By JACQUELINE DURETT
SOUTH AMBOY — The 2016-17 Music at St. Mary’s series is in full swing, with the next show scheduled for this weekend of Jan. 14-15 at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church on Augusta Street.
The diverse collection of classical music performances is now in its 16th year, and the series is run by Executive Director Christopher Deibert.
As part of the series, last month the St. Mary Chamber Orchestra and Choral Society performed Handel’s “Messiah,” a popular annual tradition.
The performance on Jan. 15 will feature the Union County-based Choral Art Society of New Jersey, which will be singing for the first time in South Amboy. The nonprofit Choral Art Society of New Jersey is headquartered at The Presbyterian Church in Westfield, but, Deibert explained, Stephen McCarthy, president of the society’s Board of Directors, is also a member of the St. Mary Church Choir.
“About a year ago, [McCarthy] asked me about the possibility of the Choral Art Society of New Jersey coming to perform as a part of [the] Music at St. Mary’s concert series, and I was very excited by the prospect,” Deibert said. “I had attended a number of their past performances and was well aware of the high caliber of the group.”
At the concert, the Choral Art Society of New Jersey will perform, for the first time in the Garden State, a composition from their own music director, composer and conductor, Martin Sedek, Deibert said. Sedek’s composition, “A Great Light,” was inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 homily in Madison Square Garden, he said. The world premiere was last month in Brooklyn, New York.
The Choral Art Society of New Jersey will also perform Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna,” Guy Forbes’ “O Nata Lux” and Olaf Christiansen’s “Light Everlasting.” They will be accompanied by organist Christopher Jennings.
The Music at St. Mary’s series will feature two more performances before the end of its season. The next concert in the series is March 19, when attendees can see the Plainfield-based Tim Keyes Consort, a near 100-member chorus and orchestra ensemble. The season concludes with the annual Mozart Festival in May. The St. Mary Chamber Orchestra and violinist Christopher Collins Lee, under Deibert’s direction, will perform Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 3.” Lee is the former concertmaster of the New Jersey Symphony.
Admission to the Choral Art Society of New Jersey performance is a suggested donation of $15. The concert is open to the public.
For more information on the Music at St. Mary’s series, visit musicatstmarys.org.