Message to Membership – April 7, 2022

From the Music Director …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

What a thrill it was to be together after a twenty-five month “furlough” from our mission! Monday’s rehearsal, despite masks and the refusal of the nice outside air to make it into our hall (we will address this next week), what was obvious in full measure was the glorious “Chorale sound” in passages that were rich and full-bodied. I extend a hearty welcome to our new members, all of whom come with impressive musical credentials and recommendations. We are in a good place to keep pace for our triumphant public celebration on May 20. Some important specifics:

  • Attached is a current version of the special assignments necessary for the per-section three-part singing in the Vaughan Williams. (Thanks for your patience as we dug into those on Monday.) This is provided especially for anyone who missed the first rehearsal and represents our latest version of the roster. Please be sure to rehearse these particular passages, now that you know which line is yours.
  • Likewise, as to the Vaughan Wlliams, because we are making use of two different editions, in order to make things move expeditiously, I am asking all who are using the smaller-scale score to add measure numbers. There are 218. We will often refer to rehearsal “letters,” which are the same in both versions; however, referring to specific measure numbers will be necessary. Thank you in advance for that.
  • We have made a slight change in the program order for the first half’s a cappella works:
    • Tyler “How Can I Keep from Singing”
    • Barnett “Steal Away”
    • Biebl “Ave Maria” (men)
    • Denard “Fare Ye Well” (Note: the edit master says “sung from memory,” but, at least so far, that is not my intention.)
  • Our rehearsal on April 11 will cover these pieces: Barnett, Dennard, Biebl (men), Brahms (women), and Perkins movement #1.
  • Jack Pott has provided his program notes about the Brahms in his message from the Assistant Music Director below. I encourage the women, in particular, to read these before Monday’s rehearsal. They are very helpful and inspiring.

Best to all,


From the Board President …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to be finally speaking to you in-person on Monday. I’ve missed everything about it – the music, camaraderie, the sharing of ideas. We have a glorious concert to present and should tell everyone about it!

Some housekeeping items, as always….

  1. I forgot to mention that outreach for student tickets is handled by our wonderful Elizabeth Flynn. If you know of a choir teacher and would like us to reach out to them, please send the information to the office. Elizabeth will be sure to contact the teacher.
  2. We are larger today than we were prior to the pandemic, and Greg Benoit will not be in attendance on Monday. Steve Cottle will be available to help. Please arrive early, as it will give you some time to work your way through the maze and find your place.
  3. Finally, if you’ve been exposed to COVID or have tested positive, please follow along via Zoom. Please notify your ASL of the virtual attendance.

All roads now lead to the Mortensen. We want to fill the house for our beloved maestro’s final conducting concert with us. Help the marketing team by telling them all about our wonderful concert and encourage them to purchase tickets for themselves and their friends!

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


Message from Edith Tresner …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

Please see the message below from Edith about Jim Tresner’s memorial service. Edith’s email is


“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”

From the Assistant Music Director …

Dear Chorale,

Thank you to all who prepared your voices prior to our first rehearsal. Since five minutes of warmups is not sufficient to get your voice ready to go, all of you need to do some singing prior to arriving (even if it was in the car). In our upcoming warmups, use that time to think about fabulous posture, good breathing, open space in the mouth, and timing. I encourage each of you to think ahead in terms of what your voice will need BEFORE it needs it. Mark your scores as much as possible to help with what you need to do to be able to sing what’s coming up.

An important note about the rehearsal Zoom link: THIS IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO ATTENDING IN PERSON. Rather, it is available to you if you have an excused absence, but still want to benefit from what is being covered.

Finally, I am so looking forward to beginning work on the Brahms with the sopranos and altos!! There is much fun and beauty to be found in these three pieces. Even though we will go over the pronunciation in rehearsal, be sure you have listened to the diction recordings on the website. Here are my program notes for the Brahms:

“The Gesänge für Frauenchor, Op. 17 by Johannes Brahms, is a four-movement work, written specifically for the Hamburger Frauenchor, a women’s choir that he conducted at the time. The first three movements, which we are presenting, were premiered in April 1860. While the poetry of each movement has a different character and comes from a different poet, all are laments: The first – for lost love; The second – for a lost lover; The Third – for love unexpressed and unrequited. Brahms’ soaring chromatic vocal lines and use of harp and horn accompaniment captures the quintessential feeling of heart-felt lament.”


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

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:

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 this group sales 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.
  1. Send us the name and contact information of any local newspapers in your area so we can provide them press announcements.

Finally, we need to sell ads for our program book. The sales form is attached to this email. I will be reaching 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.

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 Hultquist  Timing would be April 2022 to June 2022.

Thank you.

From the Office …

I have been asked to share the message below from Susan Porta’s daughter, Debby Merino:

“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 contact me at 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”

Hartford Chorale Logo merchandise is available for purchase!

See attached flyer – Show your support for Hartford Chorale by wearing a tee shirt or sweatshirt with our new LOGO. Orders/payments will be taken before rehearsal on April 11. Merchandise to be delivered in early May.

Stay tuned for additional merchandise coming soon! Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

From our Friends …


My name is Nancy Rigdon and I am the interim director of the Eastern CT Symphony Choir (ECSC). We are scheduled to sing Beethoven’s 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. I also do not want there to be any confusion between Nancy Rigdon’s markings and those that will eventually follow for the Chorale’s performance of the Beethoven in June.] 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 (already past)

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