GREATER NEW HAVEN COMMUNITY CHORUS INC

Rating: 4.65 stars   93 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: PO Box 351 New Haven CT 06502 USA

Mission: The Greater New Haven Community Chorus contributes to the personal and cultural enrichment of the community, through the rehearsal and performance of outstanding choral music. Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization we: • achieve the highest standard of choral music by a non-auditioned chorus open to everyone • educate chorus members and audiences alike • embrace the diversity of the community • donate tickets and special performances to area non-profit organizations
Results: During the past year, GNHCC successfully: 1. Searched for, hired, and transitioned to a new Artistic Director, replacing the departing Artistic Director after his successful seven-year tenure. 2. Updated website with new design; transitioned to new Internet provider and began transitioning to a new, state-of-the art database management system. 3. Began soliciting grant monies for the commissioning of major choral works to celebrate the chorus’ 50th Anniversary season. As of the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2012-2013, GNHCC has been awarded grants totaling $3500 from Choral Arts New England and from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. 4. Developed a detailed 16-page “Singers’ Guide” outlining the function, procedures and culture of GNHCC.
Target demographics: residents ages 16 and above from all nationalities. We are an open and welcoming organization.
Geographic areas served: Greater New Haven area includes New Haven and over 20 surrounding communities.
Programs: Part of GNHCC’s commitment toward enriching and educating the cultural community is its sponsorship of a Choral Conducting Assistant Scholarship. This scholarship program, now in its third full season, offers student conductors an opportunity to develop their skills through the real-world experience of working with a large, non-auditioned, volunteer chorus like GNHCC for a full concert season. He or she participates in all aspects of musical direction, is afforded extraordinary access to podium time, and benefits from the Artistic Director’s ongoing mentorship throughout the year. In addition to the practical aspects of leading the chorus in rehearsals and performances, the scholarship student receives direct guidance in rehearsal preparation, musical analysis, score study techniques, and the gestural language of conducting.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 22-2467760
203-303-4642
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

In addition to having an artistic and social focus, GNHCC has a wonderful outreach component that takes music out to the community via free concerts. Here in Connecticut it gets dark so early in the winter and the holidays can be such a difficult and lonely time for some. In addition to its elegant signature concerts at Battell Chapel at Yale University, the GNHCC performs at senior housing centers and at events like the annual benefit for Ronald McDonald House. Singers (approx. 120) receive the gift of being able to give back, to spread cheer and support the efforts of other non-profits. It it best stated by this Latin phrase: "Musica laetitiae comes medicina dolorum" --Music is the companion of joy and a medicine for sorrow."

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This group uses the by-line "Building Community One Note at a Time!" and they really keep that as a guiding force in what they do. From building a close social community within the group through social and civic events, to building connections out in the Greater New Haven community, GNHCC views community interaction as an integral part of their mission. They support the group's mission statement through reasonably priced concerts, high school collaborations, a fantastic Choral Conducting Assistant Scholarship, Ronald McDonald House "Trees of Hope" involvement, and have offered workshops open to the larger musical community. GNHCC will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary next year and wants to support local and emerging Choral composers by commissioning two NEW Choral works inspired by this special milestone. I came to the chorus as a lone seeker and within a year found myself welcomed in to not only fond friendships, but a dedicated support system of committee and Board members. Come to our concerts and you can actually hear the sound of community!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This chorus lives up to its motto "Building Community One Note at a Time" in many ways. The singers and professional staff are friendly to newcomers and really make an effort to make everyone feel welcomed. Members become friends and share time outside of the chorus rehearsals, too. They also reach out to the community at large.

Since they do not require auditions, anyone who loves to sing can join. Because of the efforts of Artistic Director Chris Clowdus, this works to the benefit of the individual and the group - he finds teaching points throughout the rehearsals, to help everyone improve.

On the larger community level, the Community Impact Committee has worked hard to provide opportunities for the chorus to reach out to the general population, through performances at nursing and elder living venues, and most recently by working with a chorus in a local magnet school, to present a joint holiday performance. The letters the students wrote back to the chorus make it clear how much they were affected by the opportunity. One student wrote that she wanted to pursue singing lessons now, and another wrote that he was inspired by the welcome he felt from the adults in the GNHCC. Creating opportunities to share this important cultural experience with those who might not ordinarily be able to attend such events, is a cornerstone of the chorus' mission.

The Chorus also offers workshops to the community, and a Choral Conducting Scholarship, open to a College-level music Major at area colleges and universities. A talented Yale student is the current recipient.

