Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and ‘I Have a Dream’ at Count Basie Theatre

RED BANK, NJ – Dr. Ryan Brandau will make his debut as Artistic Director and Conductor of the award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus with the 2012-13 season, featuring Handel’s beloved Messiah at the historic Count Basie Theatre. Subscribers are guaranteed premium seating for all concerts.

This year’s traditional holiday performance of Messiah and More is on Sunday, December 2, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. The Christmas portion of Handel’s beloved oratorio will be featured, along with Vivaldi’s lively Gloria and Dr. Brandau’s own arrangements of holiday favorites. For many music lovers, it won’t be Christmas without it. Single tickets are $45 for premium seating ($40 seniors, $35 groups, $10 students), and $25 regular seating ($22 seniors, $20 groups, $5 students).

 The Chorus returns to the Count Basie Theatre with I Have a Dream on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm. This unique concert honors the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech, and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Through music, readings, and reflections, the program will explore the growth of freedom in our country’s history. The music will range from African-American spirituals and Civil War songs to more contemporary pieces like a choral arrangement of U2’s moving tribute, MLK.


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The season closes with Maurice Duruflé’s exquisite Requiem, paired with Triptych, composed by Tarik O’Regan in 2005. Duruflé interpreted the traditional Latin mass for the dead as a vision of peace and harmony. Dr. Brandau notes that Triptych “marries rhythmic, syncopated, jubilant passages with moments of stunning, ethereal tranquility. The music is at once accessible, haunting, and infectious.” Karin Gargone of Neptune, a faculty member at Ocean County Community College and Music Associate at Toms River Presbyterian Church, will be the organist. The concert is on Friday, May 31, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 255 Harding Road (Tower Hill), Red Bank. Single tickets are $25 ($22 seniors, $20 groups, $5 students).

Ryan 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 was recently appointed Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and will be working with the Symphonic Choir at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

The 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.

Subscriptions for the Monmouth Civic Chorus are $75 for the December, March and May concerts. Subscribers get premium seating and a 25% savings on single ticket prices. Student subscriptions are only $20. Subscriptions, tickets and information are available at www.monmouthcivicchorus.org or (732) 933-9333.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...