November 6, 2019

By Nancy Plum

Despite the vast amount and popularity of liturgical music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, sacred music was not the composer’s principal interest. One would have a hard time convincing the choral field of this — two works in almost every symphonic chorus’ repertory are Mozart’s deathbed Requiem and his monumental, yet incomplete, Great Mass in C minor. The 100-voice Princeton Pro Musica opened its 2019-2020 season with the Mass this past Sunday night at Richardson Auditorium, filling the stage with singers, vocal soloists, and orchestral instrumentalists, all ably led by Pro Musica Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau. Paired with Mozart’s lively Concerto for Clarinet in A Major, the Great Mass in C minor created a program unique in the fact that these were two works Mozart composed because he wanted to, not because he had to for financial reasons.

Mozart’s music for wind instruments is universally charming and captivating. The clarinet appears to have been a particular favorite, likely due to his close friendship with fellow Masonic lodge member Anton Stadler, for whom he composed the 1789 Concerto for Clarinet. The instrument for which this work was composed was likely a basset clarinet — a standard clarinet to which was affixed an extension adding notes in the lower register. Nineteenth-century published versions of this piece adjusted the lower “extension” passages to higher octaves, in some ways making the Concerto more difficult to play. To open Sunday afternoon’s Pro Musica concert, Brandau led a chamber-sized orchestra and guest clarinet soloist Pascal Archer in a spirited performance of Mozart’s three-movement Concerto. Archer, currently acting principal clarinetist for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, demonstrated not only his command of the instrument and the works technical demands, but also how demonic Mozart’s solo writing could be. more

The Roosevelt String Band plays The Pete Seeger Songbook at a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 17 at Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street. The concert is in conjunction with an exhibit exploring the history and culture of Roosevelt, New Jersey, an experimental immigrant community that has thrived since the 1930s. The exhibit is on view November 15-May 10. Tickets to the performance are $10 (free for Morven members). Visit for more information.

MARKING A MILESTONE: The Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller, will present a concert titled “Appear and Inspire: 100 Years of Singing” on Sunday, November 10 at 3 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College.

The Westminster Choir will present a concert titled “Appear and Inspire – 100 Years of Singing” on Sunday, November 10 at 3 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and are available by phone at (609) 921-2663 or online at

Led by conductor Joe Miller, the concert will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ensemble’s founding in 1920, and it will feature repertoire rooted deep in the Westminster Choir’s history. A highlight will be Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to Saint Cecilia, reflecting Westminster Choir’s spirit and mission as it has “appeared and inspired” thousands of choral musicians over the past century. The program will also include the premiere of Psalm 96 “Sing to the Lord a New Song,” composed by Westminster Professor Christian Carey to celebrate the ensemble’s 100th anniversary. Speaking about the new work, Carey said, “It seemed to be an especially appropriate text to celebrate the college’s rich tradition of music-making and express hope for its continued vitality.” more

“LOTUS SHADOWS SHALLOWS”: This painting is featured in “Shallows: Recent Paintings by Léni Paquet-Morante,” on view November 11 through December 20 at the New Jersey Artists Series Gallery at Johnson & Johnson Corporate Headquarters in New Brunswick. The Mercerville artist also has a studio at Grounds For Sculpture.

Twenty years after her first solo exhibition in the J&J Artists Series Gallery, “Shallows: Recent Paintings by Léni Paquet-Morante,” on view November 11 through December 20 at the New Jersey Artists Series Gallery at Johnson & Johnson Corporate Headquarters in New Brunswick, offers a series of large format paintings inspired by tidal flats, flood plains, and estuaries.

Receptions are scheduled for December 6 and 18, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. more

“EIGHTY THREE”: This oil pastel on paper by Nicole Michaud is part of “Transient Brevity,” on view through December 19 at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. The exhibition features the works of five Philadelphia artists representing a variety of media. A community reception is November 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The surreal, the ephemeral, and all that is fleeting awaits visitors to The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) for the exhibition “Transient Brevity,” on display through December 19.

A community reception with the artists is November 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. in The Gallery.

“This exhibition examines the notion of ephemerality and how each of the artists chooses to represent that which is fleeting,” said Alice K. Thompson, director at The Gallery at Mercer. “The ephemeral quality of the work displayed varies from artist to artist.”

