The New Haven Chorale is an auditioned community of choral musicians united by their passion for performing great choral music, their desire to grow musically, and their interest in artistic collaborations and community cultural service. Since its founding in 1950 by Alden Hammond (1921-2011), the New Haven Chorale has been fortunate to have been led by several distinguished conductors. The Chorale strives to reinvent itself through its artistic and community activities and continues to remain a vital musical and cultural asset to the Greater New Haven community. Since 2003, the New Haven Chorale has been led by Edward Bolkovac, Professor of Choral Music at The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and Director of the Schola Cantorum, the professional choral ensemble based at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford.
The New Chorale is made up of community singers with diverse personal and professional backgrounds. Its members are busy and talented professionals with fascinating careers and interesting artistic interests, as well as student singers who tend to be undergraduate and graduate students at local universities. Among the current membership of the Chorale, one can meet and sing with an accountant, architects, artists (visual), choir directors, computer specialists, consultants, a development officer, engineers, a fine arts commissioner, lawyers, music teachers, nurses, physicians, a priest, professors, psychiatrists, psychologists, a registrar of voters, researchers, a therapist, a web designer, and some of the most energetic and youthful retired people you will ever find! Their common ground: their love of music, intellectual curiosity, and a strong sense of community! The Chorale sings a full concert season every year of self-standing concerts as well as collaborations with other arts organizations. A sample from the Chorale’s self-standing repertoire from the last 6 seasons has included Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Charpentier’s Te Deum and Magnificat, Durufle’s Requiem, Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Mariazeller Mass, Ramirez’s Misa Criolla, amazing a cappella pieces by Aaron Copland, Frank Ticheli, and Eric Whitacre, spirituals, jazz arrangements, and many more.
In addition, in the last 6 years the New Haven Chorale has also collaborated with:
The New Haven Symphony:
- Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony/William Boughton conductor
- Holiday Pops Concert/Gerald Steichen, conductor
The Hartford Symphony, the Hartt School Choruses, and the Hartford Chorale:
- Verdi’s Requiem/Edward Bolkovac, conductor
The Hartt School Choruses, Orchestra and/or Wind Ensemble:
- ‘The Here and Now’ by Christopher Theofanidis/Edward Bolkovac, conductor
- Symphony of Psalms by Stravinsky/Edward Cumming, conductor
- The Finale of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony/Edward Bolkovac, conductor
- Dona nobis pacem by Vaughan Williams/Edward Bolkovac, conductor
- Stabat Mater by Szymanowski/Edward Bolkovac, conductor
- Lord Nelson Mass/Carolina Flores, conductor
The Girls Chorus of Trinity on the Green:
- Halloween Concert
The Arts and Ideas Festival:
- Chorus for 2 performance of The Events (see review in the Boston Globe)
The Chorale’s performance venues have included Yale’s Battell Chapel and Woolsey Hall, Trinity Lutheran Church in New Haven, East Haven High School, and The Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford. The New Haven Chorale Tour Choir sang concerts in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague on their 2011 tour.
Community outreach is central to the Chorale’s mission. Singers from the New Haven Chorale have performed at St. Martin de Porres Academy and local nursing homes, and for 30 years, members have sung at Yale New Haven Hospital’s pediatric wards on Christmas morning.
“The mission of the New Haven Chorale is to present excellent choral music to the greater New Haven region through public performance and community outreach, to enable singers to improve their musicianship, and to be an integral and active member in the cultural life of its community.”