News Highlights 2003

2003 Annual Awards Ceremony

Robert Farrell, Chair of Choral Arts New England
Robert Farrell, Chair, Choral Arts New England, welcoming everyone to the 2003 ceremony
David Hodgkins, for Coro Allegro
David Hodgkins accepting for the Boston Cecilia and Coro Allegro joint project
John Hoffacker, for Cantemus
John Hoffacker accepting for Cantemus
Allison McMillan, for the Providence Singers
Allison McMillan accepting for the Providence Singers
John Bavicchi accepts the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award
John Bavicchi accepting the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award

Choral Arts New England held its 2003 annual awards ceremony on November 1 at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington, Massachusetts. Choral Arts presented Alfred Nash Patterson Grants to nine choruses in five New England states, and gave its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2003 to John Bavicchi for his long and distinguished career as a choral director, innovator, and educator. Over 75 guests were in attendance, including members of the Choral Arts Board of Directors and other supporters; representatives of the nine grantee choruses; and friends and colleagues of Mr. Bavicchi. Musical selections were presented by members of the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus, which Mr. Bavicchi founded in 1974 and directed until his retirement in 2003. Barry Singer led the chorus with accompanist Brian Packham in "Magnificat" by Johann Pachelbel and the second movement from "Prayer for the Universe" by Rosey Mei-kuei Lee. All in attendance joined to sing Robert Schumann's "Heidenroeslein."

The nine recipients of Alfred Nash Patterson Grants represented a significant increase over the four to six choruses that customarily receive grants in any one year. This was because the Choral Arts board of directors decided to increase by almost 50 percent the amount of grant money it would give in 2003. The board's decision was prompted by concern over recent severe cuts in public and private funding to the arts. Choral Arts was able to increase its funding in part because of donations that it received in 2002 and 2003 from private donors.

The nine choruses receiving Alfred Nash Patterson Grants were:

Amare Cantare (Durham, NH), to help fund performances March 27 and 28, 2004, of Bach Cantatas Nos. 21 and 131, an event that will enrich the cultural climate of the New Hampshire seacoast region, draw upon various branches of the artistic community, and expand the horizons of this 25-member group. Music director Catherine Beller-McKenna accepted the grant at the ceremony on behalf of the chorus.

Boston Cecilia and Coro Allegro (Boston, MA), to help support a strategic, two-year collaborative partnership in order to make possible large-scale performances such as Brahms “Ein Deutsches Requiem” in March 2004, and later in the spring the Poulenc “Gloria” and Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” Coro Allegro music director David Hodgkins accepted the grants on behalf of the two choruses.

Cambridge Madrigal Singers (Cambridge, MA) to help support a joint venture with the MacDowell Colony to perform and promote a broad cross-section of 20th century American a cappella choral music and enhance awareness and outreach opportunities for both organizations. Music director Raymond E. Fahrner accepted the grant on behalf of the chorus.

Cantemus (Ipswich, MA) to help fund its annual free Family Concert, designed to educate and excite young audiences about music and its possibilities for them, to introduce new audiences to choral music, and to build this 40-member group’s audience and funding base. Conductor John Hoffacker accepted the grant on behalf of the chorus.

Greenwich Choral Society (Greenwich, CT), to help support its effort to bring chorus and community closer through a program of traditional and classical Latin American music to be performed May 2, 2004, with participation from a local children’s choir and Latino soloists. Chorus members Priscilla Hurley and Ginny White were at the ceremony to accept the grant.

The Providence Singers (Providence, RI), to help fund a new eight-week annual program that will raise the profile of choral education in Rhode Island and nurture young talent. The “Junior Providence Singers @ the Music School” program will culminate in an inaugural performance February 29, 2004. Executive director Allison McMillan accepted the grant on behalf of the chorus.

The Seraphim Singers (Malden, MA), to provide support for its commission of three new sacred choral works from Boston area composers to be premiered in three sacred spaces during the 2003-2004 season. Music director Jennifer Lester accepted the grant on behalf of the chorus.

Women in Harmony (Portland, ME), to help support marketing, outreach, and audience-building for this 50-member women’s chorus that seeks to provide learning opportunities for women, to make choral music accessible to the community, and to promote the work of women composers. Shelley Sorensen of the chorus accepted the grant at the ceremony.

Choral Arts New England presented John Bavicchi with a Lifetime Achievement Award certificate that highlighted his many accomplishments. The full text is set forth below.


  • Whereas: John Bavicchi has devoted more than four decades to the cause of choral music in New England; and
  • Whereas: John Bavicchi directed the Arlington-Belmont Chorale and its predecessor organizations for 44 years; and
  • Whereas: John Bavicchi founded and conducted the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus for 29 years; and
  • Whereas: John Bavicchi formed a boy's chorus at the Rivers Country Day School and directed the high school chorus in Sharon, Massachusetts; and
  • Whereas: John Bavicchi has presented performances of little-known masterpieces by well-known composers and commissioned and performed numerous works by contemporary composers; and
  • Whereas: John Bavicchi has inspired a loyal following of amateurs to perform unusual and challenging repertory at a high level; and
  • Whereas: John Bavicchi, through his years of dedication and leadership, has made a profound and lasting contribution to choral music in New England;

Now, therefore:

  • Choral Arts New England, in memory of Alfred Nash Patterson and in recognition of those who carry on his work through significant contribution to choral music in New England, presents its Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2003 to John Bavicchi for his decades of devoted service to the choral arts.

Robert Holt Farrell, Chair
Choral Arts New England
November 1, 2003

Effective date: 
Saturday, November 1, 2003