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 Dorothy Barnhart - Artistic Director, Conductor and Founder, Chorale Connecticut

A native of Kansas, Dorothy Barnhart received her degree in music education from Kansas University, and a Master’s Degree in music education from Wichita State University.  She moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1979, where she established the Barnhart Voice Studio while studying conducting under Maestro Otto Werner Mueller at Yale University. At the same time, she served as the director of music at the First United Methodist Church of Meriden, conducting choirs and a brass ensemble. During her early years in Connecticut, Ms. Barnhart studied voice with master teachers Madam Marga Mueller in New Haven and Madam Eva Likova in New York City.

Ms. Barnhart was fortunate to sing under Robert Shaw’s direction during her college years in Kansas.  Later in her career, she attended one-week choral workshops held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has also participated as a conductor at the Keene Choral Festival under Dennis Keene, Master Conductor and director of the choral group “Voices of Ascension,” and held at the Kent School in Kent, CT.

Ms. Barnhart was the Director of the Wallingford Chorus from 1990 through 1996, and taught voice in the music department of Choate Rosemary Hall of Wallingford for a number of years.

Ms. Barnhart founded Chorale Connecticut in 1996, a not-for-profit auditioned choral ensemble based in Meriden, CT.  Since the Chorale’s inception she has served as its Artistic Director and conductor.  Ms. Barnhart was also the director of The Travelers Choral Club, a non-profit organization under the auspices of Travelers Insurance of Hartford, CT, from 2006 to 2009.

Ms. Barnhart has studied singing with professional soloist and master teacher Beverly Myers in New York City and with Robert Edwin, a master teacher specializing in Broadway technique. She attends the Connecticut American Choral Directors Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing conferences whenever possible. The Chorus America’s “A Cappella Conducting Master Class” workshop held in Houston, TX in January 2010 gave Ms. Barnhart the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals and to refine her a cappella teaching skills.  In 2011, Ms. Barnhart attended a vocal Pedagogy Workshop sponsored by the Boston Conservatory, which offered her a rare opportunity to acquire the most up to date information regarding voice production and vocal health, and to observe internationally acclaimed master teachers of voice. In early 2014 Ms. Barnhart directed the Connecticut Southern Regional Choir.  These exciting and intense musical experiences have served to expand and deepen the scope of her professional development.

In addition to directing Chorale Connecticut, Ms. Barnhart teaches voice in her Southington studio.  She is the Director of the First United Methodist Church Choir as well as the Director of the hand bell choir.

Yes, Dorothy is from Kansas.  However, after living in Connecticut for 35 years, New England has become her second home.  She shares her life with Hannah Blue, a delightful and energetic standard poodle.

A Note from Dorothy
Music is my life. It began in a small rural community in Southwest Kansas. I remember the first time I heard music. I was three years old; the marching band was practicing its maneuvers in front of our house. The sound of those rhythemic drums and pounding feet stays with me to this day. Special teachers in my life have fostered my joy of music leading me to my present place directing students and adults in my studio and in rehearsal with Chorale Connecticut. My first singing teacher was Mrs. King - a dramatic and passionate former opera soprano who gave lessons to my siblings and me. I remember one exercise in particular; at the start of each choral reading lesson we recited the poetry of “The White Cliffs of Dover” mimicking the actions with the inflections of our very loud elementary school voices. Her discipline and structure are the core of my teaching methods. Another noteworthy influence was Mr. Rawlands. His instruction emphasized rhythm using drum sticks and a pad on a seemingly endlessly daily basis. These stellar teachers, along with many other musicians, built my skills giving me as a youngster a sense of self worth and pride in accomplishment. I hear the echo of their voices and feel their passions around me as I teach. My mission is to lead others as I have been led. When I listen to an immature voice gathering air, reaching for a high note, finding the right pitch, and giving way to the music, I glow with pride and gratitude. I am blessed in my past and my present living a life of Music.
 Sandy Antonelli - Accompanist
Sandra Antonelli was born and raised in the small town of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio and received her Bachelor’s of music degree in Piano Performance and Music Education. She has accompanied high school and adult choruses as solo instrumentalists and vocalists all through her career. She has also taught choral music in the public schools.

In addition to being the accompanist for Chorale Connecticut since its inception in 1996, Sandra is the accompanist for the Wallingford Chorus, the Church of the Resurrection choir and the Hopkins Concert Choir, joining them on five European concerts in Hungary, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Bavaria, and Austria. For fifteen years she was a music teacher and accompanist for Kidsong, a two week vocal music camp for students ages 7 through 14 located in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Sandra also was the accompanist for the Lyman Hall High School Chorus for many years.

She lives with her husband Tony in Wallingford, Connecticut where she teaches piano. They are parents of two daughters and three sons and enjoy time with their nine grandchildren.
 Board of Directors
Dorothy A. Barnhart Artistic Director
Edgar Flynn President
Terry Doyle Vice President
Joan Kilby Secretary
Florence A. Thibodeau Treasurer
Sandra L. Antonelli Accompanist - ex officio
Suzanne Simpson Fundraising Coordinator
Flora Sittnick Chorale Liaison
Ira Dicker Publicity Chairman
Dana Northway Program Ad Coordinator
Maureen Binder Event Coordinator
Janet Flynn Member at Large
 Our Mission Statement
Music transforms life. As such, Chorale Connecticut strives to uplift the spirit by fostering the enjoyment and appreciation of choral music while promoting community involvement in the arts.
 Our Identity
Chorale Connecticut is a chamber ensemble of mixed voices. We are dedicated to providing high quality performances of diverse choral music. These works are presented in the style originally intended by the composer.
 Our Goals
- Continually expand our repertoire through the performance of substantial
  works by composers from the Renaissance through the 21st century.
- Increase the Chorale membership to fifty singers while maintaining balance of vocal parts.
- Develop a strong base of supporters to assist in the achievement of our mission. This group
  will be composed of business and community leaders who have an active interest in the arts.
- Collaborate with other musical organizations through combined performances.
- Promote choral singing among young people by encouraging qualified high school
  and college students to sing with the Chorale.
- Bring the Chorale's music to Central Connecticut and other communities outside of Connecticut.

Chorale Connecticut
P.O. Box 64, Southington, Ct 06489

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