A Message from our new Artistic Director, Christopher Shepard

Christopher Shephard“As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. In short, that’s the theme of my first season with CONCORA: our first four concerts together are designed to give you a strong impression of my vision for the future of this storied ensemble – a vision that embraces the choir’s singular legacy, while looking forward to new and exciting projects. This is a year for me to forge new relationships – with the singers, audience, patrons, community and the Connecticut choral world.

What better way to seed our musical relationship than to present as wide a range of repertoire as possible? We will get to know one another through a rich tapestry of some of the greatest choral works ever written, from starkly beautiful Renaissance motets to new choral music composed as recently as this year.

One of my favorite musical words is Werktreue. Like many German terms, it manages to encompass a world of meaning in one compound word. Literally, it means being “true to the work” – more broadly, it means always striving to honor the composer’s intention, not just by understanding the score of a single work, but also by placing that piece in a larger musical and aesthetic tradition. This season, our loyalty to the composer’s voice will take many different forms. We open with The Romantic Choir, featuring the classic “CONCORA sound,” with rich voices singing blissfully lush repertoire. For January’s Cappella Romana concert, we use Trinity College’s stunning Gothic chapel, an architectural space that reflects the provenance of the motets on the program, with a smaller chamber choir singing with a streamlined sound. CONCORA and I share a deep love of Bach; in our rendering of the St. John Passion, we will bring the dramatic aspects of Bach’s riveting score alive by using the choir in a new and innovative way. May’s First Editions concert will introduce you to some of my musical friends – composers from whom I have commissioned works over the last three decades. It’s especially thrilling to be able to share these new works with you.

So come back to hear us this year – and bring a friend or two who have never heard us before. Come be part of CONCORA’s second act!”

Click here to see our exciting 2015-2016 concert season.

Metcalf on Music

Steve Metcalf’s arts blog on WNPR recently featured CONCORA, new Artistic Director Chris Shepard, founding Artistic Director Richard Coffey, and CONCORA’s inaugural concert, “The Romantic Choir.”

Click here to read his comments.

The Romantic Choir
November 21, 2015, 7:30 PM

St. Thomas the Apostle Church
872 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, Connecticut

Crola painting

Georg Heinrich Crola, German, 1804-1879.
A Thunderstorm on Lake Chiemsee, 1833. Oil on canvas, painting.
Courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

A concert of a cappella works full of unabashedly beautiful music, including motets by 19th-century composers Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Bruckner; Casals’ O Vos Omnes; and a choral version of Edward Elgar’s sublime Nimrod variation set to the Lux Aeterna text.

Purchase Tickets

Chris Shepard speaks about the upcoming concert



Audio-only players:

Robert Schumann

The Romantic Choir :
Robert Schumann

Pablo Casals

The Romantic Choir :
Pablo Casals


The Romantic Choir :
Samuel Barber and Edward Elgar

CONCORA's 2015-16 Season Brochure:



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CONCORA-to-Go is Connecticut’s only in-school cultural arts program that teaches children songs from around the world.
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