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The Choral Art Society of New Jersey

Location: New Jersey, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Voicing: Mixed
The Choral Art Society of New Jersey, Inc. will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Cantatas One, Two and Three on Saturday, January 22, 2011, at 8:00 P.M. at The Presbyterian Church in Westfield, located at Mountain Avenue and East Broad Street. 
James S. Little, Musical Directorof the Society, will conduct the evening’s performance.  
Soloists include Ellen Goff Entriken, soprano; Jeffrey Mandelbaum, alto; Stephen Sands, tenor and Mark Watson, bass.  The Choral Art Society Orchestra will accompany the chorus. Admission is $20, $15 for seniors and students, at the door.  For information call 908-654-5737 or visit our web site www.thechoralartsocietyofnj.org
Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio was taken from the Bible, texts according to the Gospels of St. Luke (Chapter 2, Verse 1 and Verses 3-21) and St. Matthew (Chapter 2, Verses 1-12); and in addition, texts from church hymns and madrigalesque works, which possibly were written by Christian Friedrich Henrici (aka Picander).
The date of writing was in 1734, Leipzig. The first performance was on the Christmas and New Year holidays of December 24, 1734 to January 6, 1735, in the churches of St. Thomas and St. Nicolas in Leipzig.
Johann Sebastian Bach, (1685-1750), was a Baroque German composer and organist, born in Eisenach, Germany.  He was a contemporary of George F. Handel.  Bach's other oratorios include: St John Passion (1722-23), The St. Matthew Passion (1728-29), and Easter Oratorio (1725).
 
Mr. Little has been the Director of the Choral Art Society of New Jersey since the Spring of 1999.  He is organist and choirmaster of Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit since 1993, where he directs a program of youth and adult choirs, a handbell choir and a concert series by the Calvary Chorale and guest ensembles and soloists.   Mr. Little received an M.M. in Sacred Music from Westminister Choir College where he studied organ with Eugene Roan and choral conducting with Melanie Jacobsen and Joseph Flummenfelt.  He has performed organ recitals in New Jersey, New York City and New England and is widely known as an accompanist throughout northern and central New Jersey.  He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers and the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity. 
 
Ellen Goff Entriken, Soprano, grew up on Long Island and received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Capital University in Columbus Ohio.   She also studied at the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria, where she was the recipient of the Franz Schubert Prize for Voice and was featured in a recital aired on Austrian Radio.   Ms. Goff Entriken made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in a performance of Handel’s Joshua with the Oratorio Society of New York.   She has also appeared as soprano soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, as well as with numerous other choral and orchestral ensembles in the New York area.   Since 1988 she has been the soprano soloist at The First Presbyterian Church in New York City.   Other organizations of which Ms. Goff Entriken has been a member include the Gregg Smith Singers, the New York Concert Singers and the New York Virtuoso Singers.   She has sung with the Choral Art Society in Bach’s St. John     Jeffrey Mandelbaum, alto,is a winner of the 2003 Metropolitan Opera Competition, New York Districts. He received a B.A. with Honors in Interdisciplinary Performance from Oberlin College, and a Master of Music degree in Historical Performance-Voice from the Mannes College of Music. He has coached in baroque style with Drew Minter and Julianne Baird, and continues his studies of vocal technique and artistry with Linda Monssen.  He is fast becoming known for his powerful and elegant countertenor voice, and for his dynamic stage presence
Recent concert work includes Messiah with the Allentown Symphony,  Orff’s Carmina Burana  with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, the Connecticut Master Chorale, and Cappella Cantorum; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at New York City’s Church of Saint Ignatius of Antioch; Bach’s Magnificat for the Vermont Mozart Festival; Handel’s Esther with the Canterbury Choral Society; and Judas Maccabeus with the Amor Artis Baroque Orchestra. Mr. Mandelbaum has performed Bach cantatas with the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s.  As a recitalist, Mr. Mandelbaum has performed at New York’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, at Saint Paul’s Chapel for New York’s Trinity Church Noon Day Concert Series, at Saint Peter’s Church, for Midtown Concerts at Saint Francis of Assisi, at Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, at Saint Ann’s, and on tour in Tuscany.
Stephen Sands, tenor, is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where for four years he sang with the world-renowned Westminster Choir, with whom he toured throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. He has performed under the batons of some of the world’s most noted and admired conductors, among them Kurt Masur, Wolfgang Sawalish, Stefan Parkman, Jane Glover, Bruno Weil, Joseph Flummerfelt and John Rutter.  Praised for a stunning flexibility and uniquely beautiful lyric vocal quality, Mr. Sands is at home with an impressive range of musical material.  Mr. Sands has been heard as the Evangelist in numerous performances of Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions, most recently with Fuma Sacra and the Westminster Kantorei. During the summers, Mr. Sands is a member of the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale. Mr. Sands is the Vocal Music Director at Bernards High School where he leads the Bernards High Madrigal, Concert Choir and Women’s ensembles.  Mr. Sands is the Artistic Director of Music in the Somerset Hills and he also directs the youth choir at St. Luke’s Church in Gladstone, NJ.  He has been a member and soloist of the choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, Fuma Sacra, the Aoede Consort, Clarion Early Music Society and the Vox Vocal Ensemble. Mr. Sands has previously performed the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with the Choral Art Society.
Mark Watson, bass,has sung concerts all over the continental United States, in Japan, Israel, and Italy. He has sung with the Baltimore Opera Company, Michigan Opera Theater, and Opera Orchestra of New York and the Metropolitan Opera Guild touring company. He has been awarded top prizes in national and international vocal competitions, including awards from the Licia Albanese- Puccini foundation, The Bagby Foundation, the Musicians Emergency Fund, the Guiseppe Borgatti International Competition and the National Society of Arts and Letters competition, among others.
 
Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
  
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