sicut cervus). The yearning is quenched by fire and breath. The spirit is fed by hope in the blood of God (Spencer’s At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners), by the light of God (Byrd’s Surge illuminare, Lauridsen’s O nata lux, and Whitacre’s Lux aurumque), and by the spirit, the breath of God (Bach’s Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf and Clausen’s All that hath Life and Breath Praise Ye the Lord). 

Join us on July 23 and 24 for a wonderful concert in two beautiful venues: Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Springfield (right next to the historic Lincoln home site) and Clegg Chapel at Blackburn College in Carlinville. Check out the concert page for details about the concerts, including times, ticket prices, and repertoire.


On Yearning and Feeding the Spirit – Part I.


Gloriana Chamber Choir was borne from the idea that many choral conductors, while we love leading others in song, also yearn to sing ourselves. We conduct and have little time to satisfy the desire to sing that started us on our musical paths in the first place. Many Gloriana singers are conductors, teachers, and church musicians who have found an opportunity to feed themselves on good music and good company in our summer choral venture. Other singers are avid singers who sing throughout the academic or church year, but are left “voiceless” during the summer. All are experienced singers with a desire to challenge themselves musically, feed their musical souls, and share their gifts with a willing audience.

Gloriana 2016 is shaping up to be a great ensemble. We have many returning singers and some new voices. We are still looking for tenors and basses (and possibly one alto). If you live in Central Illinois and would like to feed your desire to sing, contact artistic director Elizabeth Zobel to arrange an audition.

Our schedule includes eight rehearsals and two performances. Performances will be Saturday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Springfield and Sunday, July 24 at 4:00 p.m. at Clegg Chapel on the Blackburn College campus in Carlinville.

Rehearsals will be held at Grace Lutheran in Springfield on Saturday mornings 9:00-11:30 a.m., June 18, July 9, 16, and 23, and Monday evenings, June 20, 27, July 11 and 18 (time either 6:30-9:00 or 7:00-9:30 p.m.).

Feed your spirit. Come sing with Gloriana!

We’re back! Auditions May 14 and 21!


Gloriana Chamber Choir

Gloriana Chamber Choir is back! We will be gathering again in the summer of 2016 to rehearse and perform a concert of glorious choral music. Two performances are in the works: Saturday, July 23 in Springfield and Sunday, July 24 at Clegg Chapel at Blackburn College in Carlinville. The working theme of this concert is “It’s Elemental: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.” Repertoire will include J. S. Bach’s motet for double chorus “Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf,” along with settings of texts related to fire and light, air and spirit, and water and earth.

Auditions will be held Saturday, May 14 and Saturday, May 21 at the Steinway Piano Gallery at The Gables (2816 Plaza Drive) in Springfield, Illinois. Auditions times between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. can be arranged by emailing or by calling (217) 494-1289. If you cannot make these times and are interested in joining Gloriana, email or call the number above for more information.

For the Love of Choral Music

ACDA at the Salt Palace Convention CenterDay One of ACDA was wonderful. Started the day with a fun session on circle singing and improvisation in rehearsal. The audience of the session became the singers and active participants. Starting my ACDA experience with some singing was great, and it gave me some food for thought about how to work creatively in my own rehearsals!

Then had an opportunity to connect with colleagues from Southern Illinois, Susan Davenport and Carlyn Zimmerman. Susan is the director of choral activities at SIUC and graciously loaned us some octavos for the Gloriana concert last summer. If it weren’t for Illinois ACDA, I wouldn’t know Susan at all and wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect with other choral colleagues. ACDA functions on a large scale as Gloriana did for many of us last summer: it provides an opportunity for choral folks to get together and share what they love.

Concerts for Day One were beautiful. The first session I heard included the Thornton Chamber Singers from the University of Southern California under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe. My favorite work on their program was the Trois Chansons Bretonnes by Dutch composer Henk Badings. These are lovely, evocative pieces and the choir’s French diction was superb. Scheibe is a great champion of new music and living composers. Their program featured music by two composers who are still in their twenties, including an exciting and beautiful Alleluia setting by Jake Runestad (b. 1986).

Also in this session was the Brigham Young University Women’s Chorus, consisting of 160 singers. Yes, one-hundred-sixty. Their program indicated that this choir has over 10,000 alumnae. ACDA conventions are always a wonderful reminder that choral music is alive and well in the United States. The BYU choir sang an incredible work by composer Daniel Hall. Reflections from Yad Yashem serves as the composer’s own response to a children’s holocaust memorial and presents a combination of texts that includes quotes from Genesis in English interspersed with the composers own words and alternating with names of children who died in the Holocaust. The work closes with the opening line of Psalm 23 in Hebrew and what effectively becomes a prayer for the dead: the choir sings the name of a child followed by a line from the Hebrew lullaby “Numi, Numi, Yaldati” (Sleep, Sleep, My Little Girl). The program included extensive information about the piece, the full text and photos of children from the memorial. The program helped illuminate the music and made my experience of the piece much more powerful. This is an important reminder that it is important to help your audience understand what it is that you are performing, especially in choral music where texts are involved.

