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Ars Musica | 2013–2014 Season Announcement

Location: New Jersey, USA
Choir type: Community Choirs
Voicing: Mixed

Ars MusicaArs Musica Chorale | A Community of Choral Excellence
Dusty Francis, Music Director

2013–2014 Season Announcement


Ars Musica is proud to announce the launch of its forty-eighth concert season in which we present four performances. Introducing our new Music Director and Conductor, Dusty Francis, the season reflects the diversity of styles and periods this accomplished choral group relishes. Ars Musica is also proud to introduce its first-ever Composer-in-Residence, Vince Peterson, a favorite composer of the multi-Grammy® award winning ensemble, Chanticleer. He has been hailed by the New York Times as “authoritative beyond his years” and will be composing two original works for Ars Musica, to be performed in the December and March concert programs.

The 2013–2014 schedule includes two evenings of large-scale works, one themed concert, and a fourth evening presenting the ever-popular Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah with traditional holiday favorites.

Due to their proven popularity, the informative, educational pre-concert talks presented by musicologists and composers will continue to enhance listeners’ Ars Musica concert experience in the coming season.

The season opener on Saturday, November 23, 2013, is the always-exciting Carmina Burana, by Carl Orff. Based on bawdy, irreverent medieval poetry rediscovered in Germany in the early 19th century, Carmina has been pleasing audiences since its première in 1937. Driving rhythms, simple quasi-modal harmonies, strophic forms, and a bacchanalian spirit define Orff’s magnum opus. The opening motif, featuring the well-known percussive sounds of “O Fortuna” and heard again in the final movement, is ubiquitously present both in contemporary concert halls and commercials.

On Friday, December 13, 2013, we continue our tradition of presenting Part I of Handel’s Messiah, plus seasonal favorites by Bach, Lauridsen, and other composers in our holiday concert, along with the world première of a new work by Ars Musica’s Composer-in-Residence, Vince Peterson. We invite the audience to enjoy our presentation of the Messiah and call upon everyone to be a part of the festive concert by joining us in singing holiday carols.

A bouquet of spring arrives on Friday, March 14, 2014 at West Side Presbyterian Church with our bright and beautiful flower-themed concert of American composers: American Voices, featuring the works of Bernstein, Whitacre, and Billings. Highlights of this concert include a performance of Persichetti’s seldom-heard “Flower Songs,” a seven-movement cantata setting the poetry of E. E. Cummings, and Ars Musica’s second world première courtesy of Mr. Peterson.

We conclude our 2013–2014 season on Saturday, June 7, 2014, with our 2014 Masterworks Concert: A German Requiem. Rare among works of this genre, it sets not the traditional Latin text of the requiem mass, but a selection of Biblical texts in the German language that Brahms himself chose for the purpose. Magnificent yet personal, the Requiem’s rich harmonies and soaring melodies express the consolations of faith in the face of the great mystery of death. Brahms stated that he could just as easily have called his masterwork A Human Requiem (“Ein menschliches Requiem” ). It gives us a moving expression of comfort and hope for those who mourn, weaving classical forms with romantic harmonies.

All our concerts begin at 8:00 pm at West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, NJ, and include a pre-concert talk. We provide large print programs, and the church is ADA-accessible. Ars Musica, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Visit our website at for detailed concert information.

By: Marjorie Winters