(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents a weeklong virtual celebration of Pride Month, June 13–18. The celebration features works by LGBTQ+ composers, an interview with Laura Kaminsky about her chamber opera As One, a performance of Rent’s “I’ll Cover You” in collaboration with Paper Mill Playhouse and a free Zoom event presented in partnership with SAGE, a national advocacy and services organization for LGBT elders.
Harmonica Sunbeam, renowned for her Hudson County non-profit Drag Queen Story Hour, hosts the celebration.
In a conversation on June 14, NJSO flutist and piccolo player Kathleen Nester talks with her friend and neighbor, composer Laura Kaminsky, about As One—Kaminsky’s pathbreaking opera exploring a gender transition.
Performances by NJSO musicians include works by Tchaikovsky’s Andante cantabile with Principal Flute Bart Feller, violinist James Tsao, violist David Blinn and cellist Sarah Seiver (June 15) and Jennifer Higdon’s A Gentle Notion with Acting Principal Clarinet Pascal Archer and pianist Spencer Meyer (June 16).
A free Zoom event on June 17 at 7:00pm features a conversation and insight into the NJSO’s Pride celebrations with NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst, Edie Windsor SAGE Center Arts & Culture Program Coordinator Christian Appel and NJSO violist David Blinn, followed by musical performances featuring notable LGBTQ+ composers and artists. Patrons can register for the event in advance at njsymphony.org/pride.
A performance of “I’ll Cover You” from Jonathan Larson’s Rent, presented in collaboration with Paper Mill Playhouse, closes the Pride celebration on June 18. Vocalists Kyle Taylor Parker and Jay Donnell perform alongside the NJSO Chamber Players featuring violinist Héctor Falcón, cellist Ted Ackerman, Assistant Principal Bass Alexander Bickard (on electric bass), clarinetist Pascal Archer and drummer James Musto.
NJSO family members reflect on what Pride means to them in the celebration’s opening piece on June 13.
For more information, visit njsymphony.org/pride.
NJSO PRIDE CELEBRATION
HARMONICA SUNBEAM host
Sun, June 13 at 5:00pm; NJSO Family Members - “What Pride Means to Me”
Mon, June 14 at 5:00pm; Composer-in-Conversation - NJSO flutist and piccolo player Kathleen Nester talks with her friend and neighbor, composer Laura Kaminsky, about her pathbreaking opera exploring a gender transition, As One.
Tue, June 15 at 5:00pm; NJSO Chamber Players Performance
TCHAIKOVSKY Andante cantabile
Bart Feller, flute; James Tsao, violin; David Blinn, viola; Sarah Seiver, cello
Wed, June 16 at 5:00pm; NJSO Chamber Players Performance
JENNIFER HIGDON A Gentle Notion
Pascal Archer, clarinet; Spencer Meyer, piano
Thu, June 17 at 7:00pm; NJSO Pride Celebration: A Conversation. Free Zoom Event
Join NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst, Edie Windsor SAGE Center Arts & Culture Program Coordinator Christian Appel and NJSO violist David Blinn for a lively conversation and insight into the NJSO’s Pride celebrations, followed by musical performances featuring notable LGBTQ+ composers and artists. Register at njsymphony.org/pride.
Fri, June 18 at 5:00pm; Collaboration with Paper Mill Playhouse
LARSON/arr. Robert Wagner “I’ll Cover You” from Rent
Kyle Taylor Parker, vocalist; Jay Donnell, vocalist; Héctor Falcón, violin; Ted Ackerman, cello; Alexander Bickard, electric bass; Pascal Archer, clarinet; James Musto, drums
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra connects with the people and diverse communities of New Jersey through the power of live symphonic music to inspire, entertain and educate. Internationally renowned Music Director Xian Zhang has garnered critical acclaim on the podium and has deepened the NJSO’s commitment to presenting diverse voices that reflect the communities the Orchestra serves.
The NJSO embraces its legacy as a statewide orchestra through mainstage and chamber performances at venues across New Jersey, as well as partnerships with fellow Garden State arts organizations, universities and civic organizations. The Orchestra’s education and community engagement programs promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJSO has made virtual performances and educational online programs available for free, reaching more than 10 million people across the Orchestra’s digital channels. NJSO Concert Films pair world-class NJSO performances with stunning imagery of the people and cityscapes of New Jersey. The NJSO has presented innovative programs with fellow arts organizations, community ensembles and statewide partners. Musicians perform solo and chamber works from iconic New Jersey locations in NJSO Everywhere. NJSO at Home spotlights intimate at-home performances, instrument demonstrations, educational videos and hours of concert recordings.
The NJSO Youth Orchestras have not only continued virtual instruction but have introduced an entirely new dimension to the program. Students are working together on a yearlong creative composition project—a uniquely engaging opportunity for students to explore their own musical voices and shape new works that draw from all the genres that inspire them.
The Orchestra’s online hub for free musical content is njsymphony.org/virtual.