September 28, 2022

“PHOTO SHOW LIVE”: The new lunchtime artist talk at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) James Kerney Campus Gallery (JKCG) will feature Wendy Ewald on September 29 from noon to 1 p.m. The discussion will center around Ewald’s books “The Devil Is Leaving His Cave” and “Portraits and Dreams” as well as Ewald’s film, “Portraits and Dreams,” that aired on PBS. (Photo by Wendy Ewald)

“Photo Show Live,” the new lunchtime photography talk at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) James Kerney Campus Gallery (JKCG) at 137 North Broad Street in Trenton, will take place September 29 from 12 to 1 p.m.

This month, Director of JKC Gallery Michael Chovan-Dalton features Wendy Ewald, an artist who has spent more than 40 years collaborating with children, families, and teachers all over the world. During this session Ewald and Chovan-Dalton will discuss Ewald’s books The Devil Is Leaving His Cave and Portraits and Dreams as well as Ewald’s film Portraits and Dreams that aired on PBS and which will be running at JKC Gallery. more

“RUSTY PICKUP”: This painting by Robert Heyer is part of “Back to the Palette: New Paintings by Watercolorists Unlimited,” on view October 3 to October 30 at Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury.

The Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury is hosting “Back to the Palette: New Paintings by Watercolorists Unlimited,” on view October 3 to October 30.

Watercolorists Unlimited is a group of 12 local artists who meet monthly at one another’s homes to critique assigned paintings on a subject that was discussed the prior month. They meet for lunch and then spend an hour or two discussing the paintings, providing helpful comments and inspiration. This group has been in existence for more than 30 years, with one of the original members still attending. The group shows their work as a group several times a year, including this annual show at the Gourgaud.  more

September 21, 2022

By Stuart Mitchner

We do onstage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance to somewhere else.

—from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

When the director Jean-Luc Godard died, an “assisted suicide,” five days after Queen Elizabeth’s monumental passing, I took a YouTube tour of the “most cinematic” images from his work. Accompanied by Georges Delarue’s warm, richly romantic soundtrack for Le mépris /Contempt (1963), the result was an uncharacteristically humane, borderline sentimental memorial for a director who set out to attack “all civilized values” in the 1968 Rolling Stones film One Plus One/Sympathy for the Devil. Godard’s version of doing “onstage the things that are supposed to happen off” was to punch the film’s English producer in the face onstage at the 1968 London Film Festival.

Stoppard’s Scoop

The onstage/offstage lines are spoken by the one of the players visiting Elsinore in Sir Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Grove Press 1967). The notion of the play as a “scoop” came to mind  as I read Maureen Dowd’s September 7 New York Times profile of Stoppard, which opens with the teenage journalist who “loved wearing a mackintosh and flashing his press pass, operating in the spirit of a British contemporary, Nicholas Tomalin, who wrote: ‘The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are ratlike cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability.’ “

Call it what you will, a coup or a scoop, it took a world of cunning and more than a little literary ability to become the first playwright to claim the untold story between and behind the lines of two of the most fascinating and well-spoken minor characters in Shakespeare (although Gilbert and Sullivan had a shot in 1892 with a farce that ends with Rosencrantz marrying Ophelia). Hamlet’s Wittenberg classmates are clearly on a higher theatrical level than sycophants such as Osric of Elsinore (“Dost know this water-fly?”), who are mercilessly mocked, or slain onstage, like Goneril’s servant Oswald, his last words (“oh untimely death”) recorded for all time in the closing seconds of the Beatles’ “I am the Walrus.” Besides holding their own bantering with Hamlet as “the indifferent children of the earth” who live in “the secret parts of fortune,” they put in play phrases like “the shadow of a dream” and “a shadow’s shadow” that suggest how much there is to be imagined or discovered offstage. Jump ahead four centuries and Stoppard’s Guildenstern is speaking of the “half-lit, half-alive dawn” wherein a man was “just a hat and a cloak levitating in the  grey plume of his own breath.” more

MUSICAL AT MERCER: A scene from “Once,” the Broadway show that kicks off Kelsey Theatre’s 50th anniversary season on the campus of Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. (Photo by Lauren Kamps)

Once, winner of eight Tony awards including Best Musical, and winner of a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, will be the first offering of Kelsey Theatre’s 2022-2023 season. The romantic musical drama runs weekends from September 23 through October 2. Kelsey Theatre is located on the Mercer County Community College campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor.

