Message to Membership – April 28, 2022

From the Music Director …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

Thank you for another inspiring and productive rehearsal on Monday. I continue to appreciate so very much your commitment to and investment in this outstanding artistic adventure. It is clear to me that you are doing lots of “homework,” and the payoff is not only most pleasant, it is quite critical to our conquering of these magnificent scores. When I continue to press for “more” in rehearsal, I often remind myself that in many cases there is no “more” to give, the chief obstacle, of course, being the masks. Thank you for your patience and your good spirits. I ask most earnestly that everyone continue to make use of the materials provided, as well as, and especially, the MP3 recordings that are so helpful. Repeated use of Scott Perkins’ tutorial on the second movement will go a long way to making that very challenging movement our own.

Some important programmatic enhancements:

  • The order of the four unaccompanied pieces that close the concert’s first half has been changed to: Tyler – Barnett – Biebl (men) – Dennard.
  • We will be performing the Dennard by memory. Easy.
  • Some re-voicing for the men’s “choral solo lines” in the Vaughan Williams (mark these before the next rehearsal):
    • Meas. 127-130 = BI/TII
    • Meas. 131-138 (beat one) = Tutti basses
    • Meas. 138 (beat two) – 148 = BI/TII
    • meas. 150-157 = Tutti basses

We have now engaged in our foundation-laying of all of the scores! Next, we build and refine these over the next three pre-production rehearsals. On May 2, the entire rehearsal will be devoted to the concert’s first half. Please be fully prepared for this. We must make immense progress that night. Do keep in mind the Presidents’ College twin sessions, May 5 and 12, devoted to our commission project. The first one, focusing upon the texts, will be a boon to our appreciation of them. Consider this as a “going back to college” opportunity! Do help us meet our concert ticket-income goal which is for 1,200 “paying customers.” If all of us purchase five tickets as gifts for friends and family, we will reach 50% of the goal! That would be marvelous. I have purchased mine and have enjoyed providing those tickets to those whom I know will appreciate what lies ahead. Finally, as to Covid protection and the need for us all to be as absolutely healthy as possible, let’s agree that in our personal, daily lives, we will “be smart and stay safe” in all that we do, whether in public or even in our own homes. Wisdom will see us through!

All best,

Rick

From the Board President …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

When we meet again on Monday, it will be the month of May! In that regard, all roads lead to filling the seats at Mortensen Hall. Our marketing team led by Fred Baker is working diligently with publicity, social media, newspaper ads and more. Please continue to spread the word on the concert to your friends and family. As a reminder, the discount code for purchases is “choralefan”. Student pricing is $10. Many thanks to Elizabeth Flynn for spearheading the outreach to schools and colleges. Please contact her if you know of schoolteachers who would like to attend with their students.

On the business of the Chorale, we have begun the search for our next ED. I’ve attached the job description for your perusal. As always, the best referrals are from within our precious community. If you know of anyone who is suited for this position, please let me know. The search committee will be happy to follow up. Many thanks to Kristen Phillips, Elizabeth Flynn and Ed Below for joining me in this important search.

Thank you all for your good cheer. The second half of our rehearsal cycle begins next week. Until I see you then, have a wonderful week and weekend!

Lalitha

Message from the COVID Safety Committee (formerly Reopening Committee)

Thank you to everyone for conscientiously wearing masks during rehearsals. Due to increases in cases due to the highly contagious subvariant BA.2, please see below our current guidelines.

  • Masking for rehearsals will continue.
  • The Committee strongly recommends that all Chorale members wear the KN95 mask (or equivalent) because it gives the greatest protection against the movement of pathogens.
  • KN95 masks are widely available at a low cost, but if you do not have access to one, the Chorale will have a small supply available at the next rehearsal.
  • A decision has not yet been made about requiring masks for the concert on May 20. However, if masks are required for the concert, all members must wear a black mask.

Zoom streaming of rehearsal will continue through May 9 for members who are sick or are not feeling well. As a reminder, being physically absent from rehearsals, even if watching via zoom, is considered one of the two allowable absences permitted for this concert. During production week (starting May 16) all members who are “COVID-free” must be physically present for rehearsals.

From the Office …

Beethoven scores will be handed out by Jeanine Lovendale and Danielle Foint, our librarians, before rehearsal on Monday evening, May 2nd, between 6:15 and 7:00 pm, and during the break. For your convenience, the Beethoven edit masters are now posted and available on the Members page of the Chorale website. The password is Chorale 21.

