About the Ensemble

Our History

Chicago Choral Artists is an ensemble of dedicated musicians that has been presenting innovative music making to Chicago audiences for over 40 years. CCA continually seeks to present excellent interpretations of engaging repertoire, creating a vibrant thread of music which connects the director, the singers and the audience. CCA programs often feature new commissions and music of indigenous cultures in tandem with fresh interpretations of classic masterworks.

Founded in 1975 as the James Chorale, Chicago Choral Artists has enjoyed many performances here and abroad including programs and interviews on NPR, WBEZ, WFMT, WNIB, and ABC TV. “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” was named one of the best holiday recordings of 1998 by John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune and also received a glowing review in Fanfare magazine. “Polished elegance. . . atmospheric performance. . . (they) stand out from the crowd.” – Lawrence Johnson, Chicago Tribune



Dana Brown

Julia Clarke

Joan Marie Dauber

Anna De Ocampo Kain

Amanda Kohl

Marybeth Kurnat

Elizabeth Shuman

Ngaire Whiteside-Bull


Elaine Bennington

Christina Bernardoni

Ruth Ginelle Heald

Gaye Klopack

Emlynn Shoemaker

Helen VanWyck

Rachel Wind


Kyle Cothern

Michael Grider

Dennis Kalup

Noah Manternach

Justin Martin

Mason Montuoro

Paul Reineck


Douglas Anderson

Luke Duroc-Danner

David John Hailey

Jay Jingst

Jess Koehn

Nick Roach

Greg Rohlfing

Meet the Artistic Director

Michael D. Costello was appointed Artistic Director of Chicago Choral Artists in 2014. Costello is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Since 2008 Costello has served as Cantor at Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, Illinois, where he directs choirs, serves as principal organist, and directs Grace’s Bach Cantata Vespers series. Besides conducting scores of Bach’s cantatas while at Grace, Costello has also conducted Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Mass in B Minor, and Christmas Oratorio. He has led the Bach Cantata Vespers chorus abroad several times, performing with Baroque orchestras in the famous Thomaskirche of Leipzig, Germany.

An accomplished organist, Costello appeared as part of WFMT’s Bach Organ Project, performing a full program of Bach’s organ works. He is a composer of music for both choir and organ. Many of his choral pieces and organ collections are published by MorningStar Music Publishers. Other pieces are published by Augsburg Fortress and Concordia Publishing House.

Before moving to Chicago in 2008, Costello was Director of Music Ministries and Assistant Pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He also served on the adjunct faculty in music and liturgy at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Costello is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Music Program, home of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival.

Board of Directors

President – Greg Rohlfing

Vice President – Jess Koehn

Secretary – Marybeth Kurnat

Treasurer – Paul Reineck

Artistic Director – Michael D. Costello

Mission Statement

Chicago Choral Artists endeavors to heighten appreciation of the choral art form through outstanding presentation of classical masterworks, commissions, music of the world’s many cultures, and informed interpretations of early music. The ensemble seeks to nurture the artistic growth of its performers and to serve the community through diverse programming and by the development of creative events collaborations with other arts, cultural, charitable and social service organizations.