New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


CONCORA Announces 2013-2014 Season

The song goes on! CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) is pleased to announce its season schedule for 2013-2014, which will offer a variety of concerts and special events. Founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey in 1974, CONCORA is Connecticut’s premier professional choir. The season will be filled with glorious music, every note of which will mark Richard Coffey’s final season with CONCORA, which will be a year-long celebration of the inspiration, brilliance and innovation he has brought to CONCORA for 40 years. Highlights include a reunion concert featuring returning singers from throughout CONCORA’s 40 years, a Christmas program with repertoire chosen by the artists, a brilliantly crafted program of rarely-heard Russian choral music, and the season will culminate with Maestro Coffey’s final concert, featuring J.S. Bach’s epic Mass in B Minor with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

Sunday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. – Modern Masters

South Church, 90 Main St.

Snowed out by a February 2013 blizzard, Modern Masters returns once again, enabling us to finally celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten and the 90th birthday of Ned Rorem. The concert features works of these two musical masters of choral composition, including three of Britten’s dances from Glorianaand selections from Rorem’s Seven Motets for the Church Year. To complement these works, CONCORA’s Artistic Director Richard Coffey has selected works from other contemporary choral music composers, including John Rutter, Eric Whitacre, Alice Parker, Kevin Siegfried, György Orbán, and Paul Mealor. CONCORA will be joined by organist and pianist Jason Roberts and violinist Leonid Sigal, concertmaster of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

Sunday, Nov. 10 • 4 p.m. – A 40th Season Reunion and Celebration

South Church, 90 Main St.

Former CONCORA singers, from near and far, return to join the resident ensemble in a concert of favorite repertoire from CONCORA’s illustrious forty years, including Benjamin Britten’s ineffable cantata Rejoice in the Lamb. Their magnificent voices will join together to re-create that magical CONCORA “wall of sound.” Founding accompanist and organist Larry Allen returns to add his unparalleled talent and sparkle to the weekend’s rehearsals and performances.

Saturday Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m.

Christmas with CONCORA – Artists’ Choice

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford

CONCORA’s artists will not only perform the Christmas concert, they will select it! From a selection of holiday music sung by CONCORA in concert for more than thirty years will emerge an engaging and inspiring program that spans all eras, cultures, and spheres. Experience all the joys and beauty of the holiday with these final Christmas concerts with Richard Coffey and CONCORA.

Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. – Great Music of the Russian Orthodox Tradition

St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 872 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford

Snow date: Monday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

With the expert guidance of noted Russian music specialist, editor, and publisher Vladimir Morosan, CONCORA presents this full-length concert of great sacred choral works from the Orthodox tradition in the resplendent Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, ideal in its visual impact and its stunning, perfect acoustics for this music. This “Eclectic All-Night Vigil” (or Vespers), conducted by Richard Coffey, will feature the fifteen traditional sacred texts identified with Vespers, but selected from works by a number of composers including Alexander Gretchaninoff, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, Victor Kalinnikov, Alexander Kastalsky, Georgi Sviridov, Nikolai Tolstiakov, and of course, Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Sunday, March 30, at 4 p.m. – J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor

Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland Street, Hartford

Our annual collaboration with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra features CONCORA’s most’signature’ of all of Bach’s major choral masterpieces, the Mass in B Minor. There is no work more profound, inspiring, or thrilling. It has stood the test of time for centuries, and with good reason. This concert marks Richard Coffey’s final concert with CONCORA. We anticipate a full house, filled with Bach lovers, Maestro Coffey’s many admirers, and with the emotional power that Bach’s music creates.


Special Events

CONCORA in Recital: Art Songs of Rorem and Britten – Sunday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, West Hartford

At our annual art song recital, CONCORA’s singers will discover and present gems selected from the vast repertoire of solo art songs composed by two great 20th century masters, Ned Rorem and Benjamin Britten. A reception follows. Tickets: $30 Premium, $20 General, $10 Student

Friday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. – Bach ClavierFest

St. Mark the Evangelist Church, South Quaker Lane, West Hartford

A celebration of keyboard music from the time of J. S. Bach with Edward Clark, Christa Rakich, and Jacqueline Nappi performing solo works and in ensemble on a multitude of historical instruments.

Suggested donation at the door: $10.

Saturday, Nov.16 at 10 a.m. to Noon – Kids & Keyboards!

St. Mark the Evangelist Church, South Quaker Lane, West Hartford

Kids of all ages are invited to join keyboardists Edward Clark, Christa Rakich and Jacqueline Nappi for a fun?filled, hands-on session exploring the keyboards of J.S. Bach’s time. The morning begins by exploring music’s quietest keyboards including clavichord, lautenwerk and harpsichord. Next, participants are introduced to a chamber organ and the church’s grand organ both of which will be open and visible for all to see and hear. The session concludes with hands-on free time. Free

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 6–9 p.m. – Wine, Jazz & Song

Porter Memorial Hall, First Church, Farmington

Snow date: Sunday, January 26, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

It’s been said that CONCORA’s evening of Wine, Jazz & Song is the best bargain in town, and we agree! Live jazz played by the smooth Sir William Trio, classic songs sung by CONCORA singers, a beautiful space, memorable wine tastings by sommelier Raymond Petke, and the Friends of Bach’s delectable hors d’oeuvre all create a perfect night out.

All Wine, Jazz & Song Tickets: $60 per person.

Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 6-11 p.m. – Rite of Swing V – Gala Dinner Dance

The Riverview, 10 Winslow Place, Simsbury

Save the date for this night to remember! CONCORA’s Rite of Swing V gala dinner dance promises to be a dazzling night on the town at the beautiful Riverview in Simsbury. The evening begins with delectable appetizers and an open bar. You’ll then savor a scrumptious four-course dinner, revel in the musical stylings of the Hot Cat Jazz Band, and shop for amazing treasures at silent and live auctions. And please, don’t forget your dancing shoes. Have we mentioned there’s an open bar?

Tickets: By Jan. 15, 2014 – $100 per person; after Jan. 15 – $125 per person; Table of 10 – $1000; VIP – $250 per person for special seating at Maestro Richard Coffey’s table.

Bach Festival for Bach Lovers, during the month of March, 2014

“Mastering the Mass: Perspectives on Bach’s Mass in B Minor” fills three weekends in March with lectures, recitals, master classes, Community Sings directed by Richard Coffey, CONCORA open rehearsals, and more; all of which will delight and immerse you in Bach’s epic Mass in B minor. Includes master classes and recitals with soprano Julianne Baird and mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek and lectures with noted Bach Scholar, Harvard Professor Christoph Wolff. Contact the office for further details!


Bach tickets only: $50 Preferred Seating, $30 General Admission, $15 Student. Non-Bach tickets: $45 Preferred Seating, $25 General Admission, $10 Student. Early bird tickets, purchased before Sept. 30, 2013: $5 discount off each Preferred and General Admission seat. Group discounts (for groups of eight or more) are available. Email CONCORA at or call 860-293-0567.

All concert sites are fully accessible. CONCORA’s season is made possible by the generosity of the American Savings Foundation, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, the Saunders Foundation, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the City of New Britain Commission on the Arts, the Ensworth Charitable Foundation, and the Andrew Sloper Music Fund, as well as many other foundations and individuals.