The Monmouth Civic Chorus has brought the finest in choral music to audiences around the world since 1949. Among our most memorable performances are Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, with members of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. The Chorus has been called “close to perfect” and “among the very best in the entire Northeast” (Asbury Park Press). Under the direction of Dr. Mark Shapiro, the Chorus has offered acclaimed performances of new works by living composers as well as traditional great choral works, including Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Ode to Joy, the Requiems of Brahms, Mozart and Verdi, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and an annual holiday presentation of Handel’s Messiah. The group has presented revivals of choral treasures such as major works by Finzi, Holst, Ulysses Kay, Peter Mennin, Carl Nielsen and Ethel Smyth. We have mastered such challenging music as Roger Sessions’ knotty Mass, Rachmaninoff’s luminous Vespers (performed in their entirety in the original church Slavonic), Albert Roussel’s hypnotic Psalm 80 and Stravinsky’s Les Noces with four grand pianos and six percussionists. We recently performed with the Westfield Symphony Orchestra and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in Puccini’s Turandot at the PNC Bank Arts Center to an audience of over 6,000 delighted listeners. We are proud to be the 2008 winner of the Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award, given to only one chorus in North America each year.
The Monmouth Civic Chorus
educational outreach programs include low-cost student tickets, available through
local schools, and our annual scholarship program, which since 1970 has contributed
some $50,000 to the higher education of vocally talented students. Voices of the
Young, our education program designed to involve young people in the composition
of new choral works, premiered in 1999 with our performance of student poetry
set to the music of composer Tom Cipullo. In June, 2001, with funding from the
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Chorus presented its second commissioned
choral work, a setting by Paul Siskind of poems by six Monmouth County students.
Membership in the Monmouth Civic Chorus is open to adult singers and high school seniors who meet audition requirements.