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What is Ars Musica? What do we do?
The Mission of Ars Musica is to:
- Craft excellent programs of a wide range of choral music
- Provide choral singers with challenging, instructive, and rewarding opportunities to make music together, and to
- Enrich and educate the community by offering the excitement of live performance to a broad audience.
Founded in 1965, Ars Musica has presented 50 years of great choral music in northern Bergen County. Our concerts have often featured guest artists and instrumentalists from the rosters of the metropolitan area’s renowned opera companies and professional symphony orchestras. We have brought to our audience such diverse classics as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Handel’s Israel in Egypt. We have presented the US premieres of works by renowned composers including, in 1997, Olivier Messiaen’s Chant des déportés, a composition rediscovered only six years before, and two operas by Pietro Mascagni: Silvano and Pinotta. A recent initiative has found Ars Musica working with a Composer-in-Residence to bring to life a commissioned cycle of choral music.
Recognized as one of the most accomplished choruses in the region, Ars Musica has also performed throughout New Jersey and New York in such venues as the Trenton War Memorial, the Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank), Symphony Hall (Newark), St. John the Baptist Cathedral (Paterson), Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Members and friends have had the extraordinary opportunity to sing throughout Europe and Great Britain, as well as in St. Petersburg, Russia. We have represented the New Jersey classical music scene in an exchange program with the Antwerp (Belgium) Bach Choir; in joint performance with a community choir in Dijon (France); in concert with the illustrious Brno Philharmonic in Prague (Czech Republic); at the prestigious Salzburg (Austria) Choral Festival; and at the Spoleto (Italy) Festival of Two Worlds where we presented the European premiere of the Mass for the Contemporary English Liturgy by Pulitzer Prize winner and festival founder, Gian Carlo Menotti.
In appreciation of the unique joy, beauty, and synergy of choral singing, Ars Musica has established the Encore Young Artist Program. Now in its third year, the program is designed to provide opportunities to exceptional young musicians to broaden and deepen their musical experiences while gaining important skills for a lifelong career in music. We have also shared our love of singing by collaborating for over ten years with the choirs of Northern Valley Regional High School Demarest led by Leslie MacPherson, who wanted to show her students that “music does not end after high school.” The talented young people of these choirs have joined forces with Ars Musica for a number of exciting performances, memorably in 2007 when the combined choirs premiered an original composition by a Northern Valley student and, most recently, with the Westchester Symphonic Winds at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall.
Your contribution will allow Ars Musica to continue to expand its programming, present exciting concerts, and train young artists for many years to come.
Thank you for your support of Ars Musica!