Maybelle Community Singers Connecting Portland’s Isolated and Ignored-Portland, Oregon

The Maybelle Center for Community in Old Town/Downtown Portland believes that no one deserves to live in isolation. They have been building community and relationships with individuals for 25 years.  “Maybelle Center for Community is doing something unusual and powerful. We are creating connection and community for people that have been isolated and ignored by society. Each year, we assist nearly 500 people, helping them to connect to the community and care that helps them live better lives.”

Last year, the Center hired a choir director and piano accompanist when they created the Maybelle Community Singers as a way to use choral music to create community and a sense of belonging.  Choir members joined the choir for fifteen weeks at the end of which they gave a performance at the Center’s summer open house.  “Vince Irelan is one of the Maybelle members. He describes himself as transgender pre-op.  ‘That makes it very difficult in this world. I have to come home to all this loneliness. I'm kind of cast out by my own circumstance,’ said Vince. ‘It's the place I call home. Where people call me family,’ said Vince.”  The choir is now preparing for its next concert.

Voices of Omaha Brings Together the Greater Omaha Community with Annual Performances of Handel’s Messiah -Omaha, Nebraska

Voices of Omaha’s sole mission since 1969 has been to present an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah without admission charge as a gift to the community.  The 195-voice non-auditioned chorus “is committed to developing a diverse audience and chorus membership by maintaining relevance in the present and nurturing musicians of all ages to assure an audience and chorus for the future.”  More recently, the group struggled to engage new singers, so they launched a seven-year strategic growth project in 2011 to assess their image, their diversity of audience and chorus members, and their educational outreach. 

 As a result of this plan, they have attracted twenty high school-age students who participate in the chorus or orchestra; they print programs, announcements and audition materials in English and Spanish to broaden their audience turnout; they waive dues and provide scores and concert attire for high school performers; they create an audio description of the performance in English for those who are visually impaired, and they have an ASL interpreter for audience members who have deafness.

“Seeing young people, singers and instrumentalists, excited about performing a Baroque masterpiece like Messiah is thrilling to me,” says Voices of Omaha artistic director Edward Hurd. “These talented young people breathe life into everything they do and their enthusiasm is contagious. Indeed, they are the serious choir and orchestra members of the future. It brings us great joy to fan the flames of their passion for fine music!”

Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African-American Song Gives Voice to One of America's Great Musical Traditions-Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African-American Song is a group of nearly 40 singers committed to promoting the tremendously wide range of experiences expressed in African-American music.  The organization’s roots go back to informal gatherings in the 1960s at the home of Edmonia Simmons during college breaks, when a group of singers gathered to sing together. “In 1984, Dr. Lee Norris Mackey, protégé of Simmons, undertook a research project to investigate the programming performance practices, and recordings of African American spirituals by choirs of Historically Black Colleges, and Universities. He found that there had been a significant decline in the performance of spirituals, especially in the Southeast and among Historically Black Colleges and Universities; thus the need, mission, and name of the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song were affirmed.”  Dr. Mackey formally establish the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song in 1984.”

“The mission of the Society expanded to include art music of African American composers,” said Roland Carter, director from 1990-2012. “In 1990, the name changed to the Society for the Preservation of African American Song to reflect this expansion.”  The Choral Society has a regular season of performances that feature a blended program of African-American music, including art music, out-of-print pieces, old standards, some Gospel, and always some spirituals.  The organization is now connected with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Las Vegas Master Singers a Wellspring of Creativity & Joy in the Desert-Las Vegas, Nevada

When one thinks of Las Vegas, choral music is likely the last thing to come to mind.  However, The Las Vegas Master Singers have been defying that stereotype by making stunning choral music in the Las Vegas Valley since 1993.  The 100-voice community choir, founded by Susan L. Johnson, grew from a small group of dedicated vocalists who came together to sing "for the joy of it." Since then, the Master Singers quickly became recognized as one of the premiere choral organizations in the Las Vegas Valley.

The choir, under the direction of David B. Weiller, is comprised of teachers, choral directors, organists, pianists, and performers from the Southern Nevada community who are committed to forging partnerships with other arts organizations.  LVMS performs with Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Henderson Civic Symphony, the Desert Chorale, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Southern Nevada Opera Association, and the Cultural Arts Society.  The group has welcomed students from the Las Vegas Academy, Nevada School of the Arts, Las Vegas Dance Theater Studios, Palo Verde High School Chamber Singers and Boys Chorus of Southern Nevada as guest performers.

