The Newsletter of the Fairfield County Children's Choir 

Vol.15 No. 1                              

Fall 2015

In This Issue
Season Sponsor

Progress in Lending

Progress in Lending


Fairfield County Children's Choir  POB 110588  

Trumbull, CT  06611  



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Dept of economic 

Chorus America
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From the Music Director

Greetings and welcome to the 21st Season of the Fairfield County Children's Choir! As we enter our third decade we look forward to making great music together in many wonderful venues, as we have for the past two decades. We also look back on last season with fond memories and great pride. At the FCCC Spring Concert in May we received a proclamation from Fairfield's First Selectman, Michael Tetreau, declaring "2015 as The Fairfield County Children's Choir Year" in celebration of our 20th anniversary! So we have more celebrating to do in the months ahead!
A special feature of the Spring Concert was the great group of alumni who joined us on stage. It was very nice to see them and a lot of fun to sing together again. The concert program was selected by our choristers, families and audience members by a survey. The most common comment we received with the surveys, which asked for your five favorite selections, was that limiting the choices to just five made the task too difficult. This is a testament to the richness of the repertoire we perform. As I have said here many times: If music be food for the soul, then the FCCC serves up a well-balanced, highly nutritious feast (apologies to Shakespeare)!
In the fall newsletter I often share quotes from my summer reading. As I write this in mid August I am reading Being Mortal - Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, a book given to me by a family member which has very little mention of music. However, as I read this key passage about "what matters," it occurred to me that there is a strong connection:
"What more is it that we need in order to feel that life is worthwhile? The answer ... is that we all seek a cause beyond ourselves ... an intrinsic human need. The cause could be large (family, country, principle) or small (a building project, the care of a pet). The important thing was that, in ascribing value to the cause and seeing it as worth making sacrifices for, we give our lives meaning."
I believe that for so many of our choristers music is that cause. The sacrifices include the long and challenging weekly rehearsals. As testament to the value our choristers ascribe to the choir I would direct you to our Chorister Profiles and Alumni News below (and those columns in past issues). As stated by senior Katherine Waugh, "FCCC has meant the world to me."

In this newsletter you will find details of our upcoming season, news from our choristers, alumni, staff and Board of Directors, information about our new 20th Anniversary CD and news from the Chamber Singers tours.
Remember the FCCC motto:
"Have Fun Being Awesome!"

The 2015-2016 Season
In celebrating our 20th Anniversary last season, our theme was "The Best of the FCCC
which involved programming many of the favorite selections from our previous nineteen years. To keep things fresh, our theme for the 2015 Winter Concert will be " Ring In the New !" All of the selections will be brand new to the FCCC, excepting our traditional performance of  Angels We Have Heard on High.
For our first performance of the season the FCCC will sing the National Anthem for Opening Night of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey team on October 10 at the Webster Arena. The Fairfield County Youth Choir (Chamber Singers & Concert Choir combined) will then open the Klein Auditorium's 75th Anniversary Celebration Concert on November 14 with 
Bridge Over Troubled Water  and other selections. We will also perform on the finale with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras, the New England Ballet and others. We also plan to again undertake our caroling project that was so successful and rewarding last year. Read More...
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: Katherine Waugh
Age: 17
School: Joel Barlow High School
Town: Easton, CT
Favorite FCCC Song: There are so many!
Kayama,Homeland, Total Praise
Laudate Dominum, Nigra Sum
In Your Own Words 
FCCC has meant the world to me. I've benefited not only musically, but socially and personally through the nine years I've been a part of this amazing group. I've met some of my best friends in FCCC - best friends that I know I can count on not just for my last year in high school but for many years to come. FCCC has taught me to be confident in myself and to believe that I can achieve great things. I've transformed from a shy fourth grader to a twelfth grader ready to prosper in college and beyond. I am now at a point musically that I can attribute wholly to the tutelage and support of all the directors and accompanists of FCCC. Not only have I learned about all different styles of music and about music theory, but I have learned about becoming more emotionally expressive. And through this emotional expression, music has become a very deep passion, and it is very refreshing to walk into a room twice a week and be surrounded by kind people who are all passionate about the same thing - music. What FCCC has given as a result of all of these things: musical improvement, confidence, and friends, is something irreplaceable and something I will value for the rest of my life.

Name: Jared Bovine 
Age: 17 
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School 
Town: Fairfield  
Favorite FCCC Song: Nigra Sum
In Your Own Words
It is crazy to consider that this is the last of nine years in FCCC! My experience with this choir has not only been one of building music skills, but has also shown me the value in the notion of being able to "do what you love with people you love." Whenever I am asked by Mr. Noyes to explain the meaning of the choir in about a minute or so, I am at a loss for words. To explain my full experience in choir is to try to explain the meaning of numerous tours, countless new friends, and dozens of life lessons to other people. I am extremely thankful for all of the people I have met along the way; from the seniors of my first year in chamber who treated me as one of their own, right down to the new batch of sixth graders from this year's group. It is unique to be able to claim a group of friends from one activity whose ages range from 11 to 23 (the approximate current age of the people who were seniors when I started chamber). I would like to thank Mr. Noyes for not only getting me involved with this choir, but for also being the man who, in elementary school, pushed me to start piano lessons; a path which has brought me to the point where I attend a weekly pre-college program in the city, and which has inspired me to consider music throughout college. I hope that everyone has as great an experience as I, and would like to thank everyone involved in the choir for showing me how music can be a way of life.

