Löfvall Named Choral Union Director

Gabriel Löfvall has been named music director for the Litchfield County Choral Union (LCCU) and is busy planning its 125th anniversary concert, set for August 4 in the Music Shed on the Battell-Stoeckel Estate. 

Löfvall is planning a more modest program than the 2023 concert, the LCCU, members of Yale choral ensembles and regional singers performed Mendelssohn’s choral cantata, “Hymn of Praise.”

“Last year was a great collaborative effort with Yale,” Löfvall said. This year, the LCCU will be joined by the children’s choir, Chorus Angelicus, and its adult counterpart, Gaudeamus, as well as a small chamber orchestra.

“I love collaborations,” he declared. “It’s always a great win. I think Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus will help to diversify and rejuvenate the program.” 

As artistic director of both, he admits to an ulterior motive in including them. Part of the mission set by the LCCU board of directors is to attract more singers. “After Covid, we had half the numbers we had in 2018 and ’19,” he said. “We’re rebuilding notch by notch, but one of the ways I will do that is to bring in the young singers and any members of their families who can sing.”

The program for August 4 will be enjoyable to perform, Löfvall said. It will start with  two pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, including his ‘Sparrow Mass,’ “It’s a glorious piece he wrote when he was 16,” he said. 

The second part of the program shifts to contemporary composer Ola Gjeilo. “He’s a little new age-y, but writes gorgeous choral music,” said Löfvall. “I will use three … beautiful pieces with lots of strings and piano and sustained notes. The singers will love it, I know.”

Löfvall and rehearsal accompanist Elizabeth Allyn will hold a meet-and-greet and initial rehearsal at Trinity Episcopal Church, 220 Prospect St., Torrington, on Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m. Anyone can audition and those interested are invited to contact the LCCU or e-mail them.

The LCCU continues the vision of Carl and Ellen (Battell) Stoeckel, passionate music lovers who brought many music world luminaries to Norfolk in the 19th and early 20th century. It was established in 1899 in memory of Mrs. Stoeckel’s father, Robbins Battell, an outstanding figure in the musical life of Northwestern Connecticut.

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