The students in the select Farmington High School Chamber Singers got the chance of a lifetime recently when they took the stage with the Hartford Chorale and Hartford Symphony Orchestra to open the HSO's 69th season.
The students joined professional musicians in performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Belding Theatre, Oct. 11-14 for four sold-out performances.
"This collaborative production provides students with mentors who are professional musicians and promotes lifelong learning in the arts. Additionally our young musicians will perform one of the most well known choral works of all time in a professional production, it is an incredible opportunity!" said Leslie Imse, Farmington Public Schools Music Department Chair and conductor of the FHS Chamber Singers.
In addition to Imse, Hartford Symphony Orchestra's Carolyn Kuan and the Hartford Chorale's Richard Coffey conducted the symphony, which Imse calls "Beethoven at his most revolutionary and philosophical – including its exuberant finale, the “Ode to Joy” chorus."
Coffey, Music Director of the Hartford Chorale, is one of New England's principal choral conductors. In 1974, Coffey founded and is still Music Director of CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), a fully professional vocal ensemble. Coffey is also organist and Minister of Music of the South Church in New Britain, where he conducts a choir of professional and amateur singers and serves as artistic director of its Music Series, which annually presents concerts by visiting artists.
The Farmington High School Chamber Singers directed by Leslie Imse previously performed with CONCORA in their Extraordinary. Imse’s choirs have performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Carolyn Kuan at the Talcott Mountain Music Festivals.