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Christine Laird
It is with a deep sense of sorrow that we write to inform the CONCORA family of the loss of one of our most beloved members.  Christine Laird, who for three decades served this organization with great distinction as a choral singer, soloist and staff member, passed away today, March 16, 2018, after suffering a series of strokes over the last two months.  Words cannot begin to describe our grief at the loss of a friend taken from us far too soon. 
To say that Christine was at the center of CONCORA is a vast understatement.  She held a number of vital roles in our organization over many years.  She and Rick Coffey were an unstoppable team for decades, but so too did she serve as a valued mentor and partner to Chris Shepard in the leadership transition. 

However, more important than any title she held was her remarkable devotion to CONCORA's singers, volunteers, supporters, and members of the audience.  She knew everyone, and in ways both large and small, she showed a quiet concern for all whom she encountered. 
You will be relieved to know that Christine’s final two months were not difficult ones for her.  Though physically limited, her mind was sharp until quite near the end, and the many friends from CONCORA who visited her all reported that her cheeky sense of humor—always such a vital part of Christine’s personality—was very much in evidence.  The love that Christine shared with all of us was repaid in her final weeks, and she was surrounded often by friends and family. You will be comforted to know that at the very end, a group of friends was with her, singing her to heaven.
When we know more about a memorial service for Christine, we will share that information with you.  In the meantime, we plan to dedicate our performance of Mozart’s Requiem on Sunday, April 29, at 4:00PM at St James’s Episcopal Church, West Hartford, to Christine’s memory.

But for now, perhaps it is another Requiem to which we can turn for some words of comfort.  As fate would have it, the last concert that Christine sang with CONCORA was our performance of the Brahms German Requiem in October. The concert was recorded, and how comforting now to listen again to the lovely fourth movement (below) , knowing that Christine's voice is part of this lasting beauty.

For someone who worked so hard and gave so much to us for so very long, the final words from Brahms’ masterpiece ring particularly true when we consider Christine Laird’s long service: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” 

Christine’s work—her beautiful singing and her loving stewardship of CONCORA—will certainly follow her as a lasting and treasured legacy in our hearts.
Chris Shepard
Artistic Director
Chris Shepard
Artistic Director

Brahms Requiem:
Wie lieblich sind diene Wohnungen 

"How Lovely is they Dwelling Place" (from Psalm 84)

Chris Shepard, Artistic Director
Recorded November 4, 2017
Arthur Masi
President, Board of Directors


Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, Herr Zebaoth!

Meine Seele verlanget und sehnet sich nach den Vorhöfen des Herrn;

mein Leib und Seele freuen sich in dem lebendigen Gott.

Wohl denen, die in deinem Hause wohnen,

die loben dich immerdar.


How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:

my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:

they will be still praising thee.

Copyright © 2018 CONCORA, All rights reserved.

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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.