2022 concerto winners.jpg


American Chamber Orchestra

Presents an Encore Event

Mozart Requiem

featuring The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut

with the Glee Club of Fairfield University


american chamber orchestra

Presents an Encore Performance


with The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut

Featuring  Stephanie Gregory, Soprano,

Hope Thacker, Mezzo-Soprano, Daniel  McGrew, Tenor

and Thomas Woodman, Baritone

Under the Direction of  Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell

April 2, 2022 at 8:00pm
The Quick Center
1073 N. Benson rd. Fairfield, CT

adding the Fairfield Glee Club of the Fairfield University

Christopher James Hisey, Music Director

Tickets available at the door


ACO Spring Concert 2022

Tickets on Sale online until Saturday, June 11 at 12:00 noon here or through the "Buy with Tix" link above

FEATURING OUR 2022 Concerto Competition winners

Jeffrey Liang - Liszt Piano Concerto No 1 in E Flat Major

Harry Tao - Haydn Cello Concerto No 1 in C major, 1st movement

Aidan Sharp - Wieniawski Violin Concerto No 2 in D minor, Op. 22, 1st movement

Also on the Program:

Jean Sibelius - Finlandia

John Williams - Themes from

Raiders of the Lost Ark; Superman; Harry Potter; and star wars



Featured Guest



A champion of new music Maestro Hisey frequently premieres new works.

Emmy Award Winning composer Rex Cadwallader recently said of Maestro Hisey’s work, “He is an advocate for new music, and a caring and careful medium through whom my music has been brought gracefully and powerfully to life.”

Christopher Hisey

Conductor Christopher James Hisey is the Music Director and Founder of the American Chamber Orchestra, Music Director and Founder of the Connecticut Philharmonic and Music Director of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras. 

He has also served as the Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Troupers Light Opera Company, and Perrysburg Symphony Chorale as well as the Associate Conductor of both the Perrysburg Symphony and the Bowling Green Philharmonia and Opera Theater Orchestras.

Maestro Hisey has been a frequent guest conductor of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and has made appearances with the Ruse Philharmonic and Pleven Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and the St. Petersburg “Klassika” Symphony, formerly the Leningrad State Philharmonic, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has conducted concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and China. In addition, Maestro Hisey has conducted concerts with such notable musicians as Sir James Galway, Tim Janis, Jackie Evancho, James Dunham, Chris Finckel and Deborah Wong.

A passionate and sought after music educator Maestro Hisey frequently appears as guest adjudicator and clinician at schools and festivals throughout the region.

His student orchestras have won top prizes in competition and have been invited to appear at Carnegie Hall, NAFME Eastern Music Festival and other festivals and concerts in the United States and abroad. He has served as Professor of Conducting, Orchestration and Music Director of the Orchestra at Manhattanville College and Professor of Conducting and Music Director of the Orchestra at Fairfield University. For the last 20 years he has served as Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Greens Farms Academy, in Westport, CT. 

Maestro Hisey holds a Bachelors degree in Viola Performance from the Eastman School of Music and Master’s Degree in Conducting from Bowling Green State Univeristy. He has been fortunate to study conducting with Emily Freeman Brown, David Effron, Gustav Meier, Donald Portnoy, and Donald Hunsberger.

Mr. Hisey lives in Bridgeport with his wife, Heather and their 4 children, Lauren, Alex, Grace and James.

Featured Guest


Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell

One of America’s preeminent conductors of collegiate, community and professional choral ensembles, Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell has been the Director of Choral and Liturgical Music at Fairfield University since 1980. She is also the Founding Artistic Director and Conductor of The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut. In these and all her affiliations, Dr. Maxwell continuously strives for choral excellence through the total commitment and magnificent voices of thousands of gifted singers who gladly audition and travel great distances for the opportunity to work with her.

Noted for immense energy, consummate professionalism and complete dedication to the choral arts, Dr. Maxwell’s mission is to inspire and challenge each singer’s musical potential. Combining her talent with a wonderful sense of humor has set Dr. Maxwell aside from other conductors, making her extremely unique, and placing her in great demand. Her distinctive style and artistic leadership have produced critically acclaimed results from podiums throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. In addition, Dr. Maxwell is a favorite Chorus Master for area orchestras and is a member of the Board of The Fairfield County Children’s Choir. This year will find her choirs singing with The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Maxwell has been recognized for her artistic achievements with numerous awards. In 1992, Immaculata College presented Dr. Maxwell with the prestigious “Distinguished Music Alumna” award. The National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, honored her with membership citing her excellence and outstanding contributions in the field of choral music. The Connecticut Post named Dr. Maxwell a recipient of the “Woman of Substance” Award, celebrating outstanding women of the region, and Oxford Health Care honored her with its Humancare Award for her exceptional efforts in the community. In 2000, Dr. Maxwell was named “Woman of the Year” by Fairfield University Women’s Studies Program. Dr. Maxwell has been named to the National Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu.

Featured Guest




A native of Mississippi, Stephanie Gregory made her debut as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine with the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. She has sung the role of Tosca with Opera Theater of Connecticut, and the title role in Suor Angelica with the Mississippi Opera. She sang her first Mimi in La Bohème with Opera Ischia, a role she reprised with Mississippi Opera, and was featured in the roles of Micaëla in Missouri and South Carolina, as Musetta with the Opera Theater of Connecticut, and Violetta in South Carolina and with the New Opera Festival di Roma, in Rome Italy.

In 2004, she completed a concert tour of South America with the Yale Alumni Chorus as the soprano soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. She made her debut in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires with the Orquesta Filarmônica de Buenos Aires. Other cities included were Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and La Plata, Argentina.

Other operatic roles for the 2001 ‘American Jenny Lind’ include Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Nannetta in Falstaff, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Ilia in Idomeneo and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Opera engagements in 2008 and 2009 included Violetta in La Traviata, as well as reprising the title role of Suor Angelica for Opera Theater of Connecticut.

Her solo work includes Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and ‘Great’ Mass in C Minor, Samuel Adler’s Stars in the Dust, and Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass.

Her first recording, Stars In The Dust, music by Meira Warsheaur, was recorded by the Slovak Radio Orchestra in Bratislava and was released by Albany Records.

Ms. Gregory received a master of music degree in opera performance as well as an artist’s diploma from Yale University. She also graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor of music education degree, specializing in piano and choral conducting.

Featured Guest





Recognized for her poignant and honest portrayal of character, mezzo-soprano Hope Fairchild Thacker has graced venues across the United States and Europe. Recent performances include multiple performances of American composer Juliana Hall’s Theme in Yellow at the College Music Society’s Southern Conference and in recital at the South Texas Art Museum, Corpus Christi, TX. Dr. Thacker performed the Texas premiere of a new work by Juliana Hall, Through the Guarded Gate, in both San Antonio and Corpus Christi, TX, as part of the national song cycle tour Beyond the Guarded Gate, sponsored by the Seattle Art Song Society.

      As an operatic performer, Dr. Thacker has performed roles including Zita (Gianni Schicci), Mercedes (Carmen), Cupid (Orpheus in the Underworld), Augusta (The Ballad of Baby Doe), and The Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors). Oratorio performances include the alto solos of Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Mozart’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, and multiple other works. Devoted to the performance and portrayal of art song, Dr. Thacker performed as part of the inaugural event of the Art Song Institute in 2018 and continues to collaborate in regular recitals with its co-founder and artistic director, Dr. Cheryl Cellon Lindquist, in recitals tours throughout Texas.  Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Thacker partnered with photographer Ambrosia Washington and designed The Spirit and the Sea, a recital whose songs centered around water and spiritual matters related to water paired with photography featuring the waterscapes of South Texas. The recital toured through Texas and Louisiana in 2017-2018 with Dr. Lindquist as collaborative pianist. The following year featured a themed recital, Love Songs and a Kangaroo (2019), comprised of music by American composers and the premiere of a work by composer Ashi Day.

      Dr. Thacker earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from The University of Southern Mississippi. She earned a double master’s degree in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from USM as well. After completing the DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Dr. Thacker has taught in universities in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. She has taught studio voice, foreign language diction, vocal pedagogy, and vocal literature. She is currently a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University Kingsville, where she teaches Vocal Methods, Choral Methods, and studio voice. Also serving as the Director of Music at Asbury Church (UMC), she is a resident of and an active participant in the cultural life of Corpus Christi, having partnered with multiple music, sacred, and community organizations in performances, workshops, and volunteer capacities.

Featured Guest




The American tenor, Daniel McGrew, graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory where he spent four years studying with Salvatore Champagne. Throughout his time at Oberlin, he sang several major roles, including the title role in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring with Oberlin Opera Theater and Orfeo in Monte-verdi’s L’Orfeo with the Oberlin in Italy Program.  He spent two winter terms in Boston studying and performing J.S. Bach at Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute and is passionately engaged with the chamber music and song repertoires. In 2010 he earned the first prize in the Classical Singer Competition and in 2011 was honored at the White House as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.  He continued his studies at the Yale School of Music in New Haven, Connecticut (September-2015-June 2017), and since 2017 at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor for DMA - Doctorate of Musical Arts.

      Daniel McGrew recently performed Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin on his senior recital.  He has been involved with music for film and television as well, and can be heard on the soundtracks of Battlestar Galactica and Superman Returns, among others.  He currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Featured Guest


Thomas Woodman-headshot.jpg


Baritone Thomas Woodman’s career of opera, oratorio, symphonic and recital performances hasbrought him great recognition throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. His most recent performances include the role of the Cavalier in Madeline with The Victor Herbert Renaissance Foundation and Carmina Burana with Maestro Chris Hisey and The Greater Connecticut Youth Symphony. A graduate of the Hartt School, he was a winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.


Woodman started his professional career as a chorister with Connecticut Opera in Hartford and as a soloist with Central City Opera as an apprentice artist while still in college. Upon graduation, he was hired as the Readers Digest Affiliate Artist with the San Francisco Opera and subsequently was a part of the first class of the prestigious SFO Adler Fellowship Program.


Highlights of his performances in San Francisco Opera include The Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Germont in La Traviata and Ping in Turandot.


During that time in San Francisco, he was honored to sing for a State Dinner hosted by President Ronald Reagan for Queen Elizabeth II. His career continued with an engagement with The Darmstadt Staatstheater, singing Der Sekratär in Der Junge Lord in his European debut and then with the Bavarian State Opera where he sang Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Ping, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, among other roles.


Upon returning to the United States he debuted with The New York City Opera as The Count and subsequently sang Marcello there in La Bohème. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Valentin in Faust and with last-minute notice, he jumped in to sing Wolfram in Tannhäuser.


Woodman continued to perform throughout North America and Europe; highlights include performing at La Scala in Milan, Italy and in Nice and Lyon, France. His symphonic performances include Händel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Requiem and Mahler’s 8th Symphony at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.


Locally he has sung with the Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and Hartford symphonies. He currently is the Bass section leader/soloist at The First Congregational Church of Greenwich and resident Voice Teacher at Greenwich High School. He also has studios in Fairfield and Wilton.



our sponsors

official logo.png
Logo - CT Humanities.on white.jpg
Logo - COA.DECD.jpg



Join our mailing list. Never miss an update

Thanks for submitting!