Saturday, October 22, 2011

“Is There Anything More Beautiful?”

"Is there anything more beautiful?"

Those were the words that CONCORA’s Artistic Director Richard Coffey offered to 120 high school and university singers as the last echoes of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” resonated to every corner of The Church of St. Thomas the Apostle last night.

And yes, it was beautiful indeed. As I listened, I wondered if it were the first time that some of these young people had sung that immortal music. There is nothing ― nothing ― that compares to the experience of singing exquisite music in a fine choir with a truly skilled director on the podium, leading and shaping and integrating many singers into a single voice.

This Sunday evening, October 23, these young singers will have the opportunity to share that experience with their families and friends, as thirty singers from the all-professional choir CONCORA, the twenty-voice University Singers from Central Connecticut State University, and 120 singers who comprise the select choirs from Hall High School in West Hartford, Ledyard High School, Lyme/Old Lyme High School, Manchester High School, and Westbrook High School, present "An Extraordinary Concert." We’ll perform with piano, with two organs, and on our own, unaccompanied. (I’ve appended the entire program list at the end of this post.)

Participating in an event like this can be a life-changing event for a young musician. Among these young singers are our future music teachers, church musicians, professional singers, community musicians, and arts supporters. Our rehearsals have been thrilling, and I know that this performance will be memorable for them, and for our audience. I hope you can be part of the experience.

It’s going to be an extraordinary evening! To read more about the program, scroll down on this page, look for the subject headings on the right, and click on "CONCORA Extraordinary Concert."

You may find ticket information following these photos of the young singers, our fabulous pianist Barbara Robbins, and Maestro Coffey, taken at last night’s rehearsal:

 Don’t miss what one person has called “the most awesome listening experience!”


An Extraordinary Concert
Sunday, October 23, 2011 – 7:30 p.m.
Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, West Hartford, CT 860.293.0567


Antiphonal Music for Combined Choirs

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
“Heilig ist Gott der Herr Zebaoth!”

The High School and University Choirs

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” from Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (BWV 147)

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611)
“O magnum mysterium”

Z. Randall Stroope (b. 1953)
“Lamentations of Jeremiah”

Music by The University Singers

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621
“Gaudete omnes”

Luca Marenzio (1553-1599)
“Dissi a l'amata mia lucida stella”

Dan Campolieta
Settings of Dickinson texts:
“Will There Really be a ‘Morning’?”
“Wild Nights!”

Music by CONCORA

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
“Abendlied zu Gott” (“Evening Song to God”)

Jean Berger (1909-2002)
“Alleluia!” from Psalmo Brasileiro (Brazilian Psalm)

Pablo Casals (1876-1973)
“O vos omnes”

Edward Tyler
“Saint Teresa’s Bookmark”

Alice Parker (b. 1925)
“Hark! I Hear the Harps Eternal”

The Combined Choirs

Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
“Kyrie” from Messe Solennelle (1878, Op. 36)

Morton Lauridsen (b. 1943)
“O magnum mysterium”

Harry T. Burleigh (1866–1949)
“My Lord, what a mornin”

Brazeal Dennard (b. 1929)
“Fare Ye Well”

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