Community Conversation: A Three Lecture Series, “Transforming the Silence,” At President’s College, University of Hartford

Three informative lectures are part of a series of eight Community Conversations prior to the Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944, to be presented by the combined voices of GMChorale and Hartford Chorale, with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, at The Bushnell on May 4, 2017. Commissioned by GMChorale and composed and written by Sarah Meneely-Kyder and Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely, the oratorio is based on the true story of their father, Dr. John K. Meneely, a WWII combat medic in the Army’s fabled 10th Mountain Division, who returned from war suffering from what we now call PTSD.

The first lecture will feature the screening of the 2016 Emmy Award-winning documentary narrated by Meryl Streep, “Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio,” which follows the creation and production of the moving and powerful oratorio, on Thursday, March 23. The screening will be followed by Conversation with Director and Filmmaker, Karyl Evans.

The second lecture will be a reading of the poetry that was set to music for the oratorio. Poet and librettist Nancy Meneely will present her poetry with slide projections and music on Thursday, March 30. Sarah Meneely-Kyder, "Letter from Italy" composer, joins her sister for Conversation with the audience.

The final lecture in this series, “Looking at PTSD,” will be presented by Dr. Jason DeViva, Clinical Psychologist with VA Connecticut Healthcare’s PTSD and Anxiety Disorders Program and Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, on Thursday, April 6.

All the lectures will take place at KF Room, Mortensen Library, University of Hartford, on Thursdays, March 23 & 30 and April 6, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. This series is open to the public; the cost for the series is $80 for the general public and $65 for Fellows. Register at

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Effective Date: 
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 to Thursday, May 4, 2017