Volume 18 No 2 Winter 2018
From the Music Director

In this new season, the talented choristers of the FCCC have already been involved in three performances. We performed the National Anthem on October 13 for the Home Opener of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. On November 2 we performed three inspirational songs ( One Voice, Count on Me and Bridge Over Troubled Water ) at the “The Entrepreneurs Summit,” an event for the Viv company at the Westport Inn. (One woman in the audience was actually shouting “That was insane!” as we left the stage.) The very next night, we had a small group of twenty-five singers from the FCCC Chorale, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers join the New Haven Symphony and the Fairfield County Chorale in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana , a piece the choristers also performed at Lincoln Center in May!

December is now just around the corner and the FCCC is preparing for a busy winter season with six performances over sixteen days in December!! We hope you will be able to join us for many of these wonderful events.

The twenty-fourth annual Winter Concert of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, at 3:00 PM in the Klein Auditorium. Highlights will include Bist Du Bei Mir by J.S. Bach, the Ave Maria of Gustav Holst, Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor by Irving Berlin, and Shine the Light by Dr. Raymond Wise. Holiday selections include What Child Is This , Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella , Masters in This Hall , Angels We Have Heard on High , Tzena , Ocho Kandelikas , You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch and Marshmallow World , among many others!

The FCCC will participate in a number of annual community service projects to sing holiday songs and spread good cheer. On December 3rd the FCCC Chorus & Chorale will perform at the Carolton Chronic Convalescent Hospital. On December 11th FCCC Concert Choir will perform at Fairfield’s newest senior living facility, Sturges Ridge, and on December 12th our Chamber Singers will travel by bus to the Bridgeport Women’s Shelter, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission and several other locations. On December 17th the Chamber Singers will perform our annual concert at the Meadow Ridge senior living facility in Redding. We hope that our singing brings many smiles and warm hearts to the chill of December.

One of the season’s highlights will occur on December 8th when the Chamber Singers are featured in a full-length concert as part of the prestigious Music for Youth Concert Series. The concert takes place from 7:00 - 8:00 PM at St. Thomas Aquinas Church (1719 Post Road in Fairfield), one of the most acoustically splendid settings for a cappella music in Fairfield County. It is free and open to the public. This concert is highly recommended!

Looking ahead to 2019 we have the following exciting performances:
  • On February 2nd our annual Broadway concert will include medleys from Phantom of the Opera, Porgy and Bess, Barnum and The Greatest Showman.
  • In March we will be busy! On March 16th the Chamber Singers will be the guests of Eric Jacobsen and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony for Vivaldi’s famous Gloria. On March 30th the entire FCCC will participate in a Gospel Music Workshop & Concert with Dr. Raymond Wise, whom the FCCC Chamber Singers met in July 2018 at the Golden Gate International Choral Festival.
  • The Chamber Singers will again perform for the Fairfield Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony in April, one of the most important events we undertake.
  • Our Spring Concert will take place on May 11 at the Klein Auditorium.

Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season!

Chorister Profiles

As mentioned in our last newsletter, 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. Here is our next 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!!

"The fact that I have been able to contribute
to something as meaningful and powerful as performing and making beautiful music is priceless. "

Name: Yasmin Schrom
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Warde High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Holst Ave Maria, Total Praise
I still can’t believe this is my last year in FCCC. Choir has simply been a part of me for six years, and I still look forward to every single rehearsal. Being in this group has given me so many amazing and unforgettable opportunities, like singing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and traveling the world, all alongside some of my best friends. The fact that I have been able to contribute to something as meaningful and powerful as performing and making beautiful music is priceless. Not only have I become a better musician because of FCCC, but I’ve learned the value of hard work, discipline, and teamwork. I would like to thank Mr. Noyes and Ms. Beatty especially for being incredible role models and for being such amazing musicians. Being a part of this group is an honor, a privilege, and an incredible experience that I will never take for granted.
Name: Jonathan Porrazzo
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: One Voice, Baba Yetu

FCCC has been a large part of my life. I first joined the choir in 4th grade and I have enjoyed it ever since. One of my favorite moments from the past nine years was when the Concert and Chamber Choirs sang at Carnegie Hall. It was an amazing experience to sing in a place with such history and prestige. It is an experience that I will never forget. I am also very grateful to be a part of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir because it has allowed me to continue music outside of school with a group of kids who love to sing as I do. This year, I am very excited to join the Chamber Choir and be part of this special group of singers.
Name: Dana Calamari
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Warde High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Jordan's Angel's, Clear Water, Bonny Wood Green & Wanting Memories
As I think back on it, almost everything I am today, as a senior in high school about to enter college, is somehow connected back to my experiences with FCCC. Whatever my future academic plans turn out to be it will be combined with some type of musical study - because of FCCC. I have experienced singing in exotic places like the Cliffs of Moher, the magnificent churches in New Orleans, and traveling the Pacific Coast Highway - because of FCCC. I have made friends with people I am certain I will be in contact with for the rest of my life - because of FCCC. I learned how to "pay it forward" - because of FCCC. I wrote my college essay about an experience I had Christmas caroling - because of FCCC. I learned how to manage my time between too much academics, too many sports and multiple musical pursuits - because of FCCC. I know what it feels like to sing on the stage at Carnegie Hall and sing opera at Lincoln Center - because of FCCC. I met Neill deGrasse Tyson - because of FCCC. I have had the benefit of the most gifted musical mentors in Mr. Noyes and Mrs. Beatty and learned a great deal from experiencing the conducting of the other choir directors. Everything I have experienced through FCCC has allowed me to see the world through a different lens. Thank you, Mr. Noyes for everything you do each day to make this organization as amazing as it is.
Name: Hannah Fink
Age: 17
School: Masuk High School
Town: Monroe
Favorite FCCC Song: Wanting Memories, Total Praise

I am so lucky that I have been able to spend the last seven years in FCCC, where I have grown not only as a singer, but as a human. I have been a member of the Chamber Singers for three years now, and am so fortunate for the opportunities, such as Ireland, San Francisco, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, that I have been able to experience. Not only has choir taught me a lot about singing and always doing my job, but has shown what a group of passionate people is capable of doing and has brought me life long friends. I am so thankful for my time in FCCC and I will truly miss it. 
Name: Kirsten Metellus
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Wanting Memories, Sing Me to Heaven and Faure's Requiem

I don't think I can even put into words how important FCCC is to me. I've been in FCCC for nine years and its hard to believe it's almost over because I feel like I'm just getting started. Through FCCC I've grown as a singer, made some of my best friends and made awesome memories. For example, singing at Carnegie Hall and performing the national anthem at Madison Square Garden during a Knicks game. Being in FCCC has not only surrounded me with others who love music just as much as me, but I now realize that it also gave me the determination to work until it is right but enjoy every second of it. In FCCC I've done difficult repertoire that's challenged me and made me better for it. I have become a stronger musician with this choir. Singing has always held an important role in my life and so has FCCC. Mondays and Wednesdays have become my favorite days of the week as I look forward to choir - I know I'm going to miss it.
Name: Zsofia Cimino
Age: 17
School: Fairfield Ludlowe High School
Town: Fairfield
Favorite FCCC Song: Biebl Ave Maria , Tantum Ergo and Total Praise
I started choir in 4th grade when Mr. Noyes came into my 3rd grade music class and told my class about how FCCC is for people who love to sing all the time. My entire life, I have grown up singing constantly, whether it was in the shower, the car, or just around my house. Choir was (and still is) one of the highlights of my week. In seventh grade I unfortunately had to take a break from choir because of my busy schedule, but it was honestly one of my biggest regrets. I never had the time to sing for fun other than around my house, and I missed having choir as my outlet for music every week. Choir not only satisfies my love for singing, but also helped me make some of my closest friends. When I’m in choir, I feel a sense of belonging to something greater than me as an individual. The music we sing has the power to bring emotions of all kinds to people and inspire them, and that’s what makes me fall in love with FCCC every time we make music together.
Just as a number of our present and past seniors have done, Concert Choir conductor Jacqueline Sugrue wrote about the FCCC in one of her college essays - written her senior year in high school. “I was attempting to give the audience an anecdotal snapshot of the importance of choral singing and why I wanted to major in Music Education. I could think of no better experience to hone in on than performing with FCCC! I submitted these writings to the Connecticut Educators Association essay contest and won, therefore receiving an invitation to read at their annual banquet with the president of the association.” Here is an excerpt from her essay.

A fairy dusting of light shines on our faces as someone’s breath behind me rustles my hair. The purest air arises from a mystifying source deep within my stomach. As it is with a single grain of sand enveloped in the ocean, the song cleanses. Swirling tones electrify and we are swept up with the rush of energy. The risers shrink by the second, sailing farther away. Nearly incomprehensible words form harmonies of their own will. We inhale from our core and breathe in harmony’s incense.
Transported to a heavenly place, we are now fully immersed in soft, glowing light. Our song comes forth, easy and natural. One true emotion rings: Joy.
Questions of life surround us. It is then that I know why we are here. Why we love to sing together. Why we love to sing alone. We, collectively, have surrounded each other with our melodies, which ring with truth as one. My hands rise from my sides, my fingers stretch slowly and gently, reaching out and submit to the power of the choir. I stand with eyes closed, head back, singing.
When the conductor closes his dancing fists, the final major chord reverberates off every brick in the room. It gradually diminuendos until an echoing silence fills us with a forever indigo. Ultimate peace lingers, floats in the air, until applause rings forth.
From many towns and schools, we are here because we love to sing. I looked down the row of faces. A girl standing meets my gaze. We smile triumphant. 

I’ve been meaning to email you to thank you for your continued support and passion for our children. Sage absolutely loves FCCC. We feel so blessed to be part of this wonderfully enriching organization.
Looking forward to another fabulous year!

Mary Lauren Factora
Introducing Our Newest Board Member - Jane Rice
Jane Rice comes to FCCC board with a wealth of experience and a vested interest in the organization's success, having two daughters in the choir.
A 20+ year media executive, Jane is Senior Vice President of Distribution at A+E Networks. Reporting to the President of Distribution, she oversees content distribution, both domestically and in Canada, for A+E Network’s portfolio of services, including A&E, History and Lifetime channels. Prior to joining A+E Networks, Rice was Vice President, Field Sales, for Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

Rice is a graduate of University College London, England, where she earned a degree in Law. She is a graduate of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, Class XXIII and she currently sits on Women in Cable Telecommunications' Global Board of Directors. Rice has been named one of Cablefax’s Most Powerful Women in Cable from 2013 to 2018. She was selected as one of Ireland’s Most Influential Women by the Irish Voice in 2011 and was honored in 2015, by Multichannel News, as a Wonder Woman.

Rice resides in Fairfield, CT with her husband, Mark and daughters, Maddie and Cate.

We welcome Jane, and look forward to her contributions as our newest Board Member!
FCCC High Notes Award
The FCCC High Notes Award for 2018 is presented to Jim Rice. Jim was on the FCCC Board of Directors for 23 years and was the last of the original members (excepting Jon Noyes). Jim was recruited to join the inaugural FCCC Board by Paul Audley who at the time was Fairfield’s First Selectman and who became the first President of the FCCC Board of Directors. Paul and Jim were both members of the Fairfield County Chorale. Jim, an attorney with Brody, Wilkinson & Ober, P.C., was instrumental in writing our bylaws, helping us to incorporate with the State of Connecticut and steering the organization with his wisdom and wit. The FCCC could not exist without the support of wonderful friends like Jim Rice.

 Jacqueline Sugrue will be performing Handel’s Messiah with Concora at St. James Episcopal Church in West Hartford on Friday, November 30th! 
FCCC Chorale Conductor/
Accompanist Lisa Bettke attended the American Orff Schulwerk Association Annual Conference in Cincinnati,
Ohio from November 7 - 10.

Alumni News
Lia Joham was a member of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir for seven years until her family moved to Germany when she was 16 years old. Now 21, big news was her debut on The Voice of Germany at the end of October, where Lia presented her rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Trouble Water for her blind audition. Even after hitting the buzzer and turning their chairs, the judges wanted to hear more and asked her to sing an impromptu second song. She sang Chandelier by Sia which was “even more impressive than the first song,” said Coach Mark Forster.
Lia is studying sound engineering in Austria at the Technical University of Graz. She is a member of an a cappella choir and earns a living as singer at local clubs and private events. Thanks to positive feedback, she decided to send in an audition tape to The Voice of Germany last December. Out of thousands, Lia was selected to be one of the 150 people to move on to the blind auditions. She belted out Bridge Over Troubled Water . “I love that song. I learned it in Fairfield County Children's choir. This girl sang a solo and always did such a good job; I was in awe and I've loved that song ever since,” Lia said.
Here is a link to a short clip of her performance:
The four coaches are each famous in Germany in pop, rap, hip hop, rock, soul and classical music. During their critique, they were very complimentary saying…...
Michael Patrick Kelly: “You have a very beautiful voice. You presented us with a very interesting interpretation of such an incredible song. And at 21 years old to give us so much depth. It was really nice. Thank you for this moment.”
Mark Forster: “I expected something completely different. It was so real and authentic for me. I thought it was somehow an earthy, forty-year old woman from San Francisco. You have a Ferrari voice and somehow you took me on a sightseeing drive. You were not just stepping on the gas, but you took me on a panoramic drive where I could not only enjoy the scenery, but also sit in a really cool Ferrari. I really enjoyed it.”
Michael Patrick Kelly: “I think she has the qualities of a finalist.”
Lia’s next challenge will be on “The Battles” where she will sing a duet with a fellow team member and the coaches will choose only one to head to the next round.
Follow her on:
facebook: Lia Joham
instagram: liajoham
youtube: liajoham
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 Schedule

Dec 2, 2018 - FCCC Winter Concert - Klein Auditorium - 3:00 PM (FCCC)
Dec 3, 2018 - Caroling at Carolton (Chorus & Chorale)
Dec 8, 2018 - Music for Youth - St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Fairfield 7:00 PM (CS)
Dec 11, 2018 - Caroling at Sturges Ridge (CC)
Dec 12, 2018 - Community Caroling by bus (CS)
Dec 17, 2018 - Meadow Ridge Holiday Concert (CS)
Feb 2, 2019 - FCCC Broadway Concert, Klein Auditorium - 7:00 PM (FCCC)
March 16, 2019 - Greater Bridgeport Symphony – Vivaldi Gloria - 8:00 PM (CS)
March 30, 2019 - Gospel Music Workshop & Concert w/ Dr. Raymond Wise - (FCCC)
April 2019 - Fairfield Holocaust Commemoration, Fairfield - 7:30 PM – Fairfield (CS)
May 11, 2019 - FCCC Spring Concert, Klein Auditorium - 7:00 PM (FCCC)
June 25 - July 1, 2019 - Summer Tour - Boston to Cape Cod (CS)
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