Anima (formerly The Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus) celebrates it's 44th year with the 2008-09 season. One of the leading children and youth choral organizations in North America, it's rich heritage of exemplary programs has served as an artistic and educational model for many years. Maestro Carlos Kalmar recently called the chorus' singing "flawless....always impeccable intonation, attentive, never a doubt where to sing or how." Anima was honored to receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America in June of 2008. The Chorus is dedicated to providing any interested child with extraordinary choral music experiences through excellence in performance, outstanding music education, serving the community through song, and touring nationally and internationally. The Chorus' five ensembles currently serve approximately 250 children from over 30 different Chicago communities, with outreach programs reaching over 1000 additional children annually. Anima (Ah-nee-mah) is the Latin word for breath, life, soul, spirit. Performing frequently with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Sinfonietta, the Ravinia Festival, and many others, the chorus has performed under the world's most eminent conductors including Sir Georg Solti, Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, John Nelson, James Conlon, Jane Glover, and Carlos Kalmar. The Chorus has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Hong Kong, mainland China, and South Africa. The group has also appeared in performance with Garth Brooks, Julia Roberts, Dennis DeYoung, and Canada's popular rock group, Barenaked Ladies. Long recognized for the high artistic caliber of it's work, the Chorus received the United States Library of Congress' Local Legacies Award in 2000, acknowledging Anima as one of the nation's cultural treasures and American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers' CHORUS AMERICA 2001 award for adventurous programming of contemporary music. In the 1980's Anima was the first children's chorus in America to be recognized and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts for the professionalism of it's work and captured four Grammy awards for it's performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti. Recent highlights from the 2008 season include performances of Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Chicago's Music of the Baroque, great opera choruses with the Grant Park Symphony and Chorus at Millennium Park, Holst's The Planets and Orff's Carmina Burana, both with Chicago Sinfonietta. The choir was host to eleven choirs from eight states this past June at Symphony Center for the Windy City Youth Choral Festival, and recently completed a major concert tour to South Africa. The chorus will bring a major new commission from composer Daniel Brewbaker to life in the spring of 2009 and travel to England next June for the Somerset Choral Festival at Wells Cathedral.