Princeton Pro Musica exists to perform choral masterworks and other works of the choral literature with energy, passion, and uncompromising artistic excellence. We believe in the power of choral music to uplift and transform our present and future audiences, performers, and communities.
In 1979, Frances Fowler Slade created Princeton Pro Musica, a symphonic chorus, to perform major works with orchestra. Her focused vision and firm commitment to the pursuit of the highest levels of excellence guided the ensemble for three and a half decades.
Princeton Pro Musica welcomed its second Artistic Director, Ryan James Brandau, in 2012. With his leadership, PPM continues to strive to be central New Jersey’s premier arts organization for choral-orchestral masterworks old and new.
Princeton Pro Musica enters its fourth decade as a chorus of 100 voices that presents choral works with orchestra. It comprises avocational singers, music educators, professional singers, and an orchestra featuring top professional players from NY, NJ and PA. All singers re-audition annually.
Recent reviews deemed PPM “a powerful instrument,” which “did not miss a note of coloratura,” marked by “crystal clarity and precision,” which created “an evening of rare excellence.” We often collaborate with other arts groups such as Roxey Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Trenton Children’s Chorus, and Princeton Girlchoir. Educational outreach includes concerts for senior communities.
Princeton Pro Musica typically presents four concert programs per season, in venues in Princeton and Trenton NJ (Mercer County).
Its performing forces comprise more than 100 highly-skilled and experienced volunteer singers, eight professional singers, professional vocal soloists, and from five to fifty professional orchestral musicians, drawn from New York City and Philadelphia, including groups such as the MET Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony. Together, these artists present high-quality performances of works from the choral-orchestral repertoire, to audiences who appreciate music for chorus plus orchestra.
Since 1979, Princeton Pro Musica has sought primarily to preserve and prove, through excellence in performance, the vitality of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic choral-orchestral masterworks at the core of the Western canon i.e. masterworks by J. S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Fauré, Rachmaninoff, and others.
To introduce audiences to more contemporary music and music outside the Germanic/European mainstream, Princeton Pro Musica also presents early music seldom performed and new choral orchestral music by living composers.
Recent repertoire has included Mozart's Great Mass in C-minor, Orff's Carmina Burana, Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, Brahms German Requiem, and the Britten War Requiem.
A Revised 2020/2021 Season
In response to the COVID pandemic, all in-person rehearsals and live performances between March 2020 and May 2021 were cancelled.
In lieu of live performance, audiences enjoyed four virtual performances via YouTube of vocal/instrumental performances edited together from individual member recordings. These reached more than 2300 viewers. Additionally our audience was presented a trove of rich educational content created by the Artistic Director: essays, hour-long podcasts, explanatory videos, curated playlists, and more, all about great choral works from the group’s repertoire.
During the time away from rehearsals, the group presented group (virtual) singing opportunities for its members and patrons. Singers from PPM also met with an array of professional vocal instructors to improve vocal technique, and several Black conductors, who discussed with the group issues of race and social justice in classical music. The Artistic Director has named two Black artists to his Advisory Board. Upcoming programming will reflect a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion.