Northbrook Symphony and New Tradition Chorus Collaborate on Pops Concert

The two musical groups will combine performances for a two-hour set featuring classic American numbers at Glenbrook South in Glenview.

How does an a cappella men's chorus with more than 80 active members put on a concert with a symphonic orchestra with 60 musicians? By arranging brand new numbers out of familiar, time-honored material. 

"The idea immediately appealed to me because you got these two audiences right there in the same community that don't intersect," said Lawrence Rapchak, Musical Director of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra. "It's going to require a lot of work because there's very little repertoire written for this kind of combination."

. Unlike the September 11 anniversary concert, which the two groups collaborated on last year, this year's show will focus on celebrating America's unique musical style, history and heritage.

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"The focus is going to be American composers," said Nestor Dyhdalo, General Manager of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra. "There will be a portion that is chorus only, a portion that will by symphony only and then something we do together."

"We're going to have a grand finale that celebrates the five branches of the military," he added.

Riding on the success of last year's show, both groups hope this collaboration will help them find new audiences in the other's fans.

"We're a very well kept secret," said Michael Shnitzler, Vice President of Membership in New Tradition and a baritone in the chorus. "Last year, when we were fortunate enough to collaborate with the NSO it was, I think, the first time a lot of people in our local community had the chance to hear us." 

The Northbrook Symphony was founded in 1980 and the chorus was founded in 1982. Although both groups have collaborated in the past, this kind of concert is otherwise out of the ordinary for them. 

"It's kind of fun and you make a big sound," said Jay Giallombardo, Music Director of the New Tradition Chorus. "With the symphony, we could expand into another venue. A cappella groups tend to just be a cappella." 

Event sponsors include , Northbrook Rotary and The Northbrook Women's Club. It takes about $30,000 to put on the concert, according to Dyhdalo.

The chorus includes a diverse range of amateur singers, the youngest include teenagers all the way to men in their 70s. Unlike the symphony, it generally includes amateur musicians. 

"If you want to look at a community and see a community that's vibrant and alive and interesting, look at how well their arts organizations are doing," Dyhdalo said. "We hope we bring something enriching to Northbrook, and our challenge is to make more Northbrookians aware of what they've got in their own community."

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