Five Philadelphia artists, representing a variety of media, take part in the exhibit. The intent of the show, Thompson said, is to bring works together from a cross-section of the visual arts community that speak both singularly and collectively. more

“IDEALIZED SCHOOL”: This work by Louis Kahn is among more than 100 objects from 25 collections featured in “Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey,” on view November 15 through May 10 at Morven Museum & Garden. An opening reception is November 14, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Morven Museum & Garden explores the history and culture of Roosevelt, N.J. — from an experimental immigrant utopia to artist colony — with more than 100 objects from 25 collections shown together for the first time in “Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey,” on view November 15 through May 10, 2020. An opening reception is November 14, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at 55 Stockton Street.

“Roosevelt, New Jersey is an interesting iteration of the American story,” said Morven Executive Director Jill Barry. “Started as a government experiment to improve the lives of city-dwelling factory workers, the idea of a farming/factory communal utopia quickly soured, and in its place an artist-led Eden emerged. The unique canvas of a constructed modern community fostered the blossoming of a dynamic creative class in the 1950-60s that continues to echo through to modern day.” more

“ARCTIC PLANES”: This tapestry by Mary-Ann Sievert is part of “For the Love of the Loom – The Fine Art of Weaving,” on view at the New Hope Arts Center November 16 through January 5, 2020. The exhibition also features woks by Rita Romanova Gekht, Bojana Leznicki, Susan Martin Maffei, Ilona Pachler, Armando Sosa, and Betty Vera.

Seven contemporary fiber artists will be featured in “For the Love of the Loom – The Fine Art of Weaving” at the New Hope Arts Center from November 16 through January 5, 2020.

The artists — Rita Romanova Gekht, Bojana Leznicki, Susan Martin Maffei, Ilona Pachler, Mary-Ann Sievert, Armando Sosa, and Betty Vera — work with a variety of techniques, from traditional to experimental.

Though equipment may range from manually-operated to computer-assisted looms, each artist approaches weaving as an artistic medium. As vehicles for personal expression, their textiles reflect each artist’s background, influences, and individual artistic vision — whether encompassing ancestral traditions or commenting on contemporary life. more

FAMILY TRADITION: “We completely remodeled the store recently. It’s been expanded to include more items, and more convenient product arrangement and accessibility. We are proud to continue our tradition of a family business, and we always want to be Montgomery’s neighborhood liquor store.” Alana and Justin Steele, owners of Steele’s Wine Cellar, are shown in the store’s cordials section, featuring a variety of top choices.

By Jean Stratton

Once a staple on the shopping scene, family businesses are becoming a vanishing breed in today’s high-tech world.

All the more reason to celebrate Steele’s Wine Cellar, located in the Montgomery Center, 1325 Route 206 North, and owned by brother and sister Justin and Alana Steele.

Having grown up in another family business in Bloomfield, they purchased the existing liquor store in 2010, adding special offerings including craft beers, local wines and spirits, and a monthly wine club.

They also established high standards with a focus on an outstanding selection in all categories within a broad range of prices, and with a priority on personal service. more

GROUND AND POUND: Princeton University football player Ryan Quigley heads upfieldin recent action. Last Friday night, senior running back Quigley rushed for a game-high 79 yards to help Princeton defeat Cornell 21-7. The Tigers, now 7-0 overall and 4-0 Ivy League, face Dartmouth (7-0, 4-0 Ivy) on November 9 at Yankee Stadium as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first football game, played between Princeton and Rutgers on November 6, 1869. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall, the Princeton University football team cruised to a 66-0 win over Cornell on the way to its first perfect campaign since 1964.

Although Princeton brought a 6-0 record into this years’s renewal of the rivalry with Cornell last Friday night in Ithaca, N.Y., Bob Surace sensed that his team was not in for a smooth ride against the Big Red this fall.

“You look at Cornell this year and they are a good team, said Surace, noting that although Cornell had started 2-4, each of those defeats has come in tight games, with the team losing by an average of 7.75 points. more

RICH AND SUCCESSFUL: Princeton University men’s basketball player Richmond Aririguzoh, right, fields a question at the program’s annual media day last week as teammate Jaelin Llewellyn and head coach Mitch Henderson look on. The Tigers, who went 16-12 last year on the way to the Ivy League postseason tournament with Aririguzoh emerging as a star, are tipping off the 2019-20 season this week with games at Duquesne on November 5 and against the University of San Francisco at the Chase Center in San Francisco on November 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While practice for the Princeton University men’s basketball team typically starts at 4:45 in the afternoon, Richmond Aririguzoh has stuck to a different schedule over the last four years.

“Starting in Richmond’s freshman year, he didn’t want anybody to notice him and he would go into the side court basket and that is where he would get his work done,” said Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, speaking at the program’s annual media day last week.

