(TRENTON, NJ) — The New Jersey Youth Symphony presents its 45th Season Opening Concert on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton. The NJYS Youth Symphony led by Helen H. Cha-Pyo and NJYS Youth Orchestra led by Simon Lipskar will perform works by Louise Farrenc, Jennifer Higdon, Giacomo Puccini, Ottorino Respighi, Jean Sibelius, and Dmitri Shostakovich. The concert begins at 700pm.
The program, spotlighting the exceptional young talent of New Jersey, features an energetic and celebratory performance of Shostakovich’s Festival Overture, written exactly 70 years ago, as well as Sibelius's Finlandia and Respighi's The Pines of Rome, iconic symphonic works of the 19th century. Inspired by the NJYS Youth Symphony's recent tour to Italy, The Pines of Rome will feature projected images of these magnificent umbrella-shaped trees, offering our audience an immersive journey to Rome and enhancing the colorful beauty of this work.
Tickets and more information are available at NJYS.org.
Said Artistic Director Helen H. Cha-Pyo, “For 45 years, the New Jersey Youth Symphony has nurtured musical excellence, fostering young musicians through rigorous ensemble training and providing exceptional performance opportunities. This 45th Season Opening Concert stands as a powerful testament to our unwavering dedication to musical excellence and our commitment to creating an inclusive community that not only enriches lives but forms enduring friendships and leaves a lasting positive impact.”
The October 28 concert at Trenton’s Patriots Theater will celebrate women composers with Farrenc’s Overture No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 23 and the New Jersey premiere of Higdon’s Cold Mountain Suite. Louise Farrenc, an historically underrepresented French composer, was Paris Conservatoire’s only woman professor of the 19th century, an unusual position as the conservatory barred woman composition students until the 1870s. Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain Suite is excerpted from the opera of the same name which debuted in 2015, performed by the Santa Fe Opera. It won the prestigious International Opera Award for Best World Premiere and has since become a favorite of American opera fans. NJYS was part of a consortium commissioning project along with 37 other professional symphonies and youth orchestras throughout the country securing the rights to the NJ premiere performance.
Said Higdon about Cold Mountain Suite, “Set in the Civil War, it’s all about love and death, and everything that goes in between, so that meant there were lots of dramatic music that I could pull to make a suite. What I thought were the most dramatic and beautiful, that’s what’s in this music.”
The New Jersey Youth Symphony’s 45th Anniversary Season celebration continues with an exciting Alumni Weekend, May 4-5, 2024, and 45th Anniversary Concert on Sunday, May 5 at 3:00pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Throughout the 2023-24 season, NJYS honors its vibrant history and bright future with premieres of new compositions and beloved music from the inaugural season in 1979. Alumni are warmly invited to perform alongside current students at the 2024 Playathon and spring concerts in May. For more information, click here.
Wharton Arts’ mission is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities.
Wharton Arts’ vision is for a transformative performing arts education in an inclusive community to be accessible for everyone.
Wharton Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving nearly 2,000 students through a range of classes and ensembles. The 5 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, an auditioned choral ensemble program for students in grades 3–12, encourage a love and appreciation of choral music while nurturing personal growth and creative development. The 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve over 500 students in grades 3–12 by audition, inspire young people to achieve musical excellence through high-level ensemble training and performance opportunities. Based in Paterson, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music education as a vehicle for social action by empowering and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. From Pathways classes for young children to Lifelong Learning programs for adults, the Wharton Performing Arts School has a robust musical theater and drama program and offers both private and group classes for instruments and voice for all ages and all abilities. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and that performing arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton Arts offers need-based scholarships.
Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 12 counties. All of Wharton Arts’ extraordinary teaching artists, faculty members, and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.