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History

Newspaper 1931The Greenwich Choral Society was founded on October 11, 1924 and gave its first concert on June 2, 1925 to a capacity audience at The First Congregational Church of Greenwich in Sound Beach, CT with 51 voices (17 assisting from Choral Art Society of Norwalk). Soprano Soloist, Mme. Esther Nelson, came from New York with five string soloists from the NY Philharmonic Society. [Sound Beach became Old Greenwich in 1931]

The goal of the new organization was to promote and encourage the art of choral singing and the love of great music. Today the group performs three or four times annually with professional orchestra and soloists.

To see a history of our concerts with detail going back almost 90 years including the first ten concerts, click Concert History.

For a transcript of the founding meetings and members of the original Sound Beach Choral Society (changed to Greenwich Choral Society in 1932), click First GCS Records. The original hand-written record book, including the earliest newspaper reviews, is stored at the Greenwich Historical Society.

The chorus has a long history of performing great choral works not only locally but also internationally. The chorus has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival and Greenwich Festival in England to mark the American Bicentennial in 1976. The Choral Society returned to England in 1985, with performances at Aldeburgh, in London, and at various cathedrals. Other summer tours have included trips to the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and France.

In past years, the Choral Society has performed in New York City at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, St. Thomas Church, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The Choral Society has also performed several times with the Greenwich Symphony, New Haven Symphony, New Haven Chorale, and Stamford Symphony, as well as at the Ives Festival in Danbury.

The chorus has previewed Dave Brubeck's La Fiesta de la Posada, commissioned by the Honolulu Symphony, and has itself commissioned works by James Furman, Stephen Paulus, Rob Mathes, and Michael Schelle. In 2000 the chorus celebrated its 75th anniversary, and premiered a work by Adolphus Hailstork entitled Songs of Innocence, commissioned especially for the anniversary season.

The chorus also performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the New Haven Chorale and New Haven Symphony, with performances at Yale University's Woolsey Hall and The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. A performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Fairfield Chorale brought more than 200 choristers onto the stage before a sold-out audience at the Norwalk Concert Hall.

The Music Director and Conductor of the Greenwich Choral Society is Paul F. Mueller.

Former conductors of note include Lowell Beveridge, Jack Ossewaarde, Vernon de Tar, Louie L. White and Richard Vogt.