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Harmonium To Perform Rarely Heard Work by Samuel Barber

Jerilyn Herbert Hatcher

Monday, February 18, 2013 • 6:30am

Harmonium Choral Society presents "Circle of Breath,” the second program of its 2012–2013 concert season, featuring Mozart's "Coronation Mass" and the East Coast premiere of a new chamber orchestra version of Samuel Barber's "The Lovers" by Robert Kyr. Based on the sensuous love poetry of Pablo Neruda, “The Lovers” is a stunning work for orchestra, baritone soloist and chorus. Dr. Anne Matlack continues the celebration of her 25th anniversary by conducting this work on which she wrote her doctoral thesis, which - until Kyr’s chamber version - had a prohibitively large orchestration. This will be the second-ever performance of this orchestration, premiered last summer by Conspirare, a professional chamber choir based in Austin, Texas. The concert will be performed on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Morristown United Methodist Church, 50 S. Park Place, Morristown, N.J.

Rounding out the program will be the world premiere of a work written in honor of Dr. Matlack by Montclair-based composer Martin A. Sedek. The select Harmonium Chamber Singers will open with Barber’s “Three Reincarnations.”
 
The baritone soloist for Saturday's performance will be Greg Voinier. Most recently seen as Belcore in Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore" with Vocal Productions NYC, Voinier has also performed roles including Reverend Baines in “Elmer Gantry,” Il Collonello in “Il Giovedi Grasso,” Nardo in “La finta giardiniera,” and Germano in “La scala di seta.” In 2013 he will cover the role of Guglielmo in Mozart's “Così fan tutte” with the Opera Company of Brooklyn. Voinier is an elementary school teacher for the Rockaway Township Public Schools, and he is a member of and frequent soloist with Harmonium.


The Sunday concert features baritone soloist Mark Moliterno who has appeared in leading operatic roles throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the Far East. Among his most successful roles are: Falstaff in “Falstaff,” Escamillo in “Carmen,” Germont in “La Traviata,” Count Almaviva in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” Marcello in “La Boheme,” Sharpless in “Madame Butterfly,” Leporello in “Don Giovanni,” and Falke in “Die Fledermaus.” Moliterno is a frequent soloist on the concert stage and has appeared with symphony orchestras nationwide. Morristown residents may remember him for his many years soloing in area churches. In New York's Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, he has appeared as baritone soloist with the Masterwork Chorus in Handel's “Messiah,” Dettingen “Te Deum,” Bach's “Christmas Oratorio,” Brahms' “Requiem,” Mozart's “Requiem” and “Mass in C minor.” He has twice appeared on the New York Philharmonic Chamber Music Series in Merkin Concert Hall, singing Samuel Barber's “Dover Beach” and Charles Martin Loeffler's “Songs with Chamber Accompaniment.” He is the founder of YogaVoice(TM), a unique application of classical yoga for singers,  and he teaches at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.


The concert’s sixteen-piece chamber orchestra is a hand-picked group of professionals who have played with Harmonium in the past including Merynda Adams, harp, Ruth Zumstein, violin, Marnie Kaller, cello, Lee Ann Newland, horn, Adrienne Ostrander, percussion, and many others.

General admission tickets are $25 at the door and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets purchased on or before February 22 are $20 and $15 for students and seniors. To order tickets in advance, visit www.harmonium.org/paypal.shtml or send a mail order to Harmonium Choral Society, P.O. Box 1317, Morristown, NJ 07962-1317. Large print or Braille concert programs will be made available if requested in advance. Extensive program notes will be available in advance at the Harmonium website.
 

Additional plans to commemorate Dr. Matlack’s 25th Anniversary include a gala fundraising event on Sunday evening, March 10, 2013 at the Westin Governor Morris, 2 Whippany Road, Morristown, N.J. For ticket reservations and more information, please visit www.harmonium.org or call 973-538-6969. And the celebration continues with the Harmonium 2013 Concert Tour of Greece and Turkey this summer.


Dr. Anne Matlack, Artistic Director of Harmonium since 1987, is also organist and choir director at Grace Church in Madison. Dr. Matlack was named 2003 Outstanding Arts Professional by the Arts Council of the Morris Area. Under her leadership, Harmonium received national recognition in 2009 by winning the Chorus America Education and Outreach Award. In 2010 the chorus was selected to perform for the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Philadelphia and was a finalist for the 2010 American Prize for the Arts. In July 2011 Harmonium sang at the opening convocation of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) Region II Convention.

Harmonium Choral Society, based in Morris County, is a 100-voice choral society dedicated to inspiring and transforming the community by performing a diverse repertoire of choral music at a high artistic level. One third of Harmonium's singing members are music educators. Harmonium seeks to advance the choral art by sponsoring commissions, musicianship workshops, community partnerships, the high school student composition contest and other educational programs. The Harmonium Outreach Chorus performs in schools, nursing homes and other venues. 

Funding has been made possible in part by grants from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for the instrumentalists is graciously provided by the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation.

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