“This is such a wonderful, artsy town and I want to jump on the bandwagon by giving talented musicians a place to play,” Fr. Jim Worth, the newly installed pastor of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Maplewood, told Dave Chmiel of The Village Green back in September.
“We have some famous artists in our towns and have even more hidden gems, and we want to give them all a chance to perform.”
Toward that Worth started “Performances on Prospect Street” — “POPS” for short — as a free Friday-night performance center back in September.
Friday, November 21, will mark the third installment of POPS.
The Nov. 21 concert — with a start time of 7 p.m. — will feature soprano Valerie Bernhardt, pianist Carl Patrick Bolleia, and harpist Marynda Adams.
Bernhardt has sung everything from Verdi to Puccini, Mozart and Wagner in venues around the world. She has two graduate degrees from the Julliard School.
Adams is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, performing throughout the United States, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico.
Bolleia has collaborated with members of the The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble.He recently played his debut with the Vienna International Orchestra in Austria.
Artists perform in the sanctuary of the church — but Worth said that all are welcome and the performances are not part of any religious rite.
“Everyone is welcome here, whether you want to perform or support these artists,” Worth told The Village Green. “This is not a fundraiser for the church. We’re not using any of the St. Joe’s budget for the shows. We just want to provide a place for talent to shine.”
St. Joseph Church, 767 Prospect Street, Maplewood, NJ. 973-761-6705. www.stjosephmaplewood.org