LOSA Outreach: Ringing in the New Year

Welcome to 2020! You made it! Another decade! Many of us see the beginning of a new year as a fresh start, a way to shake up our mundane routines. Maybe you get a new haircut, read more, strive to go to the gym more, or to make a greater impact on your community. As an artist, my goals seem to hinge on that last one…How can I better  serve the people in my own neighborhood? The glamorous life of an opera singer is all fun and games until I start to think more about why I do what I do. In the end, I want to find better ways to use my art to bring joy to others. So how does this tie into chorus work? I’m glad you asked…

LOSA Members help to pack and prepare meals for the needy at a recent outreach event.

At LOSA, in addition to delighting the masses through our operatic escapades, we also strive to make a greater impact on the Chicagoland area. Since our formal founding in 2018, the LOSA Outreach Committee has worked to serve our local community with concerts and service projects throughout the city.

At the core of our current outreach work are performances at senior living facilities. In 2019, we presented concerts at The Merion of Evanston, Westminster Place,  and in our ongoing partnership with Chicago Methodist Senior Services, at Covenant Home, Wesley Place, and Hartwell Place Memory Care Center. These concerts not only allow us to connect with those in our elderly community, but also offer us the opportunity to present a variety of music, including opera, musical theatre, and popular song. Additionally, this season we were fortunate to pair with members of our own Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra in presenting these concerts and in other community service projects. Another highlight of our year is the annual Make Music Chicago music festival, dedicated to presenting music from a variety of backgrounds to the greater Chicago community. We have been overjoyed for the past two years to present concerts at both the Jackson Park Fieldhouse in Hyde Park, and on our home turf at the Civic Opera House.

LOSA Members posing with our colleagues from the Lyric Opera Orchestra, at a recent outreach concert in Evanston, IL.

Another way we care for our community is through our work with local service organizations. Since 2018, we have partnered with Grace Place in the South Loop neighborhood to serve meals to our displaced neighbors. We gather on Saturdays early in the morning, make sandwiches, pack lunches, and tell stories. When the hot food arrives, we serve around 100 people, greeting each guest by name as they pass through the line. It is a joy to meet these people and interact with them as we serve them a hot meal. In addition to our work with Grace Place, we have also partnered with the 4th Presbyterian Meals Ministry, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and the AARP Senior Food Pack. Not only are we great performers, but we can pack food with the best of them!

As we expand our goals into 2020, we continue to seek new opportunities to give back to our community through our time and talents. Upcoming concerts include our Ladies of LOSA concert at 4th Presbyterian Church as part of their Noonday Concert Series (Jan. 24), and at Westminster Place in Evanston (Feb. 20). If you would like more information about our concerts or other projects, you can send us an email through our contact page on the website, or send an email directly to our Outreach contact Pam Williams at pamdwilliams@gmail.com.