The Newsletter of the Fairfield County Children's Choir 

Vol.16 No. 1                               

Fall 2016

In This Issue
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Fairfield County Children's Choir  

POB 110588  

Trumbull, CT  06611  



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From the Music Director

Greetings and welcome to the 22nd Season of the Fairfield County Children's Choir! In this newsletter you will find details of our upcoming season and news from our choristers, staff and the Chamber Singers tour. The music staff of the FCCC met twice over the summer (and communicated endlessly by e-mail). On their behalf I would like to share with you how much we are constantly inspired by the enthusiasm and creative spirit of the FCCC community. We are looking forward to getting started on September 7!!

One theme for our Winter & Spring Concerts this season will be community singing. "Singing communities" may take many forms, both formal and informal, from the more than three hundred choristers of the FCCC to innumerable impromptu configurations of voices. Rollo Dilworth, our guest composer/pianist at last season's Spring Concert, recently wrote in an article entitled Creating Singing Communities in the publication The Voice, "Regardless of the term used to label a group of people making vocal music ... it is the communal nature of singing that creates the common bond." Our veteran choristers often talk about the special feeling they get when they sing in the FCCC.


Informal community singing "is not about how you sound, it is what you bring, knowing that singing together is a powerful thing and expecting that whatever you need to happen can be made to happen." These words from Ysaye Maria Barnwell, the composer of Wanting Memories, give us permission to sing our hearts out, even if the result is not very polished. A wonderful aspect of a large-group sing-along is that there is safety in numbers.


Informal singing can also be quite profound, as attested to by two established song-leaders. Bernice Johnson Reagon states, "When we sing we announce our existence." FCCC's great friend and most frequent guest artist, Nick Page says, "The ability to make and appreciate music is innate behavior coded into our genes. To be musical is to be human. Music teaches beauty. Creating beauty is an act of compassion. When we make music, we are making the world a more beautiful place. Music strengthens our cultural bonds with the past and future. Music helps to define who we are culturally. Music strengthens our cultural bonds with each other."


These writers all testify to the power of music. If these words inspire you - if you would like to experience this musical community bonding - I am pleased to invite all members of our community to join us for a special project as part of the FCCC Winter Concert. Read on...


Chorister Profiles

We have an outstanding group of seniors in the FCCC this year! It is always interesting to learn about them, their favorite songs and to hear their thoughts about the choir. Here are the first four profiles. Congratulations to these talented singers!


Name: Emma Palomba

Age: 17

School: Masuk HS

Town: Monroe

Favorite FCCC Song: Bridge Over Troubled Water



In My Own Words: I joined FCCC as a freshman and the immense impact this choir has had on my life in the span of four short years is nothing short of amazing. I have not only grown as a musician in my time here, but also as a human being. FCCC is a place I look forward to coming every week because it is a place where I know I can be with people who are as passionate about music as I am. When I am here, I am able to be stretched to my full ability and potential. Whenever I am here doing what I love with my peers and conductors who have become a family to me, it fills me with a joy that I have found few other places. I am extremely grateful to everyone who helps keep FCCC running every year, especially to all four directors. They have had such a big impact on not only my life but countless others and are a massive part of what makes this choir so special. I am not looking forward to the end of my senior year, as I know it will be difficult to leave FCCC at the end of this season, but I am incredibly grateful for the time I have had here. The lessons I have learned here (both musical and non) are ones I know I will keep with me for the rest of my life.


Name: Adele Hancock
Age: 17
School: Joel Barlow High School
Town: Easton
Favorite FCCC Song: Total Praise
In My Own Words: I found FCCC in 6th grade, and now that I am graduating, I have never wished more that I could've had two more years with this choir. It has been so much fun, and I have grown so much as a person throughout my time here. I'm grateful to have had so many wonderful opportunities, and worked with so many amazing musicians throughout my time with the choir, including our own directors. Being a part of FCCC has brought me places I'd never thought I'd go, traveling to Hawaii or Colorado, performing in amazing places like Tanglewood or Carnegie Hall. The opportunity to perform with Chamber Singers has been an honor, and a great opportunity to work with some of the most passionate musicians my age. I've met some of my best friends here in this choir and hope that everyone else can enjoy their time here as much as I have. 


Name: Ellery Saluck
Age: 17
School: Hopkins School
Town: Westport
Favorite FCCC Song: Total Praise
In My Own Words: I am incredibly proud to say that I have been a part of FCCC for 6 years. Every week I look forward to Monday and Wednesday as the choir members challenge one another to be the best they can be, under Mr. Noyes' direction and through a mutual love of music. After spending a year away from choir to focus on my studies, I truly missed singing with my talented friends at FCCC, and have returned for my last year. I started out in choir as girl who was afraid to sing in front of others and will end as a confident singer who strives to be a great leader. I appreciate what all of the teachers, staff, and parents do to make this possible. And thank you Mr. Noyes for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and for teaching me how to maximize my potential. I am so excited to be back and cannot wait to see what this year's group can do! I am ecstatic to sing at Carnegie Hall during my last year. It is really an honor and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful community.

Name: Izzy Meltzer
Age: 17
School: Wilton High School
Town: Wilton
Favorite FCCC Song: Clear Water and You Raise Me Up

In My Own Words: I remember my audition so clearly, having to wake up at 5:30 AM to drive all the way to Fairfield from Princeton, New Jersey. In seventh grade I began singing with the Princeton Girlchoir, and I fell in love with music. When I found out I was moving before Eighth Grade, I was distraught. My choir conductor from PGC informed me about the Fairfield County Children's Choir and told me to audition. Looking back, I am so thankful for having auditioned. FCCC has not only introduced me to incredible music, but has also introduced me to great people and taken me to amazing venues. I have met some of my closest friends through FCCC, and shared awesome experiences with them, such as singing in Carnegie Hall and in operas. I'm looking forward to my fifth and final year of singing with this talented group of people.

Chorister News

FCCC Chorister Colman Connolly won third place in the U12 Irish Accompaniment (against guitar, piano and harp accompanists) at his first worldwide Irish music competition in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland! He also competed in the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil (Irish Music Festival/Final) in both the Solo Accompaniment and Ceili Band competitions. Please see the link of Colman accompanying his father Damien, who just happens to be a world champion button accordionist!

We recently received this very nice note from the parents of a recent graduate. We always love to hear the news of what our former members are up to. Please keep these letters coming! Many thanks to the Agonito family!!
Kathleen and I have been wanting to write to you sooner - the summer seemed to have slipped away very quickly. We just wanted to say Thank You! For all that you have done for Patrick. The choir was such a wonderful experience that he will never forget - and neither will we... The training he received, the wonderful opportunities, the new friends, the great staff and parent volunteers, the list goes on and on.
We really appreciate all that you have done and continue to do. I'm sure that Patrick will keep in touch with you and everyone else at FCCC as he begins his college training in musical theatre. We delivered him to his college in Boston this past weekend and his studies begin in a few days once his orientation activities wind down.
Again, we cannot thank you enough for everything. Have a wonderful school year and another fantastic season of FCCC.
Jeff and Kathleen Agonito
Staff News

Concert Choir Conductor Kevin Cotellese was married to Jessica Coppola in July. The couple then enjoyed their honeymoon in Hawaii. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Cotellese!!

Ashley Zadravecz Chorus Conductor Ashley Zadravecz has accepted a position at North Stratfield School in Fairfield as the K-5 general music and 5th grade chorus teacher. She also completed her Level 3 Kodaly certification at the Hartt School and is officially certified in the Kodaly method of music education. "
Becoming certified in the Kodaly method at the Hartt School was life changing for me. I now know why I am teaching in a certain sequence and know exactly how teach it. The students are also very successful in this method," said Ashley. Congratulations Miss Z!!
Jon Noyes

Music Director Jon Noyes was scheduled to present a workshop at the Feierabend Association for Music Education Biennial Conference in Boston in July. (However, he was unable to attend due to an injury from a bicycling accident. He has been invited to present at the next conference in Chicago.)
New Orleans Tour - June 2015
For the third time in our history the Chamber Singers attended the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans! The musical highlights included singing at a Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the final festival concert at the historic St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, and our visit to the world-famous Preservation Hall where we not only enjoyed a concert by the band but we also joined in on a few selections (Basin Street Blues, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?, The Saints Go Marching In and You Are My Sunshine). A few of our choristers were even able to take a few solos! (Check out the FCCC YouTube channel for some of these performances!)
The touring highlights included a tour of the historic French Quarter which began in Congo Square where jazz was born and ended in Jackson Square at the Café du Monde for beignets ; a visit to the bayou outside of New Orleans where the alligators were so close to the boat you could touch them (but only the tour boat captains actually did!) ; a dinner and demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking; a visit to the Aquarium; lunch at the Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company; and a dinner/dance cruise on the Riverboat Natchez along the Mississippi River.
Tours are one of the most important aspects of the Chamber Singers' experience - they help to broaden our chorister's worldview and form deep friendships. Along with incredible musical experiences, tours provide our choristers with lessons that last a lifetime.
Cruise on the Mississippi River

The Massed Festival Choirs

Bayou Tour and a special visitor!

Concerts & Events  

"One Voice - The Sound of All of Us"

Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 3 pm
Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT


Music is important in our lives whether it is sung by one person or a thousand. The opening FCCC concert will feature many wonderful holiday pieces, talented soloists and singers galore! The title of the program comes from the text of one of our pieces and relates to our season-long theme of community singing. For this concert we will invite family, alumni and friends to join us on stage for our entire finale. The selections will include Dona Nobis Pacem, Haida and Bridge Over Troubled Water, after which the entire audience will join in on Winter Wonderland. We are thrilled to present masterpieces by Bach and Biebl. Our audience will also hear Deck the Halls, We Need a Little Christmas, Coventry Carol, Angels We Have Heard on High and You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, among many others!   

"Wickedly Beautiful Broadway"
Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 7 pm

Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT

We are pleased to present highlights from the smash Broadway hits Wicked, Beauty and the Beast, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical and Hello Dolly! In addition to rousing choruses, our amazing soloists will step into the spotlight to add their unique interpretations of the songs we all love. The fantastic FCCC orchestra will join us on stage and add its own pizzazz to this not-to-be-missed evening of story and song!   


"Music Makes the World Go Round "

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 7 pm

Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT


The final regular season concert will again focus on community, this time featuring classic folk songs and many beloved rounds. With selections from the 13th Century through today, you will experience sparkling gems that will warm your heart and masterpieces that will inspire your soul. Enjoy the beautiful melodies of How Can I Keep From Singing and O Music, Sweet Music, be enthralled by the sound of the young voices and join in with us as we celebrate singing as a community!

Support the Choir
Donate Now Musical Note
 A contribution to the Fairfield County Children's Choir is an investment in the future! We train outstanding young performers and help them to grow - both as musicians and as responsible, caring young adults. Your support makes it possible for us to bring our world-class choir experience to musically talented children, many of whom receive tuition assistance. Your gift is tax deductible and we gratefully thank you for your generosity. 
 Concert Calendar 2016-2017
(CS-Chamber Singers; CC-Concert Choir; CH-Chorale; Ch-Chorus)
Sept 7
First rehearsal
Oct 15
FCCC sings the National Anthem @ Sound Tigers Opening Night
Webster Bank Arena - On the Ice! 7 PM

Nov 10
Broadway Concert solo auditions (not mandatory) 6 - 8 PM
Dec 1
Carnegie Hall - CS & CC Kate Winslet Golden Hat Foundation
Dec 4
Winter Concert, One Voice - The Sound of All of Us Klein Memorial Auditorium,  3 PM 
New Paradigm Theater at FTC (Ch)
Dec 10
Music For Youth concert - St Thomas Church, Fairfield 7 PM (CS)
Dec  TBD

Feb 4
Br oadway Concert & Auction - Wickedly Beautiful Broadway - Klein Memorial Auditorium - 7:00 PM
March 18
Greater Bridgeport Symphony - Bernstein Chichester Psalms (CS)
Fairfield Holocaust Commemoration - 7:30 PM - Fairfield (CS)
May 13
Spring Concert - Music Makes the World Go Around - Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University - 7:00 PM
June TBD
Summer Tour (CS)

Remember the FCCC motto:
    "Have Fun Being Awesome!"