Northeast Connecticut Community Orchestra Concert

For the first time, the Northeast Connecticut Community Orchestra will perform with singers from the Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut in two concerts featuring selections from Messiah by G.F. Handel played on the magnificent pipe organ at Pomfret School’s Clark Memorial Chapel. The concerts are Friday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m.
 The concerts are free of charge. Donations are welcome.

Pianist/organist John Nisbet will play organ for the selections from Messiah featuring soprano Donna Dufresne and alto Lindsay Cabaniss. Nisbet will also perform Organ Concerto No. 4 by G.F. Handel with the orchestra. Nisbet is the organist at Trinity Episcopal Church, Milton, Conn., where he plays the 1823 Thomas Hall tracker-action organ.

The musical program includes a rare performance of Christmas Suite by English composer Alec Rowley and Hubert Parry’s English Suite.

Under the baton of conductor Dylan Lomangino, the orchestra, which is based in Ashford, is composed of 23 musicians who play violin, viola, cello and double bass from towns throughout Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner,” including  Ashford, Brooklyn, Willington, Willimantic, Storrs, North Windham, Woodstock, Pomfret and Thompson.

“This is a special occasion, the first collaboration of our two community ensembles. These musicians and singers want to share their love of music with their friends, family and neighbors.  That is why the concert is free, and the doors are open for anyone who wants to come and celebrate this wonderful time of year with us,” Lomangino said.

The pipe organ at Clark Memorial Chapel was built by George S. Hutchings Organ Company of Boston. According to the Pomfret School website, the chapel itself was constructed of local Pomfret stones in 1908 in memory of George Newhall Clark, Class of 1904, who died of illness during his sophomore year at Harvard University. The chapel is a Norman-inspired stone church based on a much older chapel in Pontefract, England.

This concert, Holidays with Handel, is the Northeast Connecticut Community Orchestra’s 7th Annual Christmas Concert. If you play violin, viola, cello or bass, you are welcome to join us. Rehearsals at Fridays at 6:30 p.m. at the Ashford Town Office Building bhind the Ashford Town Hall. For more information, call Jane Vercelli, president, at 860 428-4633. Visit us at:

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