PART FOUR: My Choir, Your Choir, Chicago's Choir: A History of Wicker Park Choral Singers, 2008 - 2012
“What about the singers?” I asked. “Can’t have a choir without singers, right?” “Certainly not,” Mark smiled, “but I’m actually just about worn out here.”
I glanced down at my pages of notes, figuring I’d scribbled enough for a first installment. “Yeah, alright, we can go with this for now.”
Angela glanced at Mark and then slid a sheet of paper across the table to me. “Since you seem like a decent sort of person…why don’t you ask some of our members about their experiences yourself? Guard this with your life, honey. Chat them up when you have the chance. Get to know our operation.” The mink crawled its way up her extended arm and lounged about her shoulders.
“Sure. Sure thing.” I tucked the sheet into my briefcase and stood as they left the table.
* * * * *
I started with Tim. He was a business-type, in development, but worked at the opera house. Seemed like a solid place to start, and he’d been in the choir from the first day of rehearsal.
“So, Mr. Holbrook, tell me about your experience with the choir.”
“Wait, what? I thought you had an appointment to discuss an investment from WLS. We have radio time.”
“It’s alright, I’m on the level.”
Tim looked warily to the side of his desk, adjusted a pile of notes, and then came back around to me. “So he’s finally coming out with this project, eh? About time.”
“Yeah?” I wrote a note. “What do you mean, about time.”
“Well, we need to keep expanding our audience. Singing for a lot of people makes it easier when your venue is…hot. It was rough in that church over the summer, and Mark, well…”
“It’s alright,” I assured him again. “He asked you to be honest.”
“Well, he was really passionate about his conducting, and we were all friends, see, but that only goes so far. We ended up twiddling our thumbs once in a while. Oh and he didn’t ask for music deposits.”
“Yeah, you know, a couple bucks to make sure we don’t waltz off with the scores.”
“The scores? Like the prize money?”
“You journalist types…” Tim rolled his eyes. “The sheet music. The paper copies of the songs we sing.”
“Sorry, I’m just late to a meeting now. One of our feathered up dancers blew her ankle in a dance hall and lost us a contract with Listerine. They wash out the vice, you know, they don’t promote it.”
“One last question. When was that first performance?”
Tim looked nostalgic for a second. “It was on August 10, 2008. Round about noon. And you know, it was really solid in the end. Really something.”
I stood and shook his hand. “Thanks for you time. Sorry about the dancer.”
“Me too. Oh, and you might talk to Joan Cinquegrani next. Gotta run.”
To Be Continued....