Musichorale began in 1947 as the Lindblom Alumni A cappella Choir under the direction of Arthur Silhan with 25 voices from the high school choir. Phyllis Ballin (soon to become Mrs. Arthur Silhan) was the first accompanist. Before long, the choir had grown to include more than just alumni, so the name was changed to Chicago Choral Club, before finally becoming Musichorale in 1957. Arthur’s elder son, Jeffrey, became director in 1980, a natural progression since he had been singing since the formation of Musichorale Miniatures in 1957. Jeffrey’s daughter, Sarah, became director in 2017.
Rehearsals began at the Ogden Park field house and then moved to Marquette Park. Musichorale has owned two buildings: first at 59th and Sacramento, and then the old Clearing Town Hall on 63rd Street in 1971. Since 1998, the choir’s home has been at the Christian Assembly Church (formerly Oak Lawn Community Church) at 90th and Ridgeland where we are renting space for rehearsals and storage.
Musichorale has sung many weddings, dedications, parties, and concerts in some of the most prestigious venues around Chicagoland. From Symphony Center and the Wrigley Building Restaurant to casual outdoor venues and local restaurants, Musichorale continues to thrive after 70 years.
Our Director, Sarah Silhan-Koehler
Education, and a Master’s in American Literature, and works as an adjunct instructor of English and Communication at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Heights.
A tribute to the Musichorale Founder, Art Silhan
Arthur "Art" Silhan, 79, a husband, father, grandfather, and teacher passed away on August 16, 2004.
Art is best known for founding Musichorale, your Chicagoland Community Choir. He started the group in 1947 while trying to keep his high school choir together after graduation. He stayed on as director until 1980 when he handed the baton to his son Jeff. Art was always happy to put on his tuxedo and direct a few favorite numbers at the Spring and Winter concerts. Musichorale was the love of his life. He was the backbone behind it at all times. Every facet of his life was geared around music.
Art was born and raised in Chicago's West Lawn community and started singing at an early age. After graduating from Lindbloom High School, he earned a degree in education from the Chicago's Teacher's College.
By day, he taught music in the Chicago public schools, primarily at McKay Elementary school in Marquette Park and Hale Elementary school in Clearing. Evenings were spent with the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus, where Art sang as a lyric tenor for 32 years. He directed church choirs of many denominations including St. Bede's Catholic Church, Green Oaks Reformed Church, Calvary Lutheran, and Lutheran Church of the Cross. Art was also a member of the Lawn Lodge, the Masons, and the Shriners.
In 1949, Art married Phyllis Ballin, a piano player and composer. The couple had two sons, Jeff and Marc, and two daughters, Cynthia and Shane. Described as a real stickler for tradition and precision, Art began his concerts at 20 past the hour. In an uncanny coincidence, he died at 2:20 p.m. Accordingly, his memorial service began at 10:20 a.m. on August 21, 2004 with a selection of sacred music sung by 100 current and past members of Musichorale. The man who donated more than 25 gallons of blood in his lifetime decided to leave his body to the Anatomical Gift Association to be used for medical research.