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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
GMChorale Media Contact: Sarah Hager Johnston
Media Inquiries: gmcmedia@gmchorale.org
Media Phone: 860-676-2228
Website: www.gmchorale.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmchorale    @gmchorale
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gmchorale/
Mailing Address: GMChorale, P.O. Box 527, Middletown, CT 06457
 

The GMChorale Appoints Melissa Rooklidge as Assistant Conductor and Director of Operations
 
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. (February 26, 2019) — The GMChorale is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Rooklidge as Assistant Conductor and Director of Operations, the first person to fill these newly-created roles.
 
“As the GMChorale enters its fifth decade, the organization is broadening its mission and the scope of its offerings to bring the power and beauty of choral music to people and communities across Connecticut, an initiative that we call Singing for a Lifetime,” said Nancy Schultz, President of the GMChorale’s Board of Directors. “By adding a Director of Operations to our administrative team, we can increase our capacity to develop new outreach programs for the community and add enrichment and performance opportunities for our members. Melissa’s broad experience with choral organizations at various stages of development will be a boon to us as we develop the Singing for a Lifetime program.”
 
“The GMChorale is looking forward to engaging singers and listeners of all ages and abilities through community workshops, collaborations, and concerts throughout Connecticut,” added Joseph D’Eugenio, who has served as the GMChorale’s Artistic Director since 1988. “In her role as Assistant Conductor, Melissa is already proving a valuable partner in artistic planning, assisting in rehearsals, and taking on oversight of important member services, including assisting with auditions, coordinating our music library, and much more. I’m very grateful that we are able to bring her on board as we are looking to the future.”
 
In addition to serving as Assistant Conductor and Director of Operations for the GMChorale. Ms. Rooklidge also sings with Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale.
 
“This is an exciting time to be associated with the GMChorale and Alchemy,” said Rooklidge. “As we develop new musical offerings for our singing members and for the community, we are building on the organization’s long and distinguished history even as we look to the future. The members of the GMChorale are passionate about performing beautiful choral music for the community, and their commitment to excellence and artistry is inspiring.”
 
In Ithaca, New York, Rooklidge is on faculty at the music school Opus Ithaca. At Opus Ithaca, she founded and directs Odyssey, a community choir of adults and youth, and teaches Kodály musicianship courses. Ms. Rooklidge also served as the founding artistic director of the Waterbury Youth Chorus from 2011-2016. From 2012-2015, she served as the Yale Camerata chorus manager and concert production assistant at Yale University. Across Connecticut and New York State, she has taught choirs, music, and voice in public and private schools since 2011. As a visiting music instructor, Ms. Rooklidge also had the privilege of teaching in her second language of Italian at Il Dovaldo Ridolfi elementary school in Tuscania, Italy, in 2010. She studied conducting with Drs. André Thomas and Kevin Fenton, having earned a Master of Music Education degree from Florida State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a concentration in voice from Texas Tech University, mentored by acclaimed Kodály expert Dr. Susan Brumfield.
 
The next performance of the GMChorale is on Sunday, May 5, when the ensemble presents a program of choral music by Anton Bruckner in Middletown. Tickets are on sale now for this concert at www.gmchorale.org.
 
# # #
 
Photos: Below.
 
Interviews: For more information, or to schedule an interview with Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio or Assistant Conductor Melissa Rooklidge, please contact Sarah Hager Johnston, GMChorale’s Director of Marketing and Communications, at gmcmedia@gmchorale.org or 860-676-2228.

Melissa Rooklidge serves as the Assistant Conductor and Director of Operations for the GMChorale and also sings with Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale. In Ithaca, New York, she is on faculty at the music school Opus Ithaca. At Opus, she founded and directs Odyssey, a community choir of adults and youth, and teaches Kodály musicianship courses. Ms. Rooklidge also served as the founding artistic director of the Waterbury Youth Chorus from 2011-2016. She additionally worked as the Yale Camerata chorus manager and concert production assistant at Yale University from 2012-2015. Across Connecticut and New York State, she has taught choirs, music, and voice in public and private schools since 2011. As a visiting music instructor, Ms. Rooklidge also had the privilege of teaching in her second language of Italian at Il Dovaldo Ridolfi elementary school in Tuscania, Italy, in 2010. She studied conducting with Drs. André Thomas and Kevin Fenton, having earned a Master of Music Education degree from Florida State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a concentration in voice from Texas Tech University, mentored by acclaimed Kodály expert Dr. Susan Brumfield.
 
About the GMChorale – The GMChorale has become one of New England’s finest and most engaging choruses since its founding in 1977 as The Greater Middletown Chorale. Today, the GMChorale is celebrated for its innovative symphonic choral presentations, and often performs with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and other ensembles. Under the inspired leadership of Joseph D’Eugenio, now in his twentieth season as the ensemble’s Artistic Director, the 80-voice Chorale performs a wide range of choral repertoire, from beloved masterworks to newly commissioned pieces. GMChorale crowned its two European concert tours as the only choir providing music for the Sunday noon mass at Venice’s extraordinary Basilica San Marco. Alchemy, the GMChorale’s new vocal chamber ensemble, established and directed by Joseph D’Eugenio, has already seen great success with concerts of early to contemporary music, both a cappella and accompanied, in a variety of settings. Under Maestro D’Eugenio’s leadership, the GMChorale has commissioned and premiered new choral works by leading composers including Gwyneth Walker, Eugenie Rocherolle, Peter Niedmann, Colin Britt, Ellen Gilson Voth, Lee McQuillan, and Henry Mollicone. In 2011, the GMChorale commissioned Connecticut Grammy nominee and composer, Sarah Meneely-Kyder, to create Letter from Italy, 1944 with the libretto by her sister, poet Nancy Meneely. In 2013, the GMChorale premiered the new oratorio in Middletown, Connecticut. The Chorale commissioned Karyl Evans to create a documentary of the oratorio’s historic background and creative process that was narrated by Meryl Streep. The stunning result, Letter from Italy, 1944: a New American Oratorio, earned an Emmy for its director in 2016. In May 2017, the GMChorale collaborated with The Hartford Chorale to perform Letter from Italy, 1944 with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford. Joseph D’Eugenio directed the semi-staged production, its professional soloists, the 200 singers of the combined Chorales, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in a memorable performance.

 
Melissa Rooklidge, Assistant Conductor and Director of Operations for the GMChorale
The GMChorale, with Artistic Director Joseph Eugenio (front row, right) and Assistant Conductor Melissa Rooklidge (second row, right)
The GMChorale is partially funded by generous grants from many individual donors and from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; the Middletown Commission On The Arts; The Marjorie Jolidon Fund of the Greater Hartford Chapter, American Guild of Organists; and Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Copyright © 2019 Greater Middletown Chorale, All rights reserved.


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