Music at LSUS
Music plays a very important part in the LSUS Sunday service. Our concert pianist, Elif Allenfort, shares her exceptional musical talents with us every Sunday. Her music sets the mood for the service and prepares us to be in the moment, to be more open and thoughtful to receive the speaker's message. On occasion she brings her musician friends and enriches our Sunday morning experience even more. The LSUS Choral Group is another gem. The small ensemble has been delighting not only the LSUS congregation, but also taken their repertoire on the road. The LSUS Youth Choir joins the Choral Group for all-music programs twice a year, adding their beautiful voices and youthful energy, bringing more joy to the congregation.
Elif Allenfort, the beloved concert pianist at LSUS, is a native of Turkey and demonstrated her musical talent and began her lifelong study of piano at the age of 7. Her precocious talent earned her admission to the Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory in Ankara, Turkey, where she studied until she was 19 years old. Elif continued her education in Brussels, Belgium, and first visited America in 1996. Upon her decision to remain in America, she was admitted to Roosevelt University Chicago Musical College in 1997. She completed her degree with honors in the spring of 2001. She has performed and taught extensivley since that time. Elif has been delighting LSUS with her musical talents for more than a decade.
Each of our Sunday service includes at least two hymns; they are carefully chosen to enhance the theme of the service. Most of the hymns in our services come from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, which contains a wide variety of songs from various cultures and spiritual traditions. The songs reflect our respect for all faiths and all living things, and singing along with the fellow congregation strengthens our bond.
LSUS Choral Group
LSUS Choral Group is a small ensemble of 5 to 8 people, who love to sing and make beautiful music together. They have expanded their horizon beyond traditional "church music" and have performed not only at the LSUS services and all-music programs, but also at evening social occasions such as fundraiser and cocktail parties. They have also brought Holiday cheers to area retirement homes and a daycare center for Alzheimer's patients. In recent years, the Choral Group and Elif provided music for the memorial services of the LSUS members who had passed away.
The Choral Group's repertoire includes classical choral music (madrigal, Bach, Mozart, Rutter, etc), standard jazz, Broadway musical numbers, operatic solos and duets, various folk songs (American, Gaelic, African, Russian), traditional spiritual, and pop songs. The songs in their repertoire reflect UU principles in one way or another.
LSUS Youth Choir
Twice a year, for Holiday Celebration in December and Celebration in Music in May, RE students who love to sing rehearse with the Music Director and join the Choral Group to perform for the congregation. Children older than 2nd graders are welcome to join. The Music Director picks songs that are appropriately challenging for different age groups. The students learn to follow the direction and to be ensemble performers, but also are given opportunities to be creative: they may collaborate to choreograph to a song, or make up a skit. The Youth Choir joined the Choral Group on Musical Outreach trips to retirement homes, and brightened the day of many people.
View the videos on this page (and another great one by the Youth Choir here) for the sounds of the LSUS Choral Group and Youth Choir!