Remembering:

BRIDGEPORT BOOMS WITH THE SOUNDS OF

GBS AT THE AMP

SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater

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Bathed in a glow like moonlight, an audience of 2500 thrilled to a live concert with 50 GBS musicians under the baton of Chelsea Tipton II, guest conductor.  The majestic Big Top of Bridgeport's brand-new first-class venue rang to the sounds of the William Tell Overture, Carmen, The Blue Danube, West Side Story, Man of La Mancha and many others.  The concert was free to the public, and listeners were all smiles on the way out.  What a way to begin our 76th season!

This concert was sponsored by the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Foundation,

Rotair Aerospace Corporation, Cohen and Wolf Attorneys-at-Law, Greenwich Investment Management, R. D. Scinto Enterprises,

Mr. & Mrs. Roger Pocock, Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Harrington and

Britta & Richard Cerrato.

Remembering:
ROOTS OF BROADWAY
at Indian Ledge Park, Trumbull  September 5, 2020

LIVE MUSIC IS BACK!

GBS at Indian Ledge
GBS at Indian Ledge

Who were those masked men? [. . . and women?] That's GBS President Jean Moffitt in the middle with her brothers, former First Selectman Ken Halaby (R) and Sam Halaby, GBS Treasurer Bob Flemming (L), Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, and GBS Exec. Director Mark Halstead (2nd from L)

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S74#5R 143

Social distancing and wearing of masks was respected throughout the evening.

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GBS at Indian Ledge
GBS at Indian Ledge

A big stage! Most musicians are at least 6' apart. Brass and wind players are 12' apart!

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GBS at Indian Ledge
GBS at Indian Ledge

Who were those masked men? [. . . and women?] That's GBS President Jean Moffitt in the middle with her brothers, former First Selectman Ken Halaby (R) and Sam Halaby, GBS Treasurer Bob Flemming (L), Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, and GBS Exec. Director Mark Halstead (2nd from L)

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GBS outdoor concert on September 5 proves safe, popular, and "much needed."

"FROM START TO FINISH, A SMASHING SUCCESS!"

Live music, big time!  The Greater Bridgeport Symphony brought live orchestral music to Indian Ledge Park in Trumbull over Labor Day weekend.  Thirty-eight GBS musicians performed “Roots of Broadway” under the baton of guest conductor Chelsea Tipton, with vocals provided by local favorite Maureen Hamill, Raissa Katona Bennett and Gary Harger.  Four hundred fifty people attended this evening event, and the reaction was electric, on-stage and off.

 

The full-orchestra concert was the first of its kind in the state, and other orchestras have taken notice.  “This is a time like no other in our 75 years,” said GBS Executive Director Mark Halstead.  “We are constantly subject to changing conditions, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that our organization exists to bring music to the public.  We need to be bold and safe at the same time.”

 

Covid safeguards were evident throughout the venue.  Face masks were required for all, including those on stage.  Musicians were socially-distant, and every group of concertgoers was separated from each other.  Everyone entering, including musicians, had their temperatures scanned – happily, no one had to be turned away – and sanitization stations were provided, among many other precautions.  

 

Said one happy concertgoer,“We were thrilled to attend the concert.  It made us feel hopeful and encouraged for the future of live music, that you will be back!” 

 

From all of us at GBS:   INDEED WE WILL!

Remembering

SOLSTICE

at The Klein Memorial Auditorium - Saturday, December 21, 2019

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, sung by the Fairfield County Children’s Choir and the Connecticut Chamber Choir set the mood for this holiday extravaganza, December 21 at The Klein.  Maestro Eric Jacobsen led GBS in a festive program of classics mixed with new compositions, and singalong favorites.  
 

A large audience enjoyed a wonderful range of music. In keeping with the season theme — The Evolution of Music — this concert brought Bach together with a living composer (Kirke Mechem) who found his musical inspiration in Bach.  
 

A highlight of the evening was violin virtuoso Cameron Chase, co-winner of the 2019 GBS Young Instrumentalists’ Competition, who thrilled the audience with two concerti from The Four Seasons, appropriate to “Solstice” — Winter and Summer.  Said one musicologist who attended, “I’ve never heard Winter performed so beautifully.”
 

GBS premiered the orchestrated version of Midwintersong by Liam Robinson (of Hadestown fame), who was on hand for the performance.  Caroling, led by the 92 choir members, brought a festive finsh to the performance.  Lots of smiling faces going out into the first night of winter!
 

GBS was pleased to have many Bridgeport elementary school students on hand, made possible by a grant from the City.  This concert was proudly sponsored by People’s United Bank.
 

The Program
Christmas Oratorio (1734)        

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
BWV 248, Part 2


The Seven Joys of Christmas (1964)    

Kirke Mechem (b. 1925)
Fairfield County Children’s Choir, John Noyes, Director
Connecticut Chamber Choir, Michael Ciavaglia, Artistic Director


The Four Seasons (1717)        

Antonin Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Winter & Summer

Cameron Chase, violin
Co-Winner of the GBS 2019 Young Instrumentalist Competition


Midwintersong (2019)            

Liam Robinson (b. 1982)

Responses from the Audience
What a wonderful Solstice Program.  Jeff Johnson's pre-concert lecture was very helpful in appreciating fully the program.

 

It was our first time at GBS and we thoroughly enjoyed the concert, especially the incredible(!)  young soloist and the guest choruses.  We will be back!
 

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening, especially the unique musicality of the Conductor’s friend [Liam Robinson] along with the story he told about he and his wife’s process to create the piece.  Your conductor is one of the most dynamic, effective, fascinating to watch I’ve seen. May he be with [the GBS] for a long time.
 

We really enjoy when choirs and opera singers join the wonderful symphony!
 

Great collaboration with area schools! Cameron Chase was phenomenal! Midwintersong was a great debut for the season and for years to come. Kudos to Maestro for his contacts in the industry to make our eponymous GBS artists even more inspiring!
 

It was a marvelous concert.  We enjoyed it thoroughly.
 

Young Cameron is a magical and talented young man!  Great evening!

Remembering

TELLING TALES

at The Klein Memorial Auditorium - Saturday, November 2, 2019 

We plunged into the Romantic music of the late nineteenth century with a contemporary twist! We heard Antonin Dvorak’s gorgeous Moravian duets in the world premiere of a modern orchestration of these songs by Lembit Beecher, extended with a new fable of modern love by Jazimina MacNeil. Jazimina and Sarah Shafer sang these beautiful songs and our very special guest, Keir Dullea, provided the narration.

Our concert also included Johannes Brahms’ majestic Fourth Symphony, the summation of his great orchestral works. By turns lyrical, monumental, melodic, and extremely dramatic, the symphony has both Brahms’ characteristic blend of classical structures and Romantic expression.

The Program
Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) – Lembit Beecher
Love Like Water
A modern folk tale written by Jazimina MacNeil based on Antonin Dvořák’s Moravian Duets for two voices and piano, orchestrated with new music by Lembit Beecher.


With Sarah Shafer, Soprano, Jazimina MacNeil, Mezzo-Soprano, and Keir Dullea, Narrator

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897).
Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98.

Responses from the Audience

You took a chance with this selection well done!! Enjoyed the performance!!

The orchestra musicians are performing at the highest level I have ever heard them. Exquisite interpretation and execution. They flourish and soar under Eric Jacobsen’s baton.


 

Thank you for all you do to keep the music coming. Programming has been creative and wonderful and I love it! Classics and contemporary pieces. Orchestra sounds wonderful.

 

Loved the arrangement of the Beecher piece. Truly enjoy the classics with a modern accent!

Program Notes
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