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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
 

The GMChorale Announces 2018-2019 Concert Season, featuring music of Bruckner, Bernstein, Copland, and more
 
The 80-voice concert choir, now in its 43rd season, offers contrasting programs of enduringly beautiful choral music.
 
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. (July 31, 2018) — The GMChorale, now in its 43rd season, announces its 2018-2019 concert season, featuring two contrasting programs of enduringly beautiful choral music to be performed under the direction of Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio.
 
On Sunday, November 11, 2018, in a nod to the Leonard Bernstein centenary, the 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 Joseph D’Eugenio, now in his twenty-first season as Artistic Director of the GMChorale. “Instead of simply performing a selection of Bernstein’s choral music, we are broadening the program to include music by Aaron Copland and Randall Thompson, two composers who influenced, and were influenced by, Bernstein.”
 
On Sunday, May 5, 2019, the ensemble performs rarely-heard sacred choral music by Anton Bruckner, with the ethereal Mass in E Minor as the centerpiece of the program, along with a selection of Bruckner’s motets.
 
“As the GMChorale saw last year with our well-attended, highly-praised performance of Carissimi’s rarely-heard oratorio Jepthe, our listeners are eager to hear choral music that may have fallen a bit outside the mainstream but is nonetheless of the highest artistic merit,” added D’Eugenio. “The Bruckner Mass in E Minor, though rarely heard, is considered among the finest of Bruckner’s compositions. It’s altogether different from his vast symphonies; this music is shimmering and almost other-worldly, combining the spare architecture of Renaissance motets with the rich harmonies of the nineteenth century. It’s marvelous music that will create a memorable listening experience.”
 
Each concert takes place at 4:00pm at the Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center and will be preceded by a pre-concert talk at 3:15pm. Tickets for the GMChorale’s main-stage concerts in November and May are expected to go on sale by September 1, 2018 at www.gmchorale.org.
 
The GMChorale has also been invited to participate in two collaborative performances.
 
On Saturday, December 15, 2018, the GMChorale will join the Chancel Choir of First Congregational Church in Cheshire for the 15th annual Festival of Carols, a program of seasonal readings, choral anthems, and community singing of familar carols directed by Joseph D’Eugenio, who is Choir Director and Organist at First Congregational Church. No tickets are required for this event.
 
On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, the GMChorale will return to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford to join the combined music ensembles of Middletown High School in “Middletown High School Goes to the Symphony,” a gala concert accompanied by full orchestra. Tickets will be available from the Bushnell box office later in the season.
 
GMCHORALE 2018-2019 SEASON CONCERTS
 
Dream with Me Tonight, Dear Friends – The GMChorale joins the global celebration of the Leonard Bernstein centenary with a program of music by Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Randall Thompson. 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. 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. Tickets $10-$40, on sale at www.gmchorale.org by September 1, 2018.
Sunday, November 11, 2018, 4:00pm; pre-concert talk at 3:15pm
Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center
200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown, CT
 
Choral Music of Anton Bruckner: Mass No. 2 in E Minor and Other Gems – The Austrian composer Anton Bruckner may be best-known for his symphonies, eleven immense orchestral works that are vast in scale and dimension. But in his “day job” as an organist and choirmaster, he composed a wealth of exquisite sacred music for his choirs at Sankt Florian monastery and the cathedral at Linz. His ethereal Mass No. 2 in E minor, composed in 1866 to celebrate a new chapel in the Linz cathedral, is scored for eight-voice mixed choir and a small group of wind instruments. This Mass, widely acknowledged as among Bruckner’s best works, evokes the cathedral-esque musical architecture of the Renaissance masters overlaid with the rich harmonies of the nineteenth century. The program also includes a selection of motets by Bruckner and others. Tickets $10-$40, on sale at www.gmchorale.org by September 1, 2018.
Sunday, May 5, 2019, 4:00pm; pre-concert talk at 3:15pm
Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center
200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown, CT
 
ADDITIONAL APPEARANCES BY THE GMCHORALE in 2018-2019:
 
A Festival of Carols – Warm up to the holiday season on December 15, 2018 with the 15th edition of A Festival of Carols, the much-loved annual presentation by the GMChorale, the vibrant Chancel Choir of Cheshire’s First Congregational Church, and singers from the Cheshire community, all directed and accompanied by Joseph D’Eugenio, Artistic Director of the GMChorale and Choir Director and Organist at First Congregational Church. Listen as the Christmas story unfolds in seasonal readings and choral anthems, and add your voice when all join to sing traditional Christmas carols. This memory-making festival is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 5:00pm
First Congregational Church
111 Church Drive, Cheshire, CT
 
Middletown High School Goes to the Symphony – The GMChorale joins the combined music ensembles of Middletown High School and a full orchestra for a gala concert of choral music in the beautiful Mortensen Hall at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford. The concert features the entire music program from Middletown High School, including choirs, symphonic band, orchestra, string program, and concerto winners and performances. Tickets will be available from the Bushnell box office later in the season.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019, evening time TBA
Mortensen Hall
Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT
 
# # #

Interviews: For more information, or to schedule an interview with Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, please contact Sarah Hager Johnston, GMChorale Marketing Coordinator, 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.
Members of the GMChorale in concert
The GMChorale's 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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