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GMChorale Media Contact: Sarah Hager Johnston
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Media Phone: 860-676-2228
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Mailing Address: GMChorale, P.O. Box 527, Middletown, CT 06457

The GMChorale Presents a Rarely-Heard Choral Masterwork on May 5
Anton Bruckner’s Mass in E minor, for voices and wind orchestra, is “unexpectedly ethereal and luminous”
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. (April 8, 2018) — This GMChorale, now in its fifth decade, with 90 dedicated singers from 40 Connecticut communities, has developed a reputation for taking a chance on lesser-known music and presenting it with artistry, skill, and verve to music lovers across central Connecticut.
On Sunday, May 5, 2019, the ensemble will present a program of choral music by Anton Bruckner, featuring the “unexpectedly ethereal and luminous” Mass in E Minor for voices and wind orchestra. The program begins at 4:00pm at Middletown High School, 200 La Rosa Lane, in Middletown. A pre-concert talk begins at 3:15pm.
“Most people know Anton Bruckner only for his eleven gigantic, hugely-orchestrated symphonies,” said the ensemble’s Artistic Director, Joseph D’Eugenio. “Each of the symphonies takes, on average, an hour to play! But Bruckner’s ‘day job’ was as a church organist and choirmaster, and he composed for his singers a wealth of fine choral music which, in its smaller scale and crystalline texture, is entirely different from his symphonic music. People who don’t care for Bruckner’s symphonies will probably love his gem-like choral music.”
Bruckner was organist and choirmaster at Saint Florian monastery near Linz, Austria, and at the cathedral at Linz, both on the banks of the Danube River. His Mass No. 2 in E minor, composed in 1866 to celebrate a new chapel in the Linz cathedral, and widely acknowledged as among Bruckner’s best works, evokes the cathedralesque musical architecture of the Renaissance masters overlaid with the rich harmonies of the nineteenth century.
“Bruckner’s Mass is truly exquisite, with soaring lines and astonishing moments of harmonic revelation,” said D’Eugenio. “I have always wanted to do this work especially after having visited the breathtaking space at Saint Florian when the GMChorale toured in Europe several years ago. I hope that we will re-create that sense of floating grandeur when we present Bruckner’s choral music on May 5.”
The GMChorale has a long history of presenting “classic” choral masterworks, but also embraces new music, especially in the form of commissions and special collaborations. In 2013, the GMChorale premiered a new oratorio, Letter from Italy, 1944, that had been commissioned by the Chorale of Connecticut Grammy nominee and composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder. Music has also been commissioned from well-known choral composers such as Gwyneth Walker, Eugenie Rocherolle, Peter Niedmann, Colin Britt, Ellen Gilson Voth, Lee McQuillan, and Henry Mollicone.
“It’s easy to program familiar music,” said D’Eugenio, who has led the ensemble for more than twenty seasons. “It’s easy for the singers to prepare familiar music, and it’s easy for an audience to come to listen to an old favorite like Handel’s Messiah. And we love Messiah, too, and plan to perform it again soon. But at the GMChorale, we are also looking for every opportunity to broaden our experience as musicians, and to offer a wider variety of great choral music to the community, including music that may have fallen by the wayside, not because it is less worthy, but because it gets crowded off the stage, so to speak, by the ‘big hits’ of Mozart, Brahms, and other mainstream choral composers. Presenting Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor is a great opportunity to make this happen. I’m aware of only about a half dozen performances of this music in the United States this season – and one of them will be here in Connecticut on May 5.”
The May 5 program also includes a selection of choral motets by Bruckner, to be performed by Alchemy, the 24-voice chamber ensemble of the GMChorale, and mezzo-soprano Lindsay Cabaniss will perform Bruckner’s solo setting of “Ave Maria,” accompanied on the organ.
The Mass in E Minor and a motet will be accompanied by a professional orchestra of wind and brass instruments, and the wind orchestra will also present two instrumental works on their own.
“Yes, we 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.”
In a series of informative newsletters, easy-to-understand printed program notes, and a pre-concert talk by Dr. Neely Bruce, Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, the GMChorale will share information about Bruckner and his choral music.
The concert takes place on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at 4:00pm at the Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center, 200 La Rosa Lane, in Middletown. There is ample parking, and the site is fully accessible. A pre-concert talk by Neely Bruce, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, will begin at 3:15pm for all ticket-holders.
Tickets are on sale now at Discounts are available for seniors, students, and groups of 8 or more.
What: A concert of choral, vocal, and instrumental music by Anton Bruckner. A talk by Neely Bruce, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, precedes the concert.
Who: The GMChorale and Alchemy, with mezzo-soprano Lindsay Cabiniss, organist Allan Conway, and a professional orchestra of wind instruments, all conducted by Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio.
When: Sunday, May 5, 2019, 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.
Tickets: $8-$40, on sale now at Early-bird prices are in effect until May 4. Tickets will also be available at the door on May 5, beginning at 3:00pm.
More Info: or
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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 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 90-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.
About Lindsay Cabaniss – Lindsay Cabaniss, mezzo-soprano, debuted a soloist with the GMChorale in 2017 under Joseph D’Eugenio, as Dorothea in the new oratorio, Letter from Italy, 1944, when it premiered at the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. Lindsay has sung with many summer intensives including Respiro Opera, NYC, Utah Vocal Arts Academy as a Principle Artist preparing the role of Charlotte in Werther, with Bethesda Summer Music Festival performing the roles of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and with Manhattan Opera Studio as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Previously, she was contracted with the College Light Opera Company where she appeared as The Witch in Into the Woods, Nettie Fowler in Carousel, Madame Thénardier in Les Miserables, Mabel in The Pajama Game, and Mrs. Jones in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. During her undergraduate studies at the Hartt School of Music, Lindsay sang the roles of Public Opinion in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Baba in Menotti’s The Medium, Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Dinah in scenes from Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. In the fall of 2019, Lindsay will cover the role of Hänsel in Hänsel and Gretel with Madison Lyric Stage. Lindsay received her Bachelor’s of Music from the Hartt School of Music in 2016, under the tutelage of Joanna Levy.
The GMChorale, led by Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio
The GMChorale in concert, led by Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio
Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale
Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio
Mezzo-soprano Lindsay Cabaniss
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 © 2019 Greater Middletown Chorale, All rights reserved.

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