Director of Con Tutti!
Joanne Connolly, the Director of Con Tutti!, offers many gifts to the Seacoast. In addition to Con Tutti!, she directs Voices from the Heart, a 200-member all women’s chorus. With everything she does, she brings a bit of performer, a bit of whimsy, and a lot of passion. She talks about Con Tutti:
With Con Tutti I hoped to create a comfortable atmosphere where men and women can express themselves with singing and celebrate the seasons with multicultural music and myth. Con Tutti is an alternative chorus for men and women. There are no auditions, and music reading is not required… Just a desire to sing. We sing a range of seasonal multicultural music from many traditions. I call it “Con Tutti!”. I wanted a name that would mean including everyone, men and women, young and old, with mixed abilities. It is wonderful that in our group we have people who have never sung outside of their showers or cars, as well as seasoned professionals.
The Magic of Joanne
“Hellooooooo!!!” Joanne calls to us at the beginning of every Wednesday night rehearsal in the sanctuary of old South Church in downtown Portsmouth. She stands at the grand piano in front of the altar with her microphone headgear looking like Britney or Madonna with water bottle in hand.
Men and women from near and far and with varying levels of ability congregate weekly to fall under Joanne’s musical spell. Joanne believes everyone can sing, and puts her belief to work. She reminds us regularly to “sing for yourself,” no auditions necessary. Joanne is part Peter Pan and part Wendy, and we are all her precious singers together on a great adventure.
Warm ups are a very important part of our practice. Joanne invites us to sit on our “dragon tail,” and breathe through the pelvic floor, pushing the diaphragm down, making room for more breath. She demonstrates funny faces like a rabbit that brings the sound up into the nasal cavity, and takes the pressure off the vocal chords. She has us make funny sounds like when we sing “I’m Flying” as a warm-up exercise. Instead of singing the words “I’m flying”, we sang, “Vee Veevee.”
When it comes to introducing new and sometimes challenging music, Joanne is a master teacher and compassionate world citizen. The music she chooses reflects her love of freedom and justice.
Joanne stretches herself and in turn invites us to stretch. Lifting her voice and her arms, her energy and commitment open new doors for all of us who are lucky enough to come under her tutelage.
Joanne can be reached at
In April 2017, Joanne was one of 3 women to receive the 2017 Inspiration Award from Portsmouth Public Media! The award is for those who have made the Portsmouth area a stronger, more vibrant place to live and work.
The Con Tutti! mission is to create a comfortable atmosphere where men and women can express themselves with singing and celebrate the seasons with multicultural music and myth. Con Tutti! is an alternative chorus for men and women.
I call it 'Con Tutti'. I wanted a name that would mean including everyone, men and women, young and old, with mixed abilities. It is wonderful that in our group we have people who have never sung outside of their showers or cars, as well as seasoned professionals."