Joseph D’Eugenio is currently in his 19th year as GMChorale’s Artistic Director and Conductor. Under D’Eugenio’s baton, GMChorale is celebrating its 40th anniversary season with concerts featuring Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, G.F. Handel’s Messiah with GMChorale Chamber Singers and New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and this second production of Sarah Meneely-Kyder’s epic oratorio Letter from Italy, 1944 with Hartford Chorale and Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
For more than two decades as conductor and clinician, D’Eugenio has led choruses and orchestras in preparation and performances of the great choral masterworks with orchestra as well as choral repertory that spans the centuries. In 2009, D’Eugenio was named Conductor of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. The honor was announced at the conclusion of conducting GMChorale’s dramatic production of Mendelssohn’s mighty oratorio Elijah with more than 200 choral and orchestral performers on stage. As guest conductor, D’Eugenio has led various festivals, including the CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) Summer Festival in July 2015 which culminated in a performance of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux aeterna.
Under his leadership, GMChorale has commissioned and premiered the music of many noted contemporary composers including Gwyneth Walker, Eugenie Rocherolle, Peter Niedmann, Colin Britt, Ellen Gilson Voth, Lee McQuillan, and Henry Mollicone. In May 2014, D’Eugenio conducted GMChorale in the east coast premiere of Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass for the Homeless for chorus, soloists, and instrumental chamber ensemble.
The GMChorale-commissioned Letter from Italy, 1944 was first premiered to great acclaim in 2013. During its composition, D’Eugenio collaboted with both composer and lyricist to create the oratorio’s book. Simultaneously, GMChorale commissioned filmmaker Karyl Evans to create a documentary about the historic background, creation and performance of this timely oratorio. Narrated by Meryl Streep, this insightful chronicle, Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio, premiered on CPTV and won Ms. Evans a regional Emmy Award for Best Director in June 2016. The documentary and the companion concert video of the premiere are available at www.gmchorale.org.
D’Eugenio has instructed choral groups at various schools, colleges, and universities, including Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. An accomplished pianist and organist, he has also been Director of Music at First Congregational Church, Cheshire, Connecticut since 2003, where he oversees the church’s music program. An accompanist of the first rank and in demand by concert artists, D’Eugenio frequently accompanies song recitals and professional choral organizations, including CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) and VOCE. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from The Hartt School and the Universities of Hartford and Connecticut, he maintains a private piano studio.
During two European tours with GMChorale, D’Eugenio conducted the group’s international concert debuts in Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Rome, Florence and Venice. He culminated these European tours by leading GMChorale as the single choir for Sunday’s noon Mass at San Marco Basilica in Venice.