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Welcome to the May 2015 issue of Echoes, targeted to fans and audience of Monmouth Civic Chorus.
Look for an issue of Echoes in your e-mail before each of our upcoming concerts.
In This Issue:
- MCC Sings Vespers in Long Branch
- Soloists, Orchestra Join MCC at the Shore
- What’s a Baroque Orchestra?
- Gala Dinner, Oldies Cabaret to Benefit MCC
- MCC Announces Scholarship Winners
- What’s on Your Mind?
MCC Sings Vespers in Long Branch
Lyrical settings of the Vespers prayers by Claudio Monteverdi and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be intermingled in Vespers Fusion on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 101 Chelsea Avenue, Long Branch. Under the baton of Artistic Director Dr. Ryan Brandau, the Chorus will be accompanied by a Baroque orchestra of authentic period instruments. The concert is at 4:00 pm with a pre-concert talk at 3:30. Individual tickets are $30 adult, $27 senior, $25 group (10 or more), $5 student. Tickets and information are available at monmouthcivicchorus.org or (732) 933-9333.
Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Yale School of Music, an MPhil in historical musicology from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), and a BA in Music from Princeton University. He returned to the New York/New Jersey area from California, where he was the Artistic Director of the Santa Clara Chorale, and the Director of Choral Activities and faculty member at Santa Clara University. Dr. Brandau is also the Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and works with the Symphonic Choir at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Monmouth Civic Chorus has been called “close to perfect” (Asbury Park Press), “alive and evocative” (The Star-Ledger), and “exceptional” (Red Bank Green). The Chorus is the proud recipient of the 2008 ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, and the 2010 Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce.
Soloists, Orchestra Join MCC at the Shore
A quintet of accomplished soloists and a period orchestra of Baroque instruments will join the Monmouth Civic Chorus in Vespers Fusion. Under the baton of Artistic Director Dr. Ryan Brandau, settings of the Vespers prayers by Monteverdi and Mozart will be intermingled in the resonance of a stone church.
What’s a Baroque Orchestra?
The orchestra for our May 17 Vespers Fusion concert may look familiar at first glance, but it will sound quite different from what you usually hear in classical concerts. That’s because the instruments themselves are quite different. We’ve engaged a Baroque orchestra, with instruments that Mozart and Monteverdi would have used (or modern copies of them). If you don’t know a violone from a sackbut, come to our pre-concert talk at 3:30. In the meantime, here’s a rundown, with links to explore more.
Baroque violin, viola and cello (different proportions, woods, strings and bows compared to modern string instruments )
The Monteverdi Violins – The Baroque Violins
About Baroque String Instruments (Baroque Violin, Viola, Cello) – video
Violone (like a string bass)
Portativ organ (a small box organ)
Natural trumpet (a coil with a few small holes; no valves or keys)
Sackbut (Renaissance/Baroque trombone)
The Resonant Sound of a Stone Church
The May 17 concert will also be at a new venue for us, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Long Branch, chosen because the stone church has the perfect acoustic for the music. “I’m thrilled to put together these pieces, and bring together the quintessences of the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Classical period, under one roof at the beautiful Our Lady Star of the Sea in Long Branch,” said Dr. Brandau. “Its glorious acoustic and grand space will mimic the cathedrals in Salzburg and Venice for which this music was composed.” Here’s a view of where we’ll be singing:
And here’s a look at the historic cathedrals where these pieces were first heard:
Gala Dinner, Oldies Cabaret to Benefit Monmouth Civic Chorus
Oldies lovers are invited to the Monmouth Civic Chorus Spring Soirée, with the theme “Yesterday Once More: Favorites from the 60’s and 70’s.” The evening includes a gourmet dinner with oldies performed by Chorus members in a cabaret setting. Guests will enjoy cocktails at the cash bar while bidding on the silent and chance auctions.
The event is on Friday, May 22, 2015, 7:00 pm. at the Navesink Country Club, 50 Luffburrow Lane, Middletown, NJ. Reservations are $85 and must be received by May 15; no reservations will be accepted at the door. Visit monmouthcivicchorus.org or call (732) 933-9333 for reservations and information.
