Two University of Illinois School of Music alumni, Donald Nally (DMA ’95, Choral Music) and Craig Hella Johnson (MM ’85, Choral Music), have secured nominations in the 2024 Grammy Awards’ Best Choral Performance category.
Donald Nally, the director of The Crossing, received his ninth Grammy nomination in the best choral performance category for the album Carols After A Plague. Nally and The Crossing have secured nominations in the Best Choral Performance category for over eight consecutive years, surpassing the pop icon Taylor Swift in terms of consecutive yearly nominations. His previous wins include Born (2023), Zealot Canticles (2019), and The Fifth Century (2018). Nally’s dedication to his craft resonates in his reflections on his School of Music journey: “I closed the music library many nights and walked back to my place, full of questions. Great.”
Meanwhile, Craig Hella Johnson, founder and leader of Conspirare, joins this elite list of nominees with his album House of Belonging. This marks his eighth nomination, building on his previous win for the album Sacred Spirit of Russia in 2015. Johnson recalls: “A special source of inspiration, choral Professor Chet Alwes, was a most important and influential teacher in my life from my time at the University of Illinois,… He left for me lasting gifts in my musical life.”