As twilight falls over Connecticut on December 14, the glowing lights from within Cheshire's stately First Congregational Church will spill over the ancient green, inviting you to enter the candlelit sanctuary, where in word and music, the Christmas story will unfold. 

The choir will sing, the bells will peal, the organ will resound, and your voice will join with hundreds of others to send a message of peace for all the world.

Please join the GMChorale and the Chancel Choir of First Congregational Church, under the direction of Joseph D'Eugenio, for this special service of lessons and carols to welcome the holiday.

On Saturday, December 14, 2019, at 5:00 pm, the GMChorale will join the Chancel Choir of First Congregational Church in Cheshire for the 16th annual Festival of Carols, a program of seasonal readings, choral anthems, and community singing of familiar carols directed by the GMChorale's Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, who is also Choir Director and Organist at First Congregational Church.

Listen as the Christmas story unfolds in song and story within the beautifully decorated, candlelit, historic sanctuary of this classic New England church.
"The choir brought their joy in the Christmas music to the hearts of those present.
— From an attendee at the 2018 Festival of Carols

The service opens with the carol made famous by the King’s College service, “Once in Royal David’s City,” sung in procession as the choir enters the church.

Along with familiar carols for all to sing such as “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Angels We Have Heard on High,” the service includes modern classics, including the choral anthem “Lift Up Your Heads” by Newington-based composer Peter Niedmann, whose latest work, "New Every Morning," the GMChorale performed in November.
"The choir sounded magnificent, and it was wonderful to hear the modern compositions interspersed with the more traditional."
— From an attendee at the 2018 Festival of Carols
The music of another Connecticut composer, Sarah Meneely-Kyder, will be heard in her setting of “In the Bleak Midwinter,” a favorite poem by English poet Christina Rossetti. Meneely-Kyder is well-known for her oratorio Letter from Italy, 1944, which was composed for and premiered by the GMChorale. At the GMChorale's concert on November 10, many of you enjoyed the pre-concert talk given by Sarah Meneely-Kyder.
"Having experienced this Festival of Carols, I wish it could remain Christmas all year long!"
— From an attendee at the 2018 Festival of Carols

The program also includes evocative settings of Christmas texts by David Hurd, John Rutter, Gustav Holst, and other favorite composers.
"This was absolutely the finest Christmas concert I’ve ever heard. Too many superlatives to mention. I felt I was surrounded by angels." 
— From an attendee at the 2018 Festival of Carols
Festival of Carols
December 14, 2019
5:00 pm
Doors open at 4:30 pm

No tickets are required; the Festival is open to all. A free-will donation will be received.

December 15, 2019
5:00 pm

"This is the Festival of Carols to attend in Central Connecticut; come early to be sure you'll have a seat!"
— From an attendee at the 2018 Festival of Carols
First Congregational Church of Cheshire
111 Church Drive
Cheshire, CT 06410

The church is just off Route 10 in the center of Cheshire.

Click on the photo of the church, or on either map image below, to open Google maps for this location.
Photos by John Marchand
The GMChorale is partially funded by generous grants from the following: 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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