Le Cantanti di Chicago

Our story


Le Cantanti di Chicago (The Singing Women of Chicago) is a 20+ member women's choir based in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. It was founded in 2014 by Sri Lankan born musician Dhilanthi Fernando who is also its director.The women who comprise the choir come from many backgrounds and nationalities, and meet for rehearsals on Saturdays from 3:30 -6 pm at the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago. We perform two main concerts a year - in the spring and winter, and more informal performances as and when the need arises. 

Our repertoire is drawn from many genres, styles and languages, and includes both original compositions for women's voices as well as arrangements.

Significant performances thus far have included our inaugural concert in May 2015, to raise funds for the victims of the Nepalese earthquake, the Holiday Concert in December 2015, celebrating "light" and "giving" in our many religious traditions. February 2016 saw us in the East Room of Montgomery Place, performing and leading the audience in a community sing-along. In the spring of 2016 we joined the choir of Hyde Park Union Church at their worship service, the offering at which was donated to the city of Kumamoto, Japan, after it was devastated by an earthquake. Our spring 2016 concert was a fund-raiser for the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador. We have joined musicians from around the country and the world on June 21 each year, to celebrate the Summer solstice through participating in Make Music Chicago, the Chicago version of Fete de la Musique.

In December 2016, we held our 2nd annual Holiday Concert, featuring Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" with harpist Michael Maganuco.

January 21, 2017 saw us joining our voices with those of 250,000 women and men who marched on the streets of Chicago at the Women's March, in solidarity with women everywhere.

On May 21st, 2017 we performed our spring concert"Songs of Life, LIberty and Love" at the beautiful St. Therese Catholic Church in Chinatown, as a benefit for a church in China that was destroyed by a fire. We were joined by the resident choir of St Therese, Sacred Sound, in a rousing rendition of Revelation 19. In November 2017, we were honored to be invited to sing at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood at their morning worship.  December 2017 saw us again at Montgomery Place, in a holiday music program organized by the University of Chicago Service League.

The Winter 2018 concert was bittersweet, when we bade adieu to our oldest member, Mary Rose Shaughnessy, who passed away days before the concert.This concert also saw the launching of our first CD "Imbiana! Come Sing Together." The spring 2018 concert was on the theme of "water," where we sang about the beauty as well as the destructive power of water. It was wonderful to be joined again by Sacred Sound singers of St. Therese Church, in a beautiful rendition of  "Shall We Gather at the River," with Amanda Mejia as the soloist. Another special feature of this concert was the Tsunami Song sung by Sri Lankan Petronella Fernando.

The highlight of our performance history thus far is of course the week-long "Serenade! 2017 Choral Festival," which took place in the summer of 2017, when we joined choirs from around the world to celebrate the 100th anniversary of President Kennedy's birth. During the week, we performed in several DC area venues, culminating in the grand finale at the John F Kennedy Center for the Arts. An unforgettable experience!

Our Mission 

We are a diverse group of women enriching our world through the joy of choral performance, weaving a musical tapestry from many genres and cultures. We are committed to using our voices to uplift the human spirit and to support causes that promote peace, hope, and wholeness in the world.

Our Pianists:

Jennifer McCabe

Laura Voigt

Cacie Willhoft

Tyler Kivel

Guest musicians  have included:

Marlena Dzis, soprano

Lyle Nicholson, baritone

Michael Maganuco, harp

Our Director:

Dhilanthi Fernando