Founded in 2012, the professional chamber choir The Thirteen has quickly garnered a reputation of exceptionalism. The Thirteen is an ensemble of 13 professional musicians based in the New York City area, specializing in the masterpieces of the Renaissance and Baroque, especially the early and middle Tudor periods. The Thirteen is returning to St. Luke's this month for another highly-anticipated performance. MM spoke to director Matthew Robertson about the choir's process. For even more information, check out their website at this link.
MM: How do you choose new directives for the group? Is it a democratic process in terms of choosing your musical direction for the coming season?
MR: We always try to be as democratic in our planning as possible. This includes reaching out to current members when planning themes and repertoire, and of course our Board of Trustees and our Artistic Advisory Board. We're also love hearing the ideas of our audience members in planning and setting direction.
MM: What is your favorite part about touring? Do you find that the audience inspires you as much as you inspire them?
MR: Touring is a wonderful thing that allows the members of the group to grow closer together and, thus, the quality of the music-making is even higher! All of our tours also enclude a major educational outreach component at Universities and High Schools. For instance, our 2014-2015 sees us at Bowling Green State University, Yale University and more. This opportunity to work with young people on this extraordinary repertoire, and on building an exemplary choral sound is very rewarding.
MM: Who is on your wish list of collaborators? With whom would you most like to work in the coming years?
MR: The Thirteen is always looking for stellar professional choral singers with whom to collaborate. In future years, we'd love to be touring with some of the choral-orchestral repertoire like Handel's "Messiah," Monteverdi's "Vespers," Bach's "B Minor Mass" etc. That could mean an exciting collaboration with an extant period instrument group such as Tempesta di Mare, Juilliard 415, and others.
A "Bridge Crushing" Contest for teams of students in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 was recently introduced at a workshop at the "Makespace" located in the Metuchen Library on Route 27. The "Makerspace" program is supported by a $50,000 gift from the Lemelson Foundation to build a place for young and old to learn, invent, make and express themselves creatively through the use of emerging technologies not normally available to the general public. The student teams are invited to explore the world of engineering, science, math and technology by challenging them to design a 100.0 gram truss bridge made of plastic straws, cardboard and glue.
At a competition on February 7th, at the Metuchen Library, a bridge crushing machine will determine which bridge can support the most weight before collapsing. The bridge will be designed, tested and innovated in virtual reality using the "West Point Bridge Designer" software which is free and downloadable from the Internet. The Deadline for registering for this competition is January 7, 2015, and is limited to twenty teams of up to three student members with an adult mentor.
The "Makespace" workshop is being carved out of an area in the Library for allowing the public access to the tools and up-to-date technologies for expressing their ideas as working inventions. Besides offering the conventional tools and materials for constructing inventions, there will be eight laptop computers for designing and researching, including a 3d printer, conventional hand tools, and much more is being considered. Newly appointed director of the Metuchen Library, Susanna Chan, announced that the grand opening for the "Maker Space" workshop will be on March 21 of 2015. In the meantime, community volunteers will continue to advertise and provide STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) type program's in the Library's community room. STEM is a national movement to encourage students through "hands-on/minds-on" fun experiences to prepare them for success and leadership roles in our worldwide-evolving technological environment.
Congregation Neve Shalom of Metuchen, and the Jewish Federation of Greater
Middlesex County will co-sponsor a Chanukah Laser Light Show. Join us as
the Chanukah story becomes a duel of light beams with fantastic lighting
effects. We will celebrate Havdalah and then watch an exciting laser light
show, performed by science edu-tainer Ken Fink from Wondergy, and
culminating in a giant menorah lighting you'll never forget! For adults
and kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be served. A Jewish book
fair will be open before and after the program. Open to the whole community and free for all attendees!
Everyone is invited--ages 9 to 99! On Saturday December 13, from 1 PM until 3 PM, there will be an Open Game Day in the Metuchen Public Library (480 Middlesex Avenue) to experience a fun, new strategy game of words---COMPOUND IT ALL! You can even meet the creators of the game, Kim and Danny Adlerman of Metuchen!
COMPOUND IT ALL! is simple to learn, difficult to master! It's a compound word building game that will expand your vocabulary, your critical thinking skills, and even your math skills. There are 3 challenging levels of play. For more information, write KLiss@Lmxac.org. Stop by the Library to play the game! No purchase necessary, but games will be available for purchase.
On Tuesday December 29, 2014 at 1 PM, a FREE Introduction to Fencing class will be offered to Metuchen residents in grades 6-12 at the Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Avenue. The 1.5 hour workshop includes demonstrations, floor exercises, and an introduction to the equipment, weapons and rules of the sport. The program is hands-on; participants should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and sneakers. Registration is required and opens on December 1; space is limited. Write KLiss@Lmxac.org" id="chat_icon">KLiss@Lmxac.org with name, grade and phone number to sign up. The class is taught by coaches from a local fencing school, and it is paid for by the Friends of the Metuchen Library.
