UIC professor makes beautiful music in Apollo Chorus

Chicago's Apollo Chorus carols at Cloud Gate

UIC faculty member Marcia Edison (in blue hat, second from right in second row) has been in the Apollo Chorus for 25 years. The chorus sings in the city’s “Carolling at the Bean” series in Millennium Park (above) and will do two performances of Handel’s “Messiah” in December.

If you see the holiday shows performed by the Apollo Chorus this month, you might spot a familiar face among the 120-member choir.

UIC faculty member Marcia Edison has performed with the group for the past 25 years. She’ll be among the chorus during its two performances of Handel’s “Messiah”: 3 p.m. Dec. 7, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., and 3 p.m. Dec. 21, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive.

“I’ve always enjoyed singing,” said Edison, research assistant professor in medical education and a 1997 Ph.D. graduate in higher education policy.

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to sing classical music in a beautiful venue.”

The chorus has performed Handel’s Baroque-era oratorio since 1879.

“It’s everything Handel would have wanted,” Edison said.

The group is the oldest volunteer chorus in the U.S., with its roots dating to 1872, Edison said. The current president of the chorus, Mike Eikleberry, is an Urabana-Champaign graduate.

“It’s something fun to do,” she said. “Other people I’ve known from UIC have also sung in the chorus at different times.”

Edison and the rest of the chorus practice weekly and perform several shows each year. Members of the group recently performed background vocals at Josh Groban’s concert at the United Center in October and they provided backup vocals for Oprah’s final TV shows, Edison said.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit apollochorus.org

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