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Harmonium Concert "The Song Within" Features Grammy-Nominated Cantata about Anne Frank

Rachel Clark (left, of Denville) will sing the role of Anne Frank Sunday afternoon; Laura Winslow (right, of Madison), Saturday evening. Credits: Beth B. Branigan

Harmonium Choral Society, led by Artistic Director Dr. Anne J. Matlack,  presents “The Song Within” featuring Grammy-nominated “Annelies,” a choral cantata about Anne Frank by British composer and conductor James Whitbourn. “Annelies” will be performed with Harmonium soprano soloists Laura Winslow and Rachel Clark, chorus, violin, cello, clarinet, piano, and enhanced by a multimedia presentation. In addition, the Harmonium Chamber Singers will perform works by Tarik O’Regan, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and Mark Miller, a Harmonium Composer-in-Residence. The concert will be held 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, 2014 at the United Methodist Church, Morristown, N.J. [Snow Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014.]
Dr. Matlack explains: “’Annelies’ is beautiful, it is emotional, it is sometimes frightening and often very intimate. Most of the text is in English but some Dutch and German are also incorporated. The work straddles the achingly fine line between the horrors of the war and the hopeful and creative spirit of the young Anne. There are grandchildren of Holocaust survivors in the choir, as well as people who can trace deceased ancestors to Auschwitz. We have decided to gather some of these personal stories into the program, to share our connections with our Harmonium family. Perhaps the farther we get from the Holocaust, the more it seems like academic history to our children, and we wanted to put this back in the context of family history. With my own 15-year-old daughter singing in Harmonium, it is impossibly hard to feel anything but close to Anne.”

Composer James Whitbourn agrees: “I am so pleased you are going to the trouble of finding a context for the work in this way: in my experience it makes a lot of difference both to singers and to the audience to have highlighted these personal connections. And it makes the point more forcibly that it is a part of history that we all relate to in some way.”

In addition, Harmonium is using multimedia to enhance our performance with visual projections of scenes from Amsterdam, the Annex, the war, and Anne’s life, designed by Margot Jackler of Morristown. Useful links about the cantata “Annelies,” Anne Frank, and the Holocaust are available on the Harmonium website at

General admission tickets for "The Song Within" are $25 at the door and $20 for students and seniors. Advance tickets purchased on or before February 21 are $20 and $15 for students and seniors. Group discount tickets are also available at $10 a ticket for orders of 10 or more if purchased before February 21. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or send a mail order to Harmonium Choral Society, P.O. Box 1317, Morristown, NJ 07962-1317. You may also send an email to or call 973-538-6969 for more information. Large print or Braille programs will be made available if requested in advance.

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