(FREEHOLD, NJ) -- The award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus presented Message in a Bottle: Songs Sent Across the Seas on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church of Freehold. Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.
This crowd-pleasing concert comprised a collection of iconic shorter works originating in the United States and Europe, featuring favorites by Morten Lauridsen to celebrate his 80th year. The chorus will tour to Austria and Italy with similar repertoire in July.
"The choral works Morten Lauridsen created in the 1990s reignited the choral repertoire, earning quickly and truthfully the oft-meaningless designation ‘instant classics.’ I’ll never forget hearing them for the first time, feeling them mesmerize my young musical mind," said Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau. "This was music that somehow glimmered, shone, and pulsed in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Lauridsen alit on a combination of harmony and voicing that beguilingly and powerfully conveyed the images of light and spirit and mystery in his texts."
Dr. 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.
Dr. Brandau 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.
The First Presbyterian Church of Freehold is located at 118 West Main Street in Freehold, New Jersey.
Monmouth Civic Chorus makes the music that moves you. The Chorus 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.
Here are more photos from the concert.
John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 110 productions for over 70 different theatres and venues. Click here for John's website.