By MADDY VITALE
A chorus will join the Ocean City Pops on July 6 for a performance at the Ocean City Music Pier of Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony No. 9.
And singers are still needed to complete the 40-member chorus to complement the O.C. Pops.
Rehearsals for the chorus are scheduled for every Thursday in June from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, Eighth and Central Ave. in Ocean City. A choral score will be provided along with online rehearsal aids, according to choral director Richard Stanislaw.
“The mainstay of this group is the Angelus Chorus and we have not sung since the pandemic began,” Stanislaw said in an interview with OCNJDaily.com Friday. “We are looking forward to performing with the O.C. Pops.”
The show will be at 7:30 p.m. and Stanislaw said that O.C. Pops maestro Vince Lee will act as the conductor of the chorus as well.
“There will be 10 singers on a part. They will stand on risers beside the orchestra so that Vince can conduct them from where he stands,” Stanislaw explained. “It is a dynamic work between the chorus and the orchestra.”
Currently, there are 22 singers selected. Stanislaw noted that Lee has given instructions on how he would like the chorus to prepare for the performance.
The majority of singers in the chorus are from Cape May County, but some come from the Philadelphia area.
“I am expecting some high school singers all the way up to retired people,” he added.
And it will be a special show that he believes the Ocean City Pops has not done before.
“The work itself was Beethoven’s last symphony,” Stanislaw said. “He was already deaf by the time he wrote it, yet it is a famous symphony. The chorus will sing it well. I know.”
The Angelus Chorus has been singing for 45 years and performs about a dozen concerts a year. It is based in Cape May Court House, but Stanislaw said that the chorus has performed in Ocean City on numerous occasions.
Some of the venues have included the Ocean City Tabernacle, St. Peter’s United Methodist Church and United Methodist Communities at The Shores.
The Ocean City Pops is a city-funded orchestra that pays the orchestra members as city employees.
“It is certainly unique,” said Michael Allegretto, aide to Mayor Jay Gillian, of the city having its own orchestra. “My understanding is that there is only one other town with its own orchestra. Certainly, we feel it is a great way to promote the arts in Ocean City.”
Allegretto oversees the Ocean City Pops and books the shows, said he is sure the July 6 show will join two major talents, the chorus and the O.C. Pops for a night of entertainment for families.
In addition to the July 6 show with the chorus, Allegretto said that there is an impressive lineup of performances for the summer of 2022.
“Every year the O.C. Pops does a Broadway show or two with the Ocean City Theatre Company,” he said.
O.C. Pops conductor Vince Lee was hired in 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic led to cancelation of performances in 2020 and a shortened season in 2021 due to gathering restrictions.
So 2022 will mark Lee’s first official full season leading the orchestra, Allegretto said.
This year’s performances of the O.C. Pops will run from June 26 through Sept. 17. In addition, Allegretto said that a scaled down orchestra of the O.C. Pops will perform on City Hall steps during the Spring Block Party on May 14.
There will also be a holiday show on Thanksgiving weekend. The O.C. Pops will also perform during First Night, Ocean City’s family-friendly alcohol free event that gives families a safe and fun way to ring in the New Year.
For more information and to register for participation in the chorus, call Richard Stanislaw, choral director, 609-226-4003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Ocean City Pops and a list of performances and how to purchase tickets visit oceancitypops.org.