“Shakespeare's Legacy”
Summer Festival 2016
July 24 to July 30, 2016

Bethany Covenant Church
785 Mill Street
Berlin, Connecticut

CONCORA is thrilled to announce Summer Festival 2016, “Shakespeare’s Legacy,” and to welcome Artistic Director Chris Shepard to his first Summer Festival.

“April 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, so it seems fitting to honor his singular contribution to the vocal repertoire by featuring some settings of his most famous lines in CONCORA Summer Festival 2016.
– Chris Shepard

More Information about the Festival

Click here to download the Summer Festival application.


“Shakespeare's Legacy”
Summer Festival 2016 Concert
Saturday, July 30, 2016, 4:00 PM

Bethany Covenant Church
785 Mill Street
Berlin, Connecticut

The Summer Festival 2016 concert will include two major works by Ralph Vaughan Williams; choral settings of Shakespeare’s songs by John Rutter, Emma Lou Diemer and Erik Neilsen; and a jazz setting, “Songs and Sonnets,” by George Shearing.

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About Our Most Recent Concert:

“First Editions” featured works by composers that Chris Shepard commissioned over the past thirty years. The concert began with Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Five by Langston,” settings of poems by Langston Hughes, one of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Here’s a performance of one of the pieces, “Joy,” sung by Harolyn Blackwell, with the composer at the piano.


There’s a wealth of material on the Internet about the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes. Here are some starting points:

The concert included Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’s Paul Moravec’s “Songs of Love and War,” which use letters between the front and home from four different wars: Civil War; World Wars I and II; and the Vietnam War. Powerful and dramatic, this work will feature baritone Malcolm Merriweather and trumpeter Bill Owens, who is a Staff Sergeant in the West Point Band.

bugler at Arlington National Cemetery
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
Creative Commons License: Attribution

The composer’s home page: http://paulmoravec.com.

Other Past Concerts and Events:

Bach Festival Clip

The Bach Festival featured lectures, discussions, demonstrations and open rehearsals for the Saint John Passion concert. Here Chris Shepard speaks about the very opening.

Saint John Passion Rehearsal Excerpt

This is from a rehearsal for Saint John Passion, including comments from some of the singers about singing the piece.

“Cappella Romana” Concert

We had an overflow audience at the January 31 concert at Trinity College Chapel. Here is a selection from that magnificent concert: “Sicut Cervus” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

“The Romantic Choir” Concert

Our opening concert at St. Thomas the Apostle Church was a rousing success! This video is of the choir singing Bruckner’s “Ave Maria.”

Click here to see more videos and Chris’ podcasts about CONCORA concerts.

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.


Tom Brand recently interviewed Chris for the American Choral Directors’ Association.
The article can be seen on ChoirLife:Sharing the Stories of Choral Musicians.
Click here to read the interview.

CONCORA’s 2015-16 Season Brochure:

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