When I was a young pianist and conductor, I was utterly spellbound by the beauty of music. The piano repertoire was my gateway into this transcendent world of sound, and when I discovered choral music, I was forever moved and fascinated by the boundless use and colors of the human voice, especially when voices sing together. This was my foundation and became my inspiration to seek a life in music.
In my two decades as Artistic Director of the GMChorale, the ensemble has presented concerts and events through which we have shared with members and supporters the very best choral music, including the great masterworks for chorus, soloists, and orchestra. As we have collaborated with each other and with so many wonderful musicians across the region to produce these wonderful musical endeavors, I have come to embrace that music can be wielded as a force to bring an entire community together to share in the human experience in real time.
In those precious moments, whether they be in rehearsals or concerts, we are exposed to a musical nucleus powerful enough to enliven the mind, body, and heart. And we see, over and over again, that when people are moved by the music, they seek to create more opportunities to experience more music and to share the experiences with others. This phenomenon has been an inspiration to us at the GMChorale, so much so that it has become the core of a new initiative.
Beginning this season and going forward, many of the GMChorale’s programs are focused around “Singing for a Lifetime,” an idea that embraces everyone already involved with the Chorale, as well as those who are yet to be. The singers of the Chorale and the professional musicians who form our Alchemy chamber ensemble serve as ambassadors for our organization as we expand the Chorale’s overall mission by engaging singers and listeners of all ages and abilities through community workshops, collaborations, and concerts throughout Connecticut and beyond. The Chorale’s ongoing exciting partnerships with Cheshire Congregational Church (in the annual Festival of Carols) and with the choirs of Middletown High School (MHS Goes to the Symphony) ensure that musical mentorship and kinship remain central to our outreach efforts. In its series of concerts across the state, the Alchemy ensemble often performs with local choirs and performers, with a focus on providing mentoring and learning experiences for young musicians.
At the core of all we do is the Chorale itself, 80 voices strong and reaching new heights of artistry and expressiveness. When our full forces join for main-stage concerts at the MHS Santo Frigilio Performing Arts Center, we present who we are with and through the great music we study, prepare, and perform for you. In 2018-2019, the singers of the Chorale will present two thrilling concerts: In November, we pay centennial homage to the incomparable Leonard Bernstein, and in May we feature the giant Austrian composer, Anton Bruckner, in his exquisite but rarely-performed Mass in E Minor with wind symphony.
Our organization is working harder than ever to expand its reach, with the goal of bringing together a growing community of singers and supporters of all ages to enjoy preparing, presenting, and enjoying first-rate musical experiences. Even as we expand our mission, we retain and treasure our firm commitment to the Chorale’s longstanding tradition of presenting music and texts that enliven us and reflect meaning back into our lives.
Now in its fifth decade, the GMChorale is thriving, providing an increasingly rich musical gift to this community. Your participation and assistance has made this possible, and I invite you to sustain your support so that the Chorale can in turn sustain the service that we provide to the community, to you and other listeners, to our members, and to all who are embraced by “Singing for a Lifetime.” There is only one GMChorale, and though we often walk “the road less traveled,” we cannot do it alone.
I look forward to another meaningful season, and I hope to see you at every concert and event. Whatever part you sing or play in the GMChorale community, we value your presence and support, and are grateful that you are part of all that we do.