New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Main Street Singers Winter Concert at South Church Dec. 8

The Main Street Singers will give their Winter Concert on Saturday afternoon, December 8, at 4 p.m. at South Church, 90 Main St. The program, “Holidays Across Time and Place” includes music spanning seven centuries. Their program will open with “Personent Hodie” (“On This Day Earth Shall Ring”), a German carol from around the year 1360, followed by a 1361 carol titled “The Angel Gabriel” from the Basque region of Spain and France. They also will sing “Angels’ Carol” by the British composer, John Rutter. There will be pieces from this country as well, including the spiritual, “Go, Tell It On the Mountain,” the holiday classic, “Jingle-Bell Rock,” “Somewhere In My Memory” from the movie “Home Alone,” and much more. Also, the concert will feature The Main Street Singers Band accompanying on bass, guitar, and percussion. A freewill offering to benefit the MSS Scholarship Fund will be received. A festive reception in the church parlor will follow the concert.

The Main Street Singers began rehearsals in January, 2004, and on May 1, 2004, they gave their first concert. In September, 2008, a second choir was added for children in the lower grades. A Community Choirs Program in schools in New Britain and neighboring towns was launched in January, 2011, to broaden the scope of our engagement with the public schools and strengthens our ties to the community. Currently, the Senior Choir consists of youngsters in grades 5-8 the Junior Choir welcomes children in grades 2-4. The Main Street Singers performs for many local and regional and national events. Locally, there are the annual Winter and Spring Concerts, along with performances at the New Britain Museum of American Art, the New Britain Rock Cats baseball game, and an annual tour of New Britain Schools. This fall the singers come from New Britain, Plainville, Southington, Farmington, Berlin -Kensington, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Wethersfield, and West Hartford.

Senior Choir Director Kenneth Craig began his music career as member of the award-winning 5-man recording group Cappacino prior to attending the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford where he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree. Last year, he received his Master of Music Education degree from Boston University. A highly regarded music teacher, he established and directed one of the Community Choirs at Louis Toffolon Elementary School in Plainville, where he taught general music and directed an Honors Choir. Craig also serves as Music Director at West Avon Congregational Church and is a member of CONCORA. Currently he teaches at Naubuc Elementary School in Glastonbury.

Katherine Smallidge, Junior Choir Director, is the vocal music teacher at Union Elementary School and East Farms Elementary School in Farmington. Prior to joining the Farmington music faculty, Ms. Smallidge taught vocal music in Greenwich (Conn.) vocal and instrumental music in Chelsea (MA) and vocal music at a charter school in Rochester (N.Y.). Ms. Smallidge earned her M.A. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester with a research focus on beginning teacher beliefs about teaching music in urban schools. She earned her B.M. and B.S. from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut with an emphasis in French horn performance.

The Main Street Singers will welcome new singers when the spring semester begins on Thursday, January 17. Interested youngsters in grades two through eight should come and sing during rehearsal that day from 4:45 to 6:00 p.m. and then let the directors know if they would like to join.

For additional information, please call Ms. Nancy Eaton, MSS Administrative Director, in The Main Street Singers’ office at 860-223-3691, extension 123, or check the website at