FIRST ANNUAL CLASSICAL MUSICAL FESTIVAL
Two-Day Showcase of Classical Music & Modern Dance at the Axelrod PAC
The highly anticipated first annual Axelrod Classical Music Festival will be held Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21 at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Avenue, Deal, NJ.
The brainchild of Jess Levy, Axelrod CEO, and Mary Weir, founder of Pacific Encore Performances, the two-day festival brings together central New Jersey’s finest classical music and dance organizations for a special showcase of opera, ballet, modern dance, choral, chamber music and symphony. The program is geared for music and dance lovers of all ages, and offers a perfect outing for families who want their children to experience classical music and modern dance.
“There is nothing even remotely ‘stuffy’ about this festival,” says Mary Weir of Pacific Encore. “Eight leading music and dance organizations are joining together in this musical celebration of youth and the arrival of spring. With so many great artists under one magnificent roof, the public gets a delightful taste of a diverse selection of work.”
Participating organizations include Monmouth Civic Chorus, Monmouth Conservatory of Music, Kathryn Barnett School of Dance, Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey State Youth Orchestra, Pacific Encore Performances, the Say Dance Collective and the Arcadian Chorale. The festival is made possible by the generous support of a grant from Dr. Herbert and Evelyn Axelrod.
The festival kicks off Saturday at 8 pm with a “Celebration of Spring” performance by pianist Julia Zilberquit, a Russian born pianist who at a young age has already earned critical acclaim as a recitalist, orchestral soloist, chamber musician and recording artist.
Julia will accompany singers from Pacific Encore Performances, an internationally acclaimed organization performing opera, cabaret, musicals, show tunes, folk songs, pops, zarzuela, spirituals, and national songs, in numerous dialects and languages. Pacific Encore’s performance at Carnegie Hall last summer drew rave reviews.
Saturday’s opening performance also features the Say Dance Collective, a contemporary dance company of young, adventurous artists. A dessert reception will follow the show in the Axelrod lobby.
Sunday’s events will begin at 10 am with The Monmouth Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition. Finalists will perform in the Axelrod theater in front of a panel of orchestra personnel. The general public is welcome to attend the concerto competition free of charge. Winners will be announced at 12:45 pm at a special awards ceremony in the Axelrod lobby. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third prize winners. The first prize winner will play a concerto or other solo work in at least one performance with the MSO during the fall 2010 concert season.
Forty-minute showcases will be held throughout the day on Sunday, starting at 1 pm with the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Roy Gussman and Patty Gonsky. At 2 pm students and faculty from the Monmouth Conservatory will present a special performance. At 2:40 pm the Monmouth Symphony’s Woodwind Ensemble will perform music from Mozart and Rossini. At 3 pm the Monmouth Civic Chorus will present highlights from American folk, combining music, theater and history in a portrait of America, and at 4 pm the highly accomplished Arcadian Chorale will perform. The program includes a 5 pm performance by the Kathryn Barnett Traveling Dance troupe, which specializes in lyrical, contemporary, jazz and tap dancing.
The event will conclude with a dessert reception in the Axelrod lobby.
The festival presents a unique opportunity for so many New Jersey organizations to collaborate and cross-market, says Mary Weir. “It’s an honor for us to perform at the Axelrod. More people need to become aware of this remarkable performing arts center. Not only is it drawing the next generation into performing arts, but it provides many seniors a local outlet for quality performances. Getting into New York City is difficult for many seniors. The Axelrod is a gift for New Jersey residents of all ages and backgrounds.”
Tickets are $15 for the Saturday, March 20 opening night performance and dessert reception; and $10 for adults ($5 for youth under 16) for Sunday, March 21. Entrance to MSO’s Young Artist Concerto Competition on Sunday is free.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by calling the Axelrod box office at 732-531-9100 ext. 142.
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The 520-seat theater fosters artistic excellence by showcasing distinctive cultural programs which enrich the imaginative, intellectual and creative soul, and cultivate an appreciation of our diverse communities through the pursuit of the arts.