Message to Membership – January 27, 2022

From the Music Director …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

I join you in regretting an additional postponement of our Messiah performance, knowing that in due course this will come to life as intended. While we are aware of other choruses returning to “active duty,” it is important to note that because of our size, in numbers of singers and instrumentalists, our return takes longer in accommodating the all-important protocols and safety measures that are necessary for our own safety and that of our audiences.

We can now exuberantly turn our attention to our May 20 Fiftieth anniversary concert which holds unimaginable promise as to what it will mean to those who present it and those who hear it. Very shortly you will have access to important preparatory materials, MP3s of the Perkins piece, a per-section tutorial on that work, and a score linked to playback, with “where we are” shown by a very dependable vertical bar. Edit masters will likewise be posted. Prior to our rehearsals, which begin April 4, there will be four online sessions in a rehearsal-style format (instruction, listening, and singing along) and three vocal workshops led by Jack Pott. This array of opportunities begins February 14. Stand by for more information.

Our recent first go at online auditions has been effective and successful, with six applicants, these joined by six others who auditioned in the fall. This is certainly great news.

All best as always,



From the Board President …

Dear Hartford Chorale,

The board and committee chairs have had a busy, but good week. The reopening committee met last Friday and for all the reasons stated in the announcement below, rightfully (and with great disappointment) voted unanimously to postpone our Messiah and Hartford Chorale Day. All eyes are now on the 50th anniversary concert. Please continue to hold the February rehearsal dates on your schedule, as the Maestro has some wonderful ideas for virtual programming that you will not want to miss!

Our virtual auditions went very well! Please join me in thanking and congratulating the audition team – Steve Cottle, Catherine Little, Jack Pott, Greg Benoit, and our wonderful Maestro for seamlessly converting to and managing the virtual format. I cannot wait to meet our new members and introduce them to you.

The full board sits on Monday, January 31. I am really looking forward to our meeting as we look to further continue with the business of the Chorale. Except that the world is not ready for us, the Chorale is in a very good place and is ready for when it is safe to get together in person. Thank you for all your flexibility and good cheer.

I hope you all stay safe and warm over the weekend. Until I write to you again, have a wonderful week and weekend.



From the Reopening Committee …

The Chorale Reopening Committee met on Friday, January 21, to discuss the current situation regarding the Covid pandemic. With great regret, the Reopening Committee voted unanimously to postpone theMessiah concert scheduled for March 24, and Hartford Chorale Day scheduled for March 19.

Although the rate of infection with the Omicron variant is declining, the committee noted the size of the Chorale, and the possibility of additional safety requirements, yet to be defined. Additionally, the committee noted that, although the severity of illness is not as great with the Omicron variant, the nature of the Chorale population still makes infection a threat to health. Even with conscientious masking, ventilation precautions during rehearsals and the requirement for booster shots, the committee did not feel we could proceed safely. This decision does not impact our planning for the 50th Anniversary Concert on May 20, or the rehearsals for that concert, which begin on April 4. However, the Reopening Committee will meet again prior to the beginning of those rehearsals to determine the safety of moving forward with that project.

The following changes are being made in the Winter/Spring schedule:

  • The Messiah concert scheduled for March 24 and all related rehearsals are postponed until an as-yet-determined time.
  • The vocal workshops scheduled for January 24, 31 and February 7 are rescheduled to the three Mondays prior to the 50th Anniversary Concert rehearsals. Specifically, they will be held March 14, 21 and 28. Whether they are in-person or virtual will be determined at a later date.
  • Hartford Chorale Day, scheduled for March 19, is being postponed until this Fall. As soon as a specific date has been set, the membership will be notified.
  • Four virtual sessions in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Concert rehearsals are being prepared. These will be online sessions led by Rick and will be in the style of a rehearsal, with commentary, listening, and singing along with scores-in-hand from home. Please reserve Monday, February 14, 21, 28 and March 7 for these events. Details will be shared with the membership as soon as they are available.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding for the changes that are being made. We all want to begin our singing as soon as we safely can.

The Reopening Committee

Lalitha Shivaswamy, Susan Adams, Edwin Below, Greg Benoit, Richard Coffey, Jack Pott