RED BANK, NJ – A quartet of accomplished guest soloists will join the award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus in Messiah and More on Sunday, December 2, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, New Jersey. 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.
“An American artist at home in many vocabularies” (Chicago Sun-Times), soprano Jo Ellen Miller is a versatile performer known for her “lovely, rounded tone” (New York Times) in her work as a classical artist and interpreter of contemporary works. She was led by James Levine as the soprano soloist with the Met Chamber Ensemble, and was the soloist in Elliott Carter’s A Mirror on Which to Dwell with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez. Ms. Miller has appeared at Carnegie Hall (all three stages), Avery Fisher Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Library of Congress, and with the Boston Pops. She has sung Mahler’s 4th Symphony, Rutter’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Messiah, and Beethoven’s 9th with such groups as National Chorale, Distinguished Concerts International New York, Tanglewood Orchestra, and Lubbock Symphony, and the operatic roles of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème, and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. She is a past recipient of the Monmouth Civic Chorus scholarship, a Middletown High School South alumna, and the daughter of MCC members Pat and Steve Miller.
Versatile mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney is recognized for her rich and expressive tone, clear articulation, and intelligent musicianship. She is equally active performing early and contemporary music, and is especially sought after to perform chamber music and new works by contemporary composers. She has been heard recently with Bach Vespers NYC, Mark Morris Dance Group, Bard SummerScape, Saint Luke in the Fields, Trinity Wall Street, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York Choral Society, Oregon Bach Festival, Berkshire Bach Society, Fairfield County Chorale and TENET. Kate is currently a featured soloist in the world tour of Glass’s Einstein on the Beach with the Philip Glass Ensemble, and she premiered Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar, which will be released on New Amsterdam Records. Kate has also recorded a song cycle by James Adler, Reflections upon a September morn, released on Albany Records, and she works closely with many other composers, including Lisa Bielawa, whose music Kate performed in recital at John Zorn’s The Stone, NYC. Upcoming projects include a commission by composer Marie Incontrera with Brooklyn Art Song Society. Kate holds degrees from Eastman, Yale, and SUNY Purchase. Originally from Toms River, she now resides in Brooklyn.
Praised by The New York Times in December 2011 for his “lithe, shapely tenor which gave his arias a sense of authority” in Handel’s Messiah, and in April 2011 for his “powerful, polished and moving Evangelist” in C.P.E. Bach’s Matthew Passion, tenor Steven Caldicott Wilson made his Carnegie Hall debut in December 2010 singing Messiah with The Masterwork Chorus. In 2011, he performed the title role in Clarion Music Society’s production of Handel’s Judas Maccabeus (recorded for commercial release) and, at Trinity Church Wall Street, the New York premiere of Alice Parker’s Songs for Eve. Steven is a member of the classical male vocal quartet New York Polyphony. 2012 will see him performing with New York Polyphony in Saint-Lô, France and Fairbanks, Alaska as well as solo engagements in Pittsburgh and Albuquerque. A 2001-05 enlisted member of the United States Air Force Band Singing Sergeants, Steven is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Yale University Voice Masters program in early music.
Baritone John Maynard is quickly gaining recognition as an exciting talent, praised equally for his “abundance of lyricism” (Boston Globe) and his bold acting choices. A recent graduate of the Merola Opera Program, Mr. Maynard was praised in the San Francisco Examiner for having “escalated the production above the plane of situation comedy to a narrative in which motives required greater scrutiny from the audience.” At Merola, Mr. Maynard was the recipient of the Richard F. Gold career grant from the Shoshana Foundation. He was also a finalist in the Boston district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2009, and a finalist in the Jensen competition in 2012. Mr. Maynard recently debuted with New York City Opera in the role of Baron Douphol in La Traviata. Beginning his career as a bass, Mr. Maynard has transitioned into singing some of the most challenging roles in the baritone repertoire, including a recent performance of the great role of Athanaël in Massenet’s Thaïs. Praised both for being “physically impressive” and possessing a “big warm voice”, Mr. Maynard recently made his debut in Wagnerian repertoire with the role of Donner in Das Rheingold.
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Dr. Ryan Brandau will make his debut as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Monmouth Civic Chorus with this concert. Dr. 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.
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 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.
Listeners are invited to bring nonperishable food or monetary donations to Lunch Break, for local residents in need of help. Tickets are $45 for premium seating ($40 seniors, $35 groups, $10 students), and $25 economy seating ($22 seniors, $20 groups, $5 students). Season subscriptions are $75 for the December, March and May concerts. Subscribers get premium seating and a 25% savings on single ticket prices. Student subscriptions are $20. Subscriptions, tickets and information are available at www.monmouthcivicchorus.org or (732) 933-9333.