Later in the day, I had the privilege of seeing Helmuth Rilling work with some young conductors in a master class using choruses from Handel’s Messiah. One of the conductors, Arianne Abela, was a young woman I know from our days with the San Francisco Girls Chorus. (She was a young girl when I was just starting out conducting for the Chorus.) Arianne did a beautiful job. Her conducting was clear. She was knowledgable, professional and responsive both to the ensemble and to Rilling’s suggestions. It is exciting to see the future of choral music at ACDA. In a report on the state of ACDA last night, it was announced that 25% of the over 5000 attendees at the conference were student members. And that is 25% of the conductors. The 5000 attendees does not take into account the thousands of singers in all the performing choirs.

In closing, I can’t give a report on Day One without talking about the exciting double-billing last night: the King’s Singers and the Real Group. Thoughts of Gloriana came to mind as the King’s Singers performed Weelkes’ As Vesta was from Latmos Hill Descending. It is always remarkable to me that the King’s Singers have been around for decades and have had a shifting membership, but have always maintained the same sound and aesthetic. Also, I can’t believe that the Real Group is celebrating their 30th anniversary. The first time I ever heard them was at my first ACDA national conference in San Antonio 1993. I was bewitched by the Real Group at the time, and have been a big fan ever since. Just seems like a few years ago. My seven-year-old daughter was so excited to hear that I was going to see them in person. She’s a second-generation Real Group fan and wanted to come hear them, too.
This is what ACDA is about: passing on beautiful choral music from one generation to the next.

More to come…

Notes from the Artistic Director

Hello Gloriana friends! After last August’s glorious concert, we all returned to our teaching, our church choirs, our jobs, our children, and have reveled in the memory of a wonderful choral experience. Seven months later, as the cold Illinois winter seems interminable, our thoughts are turning to summer. Thoughts of warm summer sunshine and beautiful music-making make the single-digit mornings bearable.

Yes, Gloriana will be back in summer 2015! News about repertoire, concert dates, rehearsal schedule and audition information will be posted soon. Meanwhile, I am in Salt Lake City for the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Looking forward to beautiful choral music from all over the U.S. and the world. As a little teaser to get the thoughts of singers and audience alike turning toward choral music, I will be posting about my experiences here at ACDA. Feel free to share and comment here or on FB and Twitter. You can always contact me at

Long Live Fair Oriana: a Success!

Yesterday’s concert was a glorious success! Thank you to all whose hard work and support made it all possible: singers, donors, volunteers, audience, friends and family. We were all so pleased to see such a large audience turn out for the first concert. Music is made for sharing. The success of our first concert can be measured in the joy expressed by both the singers and the audience. We all had a great time!

For those of you who want to relive a little bit of the concert, and for our friends near and far who were not able to join us, here is a small sample of what we sang. This recording is John Tavener’s The Lamb, a setting of a poem from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence. Many audience members reported that this was their favorite piece on the program.

WUIS Interview with Elizabeth Zobel

An interview with Gloriana Chamber Choir Artistic Director and Conductor Elizabeth Zobel and WUIS News Director Sean Crawford aired on Illinois Edition today. They discussed Gloriana and Sunday’s inaugural concert at First Presbyterian. If you missed the Illinois Edition broadcast on 91.9 FM at noon today, you can listen to the interview online at the WUIS website.

Interact with us!

Music in communionThe wonderful thing about social media is that it is intended to be social. Not just a one-way communication method for the dissemination of information, but a vehicle for us to communicate with each other. As musicians, our primary method of communicating with others is through performance, and we in Gloriana Chamber Choir are eagerly anticipating our first concert next Sunday, August 3. The wonderful thing about the internet is that we can connect with local folks who can come to our concerts, and we can connect with people all around the world who share our love of choral music. We have followers of this website who are from the United States, Brazil, Australia and many other countries.

Please share with us. Anything you want. What interests you about Gloriana? How did you find us? Who are you? Where are you? What do you love about choral music? What would your ideal choir be? What’s your favorite choral work?

You can leave messages for us here or on our Facebook page.


Go, Gloriana! Goal #2 Reached!

Go Gloriana LogoColorThank you to all our friends who have given Gloriana Chamber Choir their financial support! Because of your faith in our vision, we have raised $1,655 thus far, exceeding our $1,000 goal for today. We are over halfway to our $3,000 goal by the concert date, August 3.

In supporting Gloriana Chamber Choir, you are supporting excellence in choral music for central Illinois. Any funds that we receive in the next few days will help us spread the word about our concert, so that we can share our music with as many people as possible. Beyond that, your contributions support all the costs in putting together a musical project like this – the behind-the-scenes things audience members probably don’t even think about. Every dollar makes a difference.

You can make a difference! If you have not yet contributed, you can do so by clicking on the Donate link to the right above or by sending a check to Gloriana Chamber Choir, PO Box 123, Chatham, Illinois 62629. And, be sure to join us on Sunday, August 3 at 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield for our inaugural concert!

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