The Newsletter of the Fairfield County Children's Choir 

Vol.17 No. 1                                  

Fall 2017

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  
  Jon Noyes
Greetings and welcome to the twenty-third season of the Fairfield County Children's Choir! As I write this, the memories of last season's events are still fresh in my mind. The FCCC Chamber Singers returned from an incredible concert tour of Ireland just one month ago. I hope you will enjoy reading below about the trip and the poignant letters we received from some of the parents who attended. This edition of Quarternotes also includes a great deal of news from our choristers, alumni, staff and our concert schedule.
For the upcoming season we have planned many outstanding concert programs full of wonderful choral selections of all kinds. One theme for our Winter & Spring Concerts this season will be community singing, completing a three-year cycle of community music-making. Some of the ways we have celebrated this theme included caroling projects and inviting parents, alumni and friends to sing with the Choir. In May our Spring Concert featured rounds recommended for family singing in the car or everywhere. This season we will continue many of those same projects and include a number of compositions by our own choristers, celebrating yet another way of making music in our community. Read More...
From the President
Marina Philips On behalf of the board of the Fairfield County Children's Choir, I'd like to welcome you to FCCC's 23rd season! Thank you to all our choristers, staff and conductors for making our last season an outstanding one. Thank you, as well, to all the parents and volunteers who do so much, from taking attendance at choir rehearsals to helping run our annual fund-raising event.
Over the years, I have watched FCCC grow under the leadership of Jon Noyes, our Music Director, from a small startup to a mature, stable and world-renowned choir. A part of our mission statement reads as follows: "FCCC helps to foster the personal, musical and social growth of each child, promoting self-esteem and self-discipline." Many of our alumni have experienced this in their own lives, and have continued to indulge their passion for music by becoming performers, educators and conductors. In fact, two of our alumni, Ashely Zadravecz and Jacqueline Sugrue, have come back to the choir as conductors! Surely, there is no better testament to the choir's effectiveness.
I have been associated with FCCC since 1996, first when my son George joined the choir, then when my daughter Rachel followed in his footsteps. Later, I became a member of the board and now serve as its president. It has been an extraordinary journey, one that I am delighted I embarked on. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask each one of you to get involved with, and to contribute to, the choir, in any way you can. You will not be disappointed - FCCC is truly "Where the Music Comes From."
Have a wonderful season!
Marina Philips
News from the Board of Directors 
The members of the FCCC Board of Directors welcome Judy Hart as our newest member. She has been involved with the FCCC for the past seven years as the parent of graduating senior and Chamber Singers President Hallie Lavin. She has also been the organizer of the Meadow Ridge Senior Living Community concert for the past three years. Judy is an attorney from Westport, holding degrees from Tufts University and Northeastern University. Upon her invitation to join the FCCC Board, Judy stated, "I believe in what this choir does. I would support it in any way I can."

The FCCC is very pleased to introduce our new Concert Choir conductor, Jacqueline Sugrue! Miss Sugrue is a graduate of The Hartt School in Hartford and Columbia University, and she holds two Kodaly certification levels from BYU in Utah. She presently performs in Connecticut's two professional choirs, CONCORA Connecticut Choral Artists and VOCE. She is an outstanding vocalist and pianist. She has taught music in Bridgeport, Panama and West Hartford (one of the top music departments in the United States). Next year she will teach music in the Westport Public Schools. Miss Sugrue grew up in Fairfield, attending Jennings Elementary, Fairfield Woods MS and Fairfield Warde HS. She was a member of the FCCC for six years. In the photo below, taken in the hallway of our hotel in Hawaii in 2005 just after a concert, Miss Sugrue is second from the right. (These are the old FCCC uniforms.)

