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.

Join us for 40 Voices Singing on March 14 and 15

40 Voices Singing: Masterworks for Massed Choirs
with the Chestnut Street Singers, The Laughing Bird, and PhilHarmonia
Saturday, March 14 at 7 PM, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Sunday, March 15 at 2 PM, the Rotunda at Penn
Free admission.
Advance registration recommended–click here to register for free now!

Join us as we partner with The Laughing Bird and PhilHarmonia for 2 once-in-a-lifetime free concerts on March 14 and 15. 40 Voices Singing features three of Philadelphia’s most exciting choral ensembles singing the best repertoire for large choirs, including Thomas Tallis’ legendary “Spem in alium,” also known as the 40-Voice Motet. It is a rarely performed masterpiece of Renaissance polyphony, with 40 singers each singing their own independent part and standing in a circle around the audience.

Other highlights include Jordan Nobles’ “Lux antiqua,” folksongs from Lithuania and Iceland, and an eclectic mass in which each mass movement will be drawn from a different choral setting of the liturgy. You’ll hear the Chestnut Street Singers, The Laughing Bird, and PhilHarmonia each singing their own movement before the massed ensemble performs Samuel Barber’s heart-wrenching “Agnus dei,” the choral setting of his “Adagio for Strings,” as the grand finale.

What better way to celebrate the Chestnut Street Singers’ fifth anniversary season than with this extraordinary concert showcasing the vitality of the Philadelphia choral scene? We can’t wait to see you there to join in the fun–reserve your free seats today!

Announcing Our 5th Anniversary Season

Join us to celebrate our 5th anniversary season with three exciting new concert programs, including our first-ever collaborative project with other local choirs.

The Elements of Song: From Sea to Sky
The program celebrates music referencing the four classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. All creation draws upon these basic elements, and our physical connection to music grounds us in shared creativity. From a sensual tango by harpist Loreena McKennitt to a gentle madrigal by Claudio Monteverdi to a fiercely wintry setting of Shakespeare’s “Blow, blow, thou winter wind,” each piece brings us closer to the art inherent in the physical world.
Sunday, November 9 at 2 PM @ the First Unitarian Church

40 Voices Singing: Masterworks for Massed Choirs
a collaboration with The Laughing Bird and PhilHarmonia
Do you love supporting Philadelphia musicians? Do you love great music? Then this is the concert for you: join us as we partner with two of our favorite fellow ensembles, The Laughing Bird and PhilHarmonia, to sing some of the best and most exciting music written for large choirs. The program will spotlight Thomas Tallis’ famed “Spem in alium,” better known as the 40-Voice Motet, and other masterworks by early and modern composers. These concerts are made possible with support from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, PECO, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Puffin Foundation.
Saturday, March 14 at 7 PM @ the First Unitarian Church
Sunday, March 15 at 2 PM @ the Rotunda at Penn

As Birds Do Sing: A 5th Anniversary Concert
To bring our anniversary season to a close, we’ll return to our roots–literally and figuratively–with a springtime concert celebrating the natural world. In homage to the wren on our logo, music about birds and nature was one of our earliest and longest-running themes. We’ll celebrate five years of singing by bringing some of our old favorites out of the vault and sharing our new endeavors.
Sunday, May 17 at 5 PM @ the First Unitarian Church

Free admission. Donations will be accepted at all concerts. Become a subscriber today and support our entire season!