First of all I love to sing. So my mother (who now is 104) decided we should sing together. About 25 years ago we joined the Greater New Haven Community Chorus because we knew the director, Ron Konetchy. We have been here ever since. The singers are energetic , happy, welcoming and family. Not only that, we make fantastic music!
I have been with GNHCC for over 15 years now. It has been a wonderful learning experience for me since I did not read music when I first joined. This is the case for many who have joined. The chorus is open to all and has proven to be a microcosm of the greater New Haven area. This kind of diversity makes for beautiful music!
I've never had any vocal training, but I like to sing and have sung along with the radio or record player or CD ever since I can remember, and when GNHCC was presented to me as an opportunity to sing with a group of real people and as an outlet for my interest in singing, I tried it and liked it. I have been singing with the group since spring of 2010, and the whole thing is great: the people, the music, the musical education, the social interaction and support (which became really important to me during a very low period of years in my life), the growth of the group and individuals in the group and the way people work in a huge number of ways to accomplish common goals….What else can I say? This is a group of people at their finest.
I joined the Greater New Haven Community Chorus in 2001 after the break-up of a relationship. Along with continuing my musical education and singing and performing great music, I've made many friends and grown tremendously as a person. In 2013 I joined the Board of Directors and in 2014 I became Treasurer. My volunteer position as Treasurer was instrumental in my being able to change careers and find a paying job in my new field. Being a member of the chorus has been and continues to be, a life-changing and life-enhancing experience!
GNHCC had me hooked within the first few downbeats nearly 10 years ago, now. GNHCC lives its tag line -- building community one note at a time -- both within our immediate choral community and throughout the larger greater New Haven community. Volunteers all...and you won't find a more dedicated and caring group! Thursday rehearsals allow members to leave their day behind and immerse themselves in the evening's music and instruction by an equally dedicated and immensely talented artistic director and superb accompanist -- and have some fun, as well. If you are not a member...no worries! Stop in at any rehearsal, take a listen...maybe you will be hooked, too!
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!
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.
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
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
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.
The GNHCC is a wonderful organization. It allows me to do what I love--sing! I enjoy the informal, non-audition atmosphere. It creates a sense of community, openess and giving that could not take place in an audition chorus.
Review from Guidestar
I have watched this chorus grow tremendouslky in the 11 years I have been a member. It is now extending its impact into the community by providing free concerts 2-3 times a year, andn this year will participate int he celebration of The International Year of The Woman to raise awareness of violence against women. The chorus will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is planning toward that goal, many events to commmorate this COMMUNITY chorus and its open door poilcy. It is the oldest, continuously operating, non-auditioned chorus in CT and possibly the USA.
Review from Guidestar
GNHCC has a vision statement: to build community one note at a time. Empty words? On the contrary! Week by week, relationship by relationship, this vision grows deeper.
I was first enthusiastic about joining the chorus because the director, Christopher Clowdus, was a fellow classmate at Yale. Given our shared commitment to music, we had sung and performed together. Since our graduation, his professionalism and musical talent have continued to grow, and he continues to challenge each of us to test our reach toward being "our best" together. His leadership, the leadership of the board, and the commitment of chorus members provide all of us with the privilege of singing together without drama or egocentricity. The result of our shared energy and ethos has built a loyal following who turn out for our concerts, including our most recent December concert to a full house at Yale's Battell Chapel.
Compared to some of our members, I have belonged to GNHCC for a relatively short time, and yet, have been welcomed genuinely like a good friend. I have been moved by the group's vision to share the love of music in the local community, as well as openness to explore partnerships within and beyond New Haven.
GNHCC? It's an organization with energy and vision--an arts organization to watch!
Greater New Haven Community Chorus (GNHCC) is a non-auditioned, non-professional, volunteer chorus currently entering its 48th year as part of the cultural fabric of New Haven, Connecticut and surrounding towns. In this chorus, singers of any ability can experience the joy of choral singing. GNHCC achieves the highest possible level of performance from a non-auditioned chorus while offering an opportunity which is rarely afforded to adults in contemporary American society. Engaging and instructive rehearsals allow singers with little or no previous musical training to learn and to grow as musicians while the chorus prepares at least two major concerts each year. Drawing voices from the many towns across the region, the chorus, which currently numbers about 120 voices, embraces the diversity of the community in every sense – age, ethnicity, economic status and musical proficiency.
Living into its mission to contribute to the personal and cultural enrichment of the community, Greater New Haven Community Chorus has developed its own Choral Conducting Assistant Scholarship program, through which an aspiring area university undergraduate student gains rare podium time as a conductor while being mentored by GNHCC's extraordinarily talented Artistic Director. Reaching out to the community beyond its regular concert season, the chorus also performs free concerts and partners with individuals, organizations and schools to offer workshops and benefit concerts.
Greater New Haven Community Chorus is a remarkable treasure because it engages both its audiences and its singers in a way which connects with 'real' people on a visceral level and which makes choral music fun and approachable by everyone.