Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series 2020-21 season cancelled

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Celtic Fire program presented by City Singers of Hartford. Submitted photo

The Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series 2020-2021 Season has been cancelled due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Established in 2012, the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series has enjoyed eight years of hosting excellent musicians in the sanctuary of South Congregational Church in Granby. 

In the 2019-20 Season, with grant support from the Granby Education Foundation, the Series presented four events that all drew audiences from the Farmington Valley, the greater Hartford area and beyond. The final program, on March 1, was the Celtic Fire! program presented by CitySingers of Hartford and was so well attended that people were barely able to fit in the church. 

The CitySingers choir is directed by Suzanne Gates, who interweaves sacred hymns and choral settings of Celtic poetry with spoken readings and intersperses it all with lively Scottish, Irish and Norwegian dance tunes played by a band of musicians on traditional string, wind and percussion instruments. As always, it was entrancing.

Within a week or two after that concert, all public venues were closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that upended our lives. That resulted in the cancellation of all church services and other meetings in the buildings on the campus of South Congregational Church.

As of September, those buildings are still under severe restrictions for use. Church services with First Church and South Church of Granby have moved to an online format, as have the groups that regularly met on those campuses.

We will miss sharing these wonderful afternoons of music with friends and neighbors. It is our most sincere hope that all of you have been able to stay safe and occupied in satisfying ways during the pandemic months.

The committee also regrets not being able to host the Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, Tempesta di Mare, with Emlyn Ngai as concertmaster for the program planned for April 2021. Please visit its website (tempestadimare.org) to see the concert programs that will be presented online in the upcoming season. Fortunately, during the pandemic we will all still be able to hear and see this stellar group of musicians bring the music of the Baroque to life.

With gratitude for the support of our entire musical community over the eight years of the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series, we extend our warmest wishes. To all of the performers, audience members, participating volunteers from the membership of South Church, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Granby Education Foundation, and the newspapers and radio stations that have helped us reach our audiences, thank you.