Acclaimed Chorus Offers Innovative and Safe Choral Programming During COVID Era
RED BANK, NJ - Artistic Director Dr. Ryan James Brandau will lead the award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus in an inspired season of reimagined performances and choral experiences, beginning with a multimedia version of the chorus’s beloved annual holiday concert.
To kick off the season, MCC premieres Joy to the World: From Our Homes to Yours on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at 4 p.m. In the tradition of our usual performances at the historic Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank — but this year brought to you online — Dr. Brandau masterfully intertwines his stirring original settings of holiday favorites with traditional carols, poetry, and more, from Silent Night to Auld Lang Syne.
Rehearsals for this program take place weekly via Zoom, with dozens of singers tuning in from home, learning and adapting as we go. The virtual performance will include audio and video tracks recorded individually and edited together into a seamless whole.
The chorus will offer a second virtual performance in March, with further details of the season to be released as soon as changing conditions permit. From time to time throughout the season, patrons will have the opportunity to join MCC behind the scenes for sing-alongs of larger works such as Brahms’ A German Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B minor, and Handel’s Messiah.
“To be sure, this season presents unique challenges for choral singing,” said Dr. Brandau. “But we’re finding it also presents unique opportunities — to hone and expand our skills, to strengthen our community, and most importantly, to persist in bringing some measure of joy to the world when joy is needed most.”
In an effort to include everyone who could use a little uplifting this season, MCC will offer Joy to the World: From Our Homes to Yours free of charge. To help defray our ongoing expenses, we welcome your tax-deductible donations at wwww.monmouthcivicchorus.org . To stay in touch and get access to exclusive content, be sure to opt in to the choir’s email list.
About Monmouth Civic Chorus: The Monmouth Civic Chorus has been called "near-flawless" (Asbury Park Press), "alive and evocative" (The Star-Ledger) and "superior" (Red Bank Green). 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.
About Ryan James Brandau: 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.