Anima (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus) celebrates its 48th year with the 2012-13 season. One of the leading children and youth choral organizations in North America, its rich heritage has served as an artistic and educational model for many years. Recent awards include the once-in-an-organizational lifetime 2008 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America and the 2009 Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award from Chorus America, funded by the American Composers Forum.
The Chorus is dedicated to transforming young lives through excellence in music education and choral singing. Its combined weekly and outreach programs reach 1200 children annually. International tours have taken the Chorus to six continents, most recently to the Baltics and St. Petersburg in June 2012. Anima (AH-nee-mah) is the Latin word for breath, life, soul, spirit. Emily Ellsworth has served as Anima's Artistic Director since 1996.
Performing frequently with Chicago's major musical organizations, Anima's singers have performed under many of the world's most eminent conductors including Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, John Nelson, and Georg Solti. Also committed to new music, Anima has commissioned 70 new works for young voices in its 48 year history. Last season, Anima premiered Nico Muhly's Too Soon with the Grammy winning chamber ensemble eighth blackbird at the Harris Theater. Anima was the first children's chorus in America to be recognized and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts for the professionalism of its work and captured four Grammy awards for its performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti.
Season highlights include these performances of Mahler's third symphony with the CSO, upcoming performances of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel with Lyric Opera of Chicago, along with many appearances throughout Chicagoland.