“This joyously uplifting musical strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all,” said M. Kitty Getlik, artistic director of Kelsey Theatre. “I cannot think of a better show to open Kelsey Theatre’s 50th anniversary season. “The really neat thing is that the cast also serves as the orchestra and every cast member not only acts, but sings and plays a musical instrument.”

Presented by Playful Theatre, Once is a story about the life of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who connect over their shared passion for music on the streets of Dublin. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, accentuated by the inviting, emotional score. The show features original songs from the critically acclaimed film, including Falling Slowly.

Shows are Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, September 30 and October 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24. Visit KelseyTheatre.org or call (609) 570-3333.

A UNIQUE COLLABORATION: Princeton University Glee Club and the Pan-African Vocal Ensemble Mushandirapamwe Singers join forces for a concert at Richardson Auditorium Saturday.

On Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, the Princeton University Glee Club collaborates with Mushandirapamwe Singers of Zimbabwe in a performance that weaves together personal narratives and national histories from the perspective of Dr. Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa, featuring the Mbira instrument of Zimbabwe.

This concert is the first of the current season’s “Glee Club Presents” events, in which the students of the Glee Club collaborate with and learn from a diversity of renowned vocal artists.

Created and directed by former Glee Club President Tawengwa ’14, the Mushandirapamwe Singers takes its name from the hotel of the same name in Harare, Zimbabwe, which served as a beacon for the artists and freedom fighters of Zimbabwe who strove to define and assert the nation’s cultural identity during the 1970s, in resistance to British colonial rule. more

“AURAT MARCH 2021”: A visitor contemplates a born-digital poster by Shehzil Malik, part of the “Records of Resistance: Documenting Global Activism 1933 to 2021” exhibit on view through December 11 at Princeton University Library. (Photo by Brandon Johnson for Princeton University Library)

“Records of Resistance: Documenting Global Activism 1933 to 2021,” the latest exhibition at Princeton University Library (PUL), considers how issues of perennial concern, including Indigenous, gender, and LGBTQIA+ rights; social inequality; antisemitism; and systemic racism manifest in resistance over time and across the globe. The exhibit is open to the public at Milberg Gallery in the library through December 11, from 12 to 6 p.m. Guided tours are available.

Showcased are large images, drawn from the library’s digital collections, that range from sacred Passover Haggadot that embody Jews’ spiritual resistance during the Holocaust, to photographs of marchers on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, to posters and pamphlets created by protesters taking to the streets of Santiago, Chile, and Lahore, Pakistan, only a few years ago.  more

“LUCAS KELLY 2019”: This work is part of the “Visual Arts Faculty Exhibit 2022,” on view through October 19 at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. The community is invited to an opening reception on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The focus is on the faculty at the first art show of the season at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College (MCCC), where the college’s own visual arts faculty members have put their creations on display.

The “Visual Arts Faculty Exhibit 2022” runs through Wednesday, October 19. The community is invited to a reception on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The MCCC Gallery is located on the second floor of the Communications Building on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

According to Lucas Kelly, MCCC’s gallery director, the faculty show is an opportunity for community members and students to view the work that MCCC professors accomplish when they aren’t working with students. more

POLISHED STONE BENCHES”: This work by Steven Snyder is featured in the HOBART Fall 2022 exhibit, “Art In The Native Landscape,” on view September 24-25 and October 1-2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Steinbeiser’s Farm, 718 County Road 519, Frenchtown.

The HOBART Fall 2022 art show will feature some of the area’s leading sculptors and artists spanning the Delaware river region from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The show, on view September 24 and 25 and October 1 and 2 at Steinbeiser’s Farm, 718 County Road 519 in Frenchtown, offers a unique opportunity to experience “Art In The Native Landscape,” featuring sculpture installations by contemporary artists in a outdoor private setting. The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Both an indoor and outdoor show, guests are invited to explore the property’s several outbuildings, including an historic antique barn, the Hannah Shaw Wagon House, which will house sculpture, paintings, mixed media art, and contemporary glass art. All artwork is for sale directly from the artists.

