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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Greater New Haven Community Chorus Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Singing & Choral Groups

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.

Community Stories

95 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first joined GNHCC with Ron Konetchy at its helm back in the 80s. It was Christmas time, and I and my sister-in-law Carla wanted to sing fun Christmas carols. Instead, what we got was Mozart’s Dixit Dominus! I was hooked on “real” choral music from that moment on. My children, who were toddlers at the time, listened endlessly to the rehearsal tapes with me and knew all the words. The challenge of learning each semester’s music is invigorating and the concerts always fill me with a great sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and pride. Long live GNHCC!

Kimberly S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the GNHCC after moving to the area from the UK for my partner's work. I've sung in choirs since I was little and thought it might be a nice way to meet people while doing something I love. Rehearsals are the highlight of my week, and I couldn't have asked for a nicer, more welcoming group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great group of people who love to sing together and celebrate community!!

2 Sandy36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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."

BetcR

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Alaina D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

liz Brennan

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 3

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.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic chorus - great for the community! The material they do is challenging, but they work extremely hard and in the end it shows.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I have attended a few of the Greater New Haven Community Chorus concerts and they are always well executed. The music is interesting and the performance space beautiful. The intern is darn cute! And their quilts are lovely.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member of GNHCC when I lived in the area, and have also attended concerts as an audience member. There is a lot of talent there, especially for a non-audition choir. The membership represents the diverse community of New Haven area. The music is well-selected and very enjoyable. Also not easy...the choir director and members work hard and always pull off a beautiful concert.

Kathleen M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Greater New Haven Community Chorus is a fabulous group – it has strong musicianship and also a wonderful community of members who truly care about one another and love to sing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a fantastic organization! Music is a wonderful way to enrich the community. The passion in this group is tremendous!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have sung in the chorus for a few years. The people are very welcoming. I don't have a "soloist" voice and it is great to have a non-audition chorus where you can improve your singing and sing complex music but is also large enough that you don't have to feel that you need to be completely perfect or have a beautiful voice - a solid chorus voice is appreciated too.

I am proud of the chorus for trying to be more community minded. I thought our free concert for the "underserved" was a great idea. Even though the weather did not cooperate, I hope we do it again.

The music is always interesting and challenging. I would like a little more time hearing my part's notes but overall I think the director has a good balance with his conducting and definitely pushes us to be better.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been attending GNHCC concerts for about 40+ years, as a supporter of my sister Kathy Traub, a long-time member of the chorus, and active person with multiple roles in the organization. I personally enjoy most of the repertoire presented by the group. I prefer classical music, but I also like a fairly wide variety of popular musical numbers, e.g., South Pacific, Cats, Sound of Music, etc., as well as folk, gospel, ethnic, and some jazz. The one concert that stands out in my memory was one featuring Italian Opera and Neapolitan music, perhaps ten or so years ago. I always enjoy the December concert, with many offerings of the Christmas season. As far as the venue is concerned, Battell Chapel has very good acoustics, but parking and steep outer steps are problems for many of us who are beginning to be affected by physical betrayals of joints and other ailments. I hope the chorus could find an easily accessed concert setting, perhaps a city or university auditorium to hold both a growing chorus and those who wish to be supporters (without having to worry about steps and parking).

Review from Guidestar