About Choral Art Society of New Jersey
Choral Art Society of New Jersey originated as The Suburban Symphony Chorus in September of 1962 under the direction of Peter Sozio. In September 1963, Evelyn Bleeke became director and in 1964 the chorus formed an independent organization under its present name and has grown in membership, earning the accolades of the public and critics since its beginning. Mrs. Bleeke served the organization as Director for 32 years prior to her retirement in May of 1995. She was followed by Thomas Booth and Kathleen Healy-Wedsworth and most recently James S. Little, who served for 14 years. In 2012, as the group progressed into its second half-century of singing, Martin Sedek was appointed Music Director.
The chorus is a group of avocational singers dedicated to the study and performance of the great choral masterpieces, performing works spanning many centuries and styles. Most of the major oratorios, cantatas, and masses of the master composers have been presented during its fifty-two years. The group’s diverse performances include Orff's Carmina Burana, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Handel's Solomon, and most recently, one of the first U.S performances of Bob Chilcott's Requiem. Each year the chorus sponsors a community Messiah sing at the beginning of the Christmas season for the enrichment of the community.
Choral Art Society of New Jersey is a non-profit, dues-paying organization. Rehearsals are held weekly on Tuesday evenings from 8-10. Prospective singers are welcome to join us, as we pursue our mission of learning and presenting the finest choral music.
Our rehearsal hall is directly beneath the sanctuary of The Presbyterian Church in Westfield, located at 140 Mountain Avenue, in Westfield, NJ. Please send mail to P.O. Box 2036, Westfield, 07901, and call 855-946-7652 for our Marketing Director, Ralph Jones, or email us at email@example.com.
MARTIN SEDEK, Music Director and Conductor, is in his 10th year with Choral Art Society of New Jersey. A choral musician for over 15 years, Martin has sung in choirs and vocal groups all over the U.S. and abroad, including NJ All-State Chorus, All-Eastern Chorus, National Choir of Men & Boys, Harmonium Choral Society, Berklee Gospel Choir, and the choirs at Montclair State University and has toured in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, and Italy. Educated at Berklee College of Music (BM), Montclair State University (MM), and Rutgers University (PhD), Martin has studied conducting with David Callahan, William Weinert, Craig Hella Johnson, and Heather J. Buchanan. He founded and conducted Berklee's Concert Choir in Boston in 2007 and was on the choral and theory faculties at Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music, where he served as Assistant Conductor for MSU Chorale and Visiting Professor of Theory and Aural Skills. Currently he is Director of Music & Art at Keio Academy of NY where he chairs the music department and works as director of choral activities. Martin is also an award-winning composer of choral and orchestral music and is Composer-in-Residence at Harmonium Choral Society and Baldwin Festival Chorus of NYC. His choral music is published with Hal Leonard and Ovation Music.
MARY BETH McFALL, Accompanist, who is in her 19th season with Choral Art Society of New Jersey, graduated from Wittenburg University in Springfield, Ohio, with a BM in Music Performance. She continued her studies in an accompanying program at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She has accompanied various choral groups including the Celebration Singers, Riverdale Choral Society, Symposium Singers, and Philomusica Chamber Choir. Currently she is accompanist for The Carrollton Chorale and the Crescent Choral Society, as well as accompanist for the Cranford school system. She has accompanied our chorus in concert in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer and Nänie, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, John Rutter’s Birthday Madrigals, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, the dual piano accompaniment of Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the “All for Love” concert at the Union County Performing Arts Center. She is an active member of the Musical Club of Westfield.