Photo by John Posada
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Monmouth Civic Chorus is pleased to announce the winners of its Vocal Scholarship Auditions which were held on Saturday, April 29 at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank.
Monmouth Civic Chorus has awarded more than $87,000 to 109 musically talented high-school seniors over 38 years. Anyone interested in donating to the MCC Scholarship Fund may visit monmouthcivicchorus.org and click the Donations tab, or call (732) 933-9333.
Piper Doherty, 17, of Howell is the first-place winner. Piper attends Freehold Township High School. She has been active in singing ensembles and musical theater and was a member of All Shore Chorus from 2019-2023. Piper plans to attend Montclair State University.
Samuel Cusson, 18, of Middletown is the second-place winner. Sam attends Middletown High School North. He has performed in school choirs, All Shore Chorus and several musical theatre productions. In 2022, he won a Basie Award and a Perry Award. Sam will be attending NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Patrick Jordan Calderon, 17, of Boonton tied for third place. Jordan attends Morris Knolls High School. He has performed in shows and All State Chorus. In 2022, he won first place in a National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. Jordan will be attending Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
Samantha Yannarelli, 17, of Atlantic Highlands tied for third place. Samantha attended Mater Dei High School prior to transferring to St. John Vianney High School for her senior year. She has won two Basies and several songwriting awards. Samantha will be attending Berklee College of Music.
Monmouth Civic Chorus makes the music that moves you. The Chorus has been called “near-flawless” (Asbury Park Press), “alive and evocative” (The Star-Ledger) and “superior” (Red Bank Green). MCC is the proud recipient of the 2008 ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, the 2010 Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, and a third-place winner of the 2018-19 American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music.
Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau has broad experience conducting a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles. In addition to his work with Monmouth Civic Chorus, he serves as Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and Amor Artis, a chamber choir and orchestra in New York City. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where he has worked with the Symphonic Choir, which he has prepared for performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony. He remains active as a choral arranger, composer, and clinician, whose arrangements and compositions have been featured by choral ensembles across the globe. Ryan received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Yale School of Music. Prior to pursuing graduate study in conducting, Ryan attended the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Gates Scholar, earning an M.Phil. in historical musicology. He received his B.A. in music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.