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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
GMChorale Media Contact: Sarah Hager Johnston
Media Inquiries: gmcmedia@gmchorale.org
Media Phone: 860-676-2228
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
 

Choral Classics Old and New: The GMChorale Announces its 2019-2020 Concert Season
 
As it embarks on its 44th season, the 90-voice concert choir builds on its reputation of offering inspired performances of lesser-known masterworks and championing newly-composed classics-to-be.
 
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. (October 3, 2019) — The GMChorale, now in its 44th year, announces its 2019-2020 concert season, featuring two large-scale concerts by the 90-voice GMChorale and a more intimate four-concert series of “Soirées Musicales” by Alchemy, the Chorale’s 24-voice vocal chamber ensemble.

The GMChorale

On Sunday, November 10, 2019, as part of its commitment to presenting new and lesser-known choral music of great quality, the 90-voice GMChorale will present the Middletown premiere of New Every Morning, a multi-movement newly-commissioned choral work by the highly-regarded Connecticut composer Peter Niedmann.

“Peter Niedmann’s setting of joyful texts by two great English churchmen-poets and from two favorite Psalms is a rich musical tapestry that is by turns comforting, celebratory, and uplifting,” said Joseph D’Eugenio, now in his twenty-second season as Artistic Director of the GMChorale. “The music dances with pronounced rhythmic underpinnings and shifting meters, sublime harmonies and a cappella sections, and a virtuosic accompaniment that sparkles and enlivens the choral writing.”

The November 10 program also includes evocative choral music by John Rutter, David Conte, Dan Forrest, and James Mulholland, composers whose works are admired as contemporary classics. Alan Conway accompanies from the piano.

On Sunday, April 26, 2020, the GMChorale presents 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 virtuosic 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.

“As the GMChorale has seen in recent years at our well-attended, highly-praised performances of Carissimi’s oratorio Jepthe and Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor, music-lovers in the region 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. “That certainly pertains to Mozart’s ‘Sancta Maria’ — it’s just lovely, but is often pushed to the sidelines by his more frequently-performed music. We are looking forward to bringing this lovely piece back into the limelight where it can be heard and enjoyed.”

The Elm City Girls’ Chorus and the Saecula Singers of New Haven (Tom Brand and Rebecca Rosenbaum, Music Directors) will bring their fresh voices to this program of timeless classics.

The GMChorale’s main-stage concerts on November 10 and April 26 take place at 4:00pm at the Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center, 200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown. Each concert will be preceded by a pre-concert talk at 3:15pm. Ticket are on sale now at www.gmchorale.org.

Alchemy 

Led by founding Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, the 24-voice Alchemy ensemble presents an annual series of concerts across the state. In the 2019-2020 season, Alchemy, will offer “Soirées Musicales,” an hour-long program that showcases the versatility of this ensemble in performances of accompanied and a capella choral music and recalls the elegance of musical gatherings in earlier days. The featured work is the Neue Liebeslieder waltzes by Johannes Brahms, virtuosic settings of love poems for solo voices, chorus, and piano four hands (that is, two pianists playing one piano). The GMChorale’s long-time pianist Allan Conway will be joined at the keyboard by Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, and members of Alchemy will perform the vocal solos. The program also includes evocative choral selections by Giacchino Rossini, Randall Thompson, Edward Elgar, and others. 

The Alchemy 2019-2020 series includes concerts on Saturday, October 17 in Cheshire; Sunday, October 27 in Essex; Sunday, March 1 in Cromwell; and Saturday, March 21 in Hartford.

Festival of Carols

The GMChorale frequently collaborates with other performing arts organizations in communities across the region. 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, who is Choir Director and Organist at First Congregational Church. No tickets are required for this event; a snow date of Sunday, December 15, at 5:00 pm has been reserved.

GMCHORALE 2019-2020 SEASON CONCERTS

“New Every Morning”
Sunday, November 10, 2019, 4:00 p.m.

