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CONCORA continues the Masterworks Season on March 25 with the greatest choral masterwork of them all: Bach's profoundly beautiful Saint Matthew Passion. Avoid the long lines at the door: Reserve tickets now!

Read on for more news about upcoming events, including the "You're in Luck" gala party on April 13, a very special performance of the Mozart Requiem on April 29, and registration for the 20th anniversary edition of the CONCORA Summer Festival.
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BACH: Saint Matthew Passion
Sunday, March 25, 2018, 4:00PM
Immanuel Congregational Church
10 Woodland Street 
 Hartford CT

CONCORA has long been renowned for its masterful and moving performances of choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach. On March 25, the ensemble presents the monumental Saint Matthew Passion, one of two surviving settings by Bach of the Easter Passion story. Calling for three choirs, a large cast of vocal soloists, and two orchestras, the Saint Matthew Passion offers some of Bach’s grandest music, while exploring in the most intimate terms the very nature of faith and redemption. Please join us in the lovely, luminous sanctuary of Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford when Artistic Director Chris Shepard leads CONCORA, a cast of vocal soloists, and members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in Bach's Saint Matthew Passion.
 
Reserve tickets soon for this special event. Advance orders are recommended as there is often a line of ticket buyers at the door for CONCORA's annual Bach concert.

You may order tickets 24/7 at CONCORA's secure ticket site, or contact the CONCORA office at contact@concora.org or 860-293-0567. Tickets will also be available at the door.


Advance orders are recommended for preferred seating. Single tickets are $15-$65. Group rates are available for general admission adult and senior tickets purchased in advance in groups of 8 or more.
 
Reserve tIckets now to hear CONCORA sing BACH's Saint Matthew Passion on March 25
The St Matthew Passion’s Many Moving Parts
Chris Shepard, Artistic Director
Even for a composer whose catalog includes a number of large-scale, encyclopedic works—such as the Clavier-Übung, Mass in B Minor, Christmas Oratorio, and Brandenburg Concerti—Bach’s St Matthew Passion stands alone for sheer range of musical resources required. Because of the hiatus from the performance of choral-orchestral music in Leipzig church services during Lent, Bach had a generous five weeks to compose and rehearse an extended Passion setting for the Good Friday liturgy, as opposed to the usual grind of composing and rehearsing a new cantata each Sunday.
And because of the Leipzig tradition of presenting the sung Passion at only one of the two principal churches each year, he had all of his choristers and instrumentalists to draw from for the Good Friday service. The result, most likely in 1727, was the nearly three-hour long St Matthew Passion, a work for two choirs (actually three, counting the separate choir that sings the chorale in the first movement), two orchestras, eight “aria soloists” and a range of “biblical soloists,” including the Evangelist and Jesus.

But it is not only in the deployment of musical resources where we see Bach’s nearly infinite sense of variety. The very structure of this mammoth work features the alternation of six different kinds of movements, each using a specific group of singers and players.

 
To find out exactly how Bach did all this, read the rest of Chris Shepard's program essay at CONCORA's website: http://www.concora.org/bach-st-matthew-passion.html
And then, be with us on March 25 to hear it all come to life.
Here are a few scenes from the rehearsal on March 17 of Bach's St Matthew Passion, with members of CONCORA and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, all led by CONCORA's Artistic Director Chris Shepard.
As Chris explains in his program essay (mentioned above), the Passion has many "moving parts" - choruses, orchestras, soloists. The entire ensemble does not gather for every rehearsal. In these photos, some of the "character" soloists are rehearsing with singers from Choir I. Chris Shepard (harpsichord) and Ed Clark (portative organ) share the continuo keyboard duties.
Tenor Jack Anthony Pott (green sweater) sings the role of the Evangelist who narrates the drama. Singing from the pulpit is baritone Jermaine Woodard, Jr., who presents the role of Jesus. Other "character" soloists include Stephan Barnicle (Pilate), Ed Tyler (Judas), Paul Tine (Peter),  Alex Patrie (high priest), Jude Olney and Patrick Nay (priests), Erica Maas and Anne Collin (maids), Katie Hart and Mark Child (witnesses), and Louise Fauteux (Pilate's wife)

These photos were taken at South Church in New Britain, where CONCORA was established in 1974.
Reserve tIckets now to hear CONCORA sing BACH's Saint Matthew Passion on March 25
Did you ever wish that you could have been a friend of J.S. Bach?
It's not too late! Though Bach is no longer with us, he has plenty of friends right here in Connecticut who make sure that we remember him - and his music. For more than twenty years, CONCORA's Friends of Bach has supported CONCORA’s performances of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Friends of Bach welcomes new members at any time - including you. More info here: http://www.concora.org/join-the-friends-of-bach.html
Yes, I want to be a Friend of Bach!
Join CONCORA for these Upcoming Special Events
Mozart
Requiem

Sunday, April 29, 2018, 4:00PM
St James's Episcopal Church
West Hartford, CT
In Memoriam Christine Laird

CONCORA will dedicate the April 29 performance of the Mozart Requiem to the beloved memory of CONCORA singer staff member and friend Christine Laird, who passed away on March 16, 2018.

Read Artistic Director Chris Shepard's lovely tribute to Christine's life and artistry HERE.
You're in Luck!
CONCORA's Gala Fundraiser

Friday, April 13, 2018, 6:00-9:00PM
The Pond House in West Hartford, CT
Tickets are on sale now! Seating is limited, so don't wait to reserve your seats. More info here.
Registration opens next week for
CONCORA's 20th
Summer Choral Festival

July 29 through August 4, 2018
Concert: Sunday August 4, 2018, 4PM
All Festival events are held at
Bethany Covenant Church, Berlin, CT
CONCORA's Summer Festival offers adults and select high school and college singers from the community an opportunity to join with CONCORA in rehearsing and performing great choral works.

As 2018 marks the
20th Summer Festival and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, Artistic Director Chris Shepard has chosen a celebratory all-Bernstein program, with selections from West Side Story, Mass, Peter Pan, Candide, and Wonderful Town.

Festival registration will open next week and extend through early May. Information and announcements will be shared through this newsletter, on CONCORA's Facebook and Twitter pages, and on the Summer Festival page at CONCORA's website:
http://www.concora.org/summer-festival.html

Tickets for the August 4 concert will go on sale in June. Save the date!

 
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CONCORA’s season is made possible by the generosity of the American Savings Foundation, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, the Andrew J. Sloper Music Fund, the Saunders Foundation, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts, The William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, the City of New Britain Commission on the Arts, and the Robert C. Vance Foundation, as well as many other foundations and individuals.