The Civic Orchestra of New Haven gathers with the intent of: making music at a very high level; providing members the opportunity to learn advanced orchestral repertoire; offering the general public access to music twice annually through performances; and establishing a greater sense of community music in our area through collaborations with other ensembles throughout Southern Connecticut.
History of the
Civic Orchestra of New Haven
In 1939, founding
conductor Harry Berman conceived the idea of an adult orchestra whose members
played not for compensation but for enjoyment. He was able to put together a
group of 30 advanced amateur musicians for a first rehearsal in his studio.
They began preparations for their first concert, given on April 7, 1941 at
Sprague Memorial Hall on the Yale University campus under the name of Business
and Professional Men’s Orchestra of New Haven.
In its early years,
the orchestra’s repertoire consisted primarily of works by Gilbert and
Sullivan, light classical pieces, and traditional compositions by Haydn,
Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven. In the 1960’s, when Harry Berman stepped
down and Gordon Emerson began conducting the orchestra, the group began to
include soloists and local choruses as part of its programs.
direction, the orchestra expanded its repertoire to include local, state and
world premieres of works by composers such as Carlos Chavez, Charles Ives,
Leonard Bernstein, Henry Cowell and others. In addition, the Civic Orchestra of
New Haven began offering the opportunity for gifted local artists to perform
solos in major works accompanied by the orchestra, and the group’s annual
Holiday performance often includes local choruses.
Under current Music
Director Christopher James Hisey’s direction, the Civic Orchestra of New Haven
continues its nearly 70-year tradition of offering two annual performances in
the heart of downtown New Haven. The programming is primarily in the classical
arena, and Maestro Hisey’s creative direction with the group welcomes
collaboration with local composers and soloists.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater New Haven is home to a thriving arts community that includes theatre, music, dance and the visual arts. It is invested in its museums, historic preservation and the celebration of its members’ ethnic and cultural diversity.
70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06150
(203) 777-2386 giveGreater@cfgnh.org
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