Message to Membership – April 14, 2022

From the Music Director …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

Monday evening’s rehearsal was a “game-changer” for me. At every moment, I felt that we were fully restored as to our skills, artistry, and, perhaps above all, our “sound,” which was glorious (even through masks!). I thank you for the obvious personal preparation you had applied to all of these scores. The Barnett “Steal Away” glided so smoothly amongst its many enharmonic modulations. The first movement of “Alive Poems” was stunning, even overwhelming in its first delivery, and both the Brahms (women) and Biebl (men) took flight right from the start. I look forward, all the more, to the rehearsals that lie ahead. I hasten to add here my deep appreciation for Jim Barry and the impressive and vital way he supports us at the piano. I can’t imagine the number of hours of study and practice that he has undertaken on our behalf. At rehearsal’s end, I was delighted to hear someone say, “Why do we need an orchestra? We have Jim.” High praise, indeed.

Now we have the pleasure of opening the doors to Ludvig van Beethoven as he moves into our minds, hearts and voices! Certainly not by design, but by necessity, our rehearsals for the Ninth Symphony begin on Monday, May 23, just days after our blockbuster concert; however, we have no fear, because we will certainly be warmed up! Our librarians will soon have our on-loan scores available to us. Meanwhile, attached are some materials that you will soon be embracing. These include a version of the edit master, which will also be accessible on our webpage. Also included are two outstanding German-diction audio aids.

Our rehearsal on Monday, April 18, will focus deeply upon Perkins movements #2 and #3. Be sure to listen to the MP3s of those, and, in particular, listen carefully to the per-vocal-part tutorial that Scott has prepared for movement #2. By Monday, please be ready to speak all of the text of this piece, in the tempi and rhythms shown. Also, remember to have all of this concert’s scores with you at every rehearsal.

For those observing Holy Week and Passover, I wish you moving and meaningful experiences.

All best,


From the Board President …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

I can’t tell you what a joy it was to finally crack open the Scott Perkins score and sing from it. This has been three years in the making! From choosing the composer, to the theme, to the poems, the commission committee worked tirelessly to ensure that our 50th anniversary piece was reflective of who we are. Many thanks to our commission committee chaired by Dr. Rick Wilson for bringing this to the world.

Our attention is now entirely on filling up the Mortensen. We have many ticket options available. Please note marketing’s message on group sales. We also have student pricing. The individual ticket discount code is “choralefan”.

Women Chorale Members: A few of you were asking about concert attire. Please contact our wonderful costumer, Mary Ann Haar, with questions. Her email is This would also be a good time to bring out your concert attire for a post pandemic audit! Returning members, If you have concert attire but haven’t worn it in two years, please TRY IT ON this week to make sure it fits! The link to purchasing our concert attire can be found here.

We are actively looking for interns (high school juniors and seniors, and college students) to sing in the B9 concert. If you know of anyone, please reach out to Russ Hammond, our intern chief, at (

Until I see you on Monday, have a wonderful week and weekend!


From the Assistant Music Director …

Dear Chorale,

Like Mr. Coffey, I am extremely encouraged by our overall sound this past Monday night. Your “vocal readiness” makes our rehearsal time so much more productive. I want to give a special shout out to the sopranos and altos for their German diction preparation of the Brahms, which made that part of our rehearsal go very smoothly. I look forward to getting started on movement 3, which obviously has more words (4 verses!) but is not any more musically difficult than the first two movements.


From the Media Coordinator …

Dear Chorale,

We are providing a recurring Zoom link for rehearsals. If you are unable to attend rehearsal because of illness or an excused absence but still want to benefit from listening in, here’s your chance. Zoom link is below and will be the same for each week.

Hartford Chorale is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Hartford Chorale Rehearsal Zoom

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 1041 5884

Passcode: 478543

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+13126266799,,83910415884#,,,,*478543# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

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Meeting ID: 839 1041 5884

Passcode: 478543

Find your local number:

From the Marketing Committee …

President’s College Course:

Members and friends of the Chorale have wonderful opportunity to attend the Hartford University President’s College course Alive Poems: Commissioning a Symphonic Choral Work around Stories of Our American Heritage. The two session course will be conducted in the Wilde Auditorium on May 5, 2022 and May 12, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. You can register for this course by clicking on the link above.

