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RCGC Chorus honoring late supporter

Concert to be held in the memory of Pauline Jonas, who passed away last year

Special to The Sun: The RCGC Chorus at rehearsal

The College/Community Chorus at Rowan College at Gloucester County will pay its respects to a beloved member of its family on Nov. 13.

Pauline Jonas, a well-renowned member of the Gloucester County art scene and member of the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission, never missed a College/Community Chorus at RCGC concert prior to her passing, according to conductor Larry De Pasquale. Jonas passed in November 2017.

“She would always wait to talk to me and give me feedback that was meaningful and substantive,” De Pasquale said. “She went far beyond ‘It was a nice time, I had fun.’”

The concert is free and will take place at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Williamstown. Donations are accepted at the door, and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m..

The chorus will be performing “Requiem” by Gabriel Fuare. “Requiem” is performed in seven movements that directly follow each other.

“They are fashioned after the order for Holy Communion according to the Roman Catholic rite,” De Pasquale said. “It is done in Latin. The text throughout the requiem combines prayer for rest and eternal light for the departed.”

“Requiem” features soprano and baritone soloists. The soprano soloist is Patricia Januszewski of Mickleton. She is a retired faculty member of the West Deptford School District. The baritone soloist is Jonathan Stark of Lumberton. He is parish musician of Zion Lutheran Church of Bristol, Pa.

The chorus will be accompanied by a 13-member professional orchestra that will perform two pieces, “Pavane” and “Elegie.” The orchestra is conducted by Dr. George Atanasiu. According to De Pasquale, the orchestra includes some members of the Philly Pops Orchestra. “Pavane” and “Elegie” feature two soloists — Atanasiu is a cello soloist, and Amy Shimmin of Sewell is a flute soloist.

De Pasquale’s goal was to put on a beautiful show for Jonas because she meant a lot to the chorus.

“We appreciated her, we loved her support,” he said. “When we lost her we agreed we need to do our own commemoration to her. That is the reason for this concert.”

De Pasquale added Jonas was a driving force in helping the chorus receive financial grants to hire instrumentalists for concerts over the last 10 to 20 years.

“It was very nice to know that somebody did appreciate us,” De Pasquale said. “She was a very special person.”

The group is an un-auditioned chorus based at the RCGC campus. There are 51 members of the chorus from all over South Jersey. If one is interested in joining the chorus, speak to De Pasquale after the concert.

“That’s how we gain membership,” he said. “We don’t confine our music to religion but we include it.”

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