Chicago Children's Choir set to make 'triumphant return' to Millennium Park, but with awareness of loss
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Just after the Robb Elementary School massacre that left 19 children dead in Uvalde, Texas, the Chicago Children’s Choir will return to Millennium Park after a three-year hiatus – with their show “Paint the Town Red.”

As CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman reported Wednesday night, the performance takes on a new meaning in the wake of the violence.

“This is Chicago,” said Chicago Children’s Choir President Josephine Lee. “This is the best of Chicago.”

She was referring to our city’s youth, as they sang a gospel choir song in our city’s park, Millennium Park, onstage at the Pritzker Pavilion.

Diondre Dunigan of the Chicago Children’s Choir says the group is channeling recent trauma into music – the COVID-19 pandemic, the gun violence that took a teen’s life right in Millennium Park, and yet another school shooting now in Texas.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking what can happen, and what can be taken away in just a split moment,” Dunigan said.

For 10 years, the choir has been Dunigan’s outlet. He is joined by students as young as 8 years old from every Chicago neighborhood.

But they haven’t been able to take the stage until now.

“I call it our triumphant return to Millennium Park,” Lee said.

Lee says the “triumphant return” comes with a heavy reminder – one of loss.

“We are going to sing for those who cannot sing,” she said.

Dunigan said he is singing for hope.

“I really want people to take a step back and realize that these are youth that are going to lead us into a brighter future – in the city and beyond,” he said.

“Paint the Town Red” kicks off at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Pritzker Pavilion, when the Chicago Children’s Choir takes the stage. The performance is free to the public.

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