Alanna Redwood (Troop 80412) and Julianna Mullen (Troop 81411), eighth graders at Edgar School, created a Monarchy Butterfly Silver Award project for Girl Scouts with the help of Judy Graziano, the Edgar School science teacher who participated in a similar effort with her seventh graders this year. The dwindling numbers of Monarch butterflies affects our natural world in a myriad of ways and the girls took it upon themselves to help replenish the population with their creative endeavors.
They created a certified Monarch Weigh Station (as confirmed by Monarchwatch.org), housed at Edgar School. The garden is filled with various milkweed and nectar plants in compliance with their certification -- this allows for Monarch caterpillars to thrive and eventually emerge as butterflies. (The placement of the milkweed garden is right next to a still-thriving Butterfly garden, an Eagle Scout's project planted years earlier). This placement will attract more mature Monarchs to lay their eggs on the new neighboring milkweed garden. The milkweed garden will be sustained and monitored by the science teachers at Edgar along with their Student Environmental club for years to come.
The milkweed seeds were distributed to all the schools via Redwood and Mullen (through community donations at the fair) to insure the growth of milkweed plants for years to come. More eggs create more opportunities for the science teachers at Edgar to continue the curriculum for the 7th graders. The high school also has milkweed plants in their student garden. The girls would like to see all the schools in Metuchen plant milkweed seeds in their schools' courtyards and gardens so that even more butterflies could prosper around Metuchen.
The girls did their community awareness at the Fall Metuchen fair - where they won 3rd place in the youth division for best booth presentation.
For the past three years on the first Saturday night in December, the Borough Improvement League in Metuchen has hosted "Eat, Drink, and Buy Art," an arts event designed to match local talent with holiday shoppers in an elegant, festive atmosphere. When planning for year's event, Chairpersons Amy Brooks and Judy Weinberg shared their dream for it to inhabit a storefront on Main Street as a "pop up art gallery." With the assistance and support of many, this dream has come true and this year the event will be held on Saturday, December 6th from 6pm-10 pm at 457B Main Street in Metuchen. The space is being generously donated by the DePasquales, owners of the newly opened 9Round Fitness Center located immediately next door to this as-of-yet unoccupied space. Twelve artist and artisans will be featured this year, and their diverse works promise to make the event appealing to a wide audience:
® Beryl Koblin of Beja Knits creates knitted and woven pieces for everyday use in your home.
® Chelsea Villegas is a mixed-media artist who uses a combination of drawing, collage, oil paint, and wax to express her varied interests ranging from the human form, to elements from the natural world.
® David LaMorte is a mixed media artist from Metuchen, New Jersey who creates his art from new and found paper.
® Easton Davy creates music inspired artworks based on Jazz and Blues and exhibits frequently in New York and The Netherlands.
® Janice Fried is a mixed media artist living in Metuchen.
® Jerabek Pottery provides finely designed and crafted pieces for everyday use (all functional pieces are dishwasher, microwave, and food safe).
® Judy Weinberg Photography creates colorful fine art photography featuring abstract, natural, uniquely composed, and altered images.
® Mark Harris Photography is fine art photography of the human form.
® Little Owl Soap is dedicated to the blend of science and art that is hand-crafted soapmaking, by combining creativity with the scientific knowledge of the last 150 years to craft small batches of gentle, pure, and natural soaps from vegan oils and butters; essential oils; and clays, botanicals, herbs, and spices.
® Amy Brooks is a glass artist who works from her studio, Paradise Custom Glass in Metuchen, and specializes in custom stained glass windows and unique, one-of-a-kind gifts.
® Roman Stefaniw's works in acrylics, spray paint, and paint markers to create fine art pieces influenced by his architecture studies as well as his passions for music and trains.
® Stephanie Yu-Falkenstein's Sew Bespoke and Co. creates quality handmade accessories and home goods that blend contemporary style with functionality.
Everyone is welcome to come, browse, meet the artists and artisans, and support the arts
Metuchen, NJ410 Main Street
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First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen invites all to a fun, festive, free Advent Workshop filled with Christmas craft making, treats, lunch and the holiday spirit!
The Advent Workshop will take place on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 10:45am at the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen Social Center at 270 Woodbridge Avenue, Metuchen. Crafts for all ages will be set up, including wreath-making, with a limited number of wreath frames for sale (or you can bring your own - potential wreath makers are asked to bring their own tin snips and work gloves).
And for the first time, lunch will be sold at the Workshop, with proceeds benefiting the Church's annual Habitat for Humanity mission trip. For over 20 years, the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen has been giving a week of service to Habitat for Humanity sites all over the United States.
Congregation Neve Shalom, 250 Grove Avenue, Metuchen, NJ presents Cantor Gaston Bogomolni and his band in an exciting program of Jewish Music of Argentina on Sunday, December 7 at 7 p.m. This program is to honor Rabbi Gerald Zelizer's experiences as a young rabbi in Argentina.