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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
GMChorale Media Contact: Sarah Hager Johnston
Media Inquiries: gmcmedia@gmchorale.org
Media Phone: 860-676-2228
General Inquiries: info@gmchorale.org
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
 

Among Bernstein Tributes, the GMChorale’s November 11 Concert Stands Out
 
Dream with Me, Dear Friends” showcases choral music of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Randall Thompson, who knew each other as teachers, students, mentors, and friends.
 
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. (October 10, 2018) — The GMChorale opens its 43rd season with a nod to the Leonard Bernstein centenary that stands out from the many other tributes during this “Bernstein Year.”
 
On Sunday, November 11, 2018, the 80-voice ensemble will present “Dream with Me Tonight, Dear Friends,” a concert of choral and keyboard music by Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Randall Thompson, three giants of American composition who enriched each other’s lives as friends and mentors.
 
“As a composer, pianist, teacher, and conductor, Leonard Bernstein had a profound and lasting effect on the color and flavor of American music,” said Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, now in his twenty-first season as Artistic Director of the GMChorale. “So instead of simply performing a selection of Bernstein’s choral music, we broadened the program to include music by Aaron Copland and Randall Thompson, two composers who influenced, and were influenced by, Bernstein.”
 
Copland’s deep roots in American folk music will be heard in a selection of spiritual arrangements, including his iconic “At the River.” Thompson’s affinity for the singing voice and his sensitive text settings have ensured that his Frostiana and Alleluia remain fresh and compelling. Bernstein’s wide-ranging virtuosity, encompassing the languages of classical, jazz, opera, expressionism, and musical theatre, will be on display in his virtuosic Touches for solo piano and in choral selections from Mass, West Side Story, Peter Pan, and Candide.
 
“These giants of the 20th century American musical scene knew each other not only as friends but in deeply influential mentoring and teaching relationships; between them, they helped to create a new, distinctively American sound,” added D’Eugenio.
 
Pianist Allan Conway, who is highly-regarded across the region, will perform the solo piano work, Touches.
 
“Yes, we often include instrumental music in our choral programs,” said D’Eugenio. “It’s always interesting to hear music that complements and perhaps illuminates the choral selections, and the audience enjoys the contrasts of texture and color."
 
Another textual contrast will be the performance of Randall Thompson’s iconic Alleluia by Alchemy, the 24-voice chamber ensemble of the GMChorale.
 
The concert takes place on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 4:00pm at the Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center, 200 La Rosa Lane, in Middletown. The site is fully accessible.
 
A pre-concert talk by Neely Bruce, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, will begin at 3:15 for all ticket-holders.
 
Tickets are on sale now at
www.gmchorale.org. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and groups of 8 or more.
 
EVENT DETAILS
 
What: “Dream with Me Tonight, Dear Friends” – a concert of choral and instrumental music by Bernstein, Copland, and Thompson. A talk by Neely Bruce, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, precedes the concert.
 
Who: The GMChorale and Alchemy, with Allan Conway accompanying, led by Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio.
 
When: Sunday, November 11, 2018, 4:00pm. The pre-concert talk by Dr. Bruce begins at 3:15pm.
 
Where: Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center, 200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown, CT. The site is fully accessible. There is ample free, off-street parking in the school lot.
 
Accessible: Yes
 
Admission: Tickets $10-$40, on sale at
www.gmchorale.org. Early-bird prices are in effect now.
 
Family Friendly: Yes
 
More Info:
http://gmchorale.org/dream-with-me-tonight-dear-friends/ or gmcmedia@gmchorale.org
 
 
# # #
 
Photos: Below.
 
Interviews: For more information, or to schedule an interview with Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, please contact Sarah Hager Johnston, GMChorale’s Director of Marketing and Communications, at gmcmedia@gmchorale.org or 860-676-2228.
 
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. Under the artistic leadership of Joseph D’Eugenio since 1998, 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. The 80-voice Chorale performs a wide range of choral repertoire, from beloved masterworks to newly commissioned pieces. The 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.
 
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-nominated 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 to great acclaim 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.
 
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. Beginning this season and going forward, many of the GMChorale’s programs are focused around “Singing for a Lifetime,” an idea that embraces everyone already involved with the Chorale, as well as those who are yet to be. The singers of the Chorale and the professional musicians who form the Alchemy chamber ensemble serve as ambassadors for our organization as we expand the Chorale’s overall mission by engaging singers and listeners of all ages and abilities through community workshops, collaborations, and concerts throughout Connecticut and beyond.
 
About the GMChorale’s Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio – Recognized as one of Southern New England’s most engaging musicians, Joseph D’Eugenio has been bringing music to life across the region for more than twenty-five years. As a conductor, artistic director, music director, educator, pianist, vocal and conducting coach, and organist, D’Eugenio combines imaginative programming, skilled conducting, and deeply-informed musical versatility to bring freshly-conceived, captivating performances of choral, chamber, keyboard, and orchestral music to audiences across the region.
 
Known for his passion and dedication in preparing and presenting the great choral masterworks, for the past twenty years D’Eugenio has led several performances each season of major choral-orchestral works, most often with the GMChorale, where he has served as Artistic Director since 1998.
Under D’Eugenio’s leadership, the GMChorale, an auditioned symphonic choir of 80 voices that performs a wide range of choral music from several centuries, has become known as one of New England’s finest choruses, celebrated for its innovative choral presentations, appealing programming, and engaging performances. In addition to performing the more familiar masterworks (including the requiems of Mozart, Duruflé, Brahms, and Fauré, masses of Haydn and Mozart, and oratorios by Handel and Mendelssohn), under D’Eugenio’s leadership the GMChorale frequently presents lesser-known music of high artistic merit, and has a long history of commissioning and performing new choral works.
 
D’Eugenio recently created a new initiative for the GMChorale—“Singing for a Lifetime”— through which the organization will sustain its long tradition of presenting concerts of choral masterworks while creating even more opportunities for life-long music-making in communities across the region, engaging more people from all backgrounds and of differing abilities, to share the joy of singing together. He is particularly committed to creating learning and performance opportunities for young musicians and emerging music professionals across the region.
 
In 2016, D’Eugenio established Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale, whose mission is to advance and support the GMChorale’s vision of “Singing for a Lifetime” through concert tours, collaborations, musical leadership, education, and community engagement. In establishing Alchemy, D’Eugenio looked beyond the traditional professional choir model, forming a company of musicians comprising music educators, professional soloists and performers, and skilled ensemble singers and instrumentalists. D’Eugenio directs Alchemy in an annual state-wide concert series, collaborating often with local ensembles and performers, especially youth choirs. The ensemble is often invited to perform across the region in collaborative projects and special concerts, including giving the President’s Concert Performance at the 2018 convention of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.
 
In 2009, D’Eugenio was named Conductor of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. He earned the Bachelor of Music (cum laude) in piano performance from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and the Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Connecticut.
 

 
The GMChorale in concert, led by Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio
Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio
The GMChorale is partially funded by generous grants from the following: 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 © 2018 Greater Middletown Chorale, All rights reserved.


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