This course offers music lovers a rare opportunity to gain an insider’s view of the commissioning and creation of a new choral work. Dr. Aimee Pozorski, Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, will lead the first session focused on the consideration of the poems at the heart of the text including “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus; “Soy un Amasamiento” by Gloria Anzaldua; “The Storyteller’s Escape” by Leslie Marmon Silko; “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou; and “Remember” by Joy Harjo. Dr. Perkins will join this session virtually to explore the setting of text to music.

Our own Maestro Richard Coffey will lead the second session, with Dr. Perkins chiming in virtually, to explore the complex commissioning process and the selection of texts, and to offer a sampling of the music. Course attendees are invited to a production week rehearsal led by Maestro Coffey with the participation of Scott Perkins.

Ticket Sales and Attendance:

To ensure maximum ticket sales and attendance, we need your help. What I’m asking from you is multi-faceted:

  1. Please complete thisGroup Sales Contact form with the names and contact information of groups (Senior Living Communities, Performance Arts schools, Church Choirs, Social groups or Clubs, etc.) that would be interested in purchasing tickets using our Group Sales discounts.

ž Group Sales discounts are:

    • 10 – 24 tickets receive a 15% discount
    • 25 or more tickets receive a 25% discount

ž Group tickets do not need to be purchased in a single section of Mortenson Hall, but

ž Group Sales tickets do need to ordered at the same time in order to receive the discount.

  1. Use this media contacts link to introduce us to radio and TV contacts you know so that we can arrange for coverage and interviews for Rick and Scott.
  2. Send us the name and contact information of any local newspapers in your area so we can provide them press announcements.

Thank you for your commitment to Hartford Chorale!

Fred Baker

Marketing Chair


From the Golf Committee …

The Golf Committee needs your help for the 2022 Hartford Chorale Classic.  We are searching for a member who would be willing to assist in finding tournament sponsors.  This person would work with the Golf Committee in our search for Tee Sponsors as well as Team and Tournament sponsors in support of our event.

Tee sponsors pay $100 each for a sign which is posted at one of the golf holes advertising their business.  Our goal is to get at least 18 Tee sponsors this year (last year we had 12). The golf committee will help with information from previous years’ sponsors and searches, but we need a dedicated person who can organize and send emails or visit local businesses to sign them up and brainstorm with the team to find some additional sources.  If you can assist in this important role, please reply to Joan  Timing would be April 2022 to June 2022.

Thank you.

From the Office …

Message from Edith Tresner

I want to let folks in the Hartford Chorale know we are having a memorial service for Jim on Saturday, April 23rd, at 11 am at Immanuel Congregational Church. I would love to see some members of the chorale come if they are interested. We are hoping to pull together a small choir for the service, rehearsing an hour or so beforehand, and doing a piece that will be familiar to singers (still to be determined, based on how many singers are coming). I’m not sure how the Chorale handles this sort of thing, but it would be great if you could help me spread the word. Any members who are interested in coming can email me privately for more details, which I will send as we get closer to the date.

Thank you so much. I hope you are doing well.

Edith Tresner

Message from Susan Porta’s daughter

As you know, my mother, and chorale member, Susan Porta, passed away on December 2nd. God, she loved the Chorale. She was so proud of being a part of it. A memorial service for her will be held on May 7th at 11:00 am in the Memorial Garden at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford. I live in Pennsylvania, so contacting people who knew her is a bit of a challenge. Please feel free to share my email address ( or phone number (570.401.3774) if you have any questions. Thank you bringing such joy to my mother when she was alive.

