Artscape Grant Awarded

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Artscape grant awarded to the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series for the 2015-2016 season

By Laura Mazza-Dixon

The Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series, in its fourth year of presenting programs at South Congregational Church, has received an Artscape grant from the Greater Hartford Arts Council for the 2015-2016 season.

The GHAC Artscape grants are made possible by contributions made to both the United Arts Campaign and the United Way Community Campaign. The projects approved for funding by the Greater Hartford Art’s Council’s Board of Directors represent a wide range of arts and heritage applicants from the entire Greater Hartford area.

The Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series (BPMMS) was established in 2012 in memory of Bruce Porter’s leadership as Music Director at South Congregational Church and in honor of his vision of  bringing classical music to life in Granby.

The BPMMS initially began with financial support from the many musicians with whom Bruce and Barbara Porter worked over the years. Organized by a small group of volunteers and supported by the music ministry at the church, its goal is to continue bringing excellent classical concerts to Granby.

Since 2012, the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series has held three or four concerts each season and has welcomed appreciative audiences at every event. The connections that Bruce and Barbara Porter have had with the Hartt School of Music over several decades have allowed the series to attract performers who live nearby but sustain international careers.

The artistic directors of the BPMMS strive to include programs with a variety of styles in each concert season and to plan concerts that will appeal to audiences of all ages.

In the classical and romantic genres, the series has hosted virtuoso pianist Luis de Moura Castro and his students Miguel Campinho and David Garrido Cid, along with baritone Robert Barefield and soprano Alice Matteson.

Representing the Baroque era, from 1600-1750, the BPMMS has had Baroque violinist Emlyn Ngai, with the student Baroque orchestra, the Hartt Collegium Musicum, and the Baroque Ensemble Les Amies de Théodore.

In the category of music with traditional folk roots, the series has hosted the Alturas Duo performing music of South America, and Celtic Fire!, a choral and instrumental program by CitySingers of Hartford that drew a large and enthusiastic audience.

Every winter, the BPMMS hosts the screening of a silent film in the sanctuary at South Church with live organ accompaniment by Jason Roberts, a popular event which attracts many families with children.

The 2015-2016 BPMMS season will begin with a jazz program by the Nat Reeves Ensemble on Sunday, October 18, at 4 p.m. Nat Reeves has built a successful career touring the world with some of the most important figures in jazz in the last half-century. His work as a prominent educator at the Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz has spanned over 30 years. As a bassist, he is regarded as a precise accompanist known for his impeccable time, deep tones and great earthy, organic sound. As an educator, Nat mentors some of the future greats of jazz.

The BPMMS series will continue with a concert on Sunday, November 15, at 4 p.m., featuring soprano Michele Murray Fiertek and baritone Robert Barefield performing music for voice and organ with organist Stephen Scarlato, including a duet by J.S. Bach and solo repertoire by Stanford and Dvorak. The second half of the program will feature art songs with piano, including works by Saint Saens and Schubert. The program will conclude with a medley from The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

On Friday, January 15, 2016, at 7 p.m., organist extraordinaire Jason Roberts will return to create his spell-binding improvisational accompaniment for another classic silent film, Buster Keaton’s The Navigator. The snow date for that program is Friday, Jan 29, 2016.

To round out the season, on April 10, 2016, at 4 p.m., the Hartt Collegium Musicum will return for the third time to perform orchestral music of the 17th and 18th centuries in historically-informed style with Baroque violin virtuoso Emlyn Ngai directing.

WThe Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series is held in the sanctuary of South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook Street, Granby CT. The church is wheelchair accessible. Admission to the concerts is free, with a suggested donation at the door to support the continuance of the series.

For more information please contact the office at 860-653-7289 or visit the website at