Founded on September 6, 1997, Con Brio was the realization of a vision held by eight experienced choristers: Peter Amos, Winnie Burnham, Anne Ferris, Joanne Godfrey, Ellie Grasso, Joan Matz, Kay Patch and Marcia Ryan. Their goal was uncompromising musical excellence in an auditioned, amateur chamber choir.
Con Brio mourns the passing of many of its Founders, who worked so tirelessly to create and build Con Brio, and who loved to sing and enjoy the company of fellow choristers. They would be so proud of Con Brio today. Con Brio is truly indebted to them. Their memory and their legacy live on in Con Brio’s music and its spirit.
Con Brio now numbers over 70 auditioned and highly motivated singers from Branford to Glastonbury to Groton and beyond. Attracting both professional musicians and enthusiastic amateurs alike, many of Con Brio’s members sing or have sung with other choruses including Concora, Hartford Chorale, The New Haven Chorale, Pro Arte Festival Chorus, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Royal Choral Society, the London Philharmonic Choir, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Connecticut, Mystic River Chorale, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Cappella Cantorum.
The past Presidents of Con Brio are listed below, the dates indicating the start of each term. During Sheldon Baker’s presidency, the by-laws were amended to allow the date of the Annual General Meeting to be changed from the fall to the spring, to align better with the concert year.
9/1997 Peter Amos
10/2000 Marcia Ryan
9/2003 Tony Carrano
9/2004 Alan Head
9/2006 Sheldon Baker
4/2008 Peter Amos
4/2010 Susie Rahr
4/2012 Bob Sjogren
4/2014 John van Epps
4/2016 Peter Amos
Following consultations with Dr. Peter Bagley (University of Connecticut) and Mr. James Sinclair (Orchestra New England), the Founders appointed Dr. Stephen Bruce as the first Music Director of Con Brio, a position he continues to hold.
Ms. Donna Breen Stamm was Con Brio’s first Associate Music Director, a position she held until her retirement in 2009. Ms. Stamm was succeeded by Ms. Susan Saltus, who continues to hold the position.
A complete, illustrated history of Con Brio may be down loaded here: The Con Brio Story
A full, searchable database of all past performances and artists may be viewed here.