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About Us

The North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble is the only professional chamber orchestra in residence on Chicago's North Shore, performing in the acoustically splendid sanctuary of the North Shore United Methodist Church in Glencoe. Our wide-ranging repertoire is selected to inspire and enrich both knowledgeable and novice listeners seeking an affordable, accessible concert experience. We are dedicated to serving the community's needs by providing exciting programs for audiences of all ages.


The North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble (NSCAE) purpose is to promote the community as a year around artistic destination for the entire Chicago suburban area. We bring affordable multi-faceted concerts to North Shore and Chicagoland communities. A project that embraces and interconnects many artists, musicians, composers, authors, playwrights and actors will help to build programs that represent the vast reservoir of talent here and make it accessible to the community at large.


We further our mission by:


  • Providing high quality concerts at less than half the price of tickets sold by performing organizations elsewhere

  • Increasing our offering of complimentary tickets to the public through public media

  • Donation of an unlimited number of complimentary tickets to civic programs


As a newcomer to the area, the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, founded in 2009, intended in its first season to expand the professional cultural offerings to those already available in Glencoe, and take its place along with Writer’s Theatre to further establish the community as a welcoming year round artistic destination.


David Rubens, an accomplished performer and conductor, is the ensemble’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor. Under his leadership, the ensemble has grown from a single performance to a season of 4 concerts: one of the offerings being free to the public. After he returned to Glencoe, his hometown, he was urged by community members to produce a performance of Handel’s Messiah, Part 1. We secured a performance space at North Shore United Methodist Church. As a result of that concert the church has volunteered its entire building as a rehearsal and performance space for the ensemble for the past 5 seasons. As a reconciling congregation, North Shore United Methodist Church embraces the message of God's unconditional love for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our congregation strives to live the United Methodist credo of "open hearts, open minds, open doors."


The momentum began even at the ensemble’s initial concert in its first full season when one of the attendees commented that what he heard that afternoon needed to be heard by the community at large. To accomplish that vision required increased institutional support, private donations, funding by corporate matching funds, and grants. Through the influence of another community member, the ensemble was given generous hours of pro bono work by Mayer-Brown Attorneys at Law. They filed the federal forms and obtained ensemble’s 501 (C) (3) designation. The organization formed its board of directors through a volunteer effort, and is now seeking to expand that body in order to increase its community and regional presence.


At the same time, all these activities were taking place Maestro Rubens presented programs that spanned a repertory from the 17th to the 21st Century. As the ensemble’s reputation spread, it drew the interest of local, regional audiences, an international credit from a society in Europe and qualified professional musicians in the Chicago area. The affective qualities of these concerts resonated with audience and players alike. Even with the ensemble’s limited funding they have been described as both inspired and inspiring...performances as fine as any heard in concert halls throughout the world.

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