Monday, December 12, 2022


Joy to the World: Your Favorites from Handel’s Messiah and the RJB Holiday Suite

WHEN: Sunday, December 18, 2022, 3 p.m.
Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank
TICKETS: Premium seating — $50 adult, $40 senior, $35 group (10 or more), $20 student; Regular seating — $35 adult, $32 senior, $30 group (10 or more), $15 student
Tickets and information are available at or (732) 933-9333.

The award-winning Monmouth Civic Chorus presents Joy to the World: Your Favorites from Handel’s Messiah and the RJB Holiday Suite. The highly acclaimed annual performance of Artistic Director Dr. Ryan James Brandau’s Suite is Monmouth County’s can’t-miss musical event of the holiday season.

This year’s program will feature your favorite selections from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B minor, masterfully intertwined with stirring original settings of holiday classics like Silent Night, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and Auld Lang Syne.

The chorus of more than 80 voices will be joined by full professional orchestra composed of some of the country’s most in-demand musicians, and celebrated guest soloist soprano Claire Leyden.

All singers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The Count Basie Center for the Arts no longer requires audience members to show proof of vaccination. 

Masking is encouraged, but not required. 

About Monmouth Civic Chorus: Monmouth Civic Chorus makes the music that moves you. The Chorus has been called “near-flawless” (Asbury Park Press), “alive and evocative” (The Star-Ledger) and “superior” (Red Bank Green). MCC is the proud recipient of the 2008 ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, the 2010 Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, and a third-place winner of the 2018-19 American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. 


About Ryan James Brandau: Artistic Director Ryan James Brandau has broad experience conducting a variety of choral and orchestral ensembles. In addition to his work with Monmouth Civic Chorus, he serves as Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and Amor Artis, a chamber choir and orchestra in New York City. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College, where he has worked with the Symphonic Choir, which he has prepared for performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony. He remains active as a choral arranger, composer, and clinician, whose arrangements and compositions have been featured by choral ensembles across the globe. Ryan received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the Yale School of Music. Prior to pursuing graduate study in conducting, Ryan attended the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Gates Scholar, earning an M.Phil. in historical musicology. He received his B.A. in music, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.


About Claire Leyden: Commended for her “magnetic stage presence” and “crystalline soprano,” Claire Leyden is a singer and actress with an extensive background in musical theater, concert, and operatic repertoire. Claire feels equally at home in a variety of genres, and the diversity of her recent performances speaks to her love of, and versatility in, the “crossover” repertoire. A native of the beautiful Hudson Valley, Claire loves to explore the outdoors and is committed to climate causes and making the world a little better than she found it! When not on stage, she loves to spend time with her partner Greg, hiking and quizzing one another on the Latin names of plants.