Debby Merino

From our Friends …

The Greater Middletown Chorale crowns its 45th season with Franz Joseph Haydn’s late-classical masterwork, The Creation. GMChorale will be joined by Alchemy vocal chamber ensemble, Elm City Girls’ Choir, Orchestra New England, and internationally renowned soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Dann Coakwell, and Mark Womack, for a monumental production not to be missed. A rarely performed choral masterwork, The Creation has enchanted audiences for generations since its premiere in Vienna in 1798. Inspired from the oratorio tradition of Handel, The Creation celebrates the creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis, the Biblical Book of Psalms, and in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Audiences will be transformed by the brilliant tone-painting and monumental choruses of the work as they hear light emerge from darkness, the foaming billows of the seas, and Adam and Eve, the graceful consort and the spouse adored before the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Please visit to learn more and purchase tickets.

Please note The Greater Middletown Chorale is extending to all Hartford Chorale members and staff a discount code: createCHORALfor $6.00 off any ticket category available for new advanced ticket sales.


The Asylum Hill Congregational Church Sanctuary Choir, directed by Jack A. Pott, will present Scott Perkins’ “A New England Requiem” on Friday, April 15, at 7pm in the church sanctuary. This 30-minute work, scored for choir and organ will be part of their Good Friday service. It pairs texts from the Requiem mass with poems by New England authors: Emily Dickinson and Nathaniel Hawthorne of Massachusetts, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of Maine, and Lydia Sigourney of Connecticut, and explores themes of rest and peace for the departed, as well as comfort for the living. The service can be attended in-person or viewed via live stream


The Music Series at South Church welcomes the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center Professional Ensemble on Sunday, May 15, at 4:00 pm, South Church, 90 Main Street in New Britain. Based at Wesleyan University, the Center preserves, teaches and promotes various styles of Japanese contemporary and traditional music, with a focus on the shinobue bamboo flutes and Japanese percussion, including the taiko drum. Their mission includes fostering a community of practitioners, scholars and admirers of Japanese performing arts. Come hear this innovative ensemble representing the best of the art form! A free-will donation will be accepted.


My name is Nancy Rigdon and I am the interim director of the Eastern CT Symphony Choir (ECSC). We are scheduled to singBeethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Eastern CT Symphony Orchestra on May 7th at the Garde in New London. I’d like to invite you to join us for this majestic piece to once again share the beauty of vocal music! We need singers of all parts to build a choir strong enough to meet the demands of this piece and to adequately perform with a professional symphony. ECSC is an auditioned choir, but we are waiving auditions at this time. If you are familiar with the score and are able to attend some if not all of our upcoming rehearsals, you are most welcome! I have attached the score with all of the conductor’s markings so you can come to rehearsals with the score ready to go. [NOTE FROM LISA: The file is large and is not attached to this email. If you want to participate, please email me and I will send it to you.] You can use them initially on an iPad or printed out but will need to purchase a copy of the original for the performance.

Rehearsal Schedule: All rehearsals are from 7-9 pm

April 6 – St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

April 13 – Harkness Chapel

April 20- St. Andrew

April 27 – Chapel

Production Week – Warmups usually are at 6:30 so we are ready to start after the orchestra warms up.

May 4&5 – Dress Rehearsals – place TBD

May 6 – Dress Rehearsal at the Garde Arts Center

May 7 – 7:30 Concert at the Garde

If you cannot make all the rehearsals but know the piece, please contact me and I’m sure we can work something out. This is short notice and I realize many people already have commitments scheduled. We currently are required to wear masks at Harkness Chapel, but I don’t know the requirements yet for the church or concert.

Concert Dress – Tux for men and long black dresses for women.

Addresses for rehearsals and performances:

Harkness Chapel is on the Connecticut College Campus

270 Mohegan Avenue Pkwy

New London, CT 06320

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

310 Fort Hill Road

Groton, CT 06340

The Garde Arts Center

325 State Street

New London, CT 06320

If you know anyone outside of your own group who might like to join in the fun, please send this information on to them. I want to PACK THE STAGE!!

Thank you for your consideration.


Nancy Rigdon