It is sweet music to the ears of Highland Park musicians. The Highland Park Recorder Society (HPRS) has just been awarded a Local Arts Program grant from the Middlesex County Office of Arts & History (Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission) for $4,500, of which $1,200 is designated for artistic innovation. The award recognizes HPRS’s dedication to providing access to New Jersey musical arts.
The grant period is January 15, 2018, to December 31, 2018. The funds will help to support HPRS music education projects, programs, and operations during the year.
This year’s program includes a spring concert, “Back to Bach,” at 8 p.m., March 17, 2018, in honor of J.S. Bach’s 333rd birthday. The concert will be held at the United Methodist Church, 323 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ. The church is handicapped-accessible, including free handicapped parking. For others, there is ample parking in nearby parking decks.
HPRS activities include Recorder Playing Sessions led by noted conductors and master musicians such as Maestro Robert W. Butts, John Burkhalter III, and Lewis Baratz, all well known to early music aficionados. In addition, HPRS music education outreach programs introduce elementary school children to the recorder, which often is the first instrument children learn to play.
The concert will include Renaissance and Baroque compositions for recorder, strings, and harpsichord, as well as an ARS-commissioned Fantasia on a shape-note hymn for SATB recorders, by Eric Haas. In addition, HPRS and friends will perform the world premiere of a neo-Baroque concerto grosso in the style of J.S. Bach, composed by John Franek, a young New Jersey composer and harpsichord player.
March 17 is Play-the-Recorder Day, one of many national and worldwide musical events during Play-the-Recorder Month 2018, designated by the American Recorder Society (ARS).
HPRS, now in its 31st year, is a member of the American Recorder Society and the Guild for Early Music.