Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

HARTFORD – To celebrate the most important holy day of the Christian calendar, the Houghton College Choir, Cathedral Choir, Cathedral Brass, Cathedral String Orchestra and organist Dr. Ezequiel Menéndez will perform an Easter Sunday Concert at 10 a.m. April 8 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph on Farmington Ave.

Dr. Menéndez, Sacred Sounds Concert Series director, said of the concert, “Inspired by the word ‘Alleluia,’ this joyous concert will feature music used to celebrate Easter from around the world.” 

Concert highlights will include Dr. Menéndez, organist, and the Cathedral Brass playing Bach’s “Alleluia” from Cantata 142; a solo quartet singing Mozart’s Regina Coeli; and the combined Cathedral Choirs, Houghton College Choirs and Cathedral String Orchestra performing Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia;” an American spiritual, “O Praise His Holy Name;” and Mascagni’s “Regina Coeli” from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. 

Since its inception in 1931, the Houghton College Choir of Houghton, N.Y., has earned a reputation for its artistry and diverse musical styles. Recent concert performances in the United States include concerts in New York City at Lincoln Center, Fort Lauderdale, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Philadelphia and international concerts throughout Austria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. This May the choir will perform a concert tour of France, Italy and Spain, including a special performance at the Vatican.

Under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Douma, the Cathedral Choir comprises both volunteer and professional singers. The choir’s repertoire is drawn from all stylistic periods and a variety of cultural traditions. Dr. Douma is the director of the Yale Glee Club and also serves as associate professor of conducting at the Yale School of Music, where he teaches conducting and literature in the graduate choral program. 

Dr. Menéndez has been the director of music at the Cathedral of St. Joseph since 1998. A native of Argentina, he graduated from the Conservatorio Gilardo Gilardi as Professor Superior de Organo. In 1992, he received his Master of Music degree from Yale University and in 2006, he received the Doctor of Musical Art degree from Boston University. Dr. Menéndez has performed as soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Estable del Teatro Argentino, Orquesta de Camara de la Municipalidad de La Plata, and The Hartt School Symphony Orchestra.

The Sacred Sounds Concert Series at the cathedral, headed by Dr. Menéndez, presents more than 15 full-scale concerts annually to the city of Hartford, making it one of the foremost music series in the region. Guest performers for the 2011-12 season include the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, The Hartt School orchestras and choirs, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Chorale, New Haven Chorale, and Greater Middletown Chorale, as well as the cathedral’s renowned choirs and orchestras.