“If you show up at 4:15, you could set your watch to precision like work being done on that exact same basket. That story just says that there is a humbleness to Richmond. It is don’t worry about me, I will be in the side court working. It would be easy for him to walk around campus and pat himself on the back and ask others to do the same but that is just not his personality. I ask us to make us him; we will all be better for it.” more

LONDON CALLING: Princeton University field hockey goalie Grace Baylis directs the Tiger defense in recent action. Last Sunday, senior star Baylis, a native of London, England, made two saves as eighth-ranked Princeton defeated Cornell 3-0 to clinch a share of the Ivy League title and the league’s automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA tournament. Baylis was later named the Ivy Defensive Player of the Week. Princeton, now 12-4 overall and 6-0 Ivy, plays at Penn on November 9 to wrap up regular season action. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Grace Baylis, joining the Princeton University field hockey program involved a longer journey than most of her teammates.

Hailing from London, England, star goalie Baylis arrived at Princeton in 2015 confident that she had found a good fit far from home.

“I wanted to play at a really good level and get a really good education and this allowed me to do that,” said senior goalie Baylis.

“That is what is so special about our program – we love field hockey and you can still pursue whatever you want, academically, socially, extracurricular, and still play.”

Baylis and her classmates got some love last Sunday as the program held its annual Senior Day celebration before hosting Cornell in its regular season home finale.  more

GETTING HER FILL: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sarah Fillier heads up ice in recent action. Last week, sophomore star forward Fillier tallied two goals and one assist as Princeton defeated Quinnipiac 4-2 to open ECAC Hockey play. The Tigers, now 4-1 overall and 2-1 ECACH after beating Colgate 1-0 on Friday and losing 3-1 to Cornell the next day, host Harvard on November 8 and Dartmouth on November 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was only the first weekend of the season but Sarah Fillier felt snakebitten when she didn’t score a goal despite firing eight shots as the Princeton University women’s hockey team posted a pair of wins over Syracuse in late October.

So when sixth-ranked Princeton hosted Quinnipiac in its ECAC Hockey opener on October 29, sophomore forward Fillier was ready to break out.

“They have played a few more games than we have so they are more in stride than we are,” said Fillier, a 5’5 native of Georgetown, Ontario who tallied 22 goals and 35 assists for 57 points last winter in getting named as a second-team All-American and the National Rookie of the Year. more

LONE WOLF: Princeton University men’s soccer player Richard Wolf goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior defender Wolf helped Princeton battle to a 1-1 tie with Cornell. The Tigers, now 10-3-2 overall and 2-1-2 Ivy League, play at Penn on November 9. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Richard Wolf earned All-Ivy League honors in his first two seasons for the Princeton University men’s soccer team but he was primed to do more this fall.

“I like to think I have taken a little bit more of a leadership position,” said junior defender Wolf, a 6’0, 190-pound native of Annandale, N.J.

“I got my first goal as well and then I got my second one. That has been a nice change. I haven’t scored in the past three years so it was really nice to get on the score sheet.”

Last Saturday, Wolf displayed his leadership on the back line as Princeton battled Cornell to a 1-1 tie though regulation and 20 minutes of overtime, moving to 10-3-2 overall and 2-1-2 Ivy League. more

THRUST AND PARI: Princeton Day School girls’ soccer player Tulsi Pari gets the ball up the field last Friday against Newark Academy in the state Prep B final. Senior defender Pari helped top-seeded PDS edge Newark Academy 2-1 to earn the program’s sixth straight Prep title. The Panthers finished the fall with a 16-3-1 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It didn’t take long for Tulsi Pari to realize that playing for the Princeton Day School girls’ soccer team meant that you had a bull’s-eye squarely on your back.

“It is a lot of pressure because coming in freshman year we already had that legacy and everything,” said senior defender Pari.

“Riley [Felsher], Bri [Astbury] and Ariana [Jones] are all in this together with me. The whole team has worked hard to keep this legacy up.”

Last Friday, Pari and classmates Felsher, Astbury, and Jones helped write another chapter in the program’s storied legacy as the top-seeded Panthers edged third-seeded Newark Academy 2-1 in the state Prep B final to earn their sixth straight state title and end the fall at 16-3-1. more

COMING TOGETHER: Princeton High girls’ soccer players Morgan Beamer, left, and Vanessa Ponce celebrate a goal in recent action. Fueled by team chemistry, PHS went 8-6-3 this fall, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Mercer County Tournament before getting edged 1-0 at Old Bridge in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the PHS girls’ soccer team didn’t go as far in postseason play as it had hoped, Val Rodriguez believes that her senior group helped the squad accomplish something special.

