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OSNJ
Oratorio Society of New Jersey performs at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in 2016. COURTESY ORATORIO SOCIETY OF NEW JERSEY

New and prospective members are invited to OSNJ Choir “Meet-Up” at First Lutheran Church, on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

“We are excited to put out a wide welcome matt to singers in our area who may be interested in learning and performing some of the great choral works” said OSNJ President and Montclair resident Susan Ladov.

Auditions are not required for membership. Music Director Sandor Szabo encourages singers with prior choir experience and an ability to read music to attend the Meet-Up and first rehearsal in September.

At the 7 p.m. Meet-Up, returning members of the choir will greet new and prospective members and introduce them to OSNJ’s 18-19 season and to Szabo, who will speak about the repertoire selections. The first rehearsal will be held from 8 to 10 p.m.; subsequent rehearsals will be on Tuesday evenings at 8 pm, with the exception of Mon., Sept. 17, to allow for observance of Yom Kippur.

On Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8pm at the Church of the Immaculate Conception OSNJ will present “A Musical Thanksgiving Celebration,” featuring two major choral works that contain texts of praise and thanksgiving: Bach’s Cantata No. 79, “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild” (Our God is Sun and Shield); and Mendelssohn’s “Lobgesang,” (Hymn of Praise). The concert will open with the Overture from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 1. OSNJ regularly performs at Immaculate Conception as a featured ensemble in the church’s “Music at Immaculate” concert series.

The fall/winter season continues with OSNJ’s annual December “Messiah Sing,” Tuesday, Dec. 4, 7:30 pm at St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair. Audience members are invited to listen or sing along with choir members in Part I of Handel’s “Messiah,” and the “Hallelujah” Chorus from Part II.

OSNJ’s spring concert season will begin with the first rehearsal on Feb. 12; repertoire will be announced at a later date.

OSNJ Music Director and Conductor Sandor Szabo has led OSNJ in numerous performances of major choral works, since his appointment in 2005 as the fourth music director of the OSNJ. A truly international musician, he maintains a full schedule as conductor, organist, pianist, vocal coach and arranger, with appearances throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Dr. Szabo was educated in Yugoslavia, receiving degrees in music from the University of Sovi Sad, and the University of Music Arts in Belgrade. From 1983 until his immigration to Canada in 1988, he performed as a pianist, taught piano at universities in Yugoslavia, and served as assistant conductor and accompanist at the Serbian National Opera Theatre. In Canada he was founder and conductor of the Guelph Sinfonietta and Coro Culturale di Italia in Ontario. After his move to the U.S., he received master’s degrees in organ performance and sacred music by the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ; and a doctoral degree in piano performance at Boston University. In addition to directing OSNJ, he currently serves as minister of music at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, NY; and the choir director/organist at B’Nai Abraham Temple, in Livingston, N.J.

Founded in 1952, the Oratorio Society of New Jersey is an amateur ensemble dedicated to performing major works of the Western classical choral repertoire, from the Baroque era to the current century. Based in Montclair, choir members reside throughout northern New Jersey. OSNJ performs twice yearly at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Montclair and presents an annual Community Messiah Sing in December. Recordings of numerous performances of OSNJ can be heard on the website oratoriosocietynj.org, and are also available in CD format.

Further information about the 2018-19 season, and membership in the choir is available at oratoriosocietynj.org.