performers on darkened stage from 2018 Production of Lucretia

Music for Celebrating the Season

University Singers, NJSO and NY Philharmonic offer holiday performances

Posted in: Cali News

Performers spread on amphitheater steps
The New York Philharmonic Holiday Brass ensemble recorded holiday tunes at the University Amphitheater in October. Photo by Mike Peters.

Montclair State fans of holiday tunes have multiple reasons to celebrate this season.

The University Singers debut a new recording titled the Messiah Mosaic, on Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m. on the John J. Cali School of Music website and will be featured on a WQXR/105.9 rebroadcast of their 2019 performance of Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra on Monday, December 21, at 8 p.m. And if that weren’t enough to get Red Hawks in the holiday spirit, on December 18 at noon, the New York Philharmonic will debut its Holiday Brass performance recorded this fall at the campus Amphitheater.

The 2020 production Messiah Mosaic features the University Singers, NJSO players, and Montclair State student and alumni musicians, in highlights from the Messiah performed at various locations around campus including the Red Hawk Parking Deck (level 6), Amphitheater, Chapin Hall Choral Room, and musicians’ homes.

“We invite you to grab a score and sing along!” says Director of Choral Activities Heather J. Buchanan.

Messiah Mosaic flyer

Meanwhile, the New York Philharmonic Holiday Brass marks its 25th anniversary with the free concert broadcast starting December 18 at noon EST on Facebook and YouTube, available on demand through January 4, 2021. Featuring former Principal Trumpet Philip Smith as conductor, host and trumpet, the Holiday Brass playlist features holiday classics from Handel to Jingle Bells for “an enjoyable taste of the holiday spirit.”

New York Philharmonic Brass and Percussion players recorded this year outdoors at the Montclair State University Amphitheater, giving students the rare opportunity to hear world-class performers live and providing the musicians with a safe, outdoor performance space during the pandemic.

“Montclair State University has been a great partner, providing us an ideal venue – an acoustically vibrant outdoor amphitheater – to record this special project,” says New York Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda.

Holiday Brass flyer
Handel's Messiah flyer

Story by Staff Writer Mary Barr Mann, with reporting by Marilyn Lehren.