Artists include Alix Bacon, Anabel Bouza, Jacqueline Haut Evans, Wayne Freitag, Barry Good, Don Gonzalez, Martha Gonzalez, Harry Gordon, Annie Haslam, Gloria Kosco, Rory Mahon, Haley Manchon, Jessica Mueller Snyder, Joyce Murphy, Lisa Naples, Mike Pantuso, Erika Rachel, Peter Rosenthal, Stacie Speer Scott, Steven Snyder, Paul Steinbeiser, Annelies van Dommelen, Mayfield Williams, and Summer Yates.  more

“LIGHTS AT NIGHT”: Patricia Allingham Carlson’s painting was chosen as this year’s Phillips’ Mill Juried Art Show signature image. The work depicts the opening night festivities at the Mill for patrons and artists. The show opens on Saturday, September 24 and runs through Sunday, October 20.

The 93rd Juried Art Show at Phillips’ Mill in New Hope, Pa., opens this Saturday, September 24 and runs through Sunday, October 30. The gallery is open daily from 1 to 5 p.m.

Devoted to the artistic spirit of Bucks County and nearby areas, the show features over 100 framed pieces and sculptures including work by 2022 Honored Artist Luiz Vilela and the show’s signature image, Lights at Night by Patricia Allingham Carlson. A bounty of unframed portfolio pieces in a wide range of media fill out the show offering art lovers and collectors a full afternoon of browsing. All works are for sale both at the Mill and online.

A Meet the Artists schedule is on the Mill’s website at phillipsmill.org. Artists will be on hand at the Mill throughout the run of the show to meet and greet visitors, discuss their work, and share their love of the arts. more

September 14, 2022

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County hosted their annual Insect Festival on Saturday at the Mercer Educational Gardens in Hopewell Township. Attendees share what they learned at the event in this week’s Town Talk on page 6. (Photo by Weronika A. Plohn)

By Stuart Mitchner

I’m always collecting things. I don’t consider myself materialistic, but things do make me feel good. Reassured. It’s easier to know them than people, because objects accept you as you are.

—Bette Davis (1908-1989)

The mystery guest at Friday’s Friends and Foundation of the Library Book Sale might say the same for collecting books. Bette Davis’s first husband, Harmon “Oscar” Nelson, knew from experience. The stated reason for the divorce, according to the December 7, 1938 New York Times, was that she “read too much.” Nelson claimed that she read “to an unnecessary degree…. It was all very upsetting.” As for accepting her as she was, it was at his insistence that she had two abortions, which probably saved her career, as she admitted to Charlotte Chandler in the 1980s during interviews for The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis, A Personal Biography (Simon and Schuster 2006).

When Chandler asked Davis what she thought of the title, based on Groucho Marx’s reason for taking two girls to a party (“Because I hate to see a girl walk home alone”), she said, “Absolutely. I want that title. That’s me. That’s been the story of my life.” The “girl alone” title somewhat softens the image of Davis as the straight-talking cynic who says “What a dump,” as she surveys Joseph Cotton’s apartment in Beyond the Forest (1949) — the additional emphasis added by Elizabeth Taylor, who played Martha to Richard Burton’s George in the film of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?(1966). Bette desperately wanted to play Martha but the two-time Oscar winner who was once Hollywood’s top box office star couldn’t compete with the mid-sixties media magnitude of Dick and Liz. more

By Nancy Plum

Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) opened the 2022-23 season in popular dance style, with a concert subtitled “Fandango.” Led by PSO Music Director Rossen Milanov and featuring guest solo violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, this past weekend’s concerts presented works of Spanish and Latin American influence or origin, exploring the wealth of musical ideas from these regions. All of these works had a personal connection for Milanov, who spent 10 years living in Spain.

Saturday night’s performance at Richardson Auditorium (the concert was repeated Sunday afternoon) opened with a piece by an early 20th-century composer with musical roots in both Spain and France. Originally composed for piano, Joaquin Turina’s Danzas fantásticas, Op. 22 began with dissonant strings over low brass and winds. The melody of the first movement jota, a dance from the Spanish region of Aragon, was elegantly presented on English horn by Gilles Cheng.

Under Milanov’s direction, the piece became quite lively with French impressionistic rhythms within the lush orchestration. The somewhat cinematic musical palette was aided by clean horns and well drawn-out cadences. The second movement zortziko, from the Basque region, was conveyed with a relaxed musical flow, complemented by oboist Lillian Copeland’s solo playing and a well-blended trio of flutes. The closing movement, infused with the Andalusian farruca, presented the melodic material in the winds, including a saucy flute solo by Brendan Dooley and solid lower brass playing.

