The Connecticut Choral Society, Inc. (CCS), established in 1980, is an ensemble of
auditioned singers who are joined by their commitment to provide a music resource
for Connecticut; to encourage singing and performing choral music of the highest
artistic quality; and to stimulate greater appreciation and enjoyment of choral music.
The Choral Society was founded by Christopher Shay, Woodbury, CT. Mr. Shay directed
the group through its first 12 seasons and was succeeded by Tina Heidrich who directed
the group for the next eight years. John Robert Liepold became Music Director and
Conductor in 2000 leading CCS for seven seasons. In the spring of 2007, CCS welcomed
Eric Dale Knapp as conductor.
From modest beginnings (less than 30 people attended the first rehearsal), we have
grown in stature and accomplishment to become a renowned chorus of over 75 men and
women. We have appeared at Carnegie Hall (with the New York Pops Orchestra) and have
toured England, Canada, and Eastern Europe, but we remain dedicated foremost to bringing
beautiful and inspiring works to our local audiences in Connecticut. We are known
for our high musical performance standards, outstanding contribution to the arts,
and community outreach.
The first of many great oratorios we've performed over the years occurred in 1982
- Johannes Brahms' majestic German Requiem, complete with full orchestra and professional
soloists. Other musicals works performed: Puccini's Messa de Gloria; Haydn's Creation;
Handel's Messiah; Vivaldi's Gloria; Henry Purcell's Dido and Aneas; Mozart's Requiem
, Missa Brevis and Great Mass in C Minor; Mendelssohn's Elijah; Verdi's Requiem;
great opera concerts including Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. Also,
Orff's Carmina Burana; Rossini's Stabat Mater; Rutter's Gloria; Brahms' Nanie; Borodin's
Polovetzian Dances; Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Te Deum; Ode to Joy,and Choral
Fantasy; Handel's Israel in Egypt; plus a concert of Great Opera Choruses sung in
Czech, French, Italian, and Russian.
In the Spring of 1998, we performed an all Russian program featuring Prokoviev's
Alexander Nevsky, Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil, Rimsky-Korsakov's Procession of
the Nobles, the waltz scene from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, the Coronation Scene
from Mussorgsky's Boris Gudanov and Song of the Volga Boatmen, and Antonin Dvorak's
Under Maestro Liepold's baton, we performed Poulenc's Gloria, Brahms' German Requiem,Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, the Connecticut Premiere of James Bassi’s
Carol Symphony, and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610. We performed Messe de Minuit pour
Noel, Marc Antoine Charpentier and the premier performance of Wit Wonders: Midwinter
Mystery, by American Composer Benjamin Broening (specially commissioned by the Connecticut
Choral Society) and in the spring, 2002, J. S. Bach's Mass in B Minor at Woolsey
Hall, Yale University in New Haven and in Danbury. Also, Benjamin Britten's Saint
Nicolas and Cantata Misericordium, Johann Sebastian Bach's Magnificat and Handel's
Dixit Dominus, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, and Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer,
A Sacred Cantata, and Mozart's Requiem --and much more!
With Maestro Knapp, we have traveled to Australia, China, and England to participate
in international choral festivals. For our Spring 2012 concerts, we combined with
the New Jersey Choral Society (also under Mr. Knapp’s baton) to present Ralph Vaughan
Williams’ A Sea Symphony, in both Connecticut and New Jersey. Each December we present
“Candlelight and Carols” to audiences in Newtown and Woodbury, a tradition we all
look forward to.
We have performed locally in Connecticut, at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Woolsey
Hall, Yale University in New Haven, as well as Canada, Europe, England Australia,
and China. The group is also noted for its outreach, through our benefit concerts
in Danbury, Waterbury, and New Milford in support of various community charities.
The Mission of the Connecticut Choral Society is to promote quality diversified choral
music for the benefit of the singer as well as the listening audience.
The Choral Society strives for high musical standards that encourage choral singing