Building Community One Note at a Time

Noah Blocker-Glynn, Artistic Director


For Immediate Release:

Greater New Haven Community Chorus Selects Award-Winning Composer
Jake Runestad for 
50th Anniversary Commissioned Choral Work

New Haven, CT – January 27, 2014 – Greater New Haven Community Chorus has commissioned award-winning composer Jake Runestad to compose a choral piece to celebrate its 50th anniversary.  The premiere performance of the piece, Voices of One, will take place at GNHCC's Spring Concert on Saturday, May 31 at Battell Chapel.

The choral composition is the final stage of the chorus’ year-long creative development process:  Photography and poetry contests encouraged amateur photographers and poets from the Greater New Haven area to contribute to the creative process through their art forms.  Poems, based on images chosen in the photo contest, were then offered to Runestad as a basis of the text for the choral work, which he has now set to music.

In addition to the world premiere of Voices of One, the 50th anniversary concert will include Rejoice in the Lamb by Benjamin Britten, as well as works by Gwyneth Walker, Moses Hogan, Gerald Finzi and Frank Ticheli.

Runestad (b. 1986) is noted for his versatility and wide range of expressive capabilities with music driven by soaring melodies, driving rhythms, and lush textures.  Considered “highly imaginative…with big ideas” (Baltimore Sun) and “stirring and uplifting” (Miami Herald), Jake has received commissions and performances from leading ensembles such as Seraphic Fire, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, VocalEssence, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cantus (Minnesota), and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

A diverse composer, Mr. Runestad’s prolific body of work represents many genres – including music for wind band, chorus, orchestra, chamber ensembles, jazz ensembles, and opera.  He has received awards and grants from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, the Peabody Conservatory, the Otto Bremmer Foundation, VocalEssence, the Virginia Arts Festival, the National Association for Music Education, the Association for Lutheran Church Musicians, and the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota.

Jake Runestad holds a Master’s degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts.  He has also studied extensively with acclaimed composer Libby Larsen. Mr. Runestad currently lives in Minneapolis, MN.

Greater New Haven Community Chorus is a non-auditioned chorus of approximately 100 voices which draws its membership from throughout the greater New Haven area.  GNHCC strives to embrace the wide diversity of the community and is committed to making quality music accessible and approachable for audiences and members alike.  Greater New Haven Community Chorus was founded in 1963 as a venture in community singing and continues to perform with pride and distinction.

For more information about GNHCC, please visit or email: [email protected].


Media Contacts:

Dennis Burke
Marketing/PR Chair, GNHCC Board of Directors
[email protected]

Katherine McManus
President, GNHCC Board of Directors
[email protected]