Civic Orchestra of New Haven
PO Box 2909
New Haven CT 06515
Contact Information
Address PO Box 2909
New Haven, CT 06515-
Telephone (203) 592-6403 x
Fax 203-349-7107
Web and Social Media
Winter Concert

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.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1972
Organization's type of tax exempt status Exempt-Other
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Christopher Hisey
Board Chair Amanda Hetric
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $19,910.00
Projected Expenses $19,910.00

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.

Under Emerson’s 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.

1. Celebrated our 75th. year of presenting quality musical programs to the New Haven Area,
2. Spring Concert - May 2016 - With Melissa Morgan - Cellist
3. Winter Concert - December - 2016 Concert - with St. Luke's Chorus and Chorale and New Canaan High School Concert Choir.
4. Assisted Wilbur Cross High School in providing music for their graduation ceremony.
5. Collaborating with Mendelssohn Choir of CT for our May 2017 spring concert.
Increase our presence in the area to encourage continued attendance at our concerts. 
Continued collaboration with musicians and groups in the area to continue to expand our musical repertoire.
Provide opportunities for talented amateur musicians in the area to participate in  a symphonic orchestra experience.
Needs Our biggest need at the moment is financial. We are a largely dues driven organization. We are trying to keep our dues at a minimum, so dues alone do not cover our annual budget. We rely on donations, ticket sales, and an endowment through The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
CEO Statement The Civic Orchestra of New Haven has been a vital part of the New Haven Community for more than 70 years. We are made up of doctors, lawyers, music educators, and community members at large. We are the largest and oldest community based orchestra in the Greater New Haven area, the State of Connecticut and perhaps the East Coast. 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Symphony Orchestras
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Areas Served
New Haven
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
North Branford
North Haven
West Haven
The Civic Orchestra of New Haven serves the Greater New Haven area including Hamden, Essex, Guilford, Fairfield, Westport, Stratford, West Haven, North Haven, Branford and 20 other towns around the state.
The Civic Orchestra of New Haven presents two concerts each year. It has been our tradition to feature local community and school choirs in our December Concert.  The program includes both classical and orchestral works as well as traditional holiday music.  
The Spring Concert features a local professional soloist in addition to a major symphony from the orchestral repertoire.  
Population Served General/Unspecified / Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens / K-12 (5-19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Short-term success would be defined by our continuing ability to present 2 concerts a year to an appreciative audience and be able to generate the funds to support the orchestra.  
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Long-term success would be defined by the orchestra continuing to provide the New Haven area with quality musical experiences.  Young musicians would be encouraged to become members of the orchestra to enhance their musical lives.  Audience would continue to grow and the orchestra would remain a vital part of the community.  
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Success would be monitored by the orchestra's ability to attract talented musicians, perform concerts for a large audience and generate the funds to support the efforts of the orchestra.  
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. The orchestra has been in existence for over 70 years and continues to bring quality musical experiences to the New Haven Community. 
Program Comments
CEO Comments
Our primary challenge continues to be financial.   Our continuing goal is to attract audiences and donors to generate revenue needed to pay our full time Music Director and to meet other budget needs. 
Each season our musicians have the opportunity to perform major symphonic works in a full symphony orchestra.
CEO/Executive Director
Christopher Hisey
Term Start June 2004
Experience Mr. Hisey has conducted throughout the United States, Europe and in Mexico.  He has appeared with the Ruse Philharmonic and the Plevin Philharmonic in Bulgaria as well as the St. Petersburg "Klassika" Symphony, formerly the Leningrad State Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia. In addition to his duties with the Civic Orchestra of New Haven, he is the Music Director and Founder of the American Chamber Orchestra. Presently Mr. Hisey is the director of Orchestras at Greens Farms Academy and also serves as Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras and conductor of the Principal Orchestra. Mr. Hisey has also studied with Gustav Meier and has served as cover conductor for the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. 
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 60
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Music Director
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non Management Formal Evaluation No
Board Chair
Amanda Hetric
Company Affiliation Retired
Term July 2014 to June 2017
Board of Directors
Jane Farrell Librarian
Steve Grodzinsky Board VP
Christopher Hisey Music Director
Robert LaMotte
Margaret Liddell Treasurer
Jane Whitemore retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 6
Board Co-Chair
Robert LaMotte
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term July 2016 to July 2018
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30 2017
Projected Revenue $19,910.00
Projected Expenses $19,910.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$5,615$6,365$3,440
Investment Income, Net of Losses$3,250$2,080$4,176
Membership Dues$5,520$5,785$5,085
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$5,500$4,716$2,300
Administration Expense$14,260$12,835$14,154
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates$50$50$35
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.930.940.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses28%27%14%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$1,419$1,752$3,174
Current Assets$1,419$1,752$3,174
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$1,419$1,752$3,174
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Foundation Staff Comments This organization receives designated funds from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and has completed an abbreviated profile.

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by The Community Foundation.  Financial information is input by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation requires three years of financial information from the nonprofit organization; however, this requirement may not be available for some organizations due to their more recent incorporation or formation. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.


Related Information

Support Arts & Culture

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.