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Choral Art Society of NJ - Mendelssohn: Paulus

Location: New Jersey, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Voicing: Mixed
The Choral Art Society of New Jersey, celebrating its 50th Season, will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Oratorio, Paulus (St. Paul), Op. 36, on Saturday, January 21, 2012, 8:00 PM at The Presbyterian Church in Westfield located at the corner of Mountain Avenue and East Broad Street.
 
James S. Little, Musical Director of the Society, will conduct the evening’s performance.   Soloists are Ellen Goff Entriken, soprano; Angelika Nair, mezzo-soprano; David Kellett, tenor and Andrew Martens, 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
 
The first of Mendelssohn’s two oratorios, Paulus is rarely performed in its entirety today, but during the composer’s lifetime it was heard often. And no wonder: Like Elijah, which was written 10 years later and has eclipsed Paulus in popularity, the work is full of beautiful melodies, drama, and the highest level of musical craftsmanship. Chorus and soloists—in a series of  choruses, recitatives and arias—and the orchestra all have a vital role in recounting the story of the conversion of Paul from Judaism to Christianity, as told in the New Testament, from which the text is largely drawn. Part One begins with several introductory movements, followed by the stoning of St. Stephen (the first Christian martyr) and Paul’s conversion and baptism. Part Two follows the ministry of Paul and the apostle Barnabas and includes Paul’s persecution by his former coreligionists and his healing of the lame man of Lystra, with a final chorus based on Psalm 103.
 
Evident throughout Paulus is Mendelssohn’s admiration for Handel as well as Bach, whose music was virtually unknown in the 19th century until Mendelssohn conducted a public performance of the St Matthew Passion in 1829, igniting Bach’s rediscovery.
 
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 hand-bell choir and a concert series by the Calvary Chorale and guest ensembles and soloists.   Mr. Little received an M.M. in Sacred Music from Westminster 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 Hand-bell 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 Passion and most recently in Orff’s Carmina Burana and John Knowles Payne’s Mass in D.
Angelika Nair, Austrian-american Mezzo-Soprano, studied voice and conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz as well as musicology at the Karl-Franzens-University, Graz. She was awarded the PhD in musicology from Karl-Franzens-University December, 2009. In addition, has participated in workshops with Colin Mason, Eric Ericson and Ward Swingle. As a singer, she has performed as a soloist with orchestra, in opera roles and song recitals through Austria, Italy and Germany and made two CD-Recordings with traditional Austrian Shepherd and Manger songs.

In September 2008 Ms. Nair immigrated to the US and continued her professional study in voice with Garyth Nair. She teaches voice as an Affiliate Artist at Drew University and is now beginning to build her international singing career. Recently (in October, 2011), she made her Salzburg (Austria) debut as the mezzo soloist in Mozart´s
“Grand“ C-minor Mass in the Salzburg Cathedral where she performed along with an international choir and the Cathedral Orchestra (members of the Mozarteum). She has also performed as the 3rd Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and has covered the role of Madame de la Haltiere (Cendrillon) at the New York Lyric Opera. In January, 2012, she will solo in Mendelsohn´s St. Paul, and is scheduled for recitals throughout New York, New Jersey and Europe.
 
David Kellett, Lyric Tenor, an active concert soloist, has appeared at the Charles Ives Center for the Arts, with the Long Island Jewish Arts Festival, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the National Dance Institute under the baton of composer/conductor David Amram. As Mr. Amram's tenor of choice, David has sung in the composer's opera, Twelfth Night, and performed his songs in concert on numerous occasions. He appeared at Lincoln Center in 2007 on a program celebrating the 50th anniversary of Joseph Papp's Shakespeare Festival singing selections that were composed for productions directed by Papp during the first 11 years of its existence. His most recent orchestral appearance with Maestro Amram was the inaugural concert for the new Oskar Shindler Performing Arts Center in West Orange, New Jersey. He has also appeared with the Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, the Garden State Philharmonic, the Highlands Symphony Orchestra, the Long Island Jewish Arts Festival Orchestra, the Fairfield Chamber Orchestra, the Bridgeport Chamber Orchestra and the Princeton University Orchestra.
As an oratorio soloist, he has appeared with the Bach Concert Series in Baltimore, the Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut, the Monmouth Civic Chorus, the Oratorio Society of New Jersey, the Richmond Choral Society, Commonwealth Opera, Concordia Chorale, the Glee Club and Chapel Choir at Princeton University, Concordia Collge in Bronxville, New York and numerous other organizations in the New York area. 
Andrew Martens, Bass, a versatile performer equally comfortable on both the operatic and concert stages, received his BA in Music and German from Duke University and a Masters and Graduate Diploma in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory. He has been an apprentice artist at the Central City Opera and pursued an Artist Diploma in Opera from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. A member of the San Francisco Opera Center's Young Artist Program, Merola and the Western Opera Theatre, he toured the US and Japan.  Mr. Martens has collaborated with such notable directors as Christopher Alden, David Kneuss, Lotfi Monsouri, Linda Brovsky, John Moriarty, Elizabeth Bach and Paolo Montarsolo. He has also had a long association with the Hudson Opera Theater and has sung numerous roles including the roles of the villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Méphistophêlès in Faust , Sparafucile in Rigoletto,  Colline in La Bohème, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor,  Don Bartolo in  Le Nozze di Figaro,  Angelotti in Tosca and Gremin in Eugene Onegin as well as many others.
Active in the Latvian community, Mr. Martens created the role of Priesteris in the world premier of Ilona Brege’s Dzivais Udens in Riga, Latvia as well as Andrievs in Andrejs Jansons' Laimes Reiboni   .As part of the Song Festival celebrations in Chicago,  Mr. Martens was selected to share the stage with pianist Arturs Ozoli?š as part of The Outstanding Artists Recital in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.  In the 2007 season, Mr. Martens sang as soloist in the Latvian Song Festival’s week long celebration in Indianapolis.  Upcoming engagements for Mr. Martens include Benjamin Britten’s  Noye's Fludde (or Noah's Flood,) with the Church of the Transfiguration and Bach’s Wachet Auf and the Magnificat  with First Presbyterian Church in New York City.  Mr. Martens’ most recent appearance with CAS was in John Knowles Payne’s Mass in D.
 
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 and for this 50th Anniversary performance has been made possible by a grant provided by the Westfield Foundation.
 
 
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