Name: Lauren Smith
Age: 17
School: K12 International Academy
Town: Trumbull
Favorite FCCC Song: Let There Be Peace on Earth

In Your Own Words
I only joined FCCC last year, but it has had a significant impact on me as both a singer and a person. I had never been in a choral ensemble before, so everything from blending voices to shaping the vowels was new to me. I soon found myself opening up to ask questions of peers and conductors, growing more confident and secure with every rehearsal. I had a bit of a rough year with school, but FCCC was always the highlight of my week, giving me the freedom and expression that were sometimes hard to find when bogged down with homework. I got the wonderful opportunity to sing for the first time at Carnegie Hall in the choir and with my orchestra at the Kids for Kids concert and look forward to singing at several wonderful venues this year, perhaps my favorite being New Orleans. I am excited to make more new friends and incredible memories in my last year at home, but I'm also a little sad, too, that the next time I see Mr. Noyes and Cotellese and Ms. Bettke after next summer will be as an alumnus.  Their encouragement and feedback have truly been a blessing, and I look forward to the possibility of working with them again after this year.

Name: Sarah Kryspin
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Clear Water

In Your Own Words  
Since fourth grade I've been singing my heart out every Wednesday night in FCCC. Choir has instilled in me a huge appreciation for live sung music, and most especially, the choir experience. Singing all together, practicing together, eating frantically in the Green room together, sweating on stage together... it all inspires the beloved communal choir experience. I want to thank all of our conductors but especially the brilliant Mr. Noyes and Mr. Cotellese. From seventh grade to present, Mr. Cotellese's quick criticisms and witty remarks have sharpened my musical abilities, helping me appreciate good diction and phrasing more than any other conductor. Thank you, FCCC. You have brought me to Carnegie Hall and West Point, let me sing with Broadway stars and genius composers, and indulged me in all genres. I will never forget this amazing choir!

FCCC Staff/Board News

Kevin Cotellese conducted the Concert Choir for the Monroe Music Enrichment Camp this summer. He presently serves as the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) Western Region Choir Chair. He was also
ap pointed as the director for the Wilton Singers. Kevin also enjoyed summer travel to Barcelona, Paris, and London.

Lisa Bettke will be accompanying the Wilton Singers in concert under Kevin's direction. Lisa moved to Trumbull this spring and has spent time this summer settling into her new house. She enjoyed summer travel to Maine, Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Ashley Zadravecz undertook a two-week summer course at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford to become certified in the Kodaly Method of Music Education. The courses include: Folksong research with Jeff Rhone, Solfege with Gabor Viragh, Kodaly choir with Ed Bolkovac, and Methodology with John Feierabend. She will complete Kodaly level 3 next summer and will then be officially certified in the Kodaly Method. Ashley will also be singing with Kevin and Lisa in the Wilton Singers! And she enjoyed summer travel in Ocean City New Jersey. (See her interview below.)

Jon Noyes will be the 'headliner' - presenting four workshop sessions- at the Maryland Music Educators Annual Conference in Baltimore in February, 2016. He will also serve as the Guest Conductor for the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) Southern Region Middle School Choir in March, 2016. After the Chamber Singers trip, Jon climbed Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with his wife and daughter, and bicycled around Cape Cod, Seneca Lake in NY, Orange, Milford, West Haven and Woodbridge.
* * * * * * * *
FCCC Board of Directors President Joe Peri resigned his position in June. Joe joined the Board in 2003 and has served as President since 2008. His expertise helped to guide the FCCC from a series of very challenging budgets in his early years to much improved budgets more recently. In his letter to the Executive Board Joe writes:
"It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to work and serve with all of you, and the others on the board. Jon, I greatly respect what you have done and continue to do to positively and profoundly impact so many young people. Please continue to keep me on the mailing lists, as I would like to keep following this wonderful organization. I wish you and the organization great success going forward."
Thank you, Joe, for your outstanding service and dedication to the Fairfield County Children's Choir!

* * * * * * * *
Staff Interview with Ashley Zadravecz

1. How did you get involved with the FCCC?
I became a chorister of FCCC when I was going into 8th grade. Being in the choir and experiencing all I did were some of the reasons that led me to major in music education at Western Connecticut State University. During my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to student teach with Jon Noyes and help out with a few choir sectionals during the year. The next year, I received a call from him asking if I would be interested in interviewing for one of the conductor positions. I was absolutely thrilled because my biggest dream was to one day become a conductor. Influencing my choristers the way that FCCC influenced me while I was younger is so special and I am so happy to be a part of it.

2. What are some of the factors which have inspired you to remain with the choir for two years?

The Fairfield County Children's Choir is such a great organization that Jon Noyes founded. It's incredible to think how much this organization has grown since 1995, and how we now have more than 300 singers in the choir and are known around the world! Children who are a part of FCCC are hard-working, passionate and wonderful people who love to sing. To be able to teach kids who are so passionate about singing as I am is what makes me excited about coming back each year. For full interview, click here.
Alumni News
Dear Jon,
I thought you would be proud to know that FCCC alum Katherine Brandt has been offered a 2-year contract with Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. It is a dream come true for her ... and that dream all started with your encouragement and support in FCCC. Little did I know at the time that the choir boy part in Tosca with CT Grand Opera would start her on a life long pursuit and love of opera. Thank you for starting Katherine on that love of opera and choral singing.
Dee Dee Brandt
20th Anniversary CD

For our 20th Anniversary we produced a high quality double CD. The CD's have arrived and the recording is awesome!! The first disc includes the entire FCCC Spring Concert from May 2, including our alumni! The second disc features the Chamber Singers in closed recording sessions at St. Theresa Parish in Trumbull (which has superb acoustics!) To order a CD, contact Barbara Peck at, $25 per set.
Colorado/Arizona Tour
We concluded our grand 20th Anniversary Season with a visit to the grandest of all places in the United States: the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Chamber Singers attended the "Sing A Mile High" children's choir festival in Denver, CO for five days, followed by trips to Pikes Peak, Sedona and a concert in Flagstaff (AZ). At the Grand Canyon we drove along the South Rim, visited the famous El Tovar Hotel (remember the original 'Vacation' movie?) and the Bright Angel Lodge, and we hiked over a half mile down into the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.

Tours are one of the most important aspects of the Chamber Singers' experience - they help to broaden our chorister's worldview and form international friendships. Along with incredible musical experiences, tours provide our choristers with lessons that often last a lifetime.
FCCC Concerts & Events
Winter Concert
"Ring In the New!"
Sunday, December 6, 2015 - 3 pm
Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT 
After last season's theme, "The Best of the FCCC," for which we brought back so many favorite selections from our previous nineteen years, our theme for the 2015 Winter Concert is "Ring In the New!" All of the selections on this program will be brand new to the FCCC, excepting our traditional performance of Angels We Have Heard on High. Some of the new highlights include The Little Drummer Boy, Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow, A Holly Jolly Christmas, Christmas Time is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas, Somewhere in My Memory from Home Alone, Walking in the Air, and a new setting of Esa Einai by Shlomo Carlebach, arranged by Jon Noyes. Finally we will ring in the New Year with a beautiful arrangement of Auld Lang Syne. Join us for this festive program!

Broadway Concert & Auction
"Brilliantly Broadway!"
Saturday, February 6, 2016 - 7 pm
Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT
Our annual Broadway review will include a cornerstone of American musical theater, West Side Story, and three more recent favorites in Hairspray, Matilda and Newsies. In addition to rousing choruses, our amazing student 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!

Spring Concert
"The Spirit of Spring"
Saturday, May 7, 2016 - 7 pm
Quick Center for the Arts - Fairfield U, Fairfield, CT
Our Spring Concert will feature the music of, and an appearance by, our Special Guest, Dr. Rollo Dilworth. The highlight will be the world premiere performance of a new spiritual in a Gospel style commissioned by the FCCC. Other selections by Dr. Dilworth will include Shine On Me, Great Camp Meeting and many others. A second theme will focus on folk music arrangements. Finally, with our Chamber Singers traveling to New Orleans in June, 2016 you are sure to hear The Saints Go Marching In and other great jazz standards.  

Support the Choir
Donate Now Musical NoteA 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. 
FCCC Concert Calendar 2015-2016
(CS-Chamber Singers; CC-Concert Choir; CH-Chorale; Ch-Chorus)




Sept 9
All FCCC First Rehearsal
Oct 10
Sound Tigers Opening night - Webster Bank Arena - 7:00 pm
Nov 5
Broadway Concert Solo Auditions (not mandatory) 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Nov 14
Klein 75th Anniversary Celebration Concert - 8:00 pm (CS&CC)
Dec 6
Winter Concert - Ring in the New - Klein Memorial Auditorium - 3:00 pm
Dec 12
Music For Youth concert - St. Thomas Church, Fairfield - 2:00 pm

Feb 6
Broadway Concert & Auction - Brilliantly Broadway - Klein Memorial
Auditorium - 7:00 pm (West Side Story, Matilda, Newsies, Hairspray)
April TBD
Fairfield Holocaust Commemoration - 7:30 pm - Fairfield (CS)
May 7
Spring Concert-The Spirit of Spring - Fairfield U, Quick Center - 7:00 pm
May 21
La Boheme with Norwalk Symphony & Jonathan Yates (CS & CC)
June 12
First Church Congregational Music Series - 4:00 pm (CS)
June 24 - 28
Summer Tour - New Orleans (CS)