Birmingham Girls Choir Creating a Space for Girls from Diverse Backgrounds to Join In Song-Birmingham, Alabama

The Birmingham Girls Choir, founded in 1998 as the Birmingham Children’s Choir, is a multi-cultural organization for girls in grades 1-12 that celebrates diversity through the study and community-wide performances of choral music.  “BGC seeks to enrich the lives of girls from all religious, racial, cultural and economic backgrounds.”  In 2011, the group transitioned to a girls choir in order to allow for more cooperation with the Birmingham Boys Choir.

BGC plays an important role in the greater Birmingham area by creating a space for girls from diverse  backgrounds to come together and enhance the cultural fabric of the community.   The choir has performed in nursing homes, the local children’s hospital, and has sung the national anthem for Birmingham Baron’s games and the Harlem Globetrotters appearance at Stamford University.  In addition to participating in opera productions at the University of Alabama and Opera Birmingham, the choir participates in various regional choral festivals.  The girls recently took a 3-day trip to Chattanooga, and in October, they hosted the Matsiko World Orphan Choir.

International Children’s Choir Creating a Window Into the Soul of Humanity-

The International Children’s Choir, now in its 25th year, is the realization of Dr. Kathy Sorensen’s vision to create a musical ensemble that celebrates folk music traditions, therefore deepening the understanding that one has of the humanity of others.  Her doctoral research involved interviewing immigrants and refugees and asking them to sing their favorite songs. Many people interviewed had left oppressive regimes which had destroyed their instruments and outlawed their traditional folk music in an effort to take away their cultural identity.  Her belief that music unites people and that it serves as a window into the soul of people from other cultures has led to the formation of a dynamic choral community.

The ICC, which includes children ages 6-17, is world renowned for singing in many languages and performing in authentic, colorful costumes from around the world.  They have represented the American continent in the opening ceremonies of the World Choir Olympics in Xiamen China, performed in Austria, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Norway, and Russia and have sung for the Dalai Lama, royalty, heads of state, and for hundreds of dignitaries and delegations from around the world.  The group has collaborated with the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Fredericke von Stade, John Williams, and the King Singers, and  they have sung for video game and movie soundtracks.  “But of course, our choir members are from right here in Utah; from different backgrounds, races and religions. Everyone is welcome!”

Voices from the Heart-A 200-Voice Women’s Alternative Chorus in Pourtsmouth, New Hampshire

Founded in 1995 by Joanne Connolly, Voices from the Heart is a 200-voiced women’s alternative chorus located in Portsmouth, NH. The community of women from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts come together to rehearse, perform and share the joy that comes from making music together.  In addition to their spring and fall concerts, they perform in small groups for special community events, and for memorial services honoring Voices members who have passed away.  “We knit comfort shawls for members going through challenging times, we raise money for charitable causes, we share news through our monthly newsletter and we get together for hikes, parties and community celebrations.  We talk, we laugh and we cry together in an environment of trust and friendship.”

Voices from the Heart has embarked on three international trips to carry their message of goodwill and celebration to Ireland, Croatia and Cuba with another trip to South Africa scheduled for July, 2018.  In advance of each trip, the group raises funds for a non-profit in the countries where they tour.  They are currently raising funds for MusicWorks in South Africa. 

Joanne Connolly was inspired to start Voices after attending a workshop with Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Connolly says, “It was amazing to do away with written music, and work together with other women to learn parts and create such soulful sounds! I wanted to recreate that experience in Portsmouth, NH. The response to the group has far exceeded my wildest dreams! These women and their singing have given me great joy!”  Her vision has grown to include Con Tutti World Music Chorus, a mixed group founded to sing and celebrate a range of seasonal multicultural music from many traditions.  The choir collaborates with various guest artists and the group, Drumamma, a drum ensemble founded nearly a decade ago that accompanies the chorus on nearly every concert. 

The Therapy Choirs of Michigan: It’s About More Than Just Singing!

