Welcome to our website. My name is Thomas Henniger and I am the current President of the Board of Directors for the chorus. During this last spring semester, we embarked on a journey to identify a new Music Director to take the place of Gerome Bell, who stepped down in June after 20 faithful years. Please join us in welcoming our new Music Director, Zakary Siler and our new Assistant Director Jenne Lennon. As you can see from their biographies below, they both bring a number of exciting skills and a passion for the group. Please get involved and either audition as a singer or attend our programs as we move forward with them! Watch this site for the new and interesting events to come. The Community Renewal Chorus is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and celebrating diversity, equality, peace and justice through music. As one of the few community musical groups in the United States whose diversity truly reflects the face of urban America,. . .[read more]
Zakary Siler began his career at age thirteen, conducting a church choir
in upstate Michigan. He then went on to study conducting at the Baldwin-
Wallace Conservatory of Music. His work at the conservatory included serving as student conductor of the B-W Singers, College, and Motet Choirs. Mr. Siler has worked with many musicians including Franz Welser-Möst, Alice Parker, Jane Eaglen, Martin Katz, Marilyn Horne, David Gooding, Dwight Oltman, and Dirk Garner.
While in Cleveland, Mr. Siler served as director of music at the First United Methodist Church of Akron, Copley United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Willoughby, and Broadway United Methodist Church, conductor of Cleveland’s Jewish Chorus, Kol Rina, artistic director of Vasa Voices, the Swedish Choir of Cleveland, and has appeared on Good Morning America with the Broadview Heights Carolers; of which he was the artistic director. He has also conducted opera at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music including Don Giovanni, Werther, The Rake’s Progress, and The Pirates of Penzance as well as the Ohio premiers of Our Town and Too Many Sopranos.
Mr. Siler’s work in Chicago includes serving as artistic director of the Community Renewal Chorus, director of music and arts at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and conducting choirs at St. Mary of the Woods Catholic Church. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, regularly tours domestically and internationally, and maintains a private voice studio.
Mr. Siler’s professional website can be viewed at: www.zakarysiler.com
Composer/Conductor/Singer Jenne Lennon has been described as “A Spectacle,” La Telegramme (France), “A Brilliant Singer,” Chicago Celtic Fest, “Deliciously Eccentric,” Bloomington Herald (Illinois), and “A Haunted Beauty,” Chicago Tribune. Critics have donned Jenne “The Janis Joplin of Celtic Music” for her passionate live performances and the unusual strength and depth of her voice. Jenne has performed all over the United States and Europe with some of the top names in World and Celtic music.
As one third of the international trio Shishonnah, Jenne currently resides in Galicia, Spain and Chicago. She is the Choir Director at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Palatine, Illinois, an instructor at the famous Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago; where she works as a voice instructor, technician, the Director of the vocal ensemble Global Voices, and teaches Piano Lab.
She has contributed the original scores to adapted plays for Yeat’s On Baile’s Strand 2010, Anhouill’s Antigone and Steve Martin’s Picasso At The Lapine Agile 2011, and teamed up with producer Roland Labana for The Hyde Park Players’ An Evening of Horror and Suspense and Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros in 2012. Her most recent work as an arranger, composer, and conductor was featured in the award-winning, critically acclaimed film A Million Miles Away, directed by Jennifer Reeder, 2014. Jenne has signed on as composer and conductor for Jennifer Reeder’s next film Blood Below The Skin, to be released in 2015. Her original score was featured in the Hyde Park Community Players and the University of Chicago’s Classics Department’s modern re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
In April of 2012, Jenne received the first annual Distinguished Alumni Award from the esteemed Elgin Children’s Chorus. Jenne received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2006, where she was also awarded the Student Service Award for her outstanding service to the University and International Choral Music. During her career at UIC, she worked with top names in international music, including Dr. Mary Goetze of the International Vocal Ensemble (Indiana University) and creator of Global Voices; Dr. Michael J. Anderson of the International Federation for Choral Music; and African composer Sheesby Matiure.
Jenne will be pursuing her Master’s Degree in Choral Music Education at the esteemed Vandercook College of Music in the Fall of 2014.
Jenne is also a skilled Native American flute player and appeared in an episode of MTV’ s Stand In performing with Sting. Her skills are showcased in Shishonnah’s recordings and performances, and she continues to work with local and national Native American tribes throughout the United States on many charitable endeavors.