Best Chorus - 2000
St. Louis African Chorus
When we think of a chorus, most of us probably think of a church choir, and, as it turns out, St. Louis' best chorus -- the St. Louis African Chorus -- just became a church choir of sorts. Their new CD, A E Na O: The Sacred Music of Harcourt-Whyte was recorded in a local church (St. John the Evangelist), and rightly so, because it praises God to the last breath. What makes this chorus the best, though, is not the voices, which can be stunning and never disappoint; it's the vision. A West African composer, Fred Onovwerosuoke, teaching Americans of all kinds (so long as they can sing and will put in the time) songs in African dialects? It's the sort of thing you expect to see in New York or Atlanta, with heaps of funding and steady coverage from the arts media. But as their name states quite clearly, this is all happening in St. Louis. If you haven't seen them perform yet, then round up a bunch of people (and kids, please) and get on it; visit www.africanchorus.org or call 314-652-6800 for their schedule.