Reminder: 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 laylockcottage@gmail.com. This would also be a good time to bring out your concert attire for a post pandemic audit! 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 (internships@hartfordchorale.org).

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 (debby.merino@gmail.com) 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 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

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83910415884?pwd=Syt4empsWjdCUElHTDRhRFkzSGYxUT09

Meeting ID: 839 1041 5884

Passcode: 478543

One tap mobile

+13017158592,,83910415884#,,,,*478543# US (Washington DC)

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

Dial by your location

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 839 1041 5884

Passcode: 478543

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcetf0wFmN

From the Marketing Committee …

Concert Program Ads:

We sold several few concert program ads so far and several other ads are in process. We have just a few more days to sell ads. Let’s sell out the ad space in our 50th Anniversary program! The sales form is attached to this email. I reached out to the Chorale members who sold ads for our prior self-produced concerts so that they can offer the historic rate to their previous ad customer. Let’s sell a lot of program ads!

Ticket Sales and Attendance:

We continue to make progress selling concert tickets. Please reach out to all of your friends and family to purchase tickets to our wonderful concert. 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 be 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.

Let’s sell this concert out!

Presidents’ College Course:

It is not too late to sign up for the Hartford University Presidents’ College course Alive Poems: Commissioning a Symphonic Choral Work around Stories of Our American Heritage. Members and friends of the Chorale are able to participate in this wonderful opportunity! 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.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!

Thank you for all that you are doing for Hartford Chorale.

Fred Baker

Marketing Chair

#KEEPTHESONGSTRONG

From the Golf/Auction Committee …

Save the date on Monday, June 27, for our biggest fundraising event of the year – The Annual Hartford Chorale Classic Golf Tournament and Online Auction! Please see the attached flyer.

  • The Tournament will be played at Blackledge Country Club in Hebron, CT.
  • Scramble Format
  • Registration at 9:00 AM and Shotgun start at 10:00AM
  • Price – $125 per player, lunch included.
  • After golf – join us for a Happy Hour where we can brag about our scores and take part in a Teacup raffle. Follow the link below to register your foursome.

Sign up to play in the Hartford Chorale Golf Tournament HERE!!!

Online Auction starts June 13th. More details to follow.

SPONSORS – Do you know or support a local business owner? Ask them if they would like a bit more exposure by sponsoring a Tee Box or a hole for our upcoming tournament. There is still time; please contact Joan Hultquist (jbhultquist@comcast.net), for more information.

AUCTION ITEMS TO DONATE – Do you have something you’d like to donate, or can you create a themed gift package or basket? Please contact Dawn Bauer (dbauer658@gmail.com)

From our Friends …

The Greater Middletown Chorale crowns its 45th season with Franz Joseph Haydn’s late-classical masterwork, The Creation on Sunday, May 1, 2022, 4:00 pm, Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School, Middletown, CT.

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 www.gmchorale.org to learn more and purchase tickets.

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

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CONCORA will present the world premiere of Hebrew Prayer in B Minor on Sunday, May 1st at 4:00 pm at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive in West Hartford.

Hebrew Prayer features the complete music of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor. This adaptation makes parallels to the original Latin Mass text and expresses them in the words of ancient Hebrew prayers. Hebrew Prayer is the creation of Dr. Eric Weitzner, a devotee of Bach’s music and former student of Hebrew and Jewish theology. Sung in Hebrew, this work will be performed by CONCORA’s professional singers and soloists with a chamber orchestra under the direction of Chris Shepard, Artistic Director.

Visit www.concora.org for details and tickets. You can also hear CONCORA’s singers rehearse “Kyrie eleison” (“Lord, have mercy”) from the Latin Mass and then the adaptation in Hebrew: “K’ rav-na elenu” (“Draw near to us, we pray.”)

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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.

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Farmington Valley Chorale, under the direction of Artistic Director Ellen Gilson Voth, celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a concert at The Bushnell’s Belding Theater on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 7:00 pm. The program will include Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with pianist Anchie Donn, and recent works by Jake Runestad, Colin Britt and Dr. Voth. Chorale is accompanied by Stephen Scarlato on piano and professional orchestra. Tickets range from $25 – $35 and are available at bushnell.org.

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