PRO ARTE CHORALE

 
50th Anniversary Gala Concert with Orchestra Modern, June 2014 - © Paul Donohoe Photography

50th Anniversary Gala Concert with Orchestra Modern, June 2014 - © Paul Donohoe Photography

The Pro Arte Chorale strives to be one of New Jersey’s foremost volunteer choruses and to be among the top rank of regional choruses in America. The Chorale is committed to enriching the lives of its members, its audience and the broader community by exploring many musical traditions in a variety of venues, presenting performances of the highest artistic quality, and supporting educational endeavors.

Founded in 1964, the Pro Arte Chorale is one of the Northeast’s most prominent choral organizations! The Chorale has appeared in major concert venues across the region including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the South Orange Performing Arts Center. In addition to its own subscription series, the Chorale has appeared with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Mark Morris Dance Company. In May 2008 the Pro Arte Chorale traveled to Liverpool, UK to perform with the Liverpool Welsh Choral at Mossley Hill Church, as part of Liverpool’s celebration as Cultural Capital of Europe. In May 2009 the Liverpool Welsh Choral traveled to the U.S. to join the Pro Arte Chorale and Westfield Symphony Orchestra in performances of Verdi’s Requiem in Ridgewood and Westfield, NJ.

The Chorale has been conducted by William Memmott, John Nelson, Roger Nierenberg, Bart Folse, David Crone, and Joshua Greene. In addition, the Chorale has sung under the batons of Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, Julius Rudel, Hugh Wolff, Zdenek Macal, Yuri Temirkanov, Leon Botstein, Gerard Schwartz, David Wroe, and is now currently conducted by Steven Fox.

Pro Arte Chorale is a proud recipient of funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  Pro Arte Chorale is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

 
© Paul Donohoe Photography

© Paul Donohoe Photography

OUR MUSIC DIRECTOR

MAESTRO STEVEN FOX

Throughout its 50 year history the Pro Arte Chorale has been most fortunate to be led by rising young conductors, such as John Nelson and Roger Nierenberg, who have later gone on to highly distinguished careers in music. Following this tradition, the Pro Arte Chorale is proud to announce the appointment of Steven Fox as its new Music Director. As Kent Tritle, one of America’s leading choral conductors said on WQXR, “Maestro Fox is emerging as one of New York City’s most promising young conductors. Keep your eyes peeled for him.”

As Artistic Director of Clarion Music Society since 2006, Maestro Fox has taken the Clarion Orchestra and Choir to Lincoln Center on the White Light and Scope Festivals, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Miller Theatre at Columbia, and The Morgan Library; he has garnered critical praise from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Seen and Heard International, Musical America, BBC Music Magazine and The Boston Globe.

Increasingly in demand as a conductor of early oratorio and opera, Maestro Fox served as the Associate Conductor for the New York City Opera’s productions of Handel’s Agrippina, under Ransom Wilson, and Purcell’s King Arthur, under Jane Glover and with Christian Curnyn on Handel’s Partenope. In 2008 he appeared as the first guest conductor in the 35-year history of the Aston Magna Festival. Other guest conducting engagements have included Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus in Vilnius, Lithuania, with Jauna Muzika; and Mozart’s Sparrow Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

At the age of 21, Maestro Fox traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, and founded the country’s first period instrument orchestra, Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg. With Musica Antiqua, he has revived a lost repertoire of Russian 18th-century music from the court of Catherine the Great, including the earliest Russian symphony, Berezovsky’s Symphony in C (c.1771), and the premiere of Dmitri Bortniansky’s final opera, Le fils rival (1787), in the Hermitage Theater.

In 2014, he begins as Music Director of the new Geneva International Early Music Festival and is entering his sixth season as Music Director of the Taghkanic Chorale in Peekskill. He has been Assistant and Cover Conductor for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program and Juilliard Opera, and returned for the fourth year to New York City Opera as an Associate Conductor for Christopher Alden’s production of Cosi fan Tutte.

He also recently made his debut conducting the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston (called ‘stunning’ by The Boston Globe), and with Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center (‘exceptional’ by Seen and Heard International). Upcoming debuts include the Fundacion Excelentia in Madrid and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Fox graduated a Senior Fellow with High Honors from Dartmouth College and with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music, London, where, in 2010, he was named an Associate for ‘remarkable achievement in and contribution to his field in music’.

 
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ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR & ACCOMPANIST

Janet Montgomery has won acclaim as a pianist, organist, coach, and conductor. She has appeared in concert at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to Washington National Cathedral, and the Juilliard School. She has accompanied such groups as the New York Choral Society, the Gregg Smith Singers, Musica Sacra, and the Masterwork Chorus. She is a founding member of the Serafini Brillanti Trio; the group has recorded a CD and has performed extensively in New Jersey, Florida, and the Chicago area. Ms. Montgomery is the director of music at the Community Church of Glen Rock and is the accompanist and keyboard assistant at the Barnert Temple of Franklin Lakes. She is also on the music faculty of the Dwight Englewood School. Ms. Montgomery graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and has a master’s degree in accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music. She also holds the AAGO certification from the American Guild of Organists.

 

STAFF & BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Staff

  • Steven Fox, Music Director
  • Janet Montgomery, Assistant Conductor and Accompanist
  • Catherine Guinard, Administrator

Board of TrusteeS

  • Dr. Joseph DeFazio, President
  • Jane Stein, Vice President
  • Robert Dodds, Treasurer
  • Andrea Covais, Secretary
  • Marilyn Becker
  • Hugh Dougan
  • Enid Hayflick
  • Jeffrey Kresky
  • Virginia Miner
  • Roy Ronning
  • Susan Seay

Graphic Design

  • Kathy Smyth Design

Printing

  • Jon Bogner, Printology
    Enid Hayflick, past President & current board member

    Enid Hayflick, past President & current board member

    Tom Hellegers, Virginia Miner, board member & music chair & Dr. Joe DeFazio, President

    Tom Hellegers, Virginia Miner, board member & music chair & Dr. Joe DeFazio, President

    Past board members, Ken Benkovic, Treasurer and Mike Stella with their wives

    Past board members, Ken Benkovic, Treasurer and Mike Stella with their wives

    Special Event Co-Chairs: Susan Seay and Connie Collins

    Special Event Co-Chairs: Susan Seay and Connie Collins

    Jane Stein, Vice President, and Susan Seay, board member

    Jane Stein, Vice President, and Susan Seay, board member

    Patricia Klecanda, Catherine Guinard, chorale administrator, and Susan Seay, board member

    Patricia Klecanda, Catherine Guinard, chorale administrator, and Susan Seay, board member