About the Society
The Choral Society of the Moriches has been presenting George Frideric Handel's Messiah since 1937, when Edna Kaler Gracey, the founder of the Society, conducted their first Messiah concert at The Presbyterian Church of the Moriches. Against the backdrop of the beautiful pipe organ, the 39 original chorus members sang an abridged version of the score. The emphasis was on quality and authenticity, reflecting the training Mrs. Gracey received during her European studies. Thereafter, each Christmas season until 1948, the Choral Society continued to present the Messiah under Mrs. Gracey's direction. In 1949, George Harrup picked up the baton and directed the Society until 1958.
From 1959, until his retirement after the 1993 concert season, The Choral Society of the Moriches flourished under the direction of Josef Lemmen. Mr. Lemmen, a rich baritone who would traditionally sing 'Why do the Nations' or 'The Trumpet Shall Sound,' expanded the scope of the Society's Messiah tradition. Eventually under his direction, a small orchestra was assembled to accompany the chorus and nearly the entire score of the Messiah was presented. After Mr. Lemmen's retirement, Carol Jurgielewicz (a longtime soprano soloist with the Society) directed the 1994 concert season. From 1995 until 2014, The Choral Society of the Moriches continued to grow under the direction of Martha Campanile. Martha retired at the end of the 2014 season. In 2015, Kamilla Ozman took over as our music director. Kamilla has chosen an orchestration that reflects Handel's original composition. She continues to work with us to bring new meaning and interpretation to our performances of the Messiah.
About Handel’s Messiah
Handel's Messiah, unlike the trational form of oratorio, is a collection of quotations from the Old and New Testaments telling of the prophecy of Christ's coming: His birth, life, death and resurrection. George Frideric Handel began to compose Messiah on August 22, 1741, and completed it in the astonishingly short time of 24 days! The work affected the emotions of Handel as perhaps it does ours, for he said of those 24 days, "I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the Great God Himself."
Kamilla Ozman has been a conductor and music educator for more than 30 years. She has always been passionate about music and enjoys working with singers of all ages and abilities. Mrs. Ozman, a retired choral director from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, New York, remains busy conducting, accompanying, teaching and performing. Currently an adjunct professor at Suffolk Community College, Mrs. Ozman still finds time to maintain a private voice and piano studio, as well as hold the position of Organist and Choir Director at the Presbyterian Church of the Moriches.
Mrs. Ozman conducts several choirs on eastern Long Island and adjudicates choirs at local festivals. Most recently, she has taken the position as music director of the Choral Society of the Moriches. Their 2018 performance this December will mark the 82nd anniversary of this wonderful group. Previous conducting experiences include collaborations with Sound Symphony, and guest conducting positions at SCMEA (Suffolk County Music Educators Association) All-County Choirs, NMEA (Nassau County Music Educators Association) All-County Choirs, HMEA (Hamptons Music Educators Association) Honors Choirs, and the Green Mountain District Festival in Rutland, Vermont.
In the Fall of 2013, Mrs. Ozman created the East End Women’s Choir. Under her direction, this intergenerational group of musicians provides artistic performances of quality choral literature to local communities. This group was chosen as a guest choir to perform at the Fall 2016 NYACDA conference.
Mrs. Ozman earned a BS in Music Education from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York and a MA in Music from Long Island University, CW Post in Greenvale, New York.
She has professional memberships in NAfME (National Association of Music Educators), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), Chorus America, NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) and SCMEA.