It’s an ambitious work that represents the human journey in song; one that draws from the words of poets, philosophers and public figures from Confucius, Ben Franklin and Winston Churchill, to Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. It’s Voices of Change, an original oratorio composed by Red Bank area music educator Kristopher L. Zook — and it will be heard by a public audience for the first time this Thursday, May 21.
A presentation of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School, the oratorio will be conducted by RBR faculty member Zook during the world premiere concert at the school auditorium. For the 7 pm event, the composer will be joined by a chamber orchestra, an allstar assembly of high school choirs and festival choirs, and special guest soloists from Kean University and NYC’s Metropolitan Opera.
“The work is composed for multiple choirs and soloists and each group represents the voice from various stages of life,” says Zook of his composition, which begins with the voices of young children as represented by the Count Basie Theatre’s Central Jersey Youth Chorale. RBR’s own Concert Choir will portray the transition from childhood to adolescence, while the voice of young adulthood will be sung by the combined Matawan-Aberdeen Regional Choir and the Central Regional High School Choirs (Andre Baldassarini and Beth Moore, Directors).
Representing mature adults will be a festival chorus made up of area professionals and local church choristers. The voices of the ancestors will be brought to life by the Met bass Jeremy Galyon, as well as by soprano (and Kean professor) Katherine Harris.
The concert commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Monmouth County Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), and will also feature examples of solo organ works composed by past and present Monmouth AGO members, as performed by chapter members (including RBR music teacher and AGO Dean, Camille Thompson).
Tickets for this public-welcome performance are $10 and are available at the door, or in advance by contacting (732)842-8000, ext. 227.