This is your official allurement to the 22nd anniversary Songs of Acceptable Cheer — and the aboriginal to be captivated online.
Songs, as we artlessly alarm it, is the anniversary singalong my Tribune aide Eric Zorn and I accept hosted for two decades in the admirable amphitheater of the Old Town Academy of Folk Music in Chicago. We comedy and sing with a bandage of abundant musicians affiliated with the school. In contempo years, we’ve put on six shows a season, all of them awash out.
The attitude grew out of our confidence that in our harried holidays, singing calm could calm us bottomward and affix us to anniversary other.
But 2020 is the year of the pandemic. Singing in a accumulation is dangerous. What to do?
We’ve been accepting emails back June assuming that question, one of them from Emily Kallemeyn with the accountable line: “Virtual Songs of Acceptable Cheer?”
“I am abiding this would be tricky,” she wrote, “but I am hopeful that it ability happen? And if it doesn’t, amuse apperceive this has become my admired anniversary attitude (I abject my parents, bedmate and kids about 6 years ago and we accept all agilely abounding every year since!!) and we’ll be there with accretion on in 2021.”
Well, Emily. It has been tricky, but get your accretion out. Encouraged by all the bodies who’ve asked, we’re venturing into the borderland of online concert-making.
Over the accomplished brace of months, the Cheerios, as we alarm the bandage members, accept recorded themselves singing and arena anniversary songs, usually at home. In some cases, our longtime complete engineer, Dan Glomski, and bandmate-turned-tech-whiz, Paul Tyler, accept met with us alone to baby-sit our recording, always, of course, masked and socially distanced.
Paul and Dan again boarded on the complicated assignment of synching alone recordings to actualize the attending and complete of a band.
We couldn’t accept done it after the abutment of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which supplied money to advice with the costs involved.
Now, at last, we can confidently say: On with the show. Actuality are answers to questions you may have.
It’s a singalong with a basic twist.
Buy a ticket, and on the day of the appearance you’ll get a clandestine YouTube link. Bang on the articulation and sing forth in the abundance and aloofness of your home. Or hum. Or aloof listen.
Unlike best years, this appearance won’t be live, but it will be livestreamed, acceptation that it will be arise at a appointed hour on a appointed day. You’ll be singing forth with all the added bodies who’ve clicked on the articulation at the aforementioned time. You won’t apprehend them, but you’ll feel them.
And we’ve done our best to actualize the feel of the alive shows. It will be beneath than accepted — a little over an hour. But blow assured, best of the accustomed bandage associates will be there, the songs will be lively, and Eric Zorn will arise in his tuxedo. We’ve attempt some of it in the Old Town Academy amphitheater to absorb a acidity of the alive event.
Ticket holders will accept an email on Dec. 18 with the clandestine YouTube livestream link. The appearance will activate alive at 7 p.m. that day. After the aboriginal broadcast, the articulation will be accessible to appearance through Dec. 20.
Your admission additionally gets you a articulation to a PDF of a songbook with all the lyrics. You’ll get that afore the show. Print out as abounding copies as you want.
They’re on auction now. Alarm Old Town Academy at 773-728-6000 or bang here.
$25 per household. If you buy added tickets, you abutment acceptable causes, including the Old Town School.
A allocation of the admission sales will account association ally of the Chicago Tribune’s anniversary association giving campaign. Through admission sales, Songs has aloft $712,000 so far for Chicagoland charities.
They’re able musicians affiliated with the Old Town School: Fred Campeau, Anna Jacobson, Lanialoha Lee, Roy McGrath, Rashida Phillips, Zacbe Pichardo, Steve Rosen, Barbara Silverman, Gail Tyler, Paul Tyler and Aaron Smith.
I comedy piano. Eric plays dabble and banjo, sings and is his accepted back-slapping self.
As usual, we’ll do a mix of accustomed anniversary songs and some we’ve apparent through the years. They accommodate pop standards like “Winter Wonderland,” angelic tunes like “Silent Night,” the antic “Happy, Joyous Hanukkah” and the activation “Conga del Viejo.”
The year 2020 has been one continued ad-lib act. Basic Songs of Acceptable Cheer is our allotment of the improvisation. We achievement you’ll accompany us in the spirit of Scott Uhler, a longtime attendee, who summed it up altogether in a contempo email.
“We are 110% in favor of a basic event,” he wrote. “Since you accept been awash out in the past, this may be a way to accommodate alike added association in this melancholia gem. It would not be the holidays after the ‘Songs.’ We additionally accept no added absolute use for our Christmas ablaze necklaces and antler headgear. If Eric is hesitant, maybe you can attract him by absolution him apperceive he would not alike accept to get out of his pajamas this year. Let’s do this thing!!!”
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