Southern Connecticut Camerata (SCC) continues the remarkable and enduring tradition of the Westport Madrigal Singers, founded by Jeanne D. Kimball in 1955. The choral chamber singers were originally composed of a few women who met weekly with Mrs. Kimball to sing madrigals, canzonets, and other a cappella music. By the end of 1956, they had formed a sextet to share this music in public performances. The following year they added men to the ensemble and doubled in size. Performing in Elizabethan costumes made by the members, the fledgling group was awarded the Judges’ Prize for musical excellence at the 1957 Fairfield County Choral Festival in Norwalk, before an audience of 800.
By 1959, the Westport Madrigal Singers had grown to twenty members. Under Mrs. Kimball’s direction, for several years the group’s spring concert performances were for the benefit of the Westport Unitarian Church’s building fund. In the 1960s they served as strolling minstrels at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, sang for the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Bridgeport, and performed for local school children. In the 1970s and 1980s they performed at Wave Hill and St. Stephen’s Church in New York City, Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks, Music Mountain in the Litchfield Hills, Friends of Music in Westport, Five Mile River Recital Series in Rowayton, as well as Connecticut Public Television. Since 1988, under various conductors, the group has performed at the Arcady Music Festival in Maine and the South Norwalk and Westport First Night Festivals. The group has also been featured on Paragon and Time Warner Cable television broadcasts.
Continuing its tradition of commitment to quality performance, the group changed its name to Southern Connecticut Camerata in 2009. Although specializing in early a cappella chamber choral music, SCC's repertiore spans the past four centuries, including compositions and arrangements from recent periods, some of which is performed with instrumental accompaniment. SCC performed for the first time with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra in 2011.
In April 2017, SCC celebrated its 60th season—and honored its roots—with a concert of music inspired by Italian madrigals over six centuries.