Harmonium Choral Society Presents “From the Mountains to the Sea” Celebrating the 15th Annual High School Student Choral Composition Contest
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 • 6:30am
Harmonium Choral Society will present “From the Mountains to the Sea,” celebrating the 15th Annual High School Student Composition Contest at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 3, 2012 at Grace Church, 4 Madison Avenue, Madison, New Jersey. This year’s award-winning student compositions will be performed at the concerts, as well as a suite of commissioned choral works by past composition contest winners. The concert also features an eclectic selection of works by Victoria, Kodály, Chen Yi, Billings and more.
The Grand Prize winner of this year’s 15th Annual High School Student Composition Contest is Jacob Gelber, a junior at Cranford High School. Jacob receives $1,000 for his choral composition “Nightingales” set to the poetry of Robert Bridges. “Nightingales” will be performed and recorded live during the Harmonium concerts on June 2nd and 3rd.
Trained as a classical pianist, Jacob has been recognized for his accomplishments in classical music, composition and jazz. Among Jacob's musical mentors are Suzuki Piano instructor Nancy Modell, piano performance professor Dr. James Goldsworthy of Westminster Choir College, Israeli composer Gilad Cohen, and jazz pianist Victor Lin of Columbia University.
Jamie Currie of New Providence High School receives $250 as this year’s Runner-Up. J. Eric Roper, also from New Providence High School and singer in the Harmonium bass section, is awarded an Honorable Mention. Jamie and Eric study with Susan Kirkland, director of Vocal Music at New Providence High School.
To celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the High School Student Composition Contest, Harmonium will also present a suite of commissioned works featuring past winners Tim Laciano (2011, 2010, 2009), Dale Trumbore (2005), Stefan Swanson (2000), Benjamin Schroeder (1998) and Martin A. Sedek, faculty member at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University and this year’s student composition contest coordinator. The commissioned works are set to the text of A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Harmonium has dedicated the commissioned works to David Hoadley of Mendham, in gratitude for over 30 years of his loyal service and generous support of Harmonium. The composers of these commissioned works and all of the former contest award winners are invited to attend the Harmonium concert in June.
“I’m delighted and amazed that these five short movements by up-and-coming composers reflect the poetry so beautifully and hang together as a set. I hope to see the suite published in the future for more groups to enjoy,” said Dr. Anne J. Matlack, Artistic Director, Harmonium Choral Society. "Supporting the young professional composer continues the mission of the contest."
Led by Dr. Matlack, Harmonium Choral Society is one of New Jersey’s leading choral arts organizations. Based in Morris County, the 100-voice choral society has been recognized for its musical excellence, innovative programming and commissioning new choral works. In 2009 Harmonium received national recognition by winning the Chorus America Education and Outreach Award. One significant factor cited for presenting Harmonium with the award was its sponsorship of the New Jersey High School Student Choral Composition Contest.
General admission tickets are $25 at the door and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets purchased on or before May 25 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.
More information about Harmonium is available at www.harmonium.org or by calling 973-538-6969.
Funding has been made possible in part by grants form the Arts Council of the Morris Area 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.