August 22, 2014 at 7:01 AM
MADISON, NJ - The choirs of Grace Church, Madison, under the direction of organist/choir director Dr. Anne Matlack begin rehearsals and training appointments now for the 2014-2015 season which includes many special concerts and Evensongs, culminating in a trip to serve as the choir-in-residence at Winchester Cathedral in the UK, August 22-31, 2015.
The choir follows Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) standards, and trains choristers from 3rd grade through adult who rehearse weekly and sing at the 9 and 11:15 Sunday services. The children’s choir program includes individual vocal and theory instruction, special concerts and community events and includes 60 youth between 7 and 18. All are welcome who wish to make the singing commitment. Students are sponsored for NJ Honors choirs, and collaborations, this year including a choir festival at St. Bartholomew’s Church (NYC) in May. Adults have ample solo and social opportunities, and will collaborate with LYRA quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia in an October 22 concert. More advanced teen singers have two a cappella groups; The Daughters of Zion (girls) and The Gargoyles (guys). As well as singing in church, these groups will appear in THE A CAPPELLA JAMBOREE on Friday Nov. 14 at Grace.
Members of the Grace Choirs recently attended RSCM Choir Camps at both Kings College, Wilkesbarre, PA (singing under acclaimed organist David Briggs) and RSCM Newport, RI. Dr. Matlack, who also conducts Harmonium Choral Society, was on the staff of both courses. Choir members who are in town for Labor Day weekend and friends from these camps will present a kick-off Evensong on Saturday August 30 at 5 pm, featuring the music of Smith, Stanford and Rutter. All are welcome to attend this candlelight service followed by a traditional British snack of scones and sherry.
The choirs will sing a week of Evensong services at Winchester (Hampshire, England)—one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the UK and burial site of Jane Austen. For more information about joining the choir or the trip, please call 201-274-4617.
As well as traditional Anglican repertoire, Grace choirs enjoy worshipping with a range of American and global composers, from Renaissance music to African and Sacred Harp. The choirs will be back in full for “Welcome Sunday” services at 9 and 11:15 Sept. 7.