Hartt Community Division Welcomes New Celesti Sondato Conductor Bryan Zaros for 2012-13 Season

Hartt Community Division Welcomes New Celesti Sondato Conductor Bryan Zaros for 2012-13 Season

The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) announces Celesti Sondato's 4th season and a new music director, Bryan Zaros of Avon, Conn. An accomplished and award winning conductor, Mr. Zaros has conducted choirs in nine different countries and has performed at some of the most celebrated performance venues, including the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, and on NBC's Today show. Celesti Sondato is the HCD Adult Chamber Choir, an auditioned SATB ensemble with a tradition of performing varied choral literature, premiering new works, and collaborating with local ensembles throughout the year.

Celesti Sondato celebrates its 2012-2013 season with renewed direction, energy, and vision. While serving through its varied concert work featuring a diverse and dynamic repertoire, the ensemble also plans to take part in collaborations with other ensembles and service projects benefiting important causes to the community. The art of choral music can be a powerful force of unity, harmony, and peace and, with these ideals at its core, a new year and a new beginning for the ensemble is ignited.

Bryan Zaros is a young American conductor continually recognized for his "strong musical imagination" and "deep sense of musicality and communication." A native New Yorker, Bryan received a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Michigan, where he studied under Grammy award winning conductor Dr. Jerry Blackstone.

As a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus for six years, Bryan was a frequent performer on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House throughout his childhood. Performing annually with singers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Sylvia McNair, Cecilia Bartoli and conductor James Levine among many others, Bryan performed in over twenty opera productions with over a hundred Metropolitan Opera performances to his credit. Featured as a soloist on national and international television and radio including Live from Lincoln Center and the Chevron Texaco Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcasts, Bryan has also been a guest artist on the NBC Today Show and has appeared in PBS Concert Specials with Denyce Graves and conductor Marin Alsop. As a singer, he has performed on several occasions at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Hill Auditorium, Temple Emanu-EL NYC, and the Trenton War Memorial.

Following his time at the Metropolitan Opera, Bryan grew quickly into the role of head boy chorister at the Church of the Transfiguration in New York City. At sixteen, he was appointed the Assistant Choirmaster and became a regular conductor of the Choir of Men and Boys, the oldest choir of its kind in the United States. Since then he has served as a church musician in many states, including New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Connecticut.

Recent conducting engagements have included invitations with choirs in England, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, and Slovenia. In February 2009, Bryan was a guest conductor with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Canada's premier choral ensemble, in a concert featuring songs of nature and romance. In the same year, Bryan was the only American conductor invited to compete at the 5th International Competition for Young Choral Conductors and, as such, was the official United States representative at the international event held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has conducted a variety of established orchestras including the Mannes Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, The Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, The Michigan Sinfonietta Orchestra, and the Charpentier Sextet. He is a recipient of awards, grants, and fellowships from Westminster Choir College, the University of Michigan, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a semi-finalist award in Choral Conducting from the American Prize.

In 2010, Bryan was appointed the Conductor of the Archdiocesan Choir at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut. His duties include conducting the choir and the Cathedral Brass during Archdiocesan events and leading the Archdiocesan Choir during their regular monthly Masses.

A passionate educator, he is also the Director of Choral Activities at Avon Old Farms School, an exclusive all-male boarding school, serving students in grades 9-12 and Post Graduate from over 30 countries. His ensemble, The Riddlers, has toured nationally and internationally and recently released their second recording to date, Brothers, Sing On!. Concert collaborations have included performances with the American Boychoir, Pete Seeger, and the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Students under Bryan's direction have earned regional and national recognition from the American Choral Director's Association.

Bryan joined the faculty of the Hartt School Community Division at the University of Hartford in 2012.

The Hartt Community Division Adult Chamber Choir, Celesti Sondato, is an auditioned, mixed SATB choir. The group performs choral music from a wide range of styles and periods, from Palestrina to Brahms to Eric Whitacre. Celesti Sondato has premiered new pieces and frequently collaborates with local performing ensembles, including the Connecticut Youth Symphony and other local choirs. In addition to learning and experiencing great music, Adult Chamber Choir members learn healthy singing technique and ensemble skills through comprehensive group instruction in rehearsals. Celesti Sondato has its primary performances once in the winter and once in the spring, and often takes part in additional performances throughout the year.

Music is the start of the Celesti Sondato experience. It also is a great place of community where adults meet and get to know others who share the same interests. The choir has a tradition of gathering for "potluck rehearsals" a few times each season. Its membership is diverse, including parents of young Community Division students, recent graduates looking for a rewarding creative outlet, working professionals, and people who have always wanted to sing and finally have the opportunity as an adult!

The Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford is a comprehensive community performing arts school with an accomplished faculty who provide performing arts instruction to more than 2,000 students. HCD offers a variety of lessons, classes, and ensemble opportunities in music and dance for students of all abilities, from young children to adults, beginner to pre-professional. For more information about The Hartt School Community Division, visit www.hcd.hartford.edu.

The Hartt School is the comprehensive performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. Founded in 1920, Hartt has been an integral part of the University of Hartford since its charter merged the then Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Art School, and Hillyer College to create the University in 1957. 2010 markEd Hartt's 90th year of providing world class performing arts education to students in Greater-Hartford and around the world. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions a year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. 

Contact HCD at harttcomm@hartford.edu or 860.768.4451 or visit www.hcd.hartford.edu for more information.

Pictured: Bryan Zaros