“I had a group of girls that I enjoy spending time with; they are good kids, they are fun kids with good character who care about each other,” said PHS head coach Rodriguez, whose senior group included Morgan Beamer, Caroline Ealy, Molly Frain, Kirin Kunukkasseril, Shaylah Marciano, Eva Petrone, Voula Papakonstantinou, and Lauren Rougas.

“I finally reached my goal here, creating a team like that, being part of a team like that. They made that a priority this year and they stayed committed to it from start to finish. The seniors work hard, they are committed to the game and a lot of them are going on to the next level to play college sports of some kind, either lacrosse or soccer.” more

October 30, 2019

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”61″ gal_title=”19/10/30 Halloween Parade”]

Sponsored by the Arts Council of Princeton, the annual event on Friday evening featured music by the Princeton University Band on Palmer Square Green before participants made their way through town to the Princeton Family YMCA, where the festivities continued with live music, crafts, and trunk or treat. Participants share their favorite scary movies in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photos by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton voters will go to the polls next Tuesday with a number of key positions for Princeton, Mercer County, and New Jersey on the ballot.

Three candidates will compete for two seats, three-year terms, on Princeton Council; and four candidates for three seats with three-year terms on the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education (BOE).

Two two-year terms on the New Jersey Assembly for the 16th Legislative District are up for grabs, with four candidates running. There are also two contenders for a four-year term as Mercer County Executive, and two candidates running unopposed for two spots with three-year terms on the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Running for Council are Adam Bierman, Michelle Pirone Lambros, and Mia Sacks. Lambros and Sacks are officially on the ticket for the Democrats, having finished with the most votes in the June Democratic primary. Bierman, who chose not to participate in the nominating process, is running as an Independent Democrat. They are running to fill the seats of Jenny Crumiller, who is stepping down when her term ends at the end of the year, and Tim Quinn, who was defeated in the Democratic primary and will also complete his term in December.  more

By Anne Levin

A new complaint designed to keep Rider University from moving Westminster Choir College from its longtime Princeton campus to the University’s Lawrenceville location has 71 plaintiffs, all of whom are students at the choir college.

Attorney Bruce Afran filed the complaint in the Chancery Division of Mercer County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon, October 29. Additional lawsuits against Rider, with other plaintiffs, have been filed at earlier dates.

Rider, which merged with Westminster in 1992, has been trying to unload the music school since 2016. After a proposed $40 million sale to a Chinese company fell through in July, the University announced it would close the Princeton campus and relocate its student body to the Lawrenceville campus by September 2020. more

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton Council has approved unanimously a resolution in support of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) denial of permits for the Williams/Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) and the PennEast pipeline projects, citing severe environmental concerns and insufficient need, and urging representatives in the New Jersey Legislature and the U.S. Congress to oppose these two projects (

Sophie Glovier, chair of the Princeton Environmental Commission, which recommended the proposal to Council, commented on the resolution. “We thought it was important because if built, the NESE project would result in negative environmental impacts for Princeton, as we would be sandwiched between two compressor stations, which can negatively affect the quality of the air and are a safety risk,” she said. “In addition, New Jersey cannot achieve 100 percent clean energy and an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 without a transition away from gas and other polluting fossil fuels.”

On September 10, in a legal victory for New Jersey and environmental concerns, a federal appeals court ruled that PennEast, a private company, cannot condemn state-owned land through eminent domain in order to build part of its planned $1B,116-mile natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania across New Jersey through Hunterdon County to Mercer County. more

PRESERVING A NEIGHBORHOOD’S HISTORY: In this circa 1890 photo featured in Kathryn Watterson’s book “I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton,” a group stands outside the Thomas Sullivan Grocery Store at 74 Witherspoon Street. The photo and other research materials from the book have been given to the Historical Society of Princeton.

By Anne Levin

Thanks to a gift from author Kathryn (Kitsi) Watterson, the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP) is now the repository for the research materials, notes, and oral histories of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood Watterson collected for her 2017 book I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton.

Some 60 interviews on 88 video and cassette tapes, transcriptions, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, maps, census records, historical documents, and drafts of the book make up the collection. Watterson spent nearly 20 years developing the book, which was published by Princeton University Press. The HSP was closely involved.

“We have been working together with Kitsi and the Witherspoon-Jackson community for over a decade in development of the book,” said Izzy Kasdin, HSP executive director. “We provided research materials and images from our collections, and many HSP people were involved. It has been a long process. We are so grateful to Kitsi, our staff, and her students. It was a major group effort with a lovely end.” more

By Anne Levin

At a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night, October 28, Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield gave a status report on the cleanup at the town’s River Road facility. Three people, two of whom were municipal employees, have been charged with illegal dumping and co-mingling of waste at the site, allegedly in exchange for payment.