A note from Miss

Zoltan Kodaly once said, "Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime." This specific moment for me was in fourth grade at my first FCCC rehearsal. I remember sitting in the band room at Fairfield Woods and Mr. Noyes raising his hands to conduct us in singing America the Beautiful. After a few measures, I had to stop singing and I just listened, because the sound that filled the room was so beautiful. I was overwhelmed by being a part of such high quality music making! When I rejoined the singing I knew that this was something very special, and from then on I have been on a constant search for opportunities to sing and play music with others.
Alumni News
Three of our former choristers were married over the summer and they all called on their FCCC connections to help them celebrate!
Former FCCC chorister Katie Kearney was married to Bobby Guelich on June 10. In March, Katie's mother, Mary-Jane, contacted Jon Noyes with the request that the FCCC Chamber Singers surprise the bride and groom at the wedding by singing The Beatles' All You Need Is Love, as done in one of their favorite movies, Love Actually. Mary-Jane asked her good friend, Peggy Rein, to help in the planning of the flash-mob-style choreography. Peggy's daughter and son, former FCCC choristers Sarah and Max, helped in the planning and also performed at the wedding.
Preparations and rehearsals were proceeding well when, two weeks prior to the wedding, things took an interesting turn. Katie contacted Mr. Noyes to ask that a small group of singers accompany her on The Only One Who Gets Me by Charles Kelley at the wedding rehearsal dinner on June 9, and that this was to be a surprise to her family and the groom. By the time the details were arranged, there was only one Chamber Singers rehearsal remaining prior to the wedding. For this rehearsal, Katie was scheduled to rehearse one hour prior to the regular rehearsal and Peggy, Sarah and Max were scheduled to rehearse the Beatles song for the last 45 minutes of the rehearsal. Happily, everything worked as planned at the rehearsal, the dinner and the wedding ceremony!
In the photo above, Katie Kearney is on the left and Sarah Rein is in the center. The others in this group of superstars are Lauren Leppla on the right and Maggie McGowan.
Two former FCCC choristers, George Philips (son of Marina, our Board President) and Lena Isenberg, were married this summer on July 2. Given their musical backgrounds, (George is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and currently teaches music in the Boston area!) they decided to replace their rehearsal dinner with a concert including performances by many of their close friends. One segment of the concert included a sextet of former FCCC choristers singing three of our all-time favorite pieces. Sing Me to Heaven, Song For The Mira and When I Fall in Love were performed by Arianna Giorgetti, Katie Jenks, Rachel Philips, Ann Victor, Kate Victor and Sara Victor.
Congratulations to Katie, George and Lena!!!
Chorister Profiles-FCCC Seniors!
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. Below is the first group of profiles for this season. Congratulations to these talented singers!

Name: Emily Erikson 
Age: 16
School: Fairfield Warde HS 
Town: Fairfield 
Favorite FCCC Song: Wanting Memories, Biebl Ave Maria
In Your Own Words: I joined in eighth grade, and I would give anything to have been here longer! The conductors and choristers are all so passionate about the music, which makes our performances so meaningful. Being a member of the Chamber Singers has helped me grow so much as a musician, and even more as a person. The people I have grown close with over the past 4 years are some of my closest friends; we have traveled the world together and shared so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Coming to choir never fails to put a smile on my face. I will never forget this immeasurable experience. It has given me so much, and I will truly miss it.
Name: Dasha Bazile  
Age: 17
School: Notre Dame Catholic HS
Town: Bridgeport 
Favorite FCCC Song: Total Praise, Biebl Ave Maria, Sing Me To Heaven, Bridge Over Troubled Water. The list can go on, I couldn't choose one! 
In Your Own Words: Wow. I honestly can't even believe that I'm writing this right now. It's funny because last year I knew this day would come and I was practicing what I would say, yet I still can't find the words to express the feelings and emotions that I have about FCCC. The past 6 years of my life have been filled with amazing memories not everyone can experience, and I will always cherish them. I remember my first day in choir and I was a nervous wreck! I was quickly welcomed into the choir and I was blessed enough to be put into Chamber Singers my second year. While being in chambers, I was brought in with open arms and have made some amazing friends. Choir has been a part of me and it's going to be so weird not having anything to do Mondays and Wednesdays! I personally would like to thank Mr. Noyes as well as all of the other conductors for giving me such a great opportunity in expanding my knowledge of music, teaching me all the fundamentals, believing in me, and of course having fun while being awesome! Coming from someone who barely knew how to read music upon arrival, it is safe to say that I am leaving with a great understanding of music. I am truly blessed to have been in such a prestigious group. 

Name: Isabella Cassone 
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe HS 
Town: Fairfield  
Favorite FCCC Song: Total Praise, O Magnum Mysterium, Biebl Ave Maria, Sing Me to Heaven, Wanting Memories 
In Your Own Words:Simply put, FCCC is a part of me. Ever since I was 9, I knew this choir was going to change and develop me into who I am today. I went from a shy, insecure singer with an immature voice, to a confident chorister. I began to believe in myself and my abilities through learning from each different instructor, which was the greatest gift I could receive. It was then that I changed from a scared singer to a leader and role model for younger students. With the dedication of Mr. Noyes and each choir instructor, I was able to flourish. I became confident, well-learned on various repertoire that I would not have otherwise known, and made some of the closest friends I could ask for. Not to mention that the professionalism of this choir gave me an experience only few can truly encounter in their life, let alone at such a young age. I am currently the Vice President of Chamber Singers, and I feel honored to assume a title so grand. The opportunities this choir offers its students are incredible. Without FCCC, I definitely would not be the person I am today.
  Name: Jackie Konstanty 
  Age: 17
  School: Fairfield Ludlowe HS 
  Town: Fairfield
  Favorite Song: Total Praise, Siyahamba 
In Your Own Words : I cannot believe I am going into my sixth and final year of being in the FCCC Chamber Singers. It has been an honor and a fantastic experience! I met some of my best friends here and had opportunities I never would have had if I hadn't been in this choir. With FCCC I sang at Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall (twice!), Madison Square Garden, and even participated in a flash mob which was featured in an advertisement during the Super Bowl! The passion the singers and directors have for creating great music is inspiring and unforgettable. I hope that current members take advantage of their time in choir and enjoy it as much as I have! 
Name: Shoshana Markel
Age: 17
School: Staples HS
Town: Westport 
Favorite FCCC Song: Total Praise
In Your Own Words: My experience in the Fairfield County Children's Choir is one I will always cherish for its richness in music, and its value in self discipline and perseverance. I learned the reward of hard work by performing pieces of music at their highest level of tonal quality and musicality. I blended my voice with fellow choristers to create a harmony felt amongst us. We shared a passion for singing and felt joy when performing. We were always supported and encouraged by our exceptionally talented conductors and accompanists. We created bonds and friendships together. The choir was my happy place to go to on Monday and Wednesday evenings; an evening that would always lift up my spirits and bring a sense of calm to me after trying days at school. FCCC provided an experience to me that goes far beyond putting into words on paper. It was an experience that will always bring a smile to my face. I feel honored for having been able to participate in a children's choir of this caliber. I will miss everyone.
Aleksandra Blitzer

Name: Alexander Blitzer 
Age: 17
School: Hopkins School
Town: Westport 
Favorite FCCC Song: One Voice , A New Year Carol
In Your Own Words: I n my 3rd grade music classroom, I came across the FCCC brochure tacked to a bulletin board, and was fortunate enough to have been accepted into the choir for my 4th grade year. It was such a stroke of luck to have found FCCC at that age because by the end of this year I will have been with the choir for 9 years. I feel so lucky to have spent most of my childhood singing with FCCC and to have been with the choir for the maximum amount of time. FCCC has truly revolutionized the way I view music, singing and how to be a part of a group. I've learned so many valuable lessons about camaraderie, tenacity, endurance and focus that I will forever apply to singing and life in general. FCCC has always been such a consistent beacon of light for me each week for as long as I can remember and I truly can't imagine my life without this very special choir. Thank you to all my fellow singers and conductors who have pushed me to become a better musician and a better person.  Being an FCCC chorister has filled me with so much pride for the past 9 years, and I'm so grateful to have sung with such a passionate, talented group for so many years.
Ireland Tour - June 23-July 1, 2017
For the second time in ten years, the FCCC Chamber Singers visited Ireland on our annual summer tour! We performed five concerts and two Masses over nine days, in addition to numerous impromptu events. We departed Fairfield Woods Middle School on Friday, June 23 at 1:30 PM, arriving in Ireland at 6:00 AM (1:00 AM Eastern US time) on Saturday. At 1:00 PM we performed our first concert in Limerick at St. Augustine's Church as part of the Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, even though some choristers had fallen asleep (due to jet lag) while listening to some of the other choirs. We then toured St. John's Castle, built between 1200 and 1210, and attended a festival concert in the evening.
On Sunday we traveled to Adare for another well-received concert at the Holy Trinity Church. Later that evening we enjoyed a singing dinner with another of the Limerick Festival choirs.  Read More... 
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliff Walk
Cliff Walk
Abbey Tavern
Library, Dublin

 Click on videos below to experience our trip! 
Songs We Performed 
Songs We Performed On Our  
Ireland Trip 2017
Video Montage 
Video Montage by chorister Aleksandra Suvorova
Below are letters from parents or grandparents who attended their first FCCC Chamber Singers trip. For more parent letters, click here 
Hi Jon,
First off, I will apologize that I am still basking in the glow of an incredible trip to Ireland with the FCCC Chamber group. I am still struggling to eloquently summarize how this trip affected not only my daughter, but from what I could see, all the choristers and lastly myself.
When Anna made the Chamber group this past year, you outlined the commitment upfront that was required, from not only the youth, but also from the parent(s). This commitment spoke to time, enthusiasm, and effort, responsibility to the Chamber group, money and simply our investment to the Chamber group.
After this past year's experiences of watching them perform and grow, culminating in even more incredible performances in Ireland, I can say with full conviction, this investment will shape my daughter's life.
From the moment we set off on the tour to Ireland, you impressed upon them the importance of accountability, not only for themselves but also to the entire group. Watch out for one another, make sure we are together and be a team. For the entire week, I witnessed this group work as one, not only when they were singing, but all week and to take genuine care of each other. This reflects on your leadership as you treated them with respect and they returned that respect. The tour allowed this team to experience life well beyond the scope of where we live and let them understand how large the world is and how diverse it is. That is a true investment in the growth of these individuals. Singing in 800+ year old churches with their voices gently echoing will be a memory that lasts a lifetime. I still get chills watching the videos. The tour was so well planned that we were able to see the big and small of Ireland and learn so much about their culture and history. Again showing how young America is in the grand scheme of things.  As a parent, it was wonderful to watch the group experience so much but at a pace to appreciate it as well.
I am very excited for what the future holds for my daughter as she continues with FCCC Chamber! See you very soon.
Tom Wilder
Dear Jon,
It has been three weeks since our return from Ireland and we just can't get that trip out of our heads. It was truly a trip of a lifetime for Ella, Christina and myself. We were just looking at our photos and wishing we were still there.
The week we returned everyone asked us "what was your favorite part of the trip?" and "what impressed you the most?" For me it was a simple answer: THE CHOIR! While we loved every second of beautiful Ireland, the thing that will stick with us forever is THE CHOIR!
What you have done with that group of children defies explanation. The sound that is generated when those 38 kids open their mouths can only be described as heavenly, angelic. This is not just praise from a very proud parent. We were approached by local Irish folk at every church and festival and told the same. The people of Ireland who witnessed these kids singing were blown away.
We were approached by an elderly woman at Clonard Monastery after the show. She said the choirs singing was other worldly but what impressed her the most was the focus and the discipline these children had the second you raised your hand before the first note. She said that the focus and discipline these children have will translate into everything they do for the rest of their lives. Wise words from a wise woman. 
From the trip launch at JFK to the return flight from Shannon, the focus and discipline reached way beyond their singing. When you asked the kids to line up for a head count they did it within seconds (like the Von Trapp children without the whistle). Never having to be asked a second time. Never goofing around. That made us as parents feel like our daughter was very safe and in good hands at all times throughout our Irish Adventure.
One final memory sticks with me as I reflect on the trip. Our last night in Galway, the kid's very proud bus driver, Colin, asked them to perform for the hotel staff and guests. It was like HE was the proud parent of these kids. Jon, you went up to lead the kids one last time but turned to them and said, "you guys know what you're doing, take it away!" As the children launched into their favorite Gaelic tune I watched their faces. The smiles, the laughs, the tears, the pride. It was at that final moment they realized how GOOD they were!  How special that moment was. How special this week was. It was a moment frozen in time. It was a moment that you created for us all through your tireless dedication to this choir. It was a moment that we will never ever forget.
To you and the CHOIR, we can NEVER thank you enough for these moments we all shared that late June in Ireland. It was Grand!
Thank you so much,
Kyle and Christina Miller

FCCC Music Director Jon Noyes will be the guest conductor of the Middle School Honor Choir at the American Choral Director's Association (CT Chapter) in Manchester on October 21, 2017. He will present a workshop entitled Teaching Music Literacy with the Brain in Mind at the Feierabend Association for Music Education Biennial Conference in Chicago in July, 2018.
FCCC Chorus Conductor Ashley Zadravecz spent five weeks at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford working on her graduate degree in choral conducting. There, she took a learning theories course, which she can directly apply to her general music teaching, as well as two music history courses. She also studied choral conducting with Dr. Ed Bolkovac and choral methods with Dr. Julie Hagen. Miss Zadravecz is enjoying her August by spending time with friends and family and going to the beach. 
Donna Beatty's summer "began with a fabulous trip to Ireland with the FCCC Chamber Singers. The concert performances were wonderful, the venues were beautiful and the scenic touring was spectacular. Since returning home I've been enjoying my family and even welcomed my 6th grandchild! As the summer winds down, I am looking forward to learning new music and working with next year's choristers."
Executive Director Position
Beginning two years ago, the FCCC Board of Directors worked with an arts consultant to undertake an assessment of our management structure. This work has led to the creation of a new Executive Director position to start on January 1, 2018. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please forward the description which may be accessed by clicking here.
 Concert Calendar 2017-2018
(CS-Chamber Singers; CC-Concert Choir; CH-Chorale; Ch-Chorus)
September 6
All FCCC First Rehearsal
October 21
Sound Tigers Opening NIght Webster Bank Arena,
7:00 PM (FCCC)

November 2
Broadway Concert solo audition (not mandatory)
 6:00 - 8:00 PM FWMS

December 3
Winter Concert-Klein Auditorium-3:00 PM
December 9
Music for Youth Concert - St. Thomas Church Fairfield 7:00 PM (CS)
December 16 & 17
New Paradigm Theater (Ch)
Sat @ 7:00 PM/Sun @ 3:00 PM


February 3
Broadway Concert & Auction Concert - Klein Auditorium 7:00 PM,
Music from Anastasia, Bye Bye Birdie, Cats and The Music Man 
March 3
Greater Bridgeport Symphony - Faure Requiem (CS) Time TBD
March 13
Duke University Chorale (CS) - Greenfield Hill Congregational  Church, 7:00 PM
March 24
Kids4Kids concert w/GBYO at Bernhard Center, U. Bridgeport 7:00 PM (All FCCC)
April TBD
Fairfield Holocaust Commemoration - 7:30 PM Fairfield (CS)
May 12
Spring Concert - Klein Auditorium - 7:00 PM
July 6-14
Summer Tour to California (CS) dates tentative
Remember the FCCC motto:
"Have Fun Being Awesome!"
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.