Our Mission

The Community Renewal Chorus is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and celebrating diversity, equality, peace, and justice through music.

Active in Chicago’s musical life for over 40 years, the Chorus has performed at public functions, on television, in churches and concert venues throughout the region. They were founded in 1970 by Harriet Ziegenhals and served until 2003 as musical ambassadors of the Community Renewal Society, personifying its struggle against racism and injustice.


The chorus forms a singing community – their membership personifies their commitment to diversity and inclusion by bringing together people of various races, faith perspectives, economic backgrounds, political affiliations,and sexual orientations.

The Chorus has performed over 600 concerts in more than 175 different communities. Its repertoire encompasses music from many traditions and cultures, including major classical works, folk songs from diverse cultures, contemporary and tradition hymns, Broadway show tunes, spirituals and gospel, and songs that reflect hope for the city. It has been our privilege to carry the message of love to “All God’s children.”

As a group whose diversity truly reflects the face of urban America, the Chorus has been welcomed enthusiastically in many foreign countries. Since 1976, seven international “Friendship Tours” have been taken to Romania, Poland, the former USSR, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Scandinavia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Mexico.