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Article Published November 5, 2018
The GMChorale's Alchemy Chamber Ensemble Gives Prestigious President’s Concert at Choral Conductors' Convention
By Marcia Bliven
Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale, was honored by being invited to give the prestigious President’s Concert at the annual meeting of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association on Saturday, October 27, in Guilford, CT.
"The President's Concert is a time-honored tradition at CT-ACDA's annual Fall Conference,” said Rachael Allen, President of CT-ACDA and chair of the 2018 conference. “This special hour, amidst a day of choral workshops and interest sessions, features choirs who inspire—ensembles whose performances remind all of us why we do what we do as conductors. It is so important to take an hour out of this incredibly full day of singing and learning and talking to sit back and just listen. Excellent performances transcend genre or ensemble type; the purpose of the President's Concert is to inspire all who listen, regardless of their choral niche."
Formed in 2016 as the first expression of the GMChorale’s new “Singing for a Lifetime” outreach initiative, Alchemy is a company of 24 musicians that includes music educators, professional soloists and performers, and skilled ensemble singers and instrumentalists. The ensemble performs an annual series of concerts across Connecticut, often collaborating with choirs from the communities in which it performs, especially with youth choirs, who have an opportunity to rehearse and perform with the seasoned musicians of Alchemy and their Artistic Director, Joseph D’Eugenio.
“Alchemy and its parent choir, the GMChorale, are deeply gratified that Alchemy was selected for this honor, especially as Alchemy has been in existence for only a few years,” said D’Eugenio.
"Ensembles for the concert are chosen ultimately by the President, although this usually comes from input by the CT-ACDA board,” Allen added. Joe D'Eugenio has been a fixture in Connecticut choral music for many years, and the Greater Middletown Chorale has long held a reputation of excellence, so when word got out of a new chamber ensemble from those ranks, we had to jump on it! It is exciting to have the opportunity to showcase a new ensemble and to show that choral music in our state continues to evolve and grow."
“We are finding, or perhaps creating, a new niche for live performances of choral music, as we take our performances to new venues and engage with new audiences across the region,” said D’Eugenio. “It has been a very exciting beginning, and Alchemy is thrilled now to be recognized as an established and influential leader in Connecticut’s vibrant choral scene.”
The musicians of Alchemy are also members of the 80-voice GMChorale, which presents two main-stage concerts this season. On November 11, 2018, the GMChorale and Alchemy join the global celebration of the Leonard Bernstein centenary with a program of music by Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Randall Thompson. The concert takes place at 4:00pm at the Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center; a pre-concert talk by Neely Bruce, professor of music at Wesleyan University, begins at 3:15pm. Tickets for these concerts are available at www.gmchorale.org.
Information about Alchemy’s 2018-2019 concert series is available at http://gmchorale.org/alchemy/.
Alchemy, the vocal chamber ensemble of the GMChorale
The GMChorale is partially funded by generous grants from the following: the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; the Middletown Commission On The Arts; The Marjorie Jolidon Fund of the Greater Hartford Chapter, American Guild of Organists; and Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.