19 April 2024

Message from

Music Director Michelle Horsley


Dear Trinity Church Community,

When my tenure as the Music Director of Trinity Episcopal Church and of The Choir School of Hartford began in the fall of 2020, the world looked very different. Despite the insurmountably challenging times of the COVID pandemic, we were miraculously able to not only keep our music ministries stable, but in states of growth! When I think about the volume of imaginative programming that we've still been able to do here, I am filled with gratitude and awe. 

The 2020-2021 season was one of virtual choir videos, socially-distant rehearsals, and a collaborative performance of the Kodaly Missa Brevis with St. John's Episcopal Church. In 2021-2022, we resumed our ambitious Choir Course Week, hosted our first of three Halloween PipeScreams, launched a 6-month Compline series, and created a new Choir School website / recruitment strategy. In 2021-2022, we hosted a Lessons & Carols program of under-represented composers, participated in a collaborative Chorister Evensong at Trinity College, launched a Choir School newsletter, and the choristers held a collaborative performance with the all-professional Voices of Concinnity. In 2022-2023, we held an ambitious fundraiser concert of Haydn's Missa Brevis in F major, took the choristers on a tour to NYC, did another Evensong, and capped off the year with the choirs performing a joint Pentecost event, singing Will Todd's Jazz Missa Brevis with Emanuel Lutheran Church. Last fall, we hosted a program called The Hope of Loving in collaboration with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet, followed by an "O" Antiphon advent offering. In January, we took the choristers on another, even more ambitious NYC tour and this spring we have hosted a chorister concert in Hebron, and a very special musical Maundy Thursday service. This weekend we're presenting Birdsong and next month our season will end with a 2-performance run of the Argentinian Misa Criolla, with Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus. Working with the choristers and the adult choir here is an experience I will never forget. My heart is bursting open with gratitude for the opportunity to have worked so closely with such wonderfully curious, dedicated, and compassionate music lovers. 

Naturally, these programs require considerable resources to move forward sustainably. As the diocese reviews Trinity's current financial picture, new budget plans and staffing structures will have to be discerned with careful consideration of a reality that Trinity and so many other churches are now facing. Consistent with Trinity's values, these decisions will be made, I'm sure, with honesty, compassion, and hope for what God may be calling this community to look like moving forward. 

At the end of May, I will be leaving after 4 program years with Trinity's music ministry and The Choir School of Hartford. I have accepted a position at St. James's Episcopal Church in West Hartford, which will involve leading an adult choir, chorister program, and a children's music program. As excited as I am to begin this new position, my heartstrings still feel very much woven to the community of Trinity Episcopal Church. This wonderful, diverse community of faith has been exceedingly welcoming, open-minded, and gracious to me and many others. Serving the music ministry here has been an experience that has expanded my faith and has opened my eyes to bold new possibilities for what sacred music communities can look like. There are a million inspiring stories I could tell about this place which I hope to share in-person in the coming weeks. I am most grateful for the members of Trinity Adult Choir, choristers and their families, the Choir School board (and importantly, its chair, Susan Post), as well as leadership at Trinity with vestry members, committee members, and our dedicated Wardens, Jacqui and Leslyn. 

In God's love and with deepest gratitude, 

Michelle Horsley

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