"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
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 Joseph D’Eugenio,  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 doors open at 4:30 p.m.; arrive early to choose your preferred seats. The service begins at 5:00 pm and will conclude by 6:30 pm. A festive reception follows the service; join the singers for some holiday treats and conversation.

No tickets are required; a free-will donation will be received.

There is plenty of free, off-street parking in the church lot and across the street at the Town Hall; see map and information below. 
December 14, 2019
5:00 p.m.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Reception follows


December 15, 2019
5:00 p.m.

First Congregational Church
111 Church Drive
Cheshire, CT

Ample free parking;
see map below

Free-will offering

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 sanctuary. 

Along with more familiar carols such as “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Angels We Have Heard on High,” the service includes modern classics, including the anthem “Lift Up Your Heads” by Newington-based composer Peter Niedmann. In November, the Chancel Choir of First Congregational Church gave the premiere of Niedmann’s latest major work, “New Every Morning," and the GMChorale gave the second performance on November 10.

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.

The program also includes tuneful, evocative settings of Christmas texts by David Hurd, John Rutter, Gustav Holst, and other favorite composers.

"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.

Concert tickets make great holiday gifts for the music lovers in your life!
Give the gift of music with tickets to the GMChorale's spring concert on April 26, 2020. It's a feast of choral classics by Bach, Mozart, and Schubert, with additional selections for string orchestra by Handel, Mozart, and Mascagni. Click HERE or on the image to learn more.
On Sunday, April 26, 2020, the GMChorale presents With Joy of Heart and Gladness, a program of classic music for voices and string orchestra, with fresh interpretations of choral masterworks, including performances of Bach’s cantata Christ lag in todesbanden (BWV 4) and motet “Lobet den Herrn” (BWV 230), Schubert’s Mass in G Major (D.167), and the exquisite “Laudate Dominum” from Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore (K.339).

Maestro D’Eugenio will also lead the orchestra, comprising some of the finest string players in the region, in the sprightly finale of Handel’s Concerto Grosso in D Major (HWV 323/V), the complete Divertimento in D Major (K.136/125a) of Mozart, and the poignant Intermezzo from Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria Rusticana.  The April 26 program will also include a rare performance of a lesser-known choral work by Mozart, the “Sancta Maria, mater Dei,” K.273.

The Elm City Girls’ Chorus and the Saecula Singers of New Haven will bring their fresh voices to this program of timeless classics.
With Joy of Heart and Gladness

April 26, 2020

Doors open at 3:00pm
Pre-concert talk 3:15pm

Middletown High School

Santo Fragilio
Performing Arts Center

200 La Rosa Lane
Middletown, CT

Tickets on sale now:
$9-$40 in advance
$10-$45 at the door

Click HERE for tickets
Here's a special holiday invitation from our friends at the Hartford Chorale, with whom the GMChorale collaborated to present the Hartford premiere of Letter From Italy, 1944:

The Hartford Chorale’s 2019 Christmas in the Americas concert is a multi-cultural celebration of a holiday marked by good will, gift-giving, and boundless cheer. Included will be music from North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean. Joining the 140-voice chorus will be a three-member percussion ensemble, plus harp, piano, and organ, making full use of the historic and thrilling Austin pipe organ at Immanuel Congregational Church.

Celestial plainchant from Toronto will be neatly juxtaposed with West Indian calypso. Boisterous music of the United States’ “first” composer (and hide-tanner) William Billings of Boston will challenge the unearthly sounds of Connecticut’s best-known and highly captivating composer, Charles Ives. Carols and songs from Appalachia, Colombia, San Juan, Mexico, Venezuela, and many other points north and south will dazzle, along with a new work dedicated to the Chorale just for the occasion. A bountiful array of languages, including Latin, Spanish, Catalan, and English, will provide sparkle and spice.

Designed as a musical feast for families and for all ages, Christmas in the Americas promises to set senses ablaze. Its finale, “A Christmas Garland” by Conrad Susa, brings all of the forces together in a medley of carols and folk songs, with instruments, chorus, and audience joining in sing-along fashion, everyone rollicking through well-known favorites and joyfully raising the roof.

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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