Come on a journey with us!

The Northern Wild

Saturday, November 18 at 8 PM
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
8855 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia

Sunday, November 19 at 3 PM
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia

In programming The Northern Wild, we searched for a musical kernel that would make a concert of a wide range of styles hold together in a compelling way. In that search, we realized that our favorite music by composers like Veljo Tormis, Jean Sibelius, and Eriks Ešenvalds simply sounds like it couldn’t come from anywhere else in the world. This is not to say that all the music we’ll sing sounds the same—far from it. Tormis’ folk roots could not be more different than the cerebral soundscapes of R. Murray Schafer, while Sibelius and Elgar teeter on the threshold between the late romantic and early modern. But despite all the differences, the wild North is the irreplaceable central character in all of the pieces. This music is grounded in visceral explorations of what it’s like to be in the North, to have the wild earth beneath one’s feet and to be in the unwavering watch of the same celestial bodies for months on end.

There is a loneliness in the way much of this music stretches out like the untouched lands and vast skies it evokes. But in regions still dominated by primal forces, there is great joy in making singular human connections—with a neighboring cowherd across acres of pasture, with a lover thought lost over the hillside, or simply with oneself in the stillness of the pines. These connections are why we sing together, and why we’ll be so glad to have you join us.

Announcing our 2017–2018 Season

Rehearsals are already underway, and we can’t wait to share these programs with you. We are expanding to new venues and continuing to give second performances of each of our three concert programs. That means you’ll have twice as many chances to hear diverse programming by Philadelphia’s only cooperative chorus.


The Northern Wild

Saturday, November 18 at 8 PM
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
8855 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia

Sunday, November 19 at 3 PM
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia

When composers evoke the visceral feeling of standing in their native wilderness, the result is some of the most fascinating choral music in the modern repertoire. This program features songs of earth under foot and sky over head, with music by Sibelius, Tormis, Elgar, and Ešenvalds.


Where the Truth Lies

Saturday, March 24 at 8 PM
Historic St. George’s Methodist Church
235 N 4th Street in Philadelphia

Sunday, March 25 at 3 PM
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia

For thousands of years we have created stories to chronicle, to educate, to entertain, and to explore our identities. This program explores storytelling through song, weaving together some of the oldest narratives of conquest and devotion, with music by Britten, Ravel, Trumbore, Flecha, and Janequin.


For Cherishing

Friday, June 1 at 7:30 PM
Proclamation Presbyterian Church
278 S Bryn Mawr Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA

Sunday, June 3 at 3 PM
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia

Part of the human condition is to be rarely satisfied with farewells, if we are even given the chance to say goodbye at all. Our final program features music of loss and remembrance, viewed from ancient and modern perspectives, featuring music by Ockeghem, Victoria, Parry, Howells, Convery, and Tavener.

Announcing Our 2015–2016 Season!

fray. gather. flourish.

How do we find hope after our world is shattered? In the Chestnut Street Singers’ sixth season, we begin with the end—the end of the world, the unraveling of life and love as we know it. In the winter, we draw together and see a glimmer of hope in the Epiphany, and the promise of new life is fulfilled in verdant spring. Subscribe today.

fray | as shadows fall
Sunday, November 1 at 2 PM, First Unitarian Church
Saturday, November 7 at 7 PM, Grace Church in Haddonfield (tickets)
Composers have always been drawn to the question of what happens when the world comes apart around us. In the music of Poulenc, Whitacre, Gesualdo, and many more, we explore upheaval in all sizes, from the death of love to the apocalypse.

gather | in the stillness born
Sunday, January 10 at 2 PM, First Unitarian Church
When all seems lost and the hopeless cold of winter surrounds us, a child is born in a manger. With works by Howells, Gjeilo, Palestrina, and Pärt, our first ever Christmas concert tells the simple story of three magi finding the world’s salvation in a mother’s arms.

flourish | reckless hope rises
Sunday, May 15 at 5 PM, First Unitarian Church
The cycle completes itself in the spring: here is renewal, new life, and joy practically bursting from our lungs! Our season’s final concert centers around Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude and its promise that paradise grows from the good we sow in the darkest of times.