RARITAN TWP., NJ – A concert of music centered around a British Isles Holiday will be performed by the Hunterdon Symphony and Hunterdon Choral Union on Dec. 15.
The program will begin at 3 p.m. at Hunterdon Central High School on Route 31 here, and will be followed by a holiday cookie reception.
This year, the Symphony is celebrating its 40th Anniversary season with special events. At this concert, members of Saturday Strings, as well as former members of the orchestra, will join in for a reprise of Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto Grosso for string orchestra, first performed in December 1979 by a gathering of 127 string players from Hunterdon and beyond. This work was composed by Vaughan Williams in 1950 and is unique because the string orchestra is divided into four sections based on skill level: advanced, intermediate, novice and beginner.
The Symphony will also perform Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on “Greensleeves” and other works, including an arrangement of William Walton’s Coronation March, a Fantasia on We Three Kings, and an arrangement of Canadian Brass Christmas selections.
The Choral Union, joined by Abigail Merk, Soprano, and James Ofalt, Bass, will perform selections from “The Frost Scene” of Henry Purcell’s opera King Arthur. The chorus will also present Gerald Finzi's Magnificat, the first overseas commission by this British composer, written for a December 1952 performance by the choirs of Smith and Amherst Colleges in Massachusetts.
Tickets prices for this concert are $20 for adults, $15 seniors and $10 students. Advance sales are available through the group’s web site, www.hunterdonmusicalarts.org, or the following local merchants (cash or check only): Califon Book Shop, Bear Paw Leather in Clinton, Teaberry’s Tea Room in Flemington, Libbybeans Chocolatier or The Book Garden in Frenchtown.
Tickets will also be available at the door on the afternoon of the concert (cash or checks only). For more information or to request an accommodation for a disability, visit the web site or call 908-995-7977. Hunterdon Musical Arts may also be found on Facebook.
Lawrence Kursar, conductor of the Hunterdon Symphony, holds degrees in conducting, in French horn performance and in music education from New England Conservatory and the College of New Jersey. In addition to his role as conductor of the Symphony, he also conducts the Princeton Symphonic Brass. Kursar teaches instrumental music at Woodglen School in Lebanon Township and performs with the Presentation Brass Quintet, Crosswinds Trio, and regional orchestras.
Richard McIntyre, conductor of the Hunterdon Choral Union, is retired from the Music Department at Voorhees High School in Lebanon Township. During his 30-year career in public schools, he conducted both choral and instrumental ensembles and taught courses in music theory, guitar, and music history. He has worked as a church musician since the age of 16 and currently serves as organist and choir director at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Pittstown.
Hunterdon Musical Arts sponsors the Hunterdon Symphony, Hunterdon Choral Union, Hunterdon Chamber Series, and Music for Youth, which includes the Saturday Strings program.