James M. MacDonald, first conductor of Chicago Choral Artists, previously known as the James Chorale, conducted the chorale for four seasons. Roy Frack, member of the founding quartet of singers, remembers him here:
I first met Jim in the summer of 1976 when we both were singing in the Chicago Symphony Chorus preparing for performances at Ravinia. Some months later, while affiliated with a “rag-tag” group of good young (leaderless) singers, happily performing a cappella at various churches, I asked Jim if he would be interested in helping us with rehearsals. He agreed, knowing full well that he would not be paid for this “gig”. The group of young singers soon became the James Chorale that is celebrating its 40th season this year (now known as Chicago Choral Artists). One of many fond memories is when he and the late John Zimmer performed Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite for piano – 4 hands.
May he rest in peace.