Since its founding in 1959, the DGCS has earned a reputation for excellence, and has developed a loyal following in the community. Through the past 54 years the DGCS has:
- Built upon the original intentions of the founders, including professional soloists and orchestras in a three-concert season.
- Added an outreach program, to entertain the underserved at senior facilities.
- Expanded the outreach program to provide entertainment for community events, such as Grove Fest, Memorial Day commemoration and the Fourth of July Parade.
- Provided children’s concerts for the community and established an award to Junior High choral students, to promote a tradition of musical education at an early age.
- Sponsored an Artist Recital Series to support excellent local musicians by providing opportunities to perform and be heard.
Now in its 60th season, the group marks as major achievements its many collaborations with orchestras, choral groups, and children’s groups through the years, its premier and commissioned works (most recently in 2011) and the programs that have featured Metropolitan Opera Star Sherrill Milnes, who sang with the group and whose mother was a co-founder. The DGCS also enjoyed being part of the chorus for the 1997 performance of Elijah at Carnegie Hall in New York under Mr. Milnes’ direction.
Throughout its history the DGCS is proud to have been led by many outstanding directors: Thelma Roe Milnes (1959-1969); Margaret Bollinger (1970-1987); Gregory Sullivan Isaacs (1889-1992); Robert Holst (1992-2011); Amy Weller (2011-2012); and most recently, John Patrick Rakes (2014-present).
The chorus presently consists of approximately 45 dues-paying members, many of whom have trained voices. Today the Society’s performances present some of the finest singers and instrumentalists in the Chicago area, and its repertoire has expanded to include not only the great works of the masters but also the distinguished works of later and contemporary composers. In addition to the enrichment of the community with exceptional concerts, the Society provides talented singers with opportunities to learn and perform outstanding choral works.
To see a video with more details about the DGCS, click on the links below: