Who is Heida Hermanns?
Heida Hermanns, founder of the Connecticut Alliance for Music, Inc. (CAM), was a pianist, teacher and philanthropist. Born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1906, she received her first piano lessons from her mother and at age 15 enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik. She made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at age 18 and toured Europe as a recitalist and concerto soloist through the 1920s and early 1930s.
Heida immigrated to the United States in 1936 and made her New York debut at Town Hall in 1942. In the late 1940s, she moved to Connecticut and helped start the Friends of Music, an organization that presented chamber music concerts. She was also a founder of Performers of Connecticut that arranged performance opportunities for young musicians and sponsored the Heida Hermanns Young Performers Competition, known today as the Heida Hermanns International Music Competition. As audiences and memberships grew, the name was changed to Connecticut Alliance for Music, Inc.
Memoirs of Heida Hermanns Holde, as told to Joanna Foster, can be viewed and downloaded at our website
Classical Music for First-Timers
For those who have never attended an orchestral performance before, maybe you think it’s all stuffed tuxedos and formality. Not true. Classical music has a rich heritage and has also endured for centuries because of its broad appeal. Young and old, alike, enjoy the beauty of symphonic music. For some, it’s an immersion into the arts; for others, a night out.
What should I expect? What should I wear? When should I clap? What if I have to cough? Sound familiar? At some point in time, we’ve all wondered. For answers to those questions, among others, visit Meet the Music, a great resource for the first-timer (and brush-up for us old-timers)!
Don’t let your fear of the unknown keep you away!
Meet the Board
CAM is pleased to introduce Wendy Morgan-Hunter, who joined CAM this past November and is the Artistic Director for this year’s Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition.
Wendy is a Dramatic Coloratura Soprano/Mezzo, director, music director, conductor and private voice teacher. She has performed opera, oratorio, jazz and musical theatre across the US and Europe, winning many competitions and awards, and has sung with numerous opera and theatre companies. Four years ago she moved to Connecticut where she now teaches voice in her East Coast Studio. Since moving east, Wendy has directed groups for The President’s Turn Around Arts program, Horizons and KEYS and specializes in bringing music to disadvantaged youth throughout the US.
Wendy is currently the President of the Connecticut Chapter for the National Association of Teacher’s of Singing, Past President of the Staples High School PTA and is active with Westport’s Arts Advisory Committee. She holds a B.M. in Vocal Arts from the University of Southern California
Dear Members and Friends,
I am so pleased with Board member Wendy Morgan-Hunter’s appointment as Artistic Director of this year’s Competition. Not only has Wendy won many competitions and awards herself as a singer, she also participates as the President of the Connecticut Chapter for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in the administration of a series of competitions and programs designed and presented to recognize and award talented singers and performers around the country. Wendy will also soon direct CAM’s collaboration with the City of New Haven to present an Opera on the Green program this summer.
As you may know, the Arts took another hit in the budget adjustment proposed by the governor last week. Governor Malloy’s plan includes drastic, across-the-board-cuts of 5% to arts grants in the Arts Office budget. These cuts fall on the heels of another 5% rescission made by the Governor earlier in the fall. To put it another way, total funding for the Arts in the current year is 34% less than in FY2008. In the Governor’s proposed budget for this year, the Arts would receive 43% less than in 2008. CAM will need to respond to these challenges accordingly. We are currently revising our membership program and also giving our many members and friends the opportunity to fund and sponsor, or share in the support of, specific projects and events. For example, the average cost of presenting a treasured and unique House Concert is $3,000; each educational outreach program presented in the Bridgeport schools over a school semester is $6,000; hiring the most qualified judges for the Heida Hermanns International Music Competition exceeds $5,000. We will be reaching out to many of our friends to support these and other specific programs and events.
Finally, I hope that you will be as inspired as we are by the life of extraordinary musician, teacher and philanthropist Heida Hermanns and as grateful to be associated with the organization that she founded. Her memoirs were recently posted on our website and can be viewed and downloaded here. It is an honor and privilege to continue her legacy.
My very best,
Barry Persky, President
Connecticut Alliance for Music, Inc.