Continuing a decades-long tradition, CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest all-professional choral ensemble, presents a performance of festive Bach choral cantatas on Sunday, April 30, at 4:00 PM, at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, CT. Members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will join CONCORA’s professional vocalists and Artistic Director Chris Shepard.
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CONCORA Media Contact: Christine Laird
PHONE: 860-293-0567
ADDRESS: CONCORA, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT 06103

CONCORA Continues Bach Tradition with Concert of Three Festive Cantatas on April 30

An ensemble of 18 CONCORA singers and soloists performs three celebratory “trumpets and kettledrums” cantatas with members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

HARTFORD AND NEW BRITAIN, CONN. (March 23, 2017) — Continuing a decades-long tradition, CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest all-professional choral ensemble, presents a performance of Bach choral cantatas on Sunday, April 30, at 4:00 PM, at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, CT. Members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will join CONCORA’s professional vocalists and Artistic Director Chris Shepard to present Bach’s cantatas 29, 190, and 191.
CONCORA has long been known for its inspired performances of choral works by Johann Sebastian Bach, with annual presentations of the cantatas and larger works, including the Magnificat, the monumental B Minor Mass, and the Passions. In 2016, CONCORA’s professional vocalists, the CONCORA Festival Singers, guest soloists, and members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra presented the moving Saint John Passion, with an innovative visual accompaniment of selected images from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
“After last year’s large-scale presentation of the Saint John Passion with two choirs, orchestra, and the dramatic art presentation, we are exploring a much more intimate format in this concert, with smaller ensembles that are closer to what Bach employed on a regular basis,” said Chris Shepard, the ensemble’s Artistic Director.
CONCORA will perform with just 18 singers, accompanied by a chamber orchestra of solo string players, pairs of oboes and flutes, trumpets, and timpani.
“The trumpets and timpani create an undeniably festive sound,” said Shepard, “and in fact, Bach wrote these cantatas for specific celebrations. Cantata 190 was first heard on New Year’s Day in 1724; Cantata 29 was performed at the inauguration of the Leipzig Town Council in 1731, and Cantata 191 was prepared for Christmas Day in 1745. These cantatas include some of Bach’s most glorious, joy-filled music.”
Though this will be CONCORA’s first performance of Cantatas 190 and 191, much of the music in this concert will sound familiar, said Shepard, as Bach re-used portions of Cantatas 29 and 191 in his best-known work, the B Minor Mass, most recently performed by CONCORA in 2014. The sinfonia, or overture, that opens Cantata 29 is Bach’s own arrangement of his well-known Partita for Violin, BWV 1006.
“For a busy composer like Bach, it made sense to re-use music when possible, adding new texts and embellishments to suit a new occasion,” explained Shepard, a Bach specialist. “And for modern audiences, it’s often a moment of delightful discovery to hear familiar music in a new guise, and to realize anew just how innovative Bach could be.”
Tickets are on sale now for CONCORA’s all-Bach concert on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 4:00 PM at Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland Street, Hartford. Discounted early-bird tickets are available through April 23, 2017. Additional discounts are available for seniors, students, and for groups of eight or more general admission adult or senior tickets.

What: Choral Concert: Music of Johann Sebastian Bach performed by professional choir CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) and members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Program: Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: Wir Danken dir, Gott, BWV29; Singet dem Herrn ein Neues Lied, BWV190; Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV191
When: Sunday, April 30, 2017, 4:00 PM
Where: Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT
Family-friendly: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Tickets: $15-$65. Discounted rates are available for general admission and senior tickets for groups of 8 or more. Early-bird prices ($5 discount on most tickets) end April 23. 2-for-1 general admission tickets are available with the Let*s Go! Arts card; contact the CONCORA office for details.
Reserve Tickets at: or 860-293-0567 or Tickets are also available at the door on the day of the concert, though advance reservations are recommended for preferred seating.

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Interviews: For more information, or to schedule an interview with CONCORA Artistic Director Chris Shepard, please contact Christine Laird, CONCORA Director of Operations, at or 860-293-0567.
Images: Included below are photos of CONCORA and CONCORA's Artistic Director Chris Shepard.
About CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) – CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) holds a unique place as the region’s first professional choir. Now in its 43rd season, the ensemble enjoys an extraordinary reputation for artistic excellence throughout New England, and is especially known for its polished, exuberant performances of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Under the direction of Chris Shepard, now in his second season as Artistic Director, the ensemble’s versatility is displayed in its wide range of repertoire and in the crafting of select ensembles from among the choir’s roster of singers to produce an extraordinary range of choral color and dynamic range for each program and performance space. CONCORA’s mission statement – “to perpetuate and perform with excellence choral music of the highest quality for the broadest possible audience” – represents a commitment to the Connecticut community and to artistic excellence, masterful performances, and educational enrichment. More information about CONCORA is available at
About Chris Shepard – Chris Shepard has served as CONCORA’s Artistic Director since 2015, succeeding founder Richard Coffey in that role. He also serves as Music Director of the Worcester Chorus and the Masterwork Chorus of Morristown, New Jersey. With these choirs, Chris has performed a wide range of repertoire, collaborating with a number of major orchestras in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Radio City Music Hall in New York, as well as the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. A conductor with a particular affinity for the choral music of J.S. Bach, Chris founded the Sydneian Bach Choir in Sydney, Australia, an ensemble that has performed all of Bach’s choral cantatas as well as all of his major choral works. He has taught at the Taft School, Sydney Grammar School and Holy Cross College. A pianist and keyboard continuist, Chris holds degrees from the Hartt School and the Yale School of Music, and the University of Sydney. His PhD dissertation won the American Choral Directors Association’s 2012 Julius Herford Prize for outstanding doctoral thesis in choral music. More information about Chris Shepard may be found at
Phone: 860-293-0567
FAX: 860-244-0073
Twitter: @CONCORASings
Address: CityArts on Pearl, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT 06103

CONCORA - Connecticut Choral Artists
CONCORA Artistic Director Chris Shepard

CONCORA’s 2016-2017 season is made possible through the generous gifts of many individual donors and with the generous support of the following foundations and institutions: Aetna, Matching Gifts; American Savings Foundation; Bank of America, Matching Gifts; Choral Arts New England; Citizens Bank, Matching Gifts; City of New Britain, Commission on the Arts; Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation; Fund for Greater Hartford; Fundraising Solutions; George H.C. Ensworth Memorial Fund; Greater Hartford Arts Council; Hartford Performs; Helen M. Saunders Charitable Foundation; Marjorie Moore Charitable Foundation; Mr. & Mrs. William Foulds Family Foundation; Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Robert C. Vance Charitable Foundation; SBM Charitable Foundation; Truist, Matching Gifts; United Way of Rhode Island, Matching Gifts; UTC Goodrich, Matching Gifts; Weld Fund, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; William and Alice Mortensen Foundation; William T. Sloper Trust for Andrew J. Sloper Musical Fund

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