Co-Director, Len McCulloch founded The Therapy Choirs of Michigan with the objective of aiding the rehabilitation of those in need through singing in a choir, what he has coined as "CHOIRTHERAPY.”  “I was working as a psychotherapist in a rehabilitation facility for people recovering from traumatic brain injuries when a unique patient came to our program.  The man had spent the previous eighteen years in State Hospital.  He was distinctive because we knew he could talk, but he wouldn't.  One day, someone told me they had heard him singing!  When I saw him next, I said ‘I know you don't like to talk but, can you sing?’  He belted out a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace."  I’m not sure why, but my response was, ‘We have a choir now and you are it!’  He and I met in my office and communicated by singing simple songs back and forth.  After a while, he eventually began talking!  In the mean-time, other patients heard our singing, asked me about the choir, and joined." 

TCM’s goal is to create an exceptional group of vocalists, not necessarily in sound, but in spirit.  “We aim to provide a therapeutic experience to all who are involved with us, singers and volunteers alike.  All potential members need is a positive attitude and a willingness to have fun; no prior singing ability is required.  Through our "CHOIRTHERAPY", we aim to inspire ‘differently-abled’ people to enjoy all aspects of their life and to build their hope for the future.”  In addition, TCM continues to raise public awareness and educate the general population about the people who sing in their choirs.

TCM has three therapy choirs for people of all ages with developmental disabilities and various special needs.  They are developing concepts for The Developmentally Disabled Peoples Choir, The Seniors’ Therapy Choir, The Children’s Therapy Choir, and the Veterans’ Therapy Choir.  “We have shown, over the past decade, that choir therapy enhances self-esteem, alleviates depression, increases socialization, aides memory and related cognitive functions and is very enjoyable.”  The group has performed over 200 concerts in the last decade.

One Voice Chorus Demonstrating “Radical Inclusion” in Richmond, Virginia

Evanston Civic Chorus United Through Harmony-Evanston, Wyoming

Evanston, Wyoming, population 12,400, was founded during the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad.  The first train arrived in December 1868.  With an elevation of 6,800’, the city enjoys over 300 days of sunshine.  The mayor states on the town’s website, “I don’t think a day goes by that we don’t see an antelope or mule deer or maybe even both! Within the Bear River State Park we enjoy our own herd of buffalo and even a couple of bull elk!”

Since 2007, the Evanston Civic Chorus, a non-auditioned group, has been welcoming singers and enriching the community with their choral concerts.  It began as a community class offered by Uinta B.O.C.E.S #1 Education Center and then in 2012, the Evanston Civic Orchestra board voted to adopt the Civic Chorus, so membership was no longer by class enrollment.  “Though the details of how the Chorus functions have changed, and membership varies from year to year, the focus on community has remained constant since the beginning.  Singing together as a community unites us - Unison through Harmony.”

In addition to their two concerts a year, the chorus has performed at the Memorial Day Ceremony, the Fresh Air, Freedom and Fun Festival on July 4th, the Uinta County Museum Dedication, and the opening ceremony of the Tour of Utah bike race.  According to their website, “some of their most meaningful performances have been for audiences at the State Hospital and the Senior Center.”
 

Symphony Chorus of New Orleans Embodies the Resilient Spirit of the “Big Easy”-New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known for many things including its architecture, cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and its distinct music tradition.  The “Big Easy” has remained resilient in the face of defying odds. A large portion of the city is situated at or below sea level after all!  Those organizations who thrive despite the odds are those who are able to adapt.  Symphony Chorus of New Orleans is one of those organizations.

Symphony Chorus (then, known as New Orleans Symphony Chorus) was founded in 1981 by Larry Wyatt under the auspices of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. When the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra ceased operations in 1991 and re-emerged as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chorus reorganized as an entity separate from the orchestra and became known as Symphony Chorus of New Orleans.  While the group specializes in the performance of choral-orchestral works, the 60-member volunteer community chorus performs numerous concerts each year under the direction of Steven Edwards that include a variety of popular, R&B, and jazz-based New Orleans music.  The chorus has performed in Carnegie Hall twice, and in 2016 they travelled to Florence, Italy to perform with the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina.

The stated mission of the chorus is “To make a difference in the lives of our singers, our audience, and our community through the power and beauty of choral singing.”  To that end, the group premieres new works, hosts choral workshops that are open to the community and collaborates with Singers of United Lands (SOUL) to provide educational outreach to numerous elementary, middle, and high school students.  The week-long residency has sent the SOUL Vocal Quartet to sing and do workshops in the Greater New Orleans Area’s public, private, and parochial schools, libraries, retirement communities, colleges, and universities. The week culminates in a festival concert featuring SOUL, SCNO, and area school and college choirs performing multi-cultural choral music that has included selections from 40 countries in 34 different languages over the last decade.

Lowcountry Voices Celebrate Rich Cultural Heritage of the African-American Choral Tradition-North Charleston, South Carolina

South Carolina’s coastal region, known as the Lowcountry, has a rich musical history that has been shaped by people who have inhabited the region, including the native Edisto, Sewee and Kiawah Indians, planters from Barbados, early French Huguenot settlers and of course West African and Caribbean slaves brought to work the rice, indigo and later, cotton, plantations that were the Carolinas' economic engine. Today the influences of Gullah culture, including remnants of a creole-based language and culinary and craft traditions, are a vital part of Lowcountry heritage.

In 2012, Nathan Nelson founded Lowcountry Voices, a multicultural and ethnically diverse choral performing arts organization based in North Charleston, SC, in an effort to give voice to those distinct traditions and to preserve the cultural legacy and authenticity of African-American music.  Its repertoire includes traditional and contemporary gospel music, spirituals, hymns, jazz, classical choral music, and music from the theater and movies.  The choir is based in North Charleston, but its members are drawn from across the entire Lowcountry region and beyond.  

LCV has cultivated partnerships with various choirs in the region, including the College of Charleston Gospel Choir and Claflin University Concert Choir, and has performed at the Inaugural Lincoln Center Global Exchange Evening Performance and with James Taylor in 2015.  The Lowcountry Voices provided music at the services for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the slain pastor of the Mother Emanuel AME tragedy, and provided the background singing behind President Obama’s rendition of Amazing Grace.  In July, 2015, LCV took the sounds of the Lowcountry internationally to Bermuda for two enthusiastically received performances. 

Community Chorus Project Creating Community One Chorus At A Time-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

In 2011 by Lauren Bromley Hodge founded the Community Chorus Project in collaborations with the Department of Music at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill“We seek to create positive social impact while creating diverse and inclusive music programming of the highest standard. Our credo is Creating Community One Chorus at a Time, and our goal is to plant lifelong seeds of creativity, fun and artistry in middle and high school age singers.”

CCP's programs, led by 17 staff members, include the Summer Glee Musical Theater Intensive for ages 11-16, Summer Recording Workshop for high school students ages 14-18, and Saturday Glee Club for ages 11-16.  Participants receive personalized vocal instruction and opportunities to perform ambitious arrangements of pop songs.  CCP also offers an adult PopUp Chorus, an ad hoc chorus for adults that invites all adults to show up and sing.

“Participating in a chorus is a community building activity that enables people to blend their voices with others, increase their confidence and work as a team. Music proves time and time again that it is able to cross cultural boundaries, bridge ethnic divides, and is truly the universal language. And it is fun!  The continued erosion of music in our schools, due to lack of funding and focus on the arts, creates a need for community-based music programs for students. We work to create opportunities for people to sing together, regardless of income, background or experience to create community and to revel in music.”

Des Moines Diversity Chorus Giving Voice to Common Hopes and Dreams of Those Living in Iowa’s Capital City-Des Moines, Iowa

The Des Moines Diversity Chorus celebrated their 20th anniversary of using choral music to gain a deeper appreciation for the people living in Iowa’s capital.  The music they sing reflects the diverse traditions and influences of Iowa's ethnic, social and cultural groups.  The group welcomes people of all backgrounds.  “We have reached a varied audience over the years with our message that we all share in common hopes and dreams, though we may experience them differently.”

DMDC has a strong commitment to cultivating partnerships with individual artists and ensembles that represent varied backgrounds.  The group has performed for local MLK, Jr. Memorial observances, Habitat for Humanity build dedications, City of Des Moines International Human Rights Day celebration, Earth Day celebrations, Interfaith Holocaust Memorial services and Iowa Cubs games.  Under the direction of Julie Murphy, the group has collaborated with the Heartland Youth Chorus, Nuer Drumming Group (Sudanese), Las Guitarras de Mexico, The Blue Grass Pals, Backyard Boyz, Whyld Girls, New Visions Dance Troupe, gospel choirs, photographers, composers, vocalists and numerous other artists.  Their unwavering commitment to using choral music to bring people together and to give voice to the variety of human experiences in their community is making the greater Des Moines area a stronger community one song at a time.

Appalachian Children’s Chorus Empowering West Virginia's Youth -Charleston, West Virginia

The Appalachian Children’s Chorus, located in West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston (pop. approx. 51,000), was founded in 1990 by Selina Midkiff with just 12 singers.  Today, they serve as the official Children’s Chorus of West Virginia, and, in that capacity, they have performed for governors, presidents and heads of state, and travelled to Carnegie Hall and on international tours to Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland and England.  The choir’s mission is “to provide artistic excellence, a quality music education and extraordinary opportunities while creating a positive effect on the lives of West Virginia’s youth.”

The organization has grown to include six choirs of children in kindergarten through 12th grade that are located in three counties.  ACC welcomes children of all racial, cultural, religious and economic backgrounds and provides opportunities to offer a superior music education, to experience the world through music of other cultures, and to foster the personal and social growth of choir members.  The choir hosts the national Appalachian Festival of Young Voices, an annual celebration of folk music in mountain tradition. “The chorus's history is rich with tradition, replete with spirit and ably representative of all that is good about the State of West Virginia.” 

Newport Navy Choristers On A Mission to Raise Funds for Local Non-Profits -Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island is home to the Naval Station Newport, which houses the U.S. Naval War College, the Naval Justice School, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and a major U.S. Navy training center.  For over 60 years, the Newport Navy Choristers have gathered to present choral programs that raise money for charitable organizations and to provide enjoyable concerts for their audiences.  Membership is open to active duty, reserve and retired military personnel (both office and enlisted) of all the armed services and the dependents age 16 or over as well as Department of Defense civilian employees and their dependents. 

The Choristers perform four concerts a year, and since 1961, they have raised over $400,000 for organizations in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, including The Fort Adams Trust, The Museum of Irish History, Stopover Services of Newport County, the Middletown Senior Center, Edward King House, Shepherd’s Center of Fall River, Newport Historical Society, and Looking Upwards.  The Nautical Notes and the Sea Chanteys are two subgroups of the chorus who perform at annual concerts and in smaller venues.

The Choristers have also participated in many local Navy observances and memorials throughout the years, including Navy Night at the Pops at Symphony Hall, Boston and events celebrating the 200th Birthday of the U.S. Navy (both in 1975), commissioning of USS Normandy (1989) and USS Chafee (2003), and numerous Naval War College graduation ceremonies to name a few.  Here’s a performance of You Are My Sunshine sung for a concert to benefit the Edward King House Senior Center.

Dakota Choral Union Enriching the Black Hills Region and Welcoming New Citizens at Mount Rushmore Naturalization Ceremony -Rapid City, South Dakota

When most people hear the state of South Dakota mentioned, images of Mount Rushmore National Memorial spring to mind.  It’s in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, about 25 miles from the national memorial, that the Dakota Choral Union is bridging boundaries and touching lives in Rapid City.  Dakota Choral Union, a non-auditioned chorus, was formed after a joint concert between the Black Hills Chorale, Black Hills Voices in Concert, and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Concert Choir in the spring of 1995.

The group, under the direction of Dr. Charles Canaan since 2014, has collaborated with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, Bells of The Hills, A Capella Showcase, the Black Hills State University Chorus, Dakota Artists Guild, and the Black Hills Photographic Society. DCU and Kantorei, the auditioned chamber group specializing in unaccompanied choral repertoire, share their passion for vocal music at public events, community meetings, and in assisted-care facilities.  The choir jointly sponsors the Young Vocal Artist Competition annually with the music department of Black Hills State University.  The group concluded their last season by singing at the Naturalization Ceremony at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  (Listen below)  They are scheduled to do so again in June, 2018. 

