Volume 18 No 1 Fall 2018
From the Music Director
Greetings and welcome to the twenty-fourth season of the Fairfield County Children's Choir! We are looking forward to a fantastic series of concerts, along with collaborations and projects that will make the year quite exciting. This issue of Quarternotes includes information about our concert calendar, various news items, an introduction to our new Staff member, letters and the always-popular Chorister Profiles.
 
The Chorister Profiles and other letters that we have received over the years often mention the great repertoire and the overall music education that our choristers experience. But the most profound comments have to do with the human connections that have been made and what the choir has meant to our children and their families. I recently received a note from a choir parent which included this statement about her daughter: "Teens need a buoy. Always. Especially ones who have experienced life altering changes. FCCC is her anchor. Her buoy. She feels a strong connection to not only the music but the people that have become very important and meaningful to her. I am eternally grateful to have it as a part of our lives and thank you from the bottom of my heart."
 
The FCCC will continue to fulfill our mission to “provide a musical experience which is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable,” because “(w)hen we sing, we experience forms of beauty and joy that words cannot express. Music-making can be a powerful source of meaning in our lives, a door to “the inward places of the soul.”
Meet Our Seniors!!

This year we have the largest group of seniors in FCCC history! It's always interesting to learn about them - their favorite songs, where they live, and to hear their thoughts about what it means to be a part of the choir. Below is the first group of profiles for this season. We look forward to being part of their final year of high school, and seeing what will lie ahead!!

We have some seniors who have been with us since the 4th grade - a little fun look at a few of them then and now...………………...

Name: Maddie McDermott
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Clear Water, Sing Me to Heaven, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and Biebl Ave Maria (honestly there are too many great ones to just pick only one!)
In Your Own Words: When someone says "FCCC" I get incredibly excited, especially when it is someone who does not know what this amazing choir is all about. I get to share with them how this choir has changed my life in so many positive ways. While being a member of FCCC I have learned many new and complex musical techniques that I would not have learned solely from participating in school choirs. I have conquered long and difficult movements like Chichester Psalms and Carmina Burana which let me tell you felt amazing to perfect. FCCC has brought my musicianship to a level of excellence that you cannot find anywhere else. The opportunities that I have experienced from being in this choir almost seem unreal and beyond any singer’s dreams. I have performed at Lincoln Center and five times at Carnegie Hall (one of those times I had the chance to sing a 3rd part solo in the song One Voice). As a member of the Chamber Singers for the past five years I have had the great fortune to experience and travel the world. I have journeyed to New York City, Washington D.C., Colorado, Arizona, New Orleans, California and Ireland. From these journeys I have performed with choirs from all over the world. Great takeaways from these trips have been making new friendships and connections, as well as being able to experience totally different cultures and cities. What I've learned from these trips is that everyone around the world is from a different origin yet music is so powerful that it is able to bring us all together to become "One Voice." I would like to especially thank Jon Noyes, Donna Beatty, and Barbara Peck for making this choir possible and the unique and truly special experiences it affords all of the kids in it. From this choir I'm happy to say that I have found my true passion in life which is singing! I'll always remember to "have fun being awesome!"
Name: Sage Factora
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Total Praise, Chichester Psalms, One Voice

In Your Own Words: Fairfield County Children’s Choir has been a part of my life for nine years now, and I cannot imagine my life without it. I still remember when Mr. Noyes came to Timothy Dwight Elementary School and talked to us about choir and all of the opportunities that it presented the choristers. Little did I know that I would join it, rise up in the choirs, and be granted many chances to perform at amazing places like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Ireland, and California. I have made many close friends and have learned challenging, rewarding, and eloquent pieces of music. Writing this makes me realize just how much I will miss it when I am in college. I know that I will always be inspired to continue singing because of all Mr. Noyes has taught me in this choir. I am so grateful to have been part of such an awesome group for nine years, and I hope to carry on all of its lessons for the rest of my life.
Name: Aleksandra Suvorova
Age: 16
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: I’ll list four because I obviously can’t choose one…... O Magnum Mysterium, Cantate Domino, This Little Babe, St. Louis Blues!
 
