CHICAGO - Windy City Performing Arts is announcing that Dr. Eric Esparza will be stepping into the position of Interim Conductor for the Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire this upcoming season.
Esparza previously held the position of artistic director for the organization from 2016 through 2020. In addition to his upcoming work for both choruses, he currently is the director of Choral Studies, Vocal Area Coordinator, and Diversity Advocate at DePaul University in Chicago, where he conducts the DePaul Chamber Choir, Concert Choir and Symphonic Choir, and teaches courses in choral music.
"I am so excited to be back with Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire as Interim Conductor," said Esparza. "I look forward to reconnecting with so many wonderful personalities and voices while welcoming new people to the group. Windy City Performing Arts plays a vital role in Chicago's cultural scene and I look forward to stewarding the podium as the ensemble prepares to write its next chapter."
The board of directors for Windy City Performing Arts will conduct a full search for a permanent artistic director before the start of the 2023-2024 season with the guidance of GALA choruses. More details about the search will be announced at a later date.
For more details about upcoming events and performances by the Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire, visit windycitysings.org .
ABOUT DR. ERIC ESPARZA:
Dr. Eric Esparza is the director of Choral Studies, Vocal Area Coordinator, and Diversity Advocate at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where he conducts the DePaul Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and Symphonic Choir, and teaches courses in choral music. Esparza has served as the Repertoire & Resources Chair for Lifelong Choruses on the Board of the Illinois-American Choral Directors Association, for whom he also chaired the Diversity Initiatives Committee. He is also on the Voice Faculty of the InterHarmony International Music Festival. Previously, Esparza was on the Voice and Choral faculty at Sam Houston State University. He also previously served as Artistic Director of Windy City Performing Arts, International Voices Houston, and the United Nations Association International Choir, and was the Director of Music Ministries at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.
Originally from San Antonio, Esparza holds a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance as well as a master of music degree in choral conducting from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he studied with Dr. Joyce Farwell and Maestro Thomas Jaber. He also holds a master of arts degree in arts administration from Florida State University, where he was a University Fellow. Esparza earned the doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting from Boston University, where he studied with Dr. Ann Howard Jones. He is a published arranger of choral music, and an active editor of solo and vocal music from early manuscript and print sources. Esparza remains active internationally as a conductor, singer, voice teacher and lecturer.
ABOUT WINDY CITY GAY CHORUS AND WINDY CITY TREBLE QUIRE:
Incorporated in 1983, the Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire are the two choruses that operate under the Windy City Performing Arts non-profit umbrella and sing to inspire change, celebrate diversity and honor the dignity of the LGBTQ+ community.
Both choruses comprise four sections, which includes tenors (1 and 2), baritones and basses for the Gay Chorus; and, sopranos, mezzo-sopranos, and altos (1 and 2) for the Treble Quire.
The separateness of the choruses and their ability to work together coupled with a high degree of technical ability creates an agility that is rare among the LGBTQ+ choral movement.
Each ensemble performs a variety of musical styles from classical to pop with a clear focus on musical excellence regardless of the style of music. The choruses have a long history of performing major choral works including commissioned pieces.
In September 2003, the ensembles made history by becoming the first choruses in a LGBTQ+ organization to sing the National Anthem at an Illinois professional sporting event, at the Chicago Free Press sponsored "Out at the Ballgame" day at U.S. Cellular Field, opening for the Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians game.
Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire have a rich and rewarding history that has continued to find our singers performing in a number of enriching venues, including the Steppenwolf and Redmoon Theatre companies, at the opening ceremonies of the modern wing of the Art Institute, and at Carnegie Hall as part of the Susan Komen Sing for the Cure project. Members of our choruses have most recently shared the stage with Hugh Jackman as part of his concert in Chicago, performed at Ravinia with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Marin Alsop, and appeared in January at a Chicago Bulls game to sing the U.S. National Anthem.
Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire are members of GALA Choruses.