Caliente Community Chorus in Farmington, New Mexico Connecting with Audiences Near and Far

San Juan County, New Mexico is considered one of the geographically largest counties in the country covering 5,538 square miles.  The area was settled by Ancestral Puebloans in the 7th century and has been inhabited by the Navajos, Jicarilla Apaches and Utes. In 1901 the town of Farmington was incorporated and since 2006, the Caliente Community Chorus has been bringing singers together from the region “to inspire audiences, provide a creative outlet for adult singers, and travel to exciting locations.”

In a relatively short time, the chorus, a diverse and non-auditioned choir under the direction of Virginia Nickels-Hircock, has collaborated with the Southwest Civic Winds, Durango Chamber Singers, Piedra Vista High School, Durango Choral Society, San Juan Symphony and other local college choirs in Farmington and around the Four Corners region.  The group awards two scholarships annually-one is a piano lesson scholarship for students 8-17 years of age and the other is a college scholarship that is awarded to a musician who plans to major in the fine arts.

The chorale was founded by Virginia Nickels-Hircock and Robyn Woodard “who believe that the real beauty and magic of music lies in its ability to celebrate, comfort, strengthen and entertain.”  Its repertoire ranges from opera choruses to cathedral classics, from world folk to jazz standards, from Broadway favorites to cinema greats.  When it comes to traveling, the chorus is on the move.  They have performed multiple concert tours to various places including Spain, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Greece and New York City.

 

 

College Community Chorus Strengthening Town and Gown Relations in Middlebury, VT

The state of Vermont is the second least populous state (approx. 625,000-2010 Census) in the country, and as of 2015, it was the leading producer of maple syrup.  In 1800, Congregationalists founded Middlebury College, the first operating college in Vermont in the town of Middlebury (Pop. 8,500).  Town and gown relations are strained in many small towns across the country that are home to colleges or universities, but the Middlebury College Department of Music’s College Community Chorus is using choral music to strengthen the relationships between townspeople and students.

The choir, conducted by Jeff Rehbach, is open to high school students, college students, alumni, staff, faculty and any other community members who love to sing.  The group performs concerts the weekend before Thanksgiving each year and in May, and they host the annual Messiah Sing that is open to the community.  Students, who can register and receive credit for the course, often note that the 90-voice chorus provides a place to sing, to explore music together, and to make life-long friends with others from on- and off-campus.  "I am so happy I decided to take choir. It was a very positive experience and I would definitely recommend it to future students. Singing allows students to decompress and re-contextualize their collegiate lives... I learned about the collaboration, patience, and self-awareness that is required to make collective art... I've learned how to read music, to work as part of a team, to train my own voice to fit a part, to take care of myself so that I can sing, and to value having friends in the community."

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Greater New Haven Community Chorus "Building Community One Note at a Time"-New Haven, CT

The Greater New Haven Community Chorus is committed to its goal of "building community one note at a time" in the Greater New Haven metropolitan area of nearly 900,000 residents (U.S. Census Bureau).  The 100-voice chorus, founded in 1963, strives to use music to break down barriers, resolve differences, and transcend borders locally as well as globally. 

With concert program themes like Stand Together, a celebration of the global community, and War & Peace-Reflection, Honor and Hope, a concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and the 75th anniversary of the start of WWII and honoring those who served, their Artistic Director, Noah Blocker-Glynn, aims to connect the art of choral singing with the human experience.

In an effort to make stronger connections with the community, the group partners with the New Haven Police Department to sponsor an annual coat drive, and the chorus collaborates with Christ Church Choir (Guilford) to perform an annual “Choirs for a Cause” concert to raise money for non-profits like Wounded Warrior Project, Doctors Without Borders, and Episcopal Relief & Development Fund.  They recently sang the national anthem for the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball game.  The group awards an annual Choral Conducting Scholarship to a student currently enrolled in a music degree program who has a strong interest in choral conducting and teaching.  Clearly, GNHCC is committed to making choral music relevant 

One member explained, “I joined the chorus because I wanted to learn how to sing with other people and to sing harmony. I wanted to learn to be a good alto! I have stayed because of the great eclectic range of interesting and beautiful music we sing each semester; because our director Noah does such a great job of teaching, leading, pushing, and inspiring us; and because the chorus is such a welcoming group to everyone who wants to put in the work to make music."