Decatur Choral Society

- Celebrating 30 Years -

A New Chapter for Opus 24

Thirty years into our mission to advance fine choral music in the Decatur area, Opus 24 begins an exciting new chapter with conductor Ted Hesse at the helm. Ted is an incredible musician who has worked with choirs both at the collegiate and adult levels. We’re fortunate that he now brings this body of experience to our wonderful singers in Opus. Speaking from the tenor section, I can say that Ted has challenged us with new ideas (and even a new language), and I can’t wait to show you the result at our fall concert!

I also want to share with you my excitement as I begin my term as the Choral Society’s president. I began singing in Opus in the fall of 2014 – ever since, our Tuesday night rehearsals have been a bright spot in my week. There is something very special about a group of adults who come from their various lives and jobs and assemble for fellowship and music-making.

By day, I teach band and choir in the Sangamon Valley school district – so as you might imagine, the educational mission of DCS is important to me. This fall, we will be holding auditions to restart our vocal scholarship program, offering two high school students the opportunity to study privately with an instructor at Millikin. Programs like this are part of the way DCS makes a difference in our community. I want to thank our board members who make these programs and our concerts possible!

Finally, I want to thank you, our community members and audience. Your passion for music and the arts make our city a better place to live. If you’d like to help us continue our pursuits, please give online or through the mail. Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing you at our concert on Sunday, November 20!

John Gorecki

Decatur Choral Society President

A Note from the Conductor

I am extremely excited and honored to be the next conductor of Opus 24. It is such a talented group of wonderful people! I am thrilled to continue the important and inspiring work of Opus 24 and the Decatur Choral Society. With your continued involvement, we can have a lasting impact on uniting our community during a time in history when we see and experience so much division and strife. The choral art form brings people together and unites us in a positive, unique and transforming way.

The theme for our Fall concert is Lux which means light in Latin. Humanity craves light. We need it. It fills our souls, warms our hearts, and changes our very nature. As I worked to organize this program, set for the darkest time of the year, I became more aware of how much we truly need light. It has many definitions and connotations, many of which are expressed in the words and music of our program.

The first portion of our program is titled Light Awakens. What greater call than a call for each of us to “Awake!” We must open our eyes. As we awake to the light, we learn that there are greater things than the light that we see. We see the light of truth, the light of hope. We begin to celebrate the source of light that distills upon the world in daily truth and holiness in the second section of the concert, Light of Light. Our cry for light necessitates that we look up. That with awakening, we begin to see beyond the light to its source.

And yet, even as we seek to awake to the light that pours down, it sometimes feels as though the light diminishes. The nights of our souls grow longer. The third section of our program focuses on Light in the Darkness. As I chose songs of light, there was a need to include songs of contrast. Songs that showed the beauty of light in contrast to the pain and fear of shadow. Ultimately, in the concluding section of our concert titled Light is Born we celebrate the birth of light. The birth of the Christ child was celebrated by a new light because He is the light. A light that is endless.

Lux – light. It is the cry of each of our souls. A cry for sunshine, a cry for peace, a cry for knowledge, a cry for warmth, peace, and love. I hope Lux inspires you to feel the power, the peace, the hope, and the eternal love that light can bring to all of us. Please join us for an afternoon of beautiful music, Sunday, November 20, 3:00 pm at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Decatur.

Ted Hesse

Conductor, Opus 24

Opus 24 group photo from the 2022 Spring Concert, "How Can I Keep from Singing"

Decatur Choral Society Purpose

A) To plan, promote and develop the opportunity for singing and performing a broad range of distinguished sacred and secular choral literature for the people of Decatur, Macon County and surrounding communities in Illinois.

B) To promote public appreciation of choral works and performance of them and to educate the general public in this type of music.