Milanov and American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers have collaborated a number of times in the past, and she personally invited Mexican composer Arturo Márquez to write a violin concerto. The resulting Fandango, premiered by Meyers in August 2021, is three movements reflecting the evolution of the fandango dance form, with the solo violin line cutting no corners in technical challenges.  more

“THE WOLVES”: McCarter Theatre Center will present “The Wolves.” Written by Sarah DeLappe, and directed by Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen, above, the play will run September 17-October 16 at McCarter’s Berlind Theatre. (Photo by William Clark)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter will open its season with The Wolves. Written by Sarah DeLappe, the 2016 drama depicts a high school women’s soccer team. Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen directs the production, which starts performances September 17.

On August 30 the Princeton Public Library hosted a “Live at the Library” discussion about the production. McCarter’s Artistic Engagement Manager Paula Alekson moderated a conversation between Rasmussen and actor Katharine Powell.

A September 7 “Director’s Cut” offered a glimpse into the rehearsal process. As a perk of membership at McCarter, the audience was given an opportunity to watch Rasmussen direct the actors until they were dismissed for the day, after which McCarter’s BOLD Associate Artistic Director Nicole A. Watson hosted a conversation with Rasmussen. more

FIVE DECADES: Rock pioneers YES come to the State Theatre New Jersey on October 9 at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1972 album “Close to the Edge.”

State Theatre New Jersey and The Bowery Presents progressive rock pioneers and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees YES  for the U.S. leg of their  “The Album Series Tour 2022” on Sunday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. at State Theatre New Jersey, 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick.

The tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of their 1972 iconic album Close To The Edge, and is dedicated to the band’s late drummer Alan White. 

The show will comprise full production and a high-definition video wall directed by Andy Clark and featuring the artwork of Roger Dean. The YES lineup includes Steve Howe (guitars and backing vocals), Geoff Downes (keyboards), Jon Davison (lead vocals), Billy Sherwood (bass guitar and backing vocals), and drummer Jay Schellen.   

With sales of over 50 million records, the Grammy Award-winning YES were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 where they performed “Roundabout” from the album Fragile and the FM radio-friendly “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” from the 1985 album 90125. In 2021, YES released their 22nd studio album, The Quest, produced by Steve Howe, which went to No.1 on the U.K. rock chart and entered the Official U.K. Album Chart at No. 20. 

Tickets range from $59-$199. Visit STNJ.org.

CONDUCTING THE CLASSICS: András Keller leads the Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra as part of State Theatre New Jersey’s upcoming concert series.

State Theatre New Jersey will present three international orchestras in its classical series this season. Included are the Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra on January 14, Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine on February 17, and Daniel Hope – Zurich Chamber Orchestra on March 21. Tickets for all three concerts are on sale now.

The Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra is one of Hungary’s oldest musical ensembles. Young Hungarian pianist Zoltán Fejérvári joins the orchestra as the soloist for Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. Conducted by András Keller, the Concerto Budapest’s program also features Dvorák’s New World Symphony.  more

FOLK HERO: John Roberts returns to Princeton for a concert at Christ Congregation Church on Friday, September 16. (Photo by Mary Barker)

John Roberts opens the Princeton Folk Music Society’s (PFMS) 56th season on Friday, September 16 at 8 p.m. at Christ Congregational Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

Roberts is familiar to PFMS audiences, having appeared most recently with Debra Cowan, and on several occasions in the “Nowell Sing We Clear” Christmas Special. His concerts are a celebration of folk traditions, with yarns and tunes enhanced by singing along.

Roberts is best known as a singer of folksongs from the British Isles. He has been singing traditional music since the 1960s and has a large repertoire of traditional British songs, including sea shanties, broadside ballads, and pub tunes. Usually, he accompanies himself on concertina or banjo, but may sing a cappella when he feels it fits the song. He can give the background of any song he performs, often telling the listener the circumstances from which it might have been written and from whom the song was collected

Tickets at the door are $25 ($20 members, $10 students ages 12–22; $5 children 11 and under). Masks and proof of full vaccination will be required for admission. A livestream also is available. For more information, visit Princetonfolk.org.

“BIG LOVE”: Photographs by Lisa Granozio are on view through November 4 at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Fox & Roach, Realtors offices at 253 Nassau Street. An artist reception will be held on Wednesday, September 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Emergence: Expanding in Light,” a photography exhibit by Lisa Granozio featuring over 20 plexi-mounted and framed photographs, is on view through November 4 at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS)/Fox & Roach, Realtors Princeton
offices. An artist reception open to the public will be held on September 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show, most recently showcased at The Nassau Club, includes an additional seven images.

