Wednesday, April 24, 2024




Monmouth Civic Chorus is pleased to announce the winners of its Vocal Scholarship Auditions held on Wednesday, April 10, at Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls.

Maria Guerrero
, 17, of Little Silver, is the first-place winner. Maria attends Red Bank Regional High School. She has appeared in over 38 musical theater productions and is on the original off-Broadway cast recording of CAMP, A New Musical. Maria plans to major in theatre/directing when she attends college in the fall.

Olivia Crowe
, 17, of Point Pleasant Beach, tied for second place. Via is a senior at Point Pleasant Beach High School. She has been performing with Continuo Arts Foundation groups for the past eight years. A singer-songwriter, she released her first album Unfinished in 2023. Via will attend University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Jacob Phelps
, 19, of Helmetta, tied for second place. Jacob attends the Calais School. A classically-trained baritone, he has performed in Royal Conservatory of Music Celebration of Excellence Recitals at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall. Jacob plans to attend St. Joseph’s University.

Bryan Reimertz
, 18, of Red Bank is an honorable mention winner. Bryan is a student at Middletown High School North. He has sung in All-Shore Chorus, All-State Chorus, and he played Igor in MHSN’s spring production of Young Frankenstein. Bryan is undecided on his college choice at the present time.

About Monmouth Civic Chorus: Monmouth Civic Chorus has been called "near-
flawless" (Asbury Park Press), "alive and evocative" (The Star-Ledger) and "superior" (Red Bank Green). The Chorus 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. Monmouth Civic Chorus has awarded more than $90,000 to 113 musically talented high-school seniors over 39 years.

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.