“There can be no doubt that singing alongside such high-caliber musicians will elevate the students' own performance skills.”
— Patrick Taylor, director of the Greenwich High School Chamber Singers, on how participating in the Extraordinary Concert will change the lives of the young singers who perform with CONCORA on November 12.
CONCORA opens the 2016-2017 concert season – the ensemble’s 43rd and Artistic Director Chris Shepard’s second – by joining with five of Connecticut’s finest high school choirs to present a concert of music inspired by William Shakespeare, marking the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.
“Extraordinary Shakespeare” will be performed on Saturday, November 12, at 7:30 PM, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church at 872 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford.
Participating high school choirs include:
The Glastonbury High School Concert Choir, Ethan Nash, director
Greenwich High School Chamber Singers, Patrick Taylor, director
Guilford High School Voices, Kevin Buno, director
The Hall High School Choraliers, West Hartford, Lorri Cetto, director
Manchester Roundtable Singers, Edward Tyler, director
Three singers from Hall High School (West Hartford) who will perform on November 12 with CONCORA. From left: Ruthie Harrison, Kenneth Galm, and Hannah Maynard.
This is the tenth edition of the “Extraordinary Concert” series, which began in 1993 as part of CONCORA’s education and outreach programming, under the leadership of Artistic Director Emeritus Richard Coffey.
CONCORA’s Artistic Director Chris Shepard has collaborated with the five high school directors in choosing the concert repertoire and planning and leading rehearsals. CONCORA and the five high school choirs will rehearse independently, then come together for joint rehearsals prior to the public concert on Saturday, November 12.
For the student singers, an event like the Extraordinary Concert can be a life-changing event.
“This will be a wonderful experience for our students,” said Ethan Nash, director of the Glastonbury High School Concert Choir, and one of CONCORA’s professional singers. “I'm excited for them to have this opportunity to hear and sing with other fine and reputable groups, not only with a professional choir like CONCORA, but with the other accomplished high school choirs with whom we will perform.”
Patrick Taylor, director of the Greenwich High School Chamber Singers, agreed. “Having the Chamber Singers participate in the CONCORA Extraordinary Concert offers them many benefits,” he said. “First and foremost is the opportunity to hear – and sing with! – professional singers. Frankly, the idea that professional choirs even exist is eye-opening for the kids. I know they will find CONCORA's music-making inspiring, and there can be no doubt that singing alongside such high-caliber musicians will elevate the students' own performance skills.”
“Rehearsing and performing with professional singers can inspire a young musician to pursue a career in music,” said Christine Laird, CONCORA’s Director of Operations and a long-tenured CONCORA singer. “These singers are our future music teachers, church musicians, composers, and arts supporters. It’s not unusual for us to hear from participants years later; they contact us to say, ‘Singing with CONCORA made a difference in my life.’ ”
Kevin Buno, director of the Guilford High School Voices agrees, saying, “As an educator, it is my ongoing goal to expose students to a variety of performance experiences outside of the classroom, to nourish them with repertoire that will allow their overall musicianship to grow, and most importantly, to ignite a life-long enthusiasm for an art form that will keep them musically active beyond their high school years. The ‘Extraordinary Concert’ with CONCORA does it all for our students!”
“Our singers have benefited from this special collaboration in years past, and some have gone on to pursue careers in music given their positive experiences with both the conductor and group as a whole," Buno added. “To have the opportunity to participate is a gift.”
“My students and I had the good fortune to participate in the first edition of "Extraordinary Concert" at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in 1993,” said Lorri Cetto, director of the Hall High School Choraliers. “The experience really stayed with me all these years, and when Chris Shephard reinstated the concert and invited the Choraliers to join, I was thrilled, and so are the singers. It is rare for any young students to have the opportunity to sing with professionals and with other high school choirs at the same time, and in such a beautiful and inspiring setting. This concert is not to be missed.”
CONCORA’s Artistic Director Chris Shepard has collaborated with the five high school directors in choosing the concert repertoire and planning and leading rehearsals. CONCORA and the five high school choirs will rehearse independently, then come together for joint rehearsals prior to the public concert on Saturday, November 12. Together the groups will form an ensemble of 180 voices.
Tickets are available at CONCORA's website,
by phone at 860-293-0567,
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or at the door.
$55 preferred seating; $35 general admission seating; $30 senior; $15 student. Order before November 9 to take advantage of early-bird pricing on most tickets. 2-for-1 general admission tickets are available with Let*s Go! Arts card; contact the CONCORA office for information.
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Keep CONCORA Singing!
Did you receive a letter from CONCORA singer Cynthia Mellon, inviting you to support CONCORA's song with a generous gift?
Cynthia, who is also CONCORA's VP for Development and Fundraising, is leading our annual appeal, during which we invite you to be part of CONCORA's future.
Cynthia wrote, "Your generous support affirms the value you place on professional choral music in our community. Every gift, large or small, helps to ensure that CONCORA's song will be lifted up and enjoyed for years to come."
Please take a few minutes to consider what CONCORA means to you, and respond as generously as you can. Your gift makes a real difference.
The singers of CONCORA thank you!
From our friends at the Hartford Chorale Did you know that CONCORA singers serve as professional vocal section leaders in the Hartford Chorale, and that several others are members of the Chorale, and that our own Jack Pott is Assistant Music Director of the ensemble, which is led by CONCORA's founder Rick Coffey? The two ensembles enjoy a warm collaborative relationship. Consider attending Grand and Glorious Opera Choruses, and while you're taking in the most famous, most beautiful choral movements from the opera repertoire, see if you can spot all the CONCORA singers within the Hartford Chorale.