A professional photographer, Granozio seeks to reflect beauty and light in her subjects, and through her work provide a connection to the healing powers of the natural world. Building upon her 2020 series “The Light Within,” which seeks to shine light on our inner shadows and to access our individual light to heal, Granozio now presents “Emergence: Expanding in Light.” This series of large-scale macro images reflects our potential to resurrect ourselves again and again — like flowers in spring, emerging reborn with an expanded luminance of our truth and an amplified capacity to share our light.

According to Granozio, each photograph in the exhibit reflects the qualities we feel when we move from an embodied secure place. “Like spring rising from the darkness of winter, by returning to our inner light and embracing the shadows that have shaded that light and thereby constricted the expression of our fullest selves, we increase our capacity for self-love and emerge with strength, wisdom, grace, spaciousness, and radiance,” she said. “We shed what no longer feels authentic and we rise expanded, having acquired an inner peace that affirms our humanity. And, when we shine our brightest light, we make room for others to do the same. Expanding our light raises the vibration collectively.” more

“LIGHTER THAN AIR”: This photograph of American Repertory Ballet (ARB) member Annie Johnson by Harald Schrader is one of many to be featured in an exhibit on view September 17 and 18 at ARB and Princeton Ballet School’s studios located at 301 North Harrison Street. Schrader and members of ARB will be in attendance for an opening reception on September 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Join American Repertory Ballet (ARB) on September 17-18 for “Lighter Than Air,” an exhibit by renowned photographer Harald Schrader. This photographic series will feature images of American Repertory Ballet company members and artistic leadership, including Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel and Artistic Associate Gillian Murphy.

Schrader, a formally trained photographer and longtime Princeton resident, studied in Berlin and Hannover in Germany. He has collaborated with performing and visual artists in Italy, Germany, the U.S., and Canada. Schrader honed his craft in portrait photography, acting as first assistant to Mary Ellen Mark in New York City and Dieter Eikelpoth in Düsseldorf and London. He has been especially fascinated by the representation of the human form in movement, resulting in his dedication for photographing the performing arts, dance in particular.

“What has most driven me in my passion for photographing dance is the challenge of capturing the illusion of lightness, an imaginary world free from the constraints of gravity,” said Schrader. “American Repertory Ballet, under the expert direction of Ethan Stiefel and Gillian Murphy, truly succeeds in mastering this illusion.” more

This punch needle rug created by Susan MacCombie was named Best in Show by the Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild recently at the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair at the South County Fairgrounds in Lambertville.

The New Jersey State Museum in Trenton will present a series of seven in-gallery talks with artists featured in the 2022 “New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” exhibition on select Wednesdays through the run of the show. Each event will feature two artists who will discuss their work in the context of the exhibition; programs will run for 45 minutes to one hour. These free lunchtime talks will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the exhibition gallery and will offer attendees a deeper understanding of the featured artists and their practice. The “New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” exhibition is on view through April 30, 2023.

The first talk in the series will take place on September 21 and features Donté Hayes and Donna Conklin King. Hayes’ artwork is informed by research and engagement with traditional African heirlooms and initiation rites, as well as his interest in history, science fiction, and hip-hop culture. King explores the possibilities of concrete as a medium as she creates environments that address the relationship between nature, architecture, and the inevitable ruins of civilization.

The October 19 talk will feature artists José Camacho and Matilda Forsberg. Camacho’s richly layered surfaces combine commercial methods of artistic production with subject matter that explores memory and cultural heritage. In her paintings, Forsberg reflects on migration and multicultural identity, most recently meditating on what it means for her and her family to settle in a foreign country and culture.  more

September 7, 2022

By Stuart Mitchner

Although Colm Tóibín is the featured reader in “The News from Dublin,” Friday’s Fund for Irish Studies event, the fact that he’s being introduced by Fintan O’Toole gave me this reading opportunity. For months now, my wife has been urging me to dig into We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland (Liveright), so last week I took her copy from a small shelf of “keepers” and have been reading it ever since.

Making Connections

Connection is the operative word in We Don’t Know Ourselves. As the author puts it, “The desire for connection was given meaning by the reality that there was still something to connect to, traditions of music and singing and storytelling and language that had their own highly distinctive texture.”

