CAPE MAY — Come to Cape May and experience sweet sounds by the seaside during the 24th annual Cape May Music Festival, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), from May 26 through June 13.
The Cape May Music Festival is winner of the 2012 People Choice Awards for “Favorite Music Festival,” administered by the Discover Jersey Arts program of ArtPride New Jersey. Now in its fifth year, the People’s Choice Awards honor the work of arts organizations over the past year and the devotion of their fans. More than 60 nonprofit arts groups were nominated by members of the arts community in 14 categories. With nearly 7,000 people casting their ballots, winners were chosen from all over the Garden State and announced Feb. 5.
The Cape May Music Festival offers something for every musical taste. Classical music lovers will welcome the return of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, the New York Chamber Ensemble, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, while the World Traditions series will appeal to lovers of jazz, American classic country, Irish and brass band music.
Opening the 24th annual Cape May Music Festival on May 26 at 8 p.m. is the 35-piece Atlantic Brass Band, a long time Cape May favorite, under the baton of Salvatore Scarpa. The Atlantic Brass Band returns to present a rousing concert of American music perfect for a Memorial Day weekend celebration! Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a summer evening of traditional brass music by this award-winning ensemble. The concert is at Rotary Bandstand, on Lafayette Street between Decatur and Jackson Streets, and admission is free.
On May 28 at 8 p.m. enjoy the New York Chamber Ensemble performing a harp and voice program entitled “The Heart of the Matter: Beautiful French and American music for instruments and voice,” featuring Wonjung Kim, soprano, and Stacey Shames, harp, at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. The program consists of Saint-Saëns’ Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Ravel’s Five Popular Greek Melodies, Jimmy Roberts’ The Heart of the Matter: a blues for soprano and clarinet, Debussy/Fauré’s Songs on poems of Paul Verlaine, and Debussy’s Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp. General admission is $20, seniors $15 and students $5.
On May 30, at 8 p.m. making her Cape May debut, Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers perform at Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton. Muth has been called Seattle’s Emmylou, and when you hear her sing, it may be hard to believe she was born and raised in the Great Northwest. The combination of her inventive songwriting, true-blue twang, and rock solid country band, the Lost High Rollers, has led critics to call her one of the best up and coming interpreters of classic country music. General admission is $25, seniors $20 and students $10.
On June 2 at 8 p.m., Girsa performs traditional Irish music in a free concert at Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton. “Girsa” means young girl in Gaelic. This group’s precocity and passion combine impressively on their self-titled debut recording, which sold out its first run of a thousand copies in less than two months. “This music is simply exquisite...these young ladies have a refreshing sound that shows a deep, abiding respect for the tradition,” according to renowned Irish fiddler Brian Conway. McDermott’s Handy opens for Girsa and brings their strong vocals backed by a wide array of traditional Irish instruments to the stage. Admission is free. This concert is co-sponsored by the City of Cape May.
On June 4, at 8 p.m., The New York Chamber Ensemble performs a baroque program entitled, “A Musical Offering for BACHcombers,” featuring harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. The program consists of J. S. Bach’s Violin Sonata in E Major, Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts, J. S. Bach’s Trio Sonata and Two Ricercares from “A Musical Offering,” Purcell’s Incidental music to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and Telemann’s Quartet in D Minor. General admission is $20, seniors $15 and students $5.
On June 6 at 8 p.m., the Bay-Atlantic Symphony performs a program of music entitled, “Folk and Fashion,” at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., including Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Guitar RV 93 in D, Major with Max Zuckerman on guitar; Heitor Villa Lobos’ Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra, A501 with Max Zuckerman on guitar and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, K.201. General admission is $25, seniors $20 and students $10.
On June 9 at 8 p.m., come to Cape May Convention Hall to celebrate with friends and fans during the George Mesterhazy Tribute concert. George’s trio returns with guests Barry Miles, Paula Johns and Joe Barrett for another tribute from the Great American Songbook, remembering and CMMF Overview 3 celebrating the musical legacy of Cape May’s favorite jazz pianist. General admission is $25, seniors $20 and students $10. Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton.
On June 11 at 8 p.m., the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players perform a program from the classical repertoire on their “Golden Age” string instruments at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. General admission $20, seniors $15 and students $5.
Bringing the festival to a close on June 13 at 8 p.m., the New York Chamber Ensemble celebrates its all-stars in a performance entitled “The Gypsy in Us,” at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. The program consists of Willson Osborne’s Rhapsody for Solo Clarinet, Kodaly’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, and features Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, a masterpiece of the chamber music canon. General admission is $20, seniors $15 and students $5.
In addition to these evening concerts, come to the Carriage House Café & Tearoom located on the beautiful grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. for Bach’s Lunches, miniconcerts by members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, where you can enjoy an elegant Tea Luncheon and intimate afternoon concert under the tent. Admission is $30 per person. Bach’s Lunches are Wednesdays, May 29, June 5 and June 12.
The Cape May Music Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) with funding by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation. For further information or to purchase tickets call 609-884-5404 or order online at www.capemaymac.org. To purchase tickets for Cape May Convention Hall concerts, call 609-884-9565 or go online at www.capemayconventionhall.org.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508.