MORRISTOWN, NJ – Glorious sounds will be emanating from the regal structure of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on South Street in Morristown on Saturday, April 28.
Spring Awakening! is the theme of the 7:30 p.m. concert, The program offers a ‘who’s who’ list of renowned composers: Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons, La Primavera (Spring); Mozart’s Divertimento in F. Major, K. 138; Handel’s Organ Concerto, Op. 4, No. 4 in F major and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. More recent works are “Five Mystical Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “For the Beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter and “I Am Glad” by C. Hubert H. Parry.
While both The New Philharmonic of New Jersey and the Choirs of St. Peter’s Church make beautiful music on their own, this new, ongoing partnership promises even greater rewards for music loving audiences.
Philharmonic conductor Leon Hyman said of the acoustics at St. Peter’s, “It’s warm and mellow and well suited for strings.” The church’s Skinner organ, installed in 1930, has been highly acclaimed as one of the world’s finest pipe organs.
Mr. Hyman explained that the Philharmonic appeared with the choir in December, 2010, but this latest venture assures a continuing blend of orchestra and voices.
“We attract top flight artists and commission new compositions,” Mr. Hyman said of the orchestra that was founded in 1977. “We’re proud of what we have done.” Among the artists the conductor has worked with are violinist Pamela Frank, who lives in Morris County; as well as pianists Andre Watts, Peter Serkin and Richard Goode.
He added that their educational program is second to none, developing music ensembles for third through fifth grade. The orchestra has also been featured with the New Jersey Ballet as well as other choruses throughout the area, such as the Morris Choral Society and Harmonium.
The conductor said the orchestra was instrumental in the revival of The Community Theatre in Morristown, a once derelict movie theatre. With dedicated volunteers and commitments from first class musicians, the venue now attracts major performers and was renamed the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts.
Mr. Hyman has conducted a number of orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Columbia Symphony, the Philharmonica Virtuosi, the Jerusalem Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra. He was director of the Montclair State University Chorus and has lent his expertise to such productions as “West Side Story” in Tokyo.
The Choirs of St. Peter’s are led by Dr. Daryl Roland, who was recently honored by the Archbishop of Canterbury with a fellowship diploma for the Guild of Church Musicians. The ceremony was held at Queen’s Chapel, St. James Palace in London. The award recognizes the training of boys and girls in the English choral tradition. Dr. Roland attended the Eastman School of Music and was choir director of the Cathedral Church of St. John in Wilmington, Delaware, before coming to St. Peter’s last August.