O’Toole makes his first connection in the first sentence of the first chapter, in which wedding photographs of his parents remind him “of a frontier town in an old western.” The film he has in mind is High Noon, where “a respectable wedding” is “threatened by the dangers of a frontier town.”

Why were American westerns “vastly popular in Ireland”? Because “they probably seemed like social realism. In economic terms, Ireland was a vast cattle ranch with a few cities and a lot of small provincial towns attached.” A study on economic development conducted by a New York firm  began with the line, “In the Irish economy, cattle is king.” O’Toole recalls: “In my childhood, it was not unusual to find a stray bullock grazing in the back garden.” His way of bringing everything together to make a point both playful and profound is evident in the conclusion of the chapter, “Comanche Country.” After contrasting the general perception of life in the country (“we were denizens of a no-man’s-land that was barely a place at all”) with the “grittiness and depth of history” in “the old city slums,” he writes: “But we drew our water instantly from taps and made it privately in a little indoor room with the door closed. That didn’t feel like Siberia, or the Wild West or Comanche country. It felt modern.”  more

CHORAL MASTERWORKS: Shown here at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium, Princeton Pro Musica will be back this season with some of the best-known works for chorus and orchestra.

In celebration of 10 years with Princeton Pro Musica (PPM), Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau has programmed a season of choral works, beginning October 23 at 4 p.m.

The 2022-2023 season features some of the greatest works ever written for chorus and orchestra, such as Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Bach’s St. John Passion, and Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. Additional works are by Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, alongside new arrangements by Brandau himself.

In the Brahms work on October 23, held at Richardson Auditorium, soprano Emily Donato and bass-baritone William Socolof, prize winners in the Lyndon Woodside Solo-Oratorio Competition, will be soloists.

PPM’s holiday concert is December 11 at 4 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium. “A Feast of Carols” will include favorite movements of Handel’s Messiah, the Christmas music of J. S. Bach, and selections from Margaret Bonds’ Ballad of the Brown King and her Go Tell it on the Mountain, along with a medley of favorite classic carols and holiday songs.  more

SINGING TOGETHER: Members of Princeton Boychoir, shown here, and Princeton Girlchoir of Westrick Music Academy recently performed in-person concerts in venues in Europe and Canada after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Following two years of largely virtual rehearsals and performances due to the pandemic, students at Westrick Music Academy have recently returned to singing together in person with other choirs.

Performing under the direction of Artistic Director Lynnel Joy Jenkins, singers from Princeton Girlchoir’s Concert Choir, Cantores, and Ensemble gave concerts in venues throughout Montréal and Québec City, including the Basilica of Notre-Dame. Members of Princeton Boychoir, under the direction of Education Director Fred Meads, made their international debut as part of the Boychoir’s fifth anniversary season, collaborating on concerts in Prague and Vienna. One of the highlights was a performance at Dvorak Hall, home of the Czech Philharmonic, under the baton of composer and conductor Rollo Dilworth.

These young singers, from 12 to 18 years of age, experienced firsthand the power of music to bring people together from different cultures and backgrounds.  more

DAMSEL AT SMALL WORLD: Indie neofolk duo Damsel will perform at Small World Coffee, 14 Witherspoon Street, on Saturday, September 10 at 5:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit smallworldcoffee.com/events.

GLUCKSBERG PRINTMAKING PROJECT: The Arts Council of Princeton has announced the launch of a project to feature a range of classes, community events, and artist residencies, named for printmaker and longtime ACP volunteer Trudy Glucksberg (pictured in the late 1970s).

When the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) opened its new Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in 2008, one of the very first people to volunteer at the front desk was neighbor and artist Trudy Glucksberg. Every Thursday, Glucksberg would walk up Wiggins Street from her home on Jefferson, brown lunch bag in hand, for her shift of answering the very busy phone at the ACP. She would settle in to take messages, transfer calls, greet guests, and read her New York Times if time allowed.

For more than 12 years, Glucksberg was a consistent presence at the Arts Council.

“Our staff was well informed not only about who was calling, but also about world events as we would all be tempted to hang out for a few minutes with Trudy,” said ACP Artistic Director Maria Evans. “As she ate her sandwich, she would share travel articles or fashion advice from the paper or tell us about her latest trip to Chicago or Maine to visit her children. Trudy was also a regular in our Monday night life drawing group, making many friends who would join her for dinner and partake in her famous soups.”  more