Anima - Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus
Emily Ellsworth to Conclude 21 Year Tenure as Artistic Director of Anima – Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus in July, 2018
Board to Name Successor Before End of 2017-18 Season
Glen Ellyn IL—January 18, 2017 —
The Board of Directors of Anima – Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, announced today that Artistic Director Emily Ellsworth has decided that 2017-18 will be her last season leading the chorus. After leading the chorus on its tour of Greece in June 2018, Ellsworth will expand her role as guest conductor and clinician nationally and abroad, and pursue other professional and personal projects. Her departure in July, 2018 will mark the end of 21 years providing artistic leadership for the chorus and 24 years conducting various ensembles within Anima. Anima serves close to a thousand youth ages 5 through 18 in its four main ensembles and various outreach and community engagement programs throughout the year.
“Emily Ellsworth has influenced thousands of young people through her exceptional leadership, artistic vision, and successful collaborative partnerships with leading arts organizations in Chicago and throughout the nation and world,” said Board of Directors President Elizabeth Schnell. “We have tremendous gratitude for Emily’s energy and achievements and her dedicated work with our choristers and families. We appreciate that we will have the coming year both to celebrate her enormous legacy and to ensure a solid search process and smooth transition to our next artistic leader. Our board colleagues, singers and families, and alumni all have a deep abiding affection for Emily, and we look forward to wishing her every success in her future endeavors.”
Ellsworth proposed the July 2018 date so that the board would have adequate time for a thorough nationwide search process and to allow time to introduce a new director before the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
”My years with Anima – Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus have brought musical and personal joys too rich and numerous to count. To work with so many wonderful young people, supportive and dedicated parents, skillful administrative and musical staff members, outstanding boards of directors, and world class musical collaborators has been the privilege of my life. My work with Anima allowed me to find my ‘truest voice.’” Emily Ellsworth
The current season includes hosting the American Boychoir from Princeton, NJ, festive holiday concerts with the Elgin Symphony, working with outstanding composers Stacy Garrop and Jim Papoulis as part of an NEA grant, a tour to the Kennedy Center to celebrate JFK’s 100th birthday and founding of the PeaceCorps with international choirs, and our own self-produced concerts. Ellsworth’s final year with the chorus will bring a concert tour to Greece, along with several special events to mark her lasting contributions to the group as well as her impact on the choral arts scene in the Chicago area.
LEADERSHIP IN CHORAL MUSIC EDUCATION
Emily Ellsworth joined Anima – Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus as Artistic Director in 1996. Through her leadership, Anima has won the once-in-an organizational lifetime Margaret Hillis award for Artistic Excellence from Chorus America, the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award jointly given by Chorus America and the American Composers Forum, and two ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. Anima-Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus has appeared by invitation for national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and the Organization of American Kodaly Educators; travelled to six continents; produced nine CD recordings; and performed regularly with all of Chicago's major musical organizations.
Enjoying a national reputation as a guest conductor and clinician, Ellsworth has conducted all-state choirs or presented interest sessions in 30 states, regional (multi-state) honor choirs for the American Choral Directors Association, and has conducted national festival choirs at Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls in NYC, and international choir festivals in Ireland, England, and Hong Kong. She has also presented sessions for the national choral directors association in Brazil.
Anima’s mission is to transform lives through excellence in music education and choral singing. “We use music as the conduit, but what we really do is grow leadership in young people. The combination of passion for what we do plus a high bar of expectation teaches our singers what excellence feels like. They can take that feeling into anything they choose to do,” says Ellsworth. The music literacy training, challenging and diverse repertoire, and performances on world class stages prepare future music educators and performers, but also create arts lovers and patrons for the future. Anima’s choristers gain memories and life skills that serve them well beyond their time with the Chorus.
Prior to becoming Anima’s Artistic Director, Ellsworth served on the music faculty of various colleges and universities, teaching and performing in California, North Carolina, and Illinois (College of DuPage) for over 20 years. A resident of Wheaton since 1981, she co-founded the Illinois branch of Opera for the Young in 1990, a troupe that takes fully staged condensed operas into schools throughout Northern Illinois. This work brought out her love for the combination of young people and great music, and led her to audition for the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus in 1993. From 2012-15 she concurrently served on the choral faculty of Northwestern University, where she conducted the undergraduate mixed ensemble, University Singers. Her two adult children are both successful professional musicians, one of whom sang in the Chorus for many years as a child.
Ellsworth graduated from Macalester College with Special Departmental Honors under mentor Dr. Dale Warland in 1974 and completed her Master of Music degree with honors in voice in 1976 at the University of Southern California. She went on to study as a conductor through mentor and Anima’s Music Director Emerita Doreen Rao’s Choral Music Experience Teacher Training Institute, earning the culminating Artist Teacher award in 1995. In 1999 she was honored by the YWCA as Woman of Distinction in the Arts. In 2013 Chicago a capella honored her work with Anima with their annual Tribute award and in 2016 Suburban Life Magazine named her a Woman of Distinction.
ABOUT ANIMA – GLEN ELLYN CHILDREN’S CHORUS
Founded in 1964, Anima is an internationally recognized youth choral organization located in Glen Ellyn, IL, serving youth throughout the Chicagoland area. Anima’s mission is to transform young lives through excellence in music education and choral singing. Recent awards for Anima include the 2013 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award from Chorus America, the 2013 Chicago acappella Tribute Award, the 2009 Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award given by Chorus America and the American Composers Forum, as well as Chorus America’s once-in-an-organizational- lifetime 2008 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence.
Anima (AHH-nee-mah) means breath, life, soul and spirit. Anima’s four ensembles, ranging from introductory to advanced, are open to boys and girls grades K-12. In after-school rehearsals, students learn to read music, sing music from many cultures and genres, participate in a confidence and character-building culture, sing with Chicago’s major musical organizations, and make lifelong friends.
Support for Anima is provided in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DuPage Foundation, the Farney R. Wulitzer Foundation Fund, the Illinois Arts Council, the Alphawood Foundation, and the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince Charitable Trusts.
For more information, press only:Simrit Patel, Executive Director
For more information on Anima - Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus: www.animasingers.org
For more information about Anima's search for a new Artistic Director: http://www.animasingers.org/hitting-a-high-note.html