Whitman Environmental Consulting has completed a preliminary environmental assessment at the site, finding five areas of concern. Contaminants found were compared with standards from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), to determine if they exceeded any of the standards.

Metals found are typical of what is found in soil throughout the state of New Jersey, and “only exceeded the most stringent standards,” Dashield said, adding that  Whitman believes that contaminants  remaining on site can be remediated. Jeffrey Grosser, the town’s health officer and assistant administrator, said that based on discussions with officers from the New Jersey Board of Health, “there are currently no observable immediate health concerns. Offsite contamination risk appears to be low.” more

More than 30 Dreamers, marching from the Statue of Liberty in New York, spent the night Monday and ate breakfast Tuesday morning at the Nassau Presbyterian Church before moving on towards Washington, D.C. The Home Is Here: March for DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and TPS [Temporary Protected Status] started last Saturday and plans to arrive in D.C. on November 11 to rally in defense of DACA and TPS before the Supreme Court takes up the DACA case on November 12. (Photo courtesy of Leticia Fraga)

“THE PRINCETON LINE”: Named after the train line that once extended to the site where the Lewis Arts complex now stands, the newly commissioned work, “an undulating sculpted line of molded earth” by internationally acclaimed artist Maya Lin, will be one of the topics of discussion at Lin’s visit to the Princeton University campus on November 5. Another topic will be a second Lin installation, “Einstein’s Table,” a water table suggesting the Earth’s orbit, the Milky Way, and black holes, also on the grounds of the Lewis Center. (Photo courtesy of Princeton University Art Museum)

By Donald Gilpin

Two installations created by the celebrated artist Maya Lin have been added to the grounds of Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts complex. The Princeton Line, a grassy, wave-like expanse of lawn, “a sculpted line of molded earth,” stretching from near the new Dinky Station up a hill to the arts center, and Einstein’s Table, a granite water table, will be the focus of a public program featuring the artist next week.

Lin will be on campus on November 5, and will engage in an informal discussion on public art, design inspiration, and the relationship in her work between art, architecture, and design with Princeton University Art Museum Director James Steward in Richardson Auditorium.

“The two Princeton works tap into my dual interests in immersive and environmental earthworks, as well as my focus on a more object-oriented cartographic and science-based approach,” Lin said. “The Princeton project is all about finding a sustainable landscape approach that blends in with the existing site.”  more

Safe Routes to School Wins $674,000 Federal Grant

Major improvements are on tap for two key intersections, Harrison Street and Franklin Avenue and Harrison Street and Hamilton Avenue, with $674,000 of federal funds awarded to the Safe Routes to School Program.

Replacement of traffic signals at the two intersections, along with pedestrian upgrades, better ramps, and other improvements, including automatic light changes for emergency vehicles, will make walking and biking safer.

“Princeton is fortunate to have a culture where many of our students walk and bike to school,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert in announcing the improvements last Friday in conjunction with New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, along with Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman.

“We know from local surveys that even more of our students would walk and bike if they felt safer doing so,” Lempert continued. “And that’s why the Safe Routes to School Program is so important to us here in Princeton.”

Lempert also praised Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton “for being such a huge champion for walking and biking infrastructure in Princeton” and her “enlightened Engineering Department.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

The people fancy they hate poetry, and they are all poets and mystics!
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “The Poet”

Three years ago, Ben Lerner published The Hatred of Poetry (Penguin Random House 2016), claiming that “Many more people agree they hate poetry than can agree what poetry is.” Billy Collins took a more nuanced approach in his 2007 collection, The Trouble with Poetry. Two years into this quid pro quo presidency, however, the quasi quid pro quo to hatred and trouble would seem to be Why Poetry? (Ecco paperback 2018) by Matthew Zapruder, who read at Princeton’s Lewis Center October 4.

I found out about Lerner’s book in a New York Times Op-Ed piece by Alissa Quart making a case for why Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is wise to have a poet on her team. Noting that “poetry readership is generally up,” Quart cites a National Endowment for the Arts survey showing that almost 12 percent of American adults read poetry in 2017, up from under 7 percent in 2012.

Love it or hate it or who-cares, poetry abounds this month, beginning with the birth of Wallace Stevens (October 2) and ending with the arrival of John Keats (October 31). Along with Ezra Pound, whose birthday is today, October 30, and whose name was once synonymous with the hatred of poetry, there’s Arthur Rimbaud (October 20), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21), John Berryman (October 25), and Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath (October 27).  more