Monmouth Civic Chorus Announces Scholarship Winners
Monmouth Civic Chorus awarded a total of $3000 to the winners of its 2015 scholarships for vocally talented New Jersey high school seniors. First Place went to Nicole Toms, Point Pleasant Borough, who was awarded $2000. Second Place was shared by Mary Roberts of Milford and Selena Siri of Parlin, who were each awarded $500.
First Place winner Nicole Toms attends Point Pleasant Borough High School, and plans to attend the Eastman School of Music. She won scholarships from the New Jersey All State Opera Festival and New Jersey All Shore Chorus, and was a finalist in the Algonquin Arts Rising Stars, Suburban Music Study Club and Montclair State Curtain Call Awards. Her musical training includes Oberlin Summer Vocal Academy and Walt Disney World Band and Color Guard Clinics. She has performed in choir, band, dance, drama, musical theater, show choir and vocal jazz, and volunteered with Cancer Walk and Relay for Life.
Second Place winner Mary Roberts attends Delaware Valley Regional High School, and plans to attend either Messiah College or Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She has sung with All-State Women’s Choir, All-State Mixed Choir, and Evangel Chapel Worship Team. She has volunteered at an animal shelter while working at a restaurant and maintaining a 3.67 grade point average. She also participates in drama club, yearbook, environmental club, peer leadership, volleyball, cross country, and track and field.
Sharing Second Place was Selena Siri, who attends Sayreville War Memorial High School, and plans to attend Westminster Choir College. She received First Place in the Doris Lenz Festival Competition held by the New Jersey National Association of Teachers of Singing. Her music studies include Middlesex County Arts High School, Rider University Musical Theatre Workshop, and Rutgers Musical Theatre Conservatory. She is a member of the National Honors Society and the Tri-M Music Honors Society. She volunteers for children with autism, brain injury and scoliosis, and enjoys competitive figure skating, cheerleading and art.
This year’s scholarship judges were Monmouth Civic Chorus Artistic Director Dr. Ryan Brandau; Director Emeritus William R. Shoppell, Jr.; Marina Alexander, Musical Director of the Arcadian Chorale; and Reid Masters, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Chamber Singers. The accompanists were Neil F. Brown, Director of Music Ministries, First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank; and Allan Robinson, Organist and Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church, Red Bank.
“Thanks to the generosity of chorus members, we were able to increase the funds for the scholarship from $2500 to $3000,” said Scholarship Committee Chair Jenni Blumenthal. Additional committee members were Arleen Faustina, Mary Pacheco, Clare Resnick, Teri Lindstrom, and Warren Moe.
Since 1970, the Monmouth Civic Chorus has awarded more than $55,000 in scholarships to New Jersey high school seniors of outstanding vocal promise. To learn more or to donate to the scholarship fund, call 732-933-9333 or visit monmouthcivicchorus.org.
Be a Part of Our Online Community
If you’re into social media, check out MCC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. If you’re on Facebook, be sure you “like” MCC, “join” our events, and “share” our posts. Visit facebook.com/monmouthcivicchorus. If you’re on Twitter, follow @MonCivChorus and retweet. If you’re on LinkedIn, join our new group, Friends of the Monmouth Civic Chorus. Sign up at linkedin.com/company/the-monmouth-civic-chorus. While you’re online, take a look at our concert videos at youtube.com/user/mcchorus/videos.
If you shop online, you can help earn money for MCC at no cost to you with AmazonSmile atsmile.amazon.com and iGive at iGive.com/MonmouthCivicChorus. When you sign up, you can designate a portion of your online purchases at participating stores to go to MCC. The store pays, not you. So far MCC has received over $200 this way.
What’s on Your Mind?
Keep Me Posted
Friday, September 9, 2016 - Thursday, May 4, 2017
Saturday, April 29 @ 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, April 29 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Friday, June 2 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday, August 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm