Stare at the Sun: Our Inaugural Concert

About us

We are a group of young professional singers based in Chicago with an interest in curating music by living composers, and commissioning new works from artists based right here in our city. The group is comprised of singers active in Chicago's professional music scene who believe that, in addition to the incredible musical organizations present throughout our city, Chicago deserves its own mixed-voice choir whose sole mission is to commission new choral work: an outlet for young local composers to have new work performed, and for  virtuosic singers to perform it.

Announcing Stare at the Sun, a professional mixed-voice choral ensemble whose primary goal is to commission new works by Chicago-based composers. We are hitting the ground running with an exciting first project in just ONE WEEK, and we want you to be a part of it.

Note: Stare at the Sun NFP is 501c3 pending, so your donation is tax exempt.

About our first project 

"We got millions of telegrams after we landed, but the one I remember most was, 'Congratulations to the crew of Apollo 8. You saved 1968.'"

— Frank Borman, Apollo 8 astronaut

1968 was the culmination of one of the most tumultuous decades in our country's history. '68 saw the Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinations, the Tet Offensive, large-scale protests and riots, and police brutality unlike anything the country had previously seen televised. Meanwhile, the engineers at NASA were working tirelessly to beat the Soviets to the moon, which would represent a spectacular victory within the Cold War and play a major role in defending democracy against the insidious plague of communism.

Please support us as we explore both the hope and grief of 1968 in order to better understand our own divided time.

Our first concert, Saving 1968, will take place January 12-13, 2019 (for full details, see the event information below).

Our concert will feature works by Kile Smith, Gabriel Jackson, Alex Berko, and the world premiere of A Strategy for Confrontation, a new work by Nicholas Cline reflecting on the riots that tore apart the city of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1968.

Let’s dive into the new year with the hope that we can draw inspiration from our past successes and learn from our past mistakes.

What will your money go towards?

Putting on a concert like this is not easy; it takes countless hours of rehearsal and enormous amounts of energy from the composer, the conductor, and the singers alike. In just one week, we will be presenting our inaugural concert with a full chamber choir of 25 virtuosic singers, and a brand new commission by Nicholas Cline.

In order to ensure that this ambitious undertaking is a success, and to expand our mission of commissioning Chicago-based composers in the upcoming year, we need your support.

Your donation will help to:

1. Commission a brand new work by Illinois-native and Chicago-based composer Nicholas Cline, reflecting on the riots that tore apart the city of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1968.

2. Pay our singers, who are working tirelessly to bring this music to life.

3. Secure rehearsal spaces and performance venues, as well as insurance for those venues.

4. Licensing fees for performing works by living composers.

5. Audio recording our performances for posterity.

Why support us? What makes us unique?

We are the only mixed-voice chamber choir in Chicago whose sole mission is to commission and perform new work

We hope to provide an outlet for local composers, especially young composers in Chicago’s many graduate and undergraduate composition programs, looking to workshop their music with virtuosic singers

Until now, no choral work has ever specifically reflected on the 1968 DNC riots in Chicago. Help us shine a light on this critical event in Chicago’s history.

Event information:

Saving 1968, our inaugural concert, will feature the following works —

Consolation of Apollo - Kile Smith (b. 1956)

Lincoln - Alex Berko (b. 1995)

Our flags are wafting in hope and grief - Gabriel Jackson (b. 1962)

and the world premiere of A Strategy for Confrontation - Nicholas Cline (b. 1985)

Where? When?

Saturday, January 12, 2019 @ 8:00pm
St. Vincent de Paul
1010 W Webster, Chicago

Sunday, January 13, 2019 @ 4:00pm
St. Ignatius Church
6559 N Glenwood, Chicago



Donations (0)

  • Lucy Carney 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Pat and Bob Bonow 
    • $500 
    • 9 mos
  • Scott Ferguson 
    • $30 
    • 9 mos
  • Ryan Strand 
    • $10 
    • 9 mos
  • Dominic German 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Stare at the Sun (3)

Hannah Rosa Schiller 
Raised $125 from 3 donations
Evanston, IL
A.J. Keller 
Team member
Raised $1,750 from 12 donations
Kevin Krasinski 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
This team raised $2,895 from 17 other donations.
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