The Chorus has been working hard to develop these Community Impact programs, and to upgrade its accounting system and other operating facets, so that it can be more effective. An Advisory Committee was recently formed, from members of the New Haven community, to help guide the chorus to greater growth and influence over the coming years. I am proud to be involved with this group.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the smiles and applause of the residents at venues where we have sung, which is always touching. The invitations to return lets us know how much our presentations are enjoyed. The letters from the students involved in the New Haven Magnet School performance brought us to tears, as did watching them perform with us for members of their own community and clients of local social service agencies - an opportunity the students had never had before.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to see them better able to afford to rent appropriate concert venue space, since the operating budget is not very large. The 2010 Winter Concert came very close to exceeding the capacity of the Battell Chapel, where they have performed for many years. There is also a need for money to purchase new sheet music, safer 'risers' for use during concerts, and office and sound equipment.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I've made many new friends, and have had a chance to be involved in the growth of the group.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I truly love this group!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A great big singing family. If you do not nominate this group come and sing with us. We are friendly, good cooks and we like to party

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

GNHCC is a great organization, and what makes it great is it's dedicated Artistic Director, singers and Board Members who keep evolving the organization to be a continuously creative choral music force within the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my growth as a singer and organizational member.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help get involved, like I've already done, with being a Board Member. :)

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

Google search!

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

50th anniversary of the chorus-- we're arranging for some really amazing activities and some original music to be commissioned for the group!

What is its top priority in the long run?

Getting even more involved with the community and becoming a premier choral organization.

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

GNHCC is a wonderfully inclusive community chorus, open to all members of the community, regardless of singing ability! When I wanted to get back into singing, I searched online for local choruses. Many of them were auditioned-- I was very nervous at the thought of having to sight-read music in front of an audience! Not only that, these choruses seemed rather "stuffy" as they were singing more traditional choral songs and arrangements. The GNHCC welcomed me during my very first practice with open arms, no auditions and they instilled confidence in my ability to sing with them by welcoming me back again and again. Their music is sometimes traditional, but mostly current, international, and eclectic, featuring composers from all walks of life. It's inspiring to be a part of this chorus and I look forward to our practices together every week!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how I live my life with more joy and greater insights into myself and the world around me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

create a movie night to showcase what other choruses around the world are doing.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Supportive, encouraging, inspirational, educational.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

This group has encouraged me to use my voice not only to make music but to support myself in new ways. I've literally "found my voice" through the help of this group. Being a part of the winter choral event brought me great joy.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I join the chorus three years ago and have made so many wonderful friends.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

About 2 years ago I was invited by my neighboor to see the GNHCC sing. It was the most wonderful experience I had in long time. I decided to join the chorus. I have made wonderful friends and have gotten more involved in my communitee. I encourage anyone who likes being with people and singing they should join the chorus

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am memeber of the chorus and enjoy being a memeber

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Having more people in the chorus

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a member of the Greater New Haven Community Chorus for 15 years and have truly enjoyed the community of the chorus and hwo much music we give back to our communities. The members come from all over the area for the sole purpose to share the joy of singing. We have a wonderful time and the experience fills my heart and life with joy.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

showing many individuals the joy music can provide to their lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have them bring their choral singing to children through children's concerts

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

This group represents the spirit of the greater new haven community as well as any organization could. The passion displayed in performing event the most challenging material is quite impressive. They provide a great service by their numerous outreach programs and the concerts are always make for a memorable experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

concerts attended.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more piano pieces rather than organ

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 3 stars  

What the chorus represents is how good the community really is. The Chorus and its members is a representative of who lives in the area. The Chorus connects and bonds with its outreach through performances and other endeavors. The many voices now have a channel and platform to be heard on and it’s through the Greater New Haven Community Chorus.
The Greater New Haven Community Chorus is a non-auditioned, choir open to men and women of all ages. Just like any community the chorus is there for those new and old to the area. TGNHCC enriches our lives by their performances, their philosophy make us our spirits richer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The lives they continue to touch through their outreach programs. The community spirit they share with others builds stronger bonds neighbor to neighbor. Their voices not only sing but the TGNHCC members provide such a vital positive message that says all are needed.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Build awareness through TV and radio through donated air-time to make sure we don’t keep the TGNHCC a secret. All should know what wonderful organization they are and how lucky we are to have them in the community.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

The Chorus came to sing at my Senior Residence this past winter. I appreciated their effort since it is too difficult for me to go to concerts in New Haven at night. The music and singing were delightful - and it was wonderful to see such smiling faces!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was in the audience for a concert

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes needed

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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 3 stars  

I have heard two GNHCC concerts. They were good although I would have preferred more piano to the organ for the Dec 2010 concert.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Audience Member

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

don't know

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar