Musical Club of Hartford

Music by Members - Dec 10, 2015

The Musical Club of Hartford continues the celebration of its 125th anniversary year on December 10, 2015, at 10:00 am with a concert by the Musical Club’s vocal ensemble, directed by Rita Henderson; a high school flute ensemble, directed by Bridget Gilchrist; solo pieces for piano performed by Diane Day; and works for organ performed by Scott Lamlein. The program will include music by composers J.S. Bach, Vaughan Williams, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Claude Debussy.

The Musical Club of Hartford concerts are open to the public and held in the sanctuary of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, at 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT.   Admission to this event is free to members of the Musical Club and $5 for the general public. The Westminster Presbyterian Church parking lot entrance is on Ridgewood Road.  The church is wheelchair accessible from the side entrance on the end of the building near Mountain Road.

Coffee and cookies will be served following the program.

Membership in this marvelous non-profit all-volunteer organization is open to all those who share a love of music, including composers, performers and listeners. For more information please call 860-561-1588.

About the music

Originally founded in 1891 by a group of young women, the Musical Club of Hartford has long supported the performance of choral music, as evidenced by the concert it sponsored on January 18, 1934, which featured the choir of the South Methodist Episcopal Church of Manchester, with vocal and organ soloists in “An Evening of Church Music.”   The December 10 performance will feature pieces from that performance for both vocal ensemble and organ.

In addition to bringing choirs from the area to Hartford to perform, members of the Club have formed many different choral ensembles over the years, with names like “The Ladies Chorus” and “The Vocal Quartet.” 

The Vocal Ensemble we will hear in this concert was formed sixty-eight years ago.  In 1947, the Officers of the Musical Club of Hartford asked Mrs. Murial Ainley to start a Vocal Ensemble.  Muriel asked Mrs. Jane Bartlett if she would join her as piano accompanist. Thus began a 50-year partnership that lasted until both retired in 1997. 

Since 1997, Mrs. Rita Henderson has been the Director of the Vocal Ensemble, with Mrs. Diane Day serving as the accompanist for the group.  Currently the Vocal Ensemble has twenty members and is made up of a combination of professional singers, choir singers and those who simply enjoy singing.

For this program the Vocal Ensemble will begin with music written in the 16th century by Pierre Clereau, followed by a setting of the Ave Maria by Johannes Brahms. They will also perform a piece written in 1986  by a Musical Club member, Bea MacLaughlin, which is titled All Natural. Among their other selections will be a Yiddish folksong celebrating Hanukkah; This Little Babe, from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols; and a harmonization of As it Fell Upon the Night by Katherine K. Davis. 

Virtuosic repertoire for solo piano will be performed by Diane Day who will perform two preludes - Prelude, Op. 23, No. 4 in D major by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Prelude from Book 1, No. 10, by Claude Debussy, also known as La Cathedrale Engloutie, (The Sunken Cathedral.)

The Flute Ensemble will feature flute players from three different high schools, playing as a flute quartet with Ms. Gilchrist directing. They will begin with Jour D’ete a La Montagne, by Eugene Bozza;  go on to Deck the Halls, arranged by James Christensen; and finish with a “Bell

Medley” consisting of Jingle Bells, Ring Christmas Bells, and Silver Bells.

Scott Lamlein, organist, will perform the Prelude in G Major, BWV 550, by Johann Sebastian Bach. He will also include a piece performed on the program in 1934, and played by Mrs. Ellison on that date, Rhosymedre (Lovely) by Vaughan Williams from the three Chorale Preludes he composed on Welsh hymn tunes.  Mr. Lamlein will conclude his section of the program with Carillon-Sortie, by Henri Mulet.

About the Performers

Musical Club of Hartford Vocal Ensemble:

Director, Rita Henderson

Members: Jane Bugbee,  Elizabeth Carabillo, Carol Carlson, Sandra Ann Craig, Sharon Girard, Carol Hunt, Marjorie Hutensky, Ellen Ma , Josephine Mangiafico, Vivian Marks, Anne Mayo, Donnalou Rollins, Lean-Cheng Tan, Vilma Walton, Janet Wilson, Diane Day, Accompanist

High School Flute Ensemble:

Director, Bridget Gilchrist

The flute quartet is comprised of three of Ms. Gilchrist’s students from three different school systems.   All three of them have been selected to perform with the American Society of Band Directors Association Festival for Fall 2015.   Each of them is also performing for the Connecticut Regional auditions and festivals with the Connecticut Music Educators Association.

Acacia Farber-Krug is a senior from Northwestern Regional Seven High School in Winsted, Elizabeth Raynor is a junior from Canton High School, Bethany Newton is a junior from Simsbury High School.

Diane Day, piano, a native of Simsbury, started studying piano at age 7.  She graduated from the 4-year program at the Hartford Conservatory with an artist’s diploma in Piano and a minor in Theory & Composition.  She studied with Juan Nazarian, Maria Luisa Faini, and Howard Parsons.  Having taught piano privately for over 40 years, she enjoys performing chamber music, accompanying soloists and groups, including dancers, and has performed many solo concerts over her career.  

Bridget M. Gilchrist, flute, is a cum laude graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Music. She studied flute under Mr. Louis Soloway and Mr. Thomas Nyfenger, who was principal flutist with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Gilchrist also toured and performed with the UCONN Flute Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, and recorded as a soloist with the Jazz Ensemble.

As a graduate student at Hartt School of Music, she completed conducting symposiums with Stanley DeRusha, Craig Kirchoff (Ohio State University) and Allan McMurray (University of Colorado); as well as courses conducted by Jerry Nowak and Anthony Maeillo, and performed with Jackie McLean’s Jazz Lab.

Mrs. Gilchrist taught in the Manchester, Connecticut schools, and also taught music theory and history at Manchester Community College.  Under her direction, the Jr. and Sr. High School Concert, Marching, and Jazz Bands traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada, winning numerous prestigious awards.  Notably, her Jazz Ensemble earned a 2nd place finish in the Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival, which qualified them to compete in the Music USA National Finals for High School Jazz Bands throughout the country.

In addition to her 35 years of experience as a music educator and private instructor of flute, Mrs. Gilchrist is an avid performer, soloist and conductor/ guest conductor with numerous performing ensembles, orchestras and bands.  She also conducts and composes for flute choirs, guest conducts jazz ensembles, and leads master classes for flute players in many schools systems.

Mrs. Gilchrist is also active in the CT. Music Educator’s Association, having been the head flute judge for All-State and many regions for the past 30 years, as well as Festival Chair and Jazz Chair, and numerous committees.  Bridget and her husband, Thomas, have two daughters, Heather and Eryn.

Rita Haaser Henderson, director of the Vocal Ensemble, began a career in music at the age of ten, singing on the “Kiddie Revue” program on Hartford’s local WNBC station. She has studied voice with Frank La Forge and with Frank Pandolfi, of Connecticut Opera Company. In Connecticut, she has performed with the Met’s Salvatore Baccaloni for the Connecticut Opera Guild Ball, The Connecticut String Orchestra, and won the Connecticut NBC New Talent competition. Ms. Henderson also performed with the National Opera Club of America in New York and sang in operatic performances throughout the New England, New York, Canada, Ohio, and Colorado with seven different opera companies.  Her performances of operatic selections have aired on station WNYC. Upon retiring, she became Minister of Music at the Memorial Baptist Church, where she conducts three choirs and combined performances of choirs from several churches.  

Scott Lamlein, organist, has been cited by The American Organist magazine as infusing his music with “virtuosic flair and fire.” In demand as a concert artist, Scott has traveled near and far, with appearances at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, First Night Worcester (MA), and the Organ Masters Series in Nashua (NH). He has concertized in Germany and Switzerland, as well as in metro Boston and New York. Scott’s concerts have been broadcast in South Carolina, Boston and Worcester. Previously, he served as Artistic Director of the Music Alive! Concert Series, the a cappella chorus, Sacred Voices, and the South Hadley Chorale.

Scott has 3 CDs in current releaseThe Organ at Worship, and In Quiet Joy: Music of Advent and Christmas, and  a CD of his piano compositions, entitled Peace. He also is featured on the CD, Great Organs of Worcester. Each of these CDs serve as a vehicle to raise money for various missions.

As Music Director at St. John’s Episcopal Church, in West Hartford, CT, Scott directs a Royal School of Church Music affiliated Youth Choir and semi-professional Adult Choir, as well as presenting organ masterworks in regular Sunday services. He also serves as artistic director of the church’s Sacred Music at the Red Door concert series.