Director and conductor, Hugh Van Pelt, founded CHORAL CONNECTION in the spring of 2003. In collaboration with Lucy Van Pelt, pianist of the ensemble, the husband and wife team shaped a musical vision for St. Thomas that included a choir that would unite music lovers near and far to present a wide range of choral music.
The first performance of thirty choristers delighted a local audience, bringing together the newly formed Choral Connection and the St. Thomas Youth Choir. At the urging of the choir members, Hugh undertook the exciting task of presenting Choral Connection’s first Handel Messiah in 2005 at Centre Street Baptist Church. This work has been a popular annual Christmas tradition for many seasons. 2008 featured Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat. Mozart’s Vespers were presented in 2012, his Missa Brevis in 2014, and Schubert’s Mass in G was a highlight of 2015. Other memorable concerts featured compositions by Bach, Puccini as well as Spirituals by Moses Hogan. Orchestral presentations included Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Spring concerts often took the eclectic approach in showcasing a wide range of musical selections including Canadian repertoire and contemporary arrangements as well as presenting solo artists demonstrating masterful skill on their respective instruments.
Throughout Choral Connection’s tenure Hugh Van Pelt has brought exceptional talent into St. Thomas. In addition to showcasing established professional musicians, he has always believed in creating opportunities for young artists to perform.
LINDA MASKELL PEREIRA
HUGH VAN PELT