In Your Own Words: It is completely insane that after 9 years, I am finally writing my Senior Chorister Profile, but I will begin by saying that I couldn’t be more grateful for FCCC. It’s already been said by so many, but I’ll say it again: the entire choir experience has been so, so incredible. The number of opportunities that FCCC presents is amazing; from performing close to home at Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall (numerous times), and Lincoln Center, to traveling both nationally and internationally to share the extraordinary music that we get to create. I am glad to say some of my closest friends exist within the FCCC realm, yet each year I’ve constantly made new friends of different ages/sections of the choir. Having had the chance to perform under the direction of numerous talented and professional conductors, including our own, has been sensational. Not only have I grown as a musician over the years, but I’ve also grown as a person, and this group has been crucial to my development. Thank you FCCC (and more importantly, thank you, Mr. Noyes.)!
Name: Fiona Carter
Age: 16
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Biebl Ave Maria

I joined FCCC when I was in Fourth grade, and found that it was an intense and exciting experience that pushed me year round. I had to take a break for a few years, and after finding my way back during my Sophomore year, I realized how much I missed the structure and musical endurance that FCCC rehearsals called for. For the first half of the year that I returned to choir, I found myself insecure about my musical abilities in comparison to all of the other chamber singers, and I wondered why I of all people would be chosen for this amazing group. But over time, Mr. Noyes working us down to every last minute of rehearsals conditioned me into the musician I am so proud to be today. This choir has taught me so much about myself and others, and how to coexist with so many other amazing musicians; I found that appreciating the talent of my fellow choristers (who I now consider all my friends!), and evaluating my own musical abilities were two completely different things, yet both necessary and beautiful. I have met some of the most kind and wonderful people in this group - just the kind that you can lay on the floor eating pizza and playing cards with, and the next moment working so incredibly hard with to produce the best music possible. The thought, hard work, and long hours that Mr. Noyes and the rest of the FCCC singers give to this group is something truly amazing, and I am so proud to have them as a second family, and huge support system that I can carry with me forever!
Name: Norah Procopio
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Biebl Ave Maria and Total Praise
 
In Your Own Words: Coming into this choir as a shy and nervous 4th grader, I had no idea what an impact FCCC would make on my life. Having been a part of the group for half of my life, it has shaped me into who I am today. Choir has helped me grow into being confident and independent, which are traits that I do not think I would have developed had I not been a part of this group. The level of musicianship and passion for music from everyone around me has been so inspiring, and we are able to grow and learn from each other. From snorkeling in Hawaii, to walking up the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, to performing at Carnegie Hall, I have created the most memorable times of my life thus far with this group. Traveling the world with my best friends and making music for each other and everyone around us has been the greatest gift I could ask for. This choir has shined a light into my life and I am so grateful for all that I have learned here and how it has helped me grow not only as a musician but as a person. This choir is incredibly special and truly feels like my home. Thank you, Mr. Noyes for teaching me for the past 13 years of my life how to “have fun being awesome.”
Name: Olivia Cholewczynski
Age: 17
School: Lauralton Hall
Town: Bridgeport
Favorite FCCC Song: Clear Water, Take Me to the Water & Summer is a Coming In
 
In Your Own Words: I have always loved singing, but before I entered FCCC in the 8th grade, I didn’t know to what expect. But from my first rehearsal with this incredible choir I was blown away by the wonderful sound we could make together. From that moment on, singing in choir has become one of my strongest passions. FCCC has become one of my favorite extra-curricular activities because I can celebrate music with other people who share the same love. I have had incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunities here, such as singing at Carnegie Hall and being conducted by Nick Page and Rollo Dilworth. I am so thankful for having spent these past four years in a great community, and I can’t wait to enjoy every bit of my final year here! I thank FCCC, Mr. Noyes, and our other choral instructors for helping me fall in love with music.
Name: Sofia Cholewczynski 
Age: 17 
School: Lauralton Hall
Town: Bridgeport
Favorite FCCC Songs: Clear Water, Take Me to the Water, O Sifuni Mungu 
 
In Your Own Words: When I first joined FCCC in eighth grade, I knew very little about choir and choral singing, but I quickly learned that it was something I loved! I owe it to the great directors and passionate students who taught me how to “have fun being awesome." The past years have been amazing thanks to all the wonderful experiences I’ve had with this choir: performing at Carnegie Hall, singing in La Boheme, and sharing the stage with impressive guests like Rollo Dilworth. Most of all, I’ve learned that teamwork and passion can give way to amazing talent! I am incredibly grateful for having found FCCC, and I will take these memories with me wherever I go.  
Name: Jessica Abbazia
Age: 17
School: Academy of Our Lady of Mercy at Lauralton Hall
Town: Southport
Favorite FCCC Song: Memory (Cats), Defying Gravity (Wicked), When I Grow Up (Matilda), You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
 
In Your Own Words: I have been in FCCC since fourth grade and have truly valued the experiences this choir has given me. I have met many great friends and inspiring people and have been exposed to a wide variety of songs that have deepened my appreciation for all types of music. My favorite moments were during the Broadway concerts, as you could really feel the passion and energy the entire choir put into the performances. I have so many fond memories of FCCC and have undeniably enjoyed my time here.
N ame: Theresa Eland  
Age: 17 
School: Ridgefield High School 
Town: Ridgefield 
Favorite FCCC Song: Bridge Over Troubled Water 
 
In Your Own Words: I began my singing career with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus in the third grade. When my family moved to Connecticut I was so happy to find the Fairfield County Children’s Choir which continued to foster my love for music and singing. My favorite thing about the choir is the focus on the quality of music produced. The 40 minute drive every week was worth the friendships and memories that I have made. I want to thank Mr. Noyes and Ms. Sugrue for their guidance and support. 
Name: Elizabeth Gallardo
Age: 17
School: Brien McMahon High School: Center for Global Studies
Town: Bridgeport
Favorite FCCC Song: Since this is my first year, I don’t have a favorite song yet. So I have chosen a favorite choir song, Bonse Aba.
 
In Your Own Words: This is my first year in the FCCC. I didn’t find the choir till this year but felt strongly encouraged to audition anyways. Since I haven’t had any experience with the choir I will mention my first impressions. My first impression of the choir is that it is amazing. I went to help organize the binders in the summer and the people I met there were all very sweet and kind. They were also motivated and driven, and all seemed very talented. I am very excited to work with the choir and hope I bring something to the table. I am so glad I took the opportunity to audition and was given the opportunity to be a part of this amazing group. 
Introducing Our New Executive Director
T he FCCC Board of Directors would like to introduce our new Executive Director, Heidi Vanderwal, to the Fairfield County Children’s Choir community. Heidi joins FCCC after a lengthy career in corporate events and restaurant management. She currently owns Elegantly Casual Cuisine, a catering company based here in Fairfield County. Combining her leadership experience and strengths, Heidi will be taking on the administrative, marketing and development responsibilities of the FCCC.

In addition to food, her first love has always been music. While pursuing a vocal performance degree at Loyola Marymount University, she studied music theory and conducting under Paul Salamunovich, followed by studies with Dr. Larry Marsh and Dr. Bruce Browne at Portland State University. Heidi has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Vatican, and concert venues across Italy, Germany and (the former) Yugoslavia. Solo appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Stamford Symphony, the Oregon Repertory Singers, The Basilica of St. John the Divine in Stamford, and many local community choruses. This important new position also gives her the joy of another passion: bringing quality music experiences to so many children, and helping them to realize the impact it has on their young lives.

Heidi is married to David Vanderwal, Tenor at Trinity Church in New York City, and is the proud mother of Anika, an alumna of FCCC, now studying music and voice at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. We know you will join us in welcoming the enthusiasm, energy and vibrant ideas Heidi brings to the Executive Director position of the FCCC.
From the Board President
Welcome to the Fairfield County’s Children’s Choir’s 24 th season. I hope you have had a wonderful summer, and are getting ready to hear some amazing music this fall. You will be delighted to hear that the FCCC’s Chamber Singers participated in, and won first and second prizes at, the Golden Gate International Choral Festival this summer. Congratulations to Jon Noyes and all the singers who went to San Francisco! This is no small achievement – it takes a tremendous amount of commitment, dedication and hard work to rise to the forefront of a group of outstanding choirs. Choristers, keep up the good work and continue to “have fun being awesome”!
 
We have much to look forward to this season, from singing at the opening for the Sound Tigers to our Spring Concert at the Klein. Each event is special, and it takes many hands to make it a success. I’d like to thank all the parents who volunteer their time at each of these events, and to add that there is always a need for more volunteers. If you would like to assist the FCCC in any way, please reach out to Heidi Vanderwal - our new Executive Director, or Barbara Peck - our General Choir Manager, and let them know that you have an interest in joining our volunteer group.
 
The Broadway Show concert and its accompanying silent auction is our biggest fundraiser for the year, and is in particular need of assistance. You can help by donating items, finding donors, helping with planning, setting up, cleaning up or assisting with the bidding. We are blessed to have a truly wonderful staff who will appreciate any help you can give them.
 
Finally, I’d like to start this new season with a challenge: what can we, as board members, parents, relatives, friends, donors and alumni do for our choir, in order to help our choristers continue “having fun being awesome”, and promote FCCC’s mission? Please share your thoughts and ideas with Jon and the board – we will do our best to bring them to life.
 
Sincerely,
 
Marina Philips
Jacqueline Sugrue completed her third and final year of the Kodály Certification Course at the Intermuse Academy in Provo, Utah. She then traveled to Italy for a magical trip ……… her boyfriend (now fiancée!) Ian Tait of the band The Alternate Routes , proposed to her on a gondola in Venice - she says it felt like she was in a movie! Congratulations Jacqueline and Ian!!
 
Ashley Zadravecz completed her Master of Music Education Degree with a focus in Choral Conducting at the Hartt School in Hartford. After completing grad school, she traveled to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor in Maine. Congratulations Ashley!
 
Lisa Bettke took an exciting cruise to Alaska! She flew to Anchorage and the cruise went from Seward to Vancouver, British Columbia. She rode a zip line, toured several amazing glaciers, and saw whales, otters, seals, eagles and totem poles!
 
Just a few days after the Chamber Singers returned from California, FCCC Music Director Jon Noyes presented a workshop on music literacy at the Feierabend Association for Music Education Biennial Conference in Chicago.
 
Since returning from the Chamber Singers trip to California, Donna Beatty has been enjoying spending time with her 6 grandkids. She traveled to Ohio and Kentucky, participated in The SWIM Across the Sound and will end the summer with a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina
FCCC takes Gold at the Golden Gate Choral Festival!!
The Chamber Singers annual summer tour began with a stop in Los Angeles for an informal concert with the South Bay Children's Choir, a group that we met three years ago on our tour in Colorado. We then visited Hollywood, drove up the coast, had some great sight-seeing and finally arrived in Berkeley for the Golden Gate International Choral Festival, where we performed in six concerts over the next six days in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. The festival, a competition divided into four categories, included choirs from Australia, Republic of Georgia, Seattle WA, Portland OR, Oakland CA and two choirs from China. The FCCC Chamber Singers received first place in the Historical (i.e. classical) and Folk Music categories and second place in the Gospel/Spiritual and Contemporary categories. Our touring in the Bay area included Alcatraz, Pier 39, a cruise on San Francisco Bay and Muir Woods National Monument where we hiked through a redwood forest.
 
Here is a link to many of the songs we performed on our trip. Many thanks to Gene Hoffman!
And a link to a fabulous video montage of the trip put together by chorister Aleksandra Suvorova.
 
Alumni News
A group of eight FCCC alumnae performed Sing Me to Heaven at the FCCC Spring Concert in May 2018 - a piece they had performed at the wedding of George Philips and Lena Isenberg, two former FCCC choristers. Arianna Giorgetti, Katie Jenks, Rachel Philips, Ann Victor, Kate Victor and Sara Victor were joined by FCCC conductors/alumna Jacqueline Sugrue and Ashley Zadravecz in this lovely performance.
 
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A note from a former Chorister...…..

Hey Mr. Noyes--
 
First of all, I can't thank you enough for the amazing music opportunities and training you've provided me and countless others with. I wouldn't be who I am today without you and the amazing choir you created. I have to say, music school is hard! I'm already diving into my music education degree in addition to working as a studio musician and a jazz vocalist. Thanks to your training, I got on an accelerated path and have continued to make honors and the Dean's list. You'd be happy to hear I'm also working to become the assistant director of my chamber choir this year! We perform music very similar to that of the chamber singers. I can send you some recordings of you're interested in taking a listen!
 
To the current members of FCCC:
My first year at Berklee was an incredibly immersive experience into music. I've never been surrounded by so much talent and knowledge, which was initially overwhelming, but I've found my place. I've been keeping up with my choir roots, performing in a chamber group called the Crepesculum Choir, which has filled the FCCC void. It's incredible how much I've been able to build on the knowledge I gained from choir; I actually got to skip some of the basic theory and ear training classes, using all my solfege skills from our yellow books! For those of you interested in music school, I'll say this: it's going to be tough, the concepts are going to be complicated, but, at least for me, I could never imagine myself doing anything else. If you have the passion and drive, why not dedicate your life to music?
 
Before I let you go, I want to send my congratulations to the Chamber Singers for their victories at the Golden Gate Festival! That experience, when I went through it so many years ago, taught me so much about music and theory! I wish I could've been in the audience to listen and support you all.
 
Thanks again,

Abi Varsos
A contribution to 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 m usically talented children, many of whom receive tuition assistance. Your gift is tax deductible and we gratefully thank you for your generosity. Please donate here .
2018-2019 Season Concert Schedule

December 10, 2018 7pm Shine the Light
February 2, 2019 5:30pm Silent Auction / 7pm Concert The Colors of Broadway
May 11, 2019 7pm A Night at the Opera
All season concerts held at the Klein Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT

And also Join Us...……………

Members of FCCC perform the National Anthem at the
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Opening Game!!
Saturday, October 13, 2018 1pm

December 8, 2018 7pm Music for Youth - Holiday Music (Chamber Singers)
Saint Thomas Church, Fairfield
Join us for an evening of beautiful holiday music in a space designed for an exquisite listening experience - a concert not to be missed!
Become a season Sponsor - Make your presence known to our readers!!
Contact: hvanderwal@singfccc.org
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