FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONCORA Media Contact: Christine Laird
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE: CONCORA, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT 06103
CONCORA Continues Popular Choral Series at Trinity College Chapel on February 11
“Masses Ancient and Modern” features choral music selected to soar in the Gothic-inspired reaches of Hartford’s Trinity College Chapel
HARTFORD AND NEW BRITAIN, CONN. (January 10, 2018) — In the third of what has become an annual series at Trinity College Chapel, CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest all-professional choral ensemble, returns to the Gothic-inspired chapel to present “Masses Ancient and Modern” on Sunday, February 11, at 4:00 PM.
For the 2018 edition of this popular program, CONCORA’s Artistic Director Chris Shepard has selected three beautiful, inspiring settings of the Latin Mass.
The program opens with timeless Gregorian chant, in a complete presentation of Missa Orbis factor, one of the most highly-regarded mass settings of the Solemnes chant tradition. Renaissance polyphony is represented by the four-voice setting of 16th-century Tudor composer William Byrd, music that remains fresh after more than four centuries. In his Mass for Double Choir, Swiss composer Frank Martin fuses the linear textures of Gregorian chant with highly-charged choral polyphony in a setting that is in turns contemplative, exultant, somber, and glorious.
“For the entire history of Western choral music, the Latin Mass text has been at the core of the repertoire,” said Shepard. “Setting this timeless text has long been a benchmark of sorts for choral composers, starting with the anonymous singers of Gregorian chant and extending to composers of our own time. Mass settings by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven are pillars of the choral canon. Among choral singers and choral audiences, the exquisite settings by William Byrd and Frank Martin are also highly regarded and deeply loved, and we look forward to performing these in Trinity Chapel, so perfectly suited for unaccompanied choral music."
CONCORA, the region’s oldest all-professional choral ensemble, maintains a roster of about 50 singers. For “Masses Ancient and Modern,” Artistic Director Shepard has selected twenty-four vocalists whose voices are particularly suited to early and contemporary music.
“One of CONCORA’s notable qualities is the versatility of its singers and their ability to produce a wide range of colors and timbres appropriate to the broad range of repertoire we perform,” said Shepard. “In this concert, listeners will hear a wide spectrum of sound, starting with the simple melodies of Gregorian chant, broadening somewhat in the four-part, austere setting by William Byrd, and opening up to exuberant richness with the setting by Frank Martin, where the choir divides into two choirs, and within those choirs, divides still further to create a rich tapestry of sound.”
“CONCORA is thrilled to return to one of the most beautiful performance spaces in Hartford,” added Shepard. “Not only is Trinity College Chapel breathtakingly beautiful to the eye, but it is one of the best and most rewarding acoustical spaces in the region, perfectly suited for the ethereal choral music that CONCORA will present on February 11.”
Tickets are on sale now for “Masses Ancient and Modern” on February 11, 2018, 4:00PM at Trinity College Chapel, 300 Summit Street, Hartford.
The two previous concerts in CONCORA’s series at Trinity College Chapel were sold out, so those who hope to attend are urged to reserve seats soon.
What: Masses Ancient and Modern: A concert of choral music by professional choir CONCORA
When: Sunday, February 11, 2018, 4:00 PM. Snow date: Monday, February 12, 2018, 7:30 PM at the same location.
Where: Trinity Chapel at Trinity College, 300 Summit Street, Hartford, CT
Tickets: $10-$55. Tickets are on sale now and will be available at the door on the day of the concert. Discounted group rates are available for general admission and senior tickets for groups of 8 or more. 2-for-1 general admission tickets are available with the Let*s Go! Arts card; contact the CONCORA office for details.
For more info or to purchase tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/masses-ancient-and-modern-tickets-35017519343 or 860-293-0567 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.concora.org
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Interviews: For more information, or to schedule an interview with CONCORA Artistic Director Chris Shepard, please contact Christine Laird, Director of Operations, at email@example.com or 860-293-0567.
Images: Included below are photos of CONCORA's Artistic Director Chris Shepard and of CONCORA performing at Trinity College Chapel.
About CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) – CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) holds a unique place as the region’s first professional choir. Now in its 44th season, the ensemble enjoys an extraordinary reputation for artistic excellence throughout New England. Under the direction of Chris Shepard, now in his third 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, unmatched by any ensemble in the region. 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 www.concora.org.
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 www.concora.org/artistic-leadership.html.
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