The GMChorale sings this Sunday afternoon,
May 5, at 4:00pm in Middletown!

Scroll down for information about tickets, directions, and parking, plus a sneak peek of what's on the program, the reason for the unusual orchestra, and a few words about ... trombones.

On Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 4:00pm, the GMChorale 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.
This Mass is rarely performed in the United States, and this performance by the GMChorale in Middletown is the first we know of in the region. This ethereal music deserves to be heard and appreciated. The program also includes shorter vocal and instrumental selections by Bruckner; a complete list is given below. Please join us on May 5 at 4:00pm in Middletown to hear the GMChorale, Alchemy, an orchestra of wind instruments, and organ, all led by Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio, for what is sure to be a memorable musical experience.
May 5, 2019

3:00pm - Doors open
3:15pm - Pre-concert talk with Neely Bruce
4:00pm - Concert

Middletown High School

Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center
200 La Rosa Lane
Middletown, CT

Tickets are on sale now:
$8-$35 in advance
$10-$40 at the door
Click HERE for tickets

Online sales continue until 4:00pm on May 5.

Scroll down for more ticket information.

The concert will last about 80 minutes.

Here's what's on the program:

Three short motets sung by Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale

  1. Locus iste, WAB 23 (1869)

  2. Pange lingua, WAB 33 (1868)

  3. Virga Jesse, WAB 52 (1885)


Zwei Aequali in C Major, WAB 114 (1847) – two solemn pieces for three trombones


Ave Maria, WAB 7 (1882) – A solo motet sung by mezzo-soprano Lindsay Cabiniss with Edward Clark, organ


Afferentur regi vergine, WAB 1 (1861) – A choral motet sung by the GMChorale accompanied by three trombones


Mass No. 2 in E Minor, WAB 27 (1882) – Sung by the GMChorale with a wind orchestra of 16 players

An unusual orchestra for the Mass in E Minor

The ensemble consists of pairs each of oboes, clarinets, and bassoons; four French horns; two trumpets; and three trombones. Why did Bruckner use this unusual orchestra, without strings or grand organ?

The Mass in E minor had been commissioned for the dedication of a chapel in the new cathedral in the city of Linz. But the construction wasn't finished in time to use the chapel, so Bruckner chose instruments that could be heard well outdoors, where the Mass had its first performance.
Why the three trombones?
The wind orchestra that accompanies the Mass includes three trombones. The program also includes a choral motet that is accompanied by ... three trombones. And two very short pieces  for ... three trombones. What's with the trombones?! Our program annotator writes, "Trombone choirs were used often in sacred and "public" music. Their noble, solemn sound carries well outdoors. Many believed that trombones represented 'divine presence, the voice of the angels, and the instrument of judgment.' Trombones were essential members of the wind bands that had featured in the public life of European towns since medieval times, playing at civic events, public funerals, street dramas, and festivals." This old etching shows trombones being played from a town tower on what must have been an important occasion. Other composers wrote music for trombone choirs, most notably Beethoven, whose aequali were performed at the Linz cathedral in 1812.
For more information about this concert
If you're new to our mailing list (welcome!) or if you missed recent issues of this this newsletter, the April 13 issue is HERE; read what inspired Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio to choose this music; listen to a recording of Bruckner's Mass in E Minor; and get a sneak peek at the repertoire list for this concert. The April 30 issue is HERE, with a profile of vocal soloist Lindsay Cabaniss and information about the lovely angel that has been tooting his horn for the GMChorale this spring.

The program notes for this concert are on the GMChorale website; click HERE to open the PDF with the program notes, texts, and translations. Enjoy!

On May 5, a pre-concert talk by Neely Bruce, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music at Wesleyan University and
Music Ambassador for the City of Middletown in 2019, will begin at 3:15pm in the auditorium for ticket-holders. The doors will open at 3:00pm, and tickets may be purchased at that time.

VIsit the GMChorale's Facebook page, where we've been posting Bruckner-related anecdotes and images that didn't make it in to the concert program book. (Did you know, for example, that in 1871, Bruckner played the dedicatory recital for what was, at the time, the largest pipe organ in the world?)
Ticket Information for May 5

Enjoy the best prices by ordering your tickets now. 
   Premium: $35 in advance, $40 at the door 
   General admission: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
   Seniors: $22 in advance, $25 at the door
   Students: $8 in advance, $10 at the door
See seating chart below; within each section, seating is general.

Order tickets online 24/7: When you order tickets at our secure online store, your tickets will arrive via email as PDFs. You may print these and bring the paper copies to the concert, or you may use your mobile device to show the email that has your e-tickets. Online sales will continue until 4:00pm on May 5. Download the Ticketleap app to your smart phone and order securely from any location.

Prefer to order by phone? Leave a message at our marketing office at 860-676-2228.

Tickets will also be on sale at the door on May 5, beginning at 3:00pm. We can accept cash, checks, or credit cards (VISA, MC, Discover, and AMEX).

Questions? Need assistance? Simply reply to this email, or write to, or call 860-676-2228.

Directions and Parking

The concert takes place in the Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center, a beautiful new auditorium at Middletown High School (MHS) at 200 La Rosa Lane in Middletown. La Rosa Lane is off Route 3. Look for a sign at the entrance of La Rosa Lane guiding you to the GMChorale concert.
Click either of these images to open Google Maps for this location.

La Rosa Lane ends at the high school. Go past the end of Spruce Street, then follow the signs for Event Parking, turning right to make your way to the large lot around the far side of the building. The entry to the auditorium is in this area; look for a sign guiding you to the GMChorale concert.
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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