The GMChorale
Joseph D’Eugenio, Artistic Director, conducting
Allan Conway, piano
Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center
Middletown High School
200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown, CT
Pre-concert talk at 3:15 p.m.
As part of its commitment to presenting new and lesser-known choral music of great quality, the GMChorale presents the local premiere of New Every Morning, a multi-movement choral work by Connecticut composer Peter Niedmann. This setting of joyful texts from two great English churchmen-poets and two Psalms is a rich textual and musical tapestry that is by turns comforting, celebratory, and uplifting. The music dances with pronounced rhythmic underpinnings and shifting meters, sublime harmonies and a cappella sections, and a virtuosic accompaniment that sparkles and enlivens the choral writing.  The program also includes evocative choral music by John Rutter, David Conte, Dan Forrest, and James Mulholland. Alan Conway accompanies from the piano.

“With Joy of Heart and Gladness”
Sunday, April 26, 2020, 4:00 p.m.

The GMChorale
The Elm City Girls’ Choir and the Saecula Singers
Joseph D’Eugenio, Artistic Director, conducting
Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center
Middletown High School
200 La Rosa Lane, Middletown, CT
Pre-concert talk at 3:15 p.m.
In a wide-ranging program of music for chorale and string orchestra, the GMChorale presents fresh interpretations of well-known masterworks, including performances of Bach’s cantata Christ lag in todesbanden (BWV 4) and Motet No. 6 “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). The Chorale will also offer a rare performance of a lesser-known but beautiful choral work by Mozart, the “Sancta Maria, mater Dei,” K.273. Maestro D’Eugenio will 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 Elm City Girls’ Chorus and the Saecula Singers (Tom Brand, and Rebecca Rosenbaum, Music Directors) will bring their fresh voices to this program of timeless classics.

“A Festival of Carols”
Saturday, December 14, 2019, 5:00 pm

SNOW DATE: Sunday, December 15, 2019, 5:00 pm
First Congregational Church
111 Church Drive, Cheshire, CT
Warm up to the holiday season on December 14, 2019 with the 16th 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.

ALCHEMY 2019-2020 CONCERTS

Soirées Musicales — Led by founding Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, the 24-voice Alchemy ensemble presents an annual series of concerts across the state. In the 2019-2020 season, Alchemy, will offer “Soirées Musicales,” an hour-long program that showcases the versatility of this ensemble in performances of accompanied and a capella choral music and recalls the elegance of musical gatherings in earlier days. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 7:00pm
With the Saecula Singers, Tom Brand, Artistic Director
First Congregational Church of Cheshire
111 Church Drive, Cheshire, CT
Free-will donation

Sunday, October 27, 2019, 4:00 pm
Essex Meadows
30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT
Free admission; registration required at 860-581-4660 or https://www.essexmeadows.com/event/alchemy-vocal-chamber-performance/

Sunday, March 1, 2020, 4:00 pm
Bethany Lutheran Church
50 Court Street, Cromwell, CT
Free-will donation; a reception follows the concert

Saturday, March 21, 2020, 8:00 pm
Asylum Hill Congregational Church
814 Asylum Avenue, Hartford CT
Tickets: $20 at www.ahcc.org
 
# # #

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 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 Alchemy: Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale, was established in 2016 as a company of musicians comprising music educators, professional soloists and performers, and skilled ensemble singers and instrumentalists. Alchemy’s 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. Led by founding Artistic Director Joseph D’Eugenio, the ensemble, known for its ability to adapt its sound to a broad variety of repertoire, took the name “Alchemy” in recognition of the ancient, mystical art of creating gold through a process of transformation and refinement. Already recognized for its vocal beauty, richness, and subtlety, this ensemble brings a touch of gold to concerts and collaborations of the highest musical quality. The musicians of Alchemy are also members of the 80-voice GMChorale, which performs a wide range of choral music from several centuries, from beloved masterworks to newly commissioned pieces. In its annual state-wide concert series, Alchemy frequently collaborates with local ensembles and performers, especially youth choirs. The ensemble is often invited to perform across the region in collaborative projects and special concerts, and has been invited to give the President’s Concert Performance at the 2018 convention of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

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.
The GMChorale (photo by John Marchand)
The GMChorale in concert, led by Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio (photo by John Marchand)
Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale (photo by John Tyler)
The GMChorale's Artistic Director Joseph D'Eugenio (photo by John Marchand)
The GMChorale is partially funded by generous grants from many individual donors and from 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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