When thinking about writing a blog for the arts in Monmouth County and trying to spin the focus on the music scene –the directions which one could turn are seemingly endless. But with the Holidays approaching it seems only natural and right to go for a more “traditional” approach.
Choral music finds its origins in traditional music and has been around since the 2nd century BC! During the Renaissance, sacred choral music was the principle type of formally notated music in Western Europe and perhaps the most notable in all of history is Handel’s “Messiah.” The Monmouth Civic Chorus has its own rich history and has been bringing outstanding music to audiences around the globe since 1949. They’ve performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and many impressive spots between, and are considered “among the very best in the entire Northeast” (Asbury Park Press) and were the 2008 winner of the Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award which is given to only one chorus in North America per year.
This year the chorus appointed a new Artistic Director, Dr. Ryan Brandau who received his B.A. in music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University and his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music (not too shabby, eh?). This year the series features, you guessed it: Handel’s “Messiah” at the Count Basie in Red Bank, Sunday December 2nd at 4 pm. Tickets range from $5 to $45, and subscriptions are available as well as group rates.
Like to sing? Experienced singers are invited to audition for the award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus by appointment, and are encouraged to attend a rehearsal at the Red Bank Charter School (where auditions are also held). And there’s more after the Holidays too! The Chorus will return to the Count Basie Theater in March honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with, “I Have a Dream.” The music will range from African-American spirituals and Civil War songs to a choral arrangement of Irish rockers U2’s tribute: MLK. The season closes in May with Durufle’s “Requiem.”
For more information you can visit www.monmouthcivicchorus.org or call 732-933-9333. Be sure to get your tickets well in advance (I already have mine).
Monmouth Arts Music Blogger