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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

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been singing with the Greater New Haven Community Chorus for about 7 years. As a large group with a wide variety of singing levels and no audition required, its an easy way to join. I love the repertoire and learn new things every week. I find it challenging but not overwhelming. The director is fabulous and the members are a delight to know.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

In my three years with the Chorus I have found them a dedicated, welcoming group and extremely interested in being involved in the community. This past year we did a free concert for the underserved with the Hill high school chorus (i.e. free tickets to various social service agencies). It was a great outreach idea and something I hope/expect the Chorus to continue. We also sang at a Branford Senior Housing center in order to bring our music to those who are less able to travel.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined GNHCC to try something new, and to bring music back into my life after many years away from concert band. I was hooked at the first rehearsal! What a warm and welcoming group of people, beautiful and challenging music, an engaging and enthusiastic director... Singing with GNHCC and also joining the Chamber Choir has been an enriching and confidence-building experience.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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.

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.

1

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

liz Brennan

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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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

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first joined it was really hard to learn the music, but it has helped me in sight reading and singing skills, and I feel much more comfortable now!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have really enjoyed singing with this group over the past year. A great group of people who share my love of music!

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have sung with this chorus for a couple of years- really enjoy the group.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've attended the wonderful concerts of the Greater New Haven Community Chorus and they are an inspiration always. The music is well chosen and performed to an excellence that is atypical for an amateur chorus!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've sung in the Greater New Haven Community Chorus for several years now and it has been a wonderful experience which has taught me a great deal.

Review from Guidestar

Catherine A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I came to New Haven, I did not know anyone and this was a way to meet people in the community and do something I love to do as well which is sing. The chorus provides a venue for people in the community to come together every week. Also through over the years we have taken the opportunity to sing at many community events and hopefully share the joy we find in singing. Thank you GNHCC.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater New Haven Community Chorus is extremely true to its name! It is open for everybody in the community - no auditions - and it gives back to the community again and again with concerts in community and senior centers and most recently by cooperating with a public school. It is a wonderful experience to sing with the chorus. The last concert in December filled Battell Chapel almost to capacity and the quality of the performance was outstanding!

Michael G.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Fun times were had by all. Sung some stuff. Sang some more stuff, too.

Review from Guidestar

Keith S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last fall, I had the privilege of being a guest singer with the Greater New Haven Community Chorus. The program would have been challenging for even a professional chorus, so I was skeptical of the chorus's ability to "pull it off" on the first train ride from New York City to the Yale area.

My skepticism could not have been more foolish: the choir, although completely volunteer and composed mainly of untrained music enthusiasts, attacked the program with a vigor and passion I have not even seen amongst groups of paid professionals. Everyone in the chorus was not only giving 110%, but was willing and able to follow direction / instruction and tips from the guest singers regarding the music. Most importantly: they were all singing with passion and joy.

On the night of the concert, it was apparent to both myself and my fellow guest artists how influential this group has been in the community. The choir sang with passion and artistic integrity, and it was clear in the faces of the audience that each person in the room was touched by the passion of the singer. More importantly, each audience member left the concert a changed person because of the music that they heard. They all stuck around to talk to the singers and find out more about the chorus.

The Greater New Haven Community Chorus has created an environment in their community that fosters and supports creativity. More importantly, by the power of song, they have brought the community together in support of music.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have sung with the Greater New Haven Community Chorus for four years. It is a wonderful community of over 100 people from many backgrounds, musical and otherwise. Some people have never sung before and others are expert singers. Our director, Chris, makes sure that everyone can perform at high level. At the same time, we are non-auditioned and keep membership dues low so anyone can join. I'm proud to by a GNHCC member.

Review from Guidestar