Arts & Entertainment

Chatham's Orchestra for the Next Century to Perform at New York Music Festival

The Orchestra for the Next Century will be performing at the Ecstatic Music Festival on Feb. 6 in New York City. Credits: Orchestra for the Next Century

CHATHAM, NJ - The Orchestra for the Next Century, a musical ensemble based in Chatham, will be performing at the Ecstatic Music Festival on Feb. 6 in New York City.

Music Director Gary M. Schneider is thrilled about the upcoming performance.

“What’s wonderful about this collaboration is that it’s allowing us to do many things that’s our exact purpose of being,” he said.

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The Orchestra for the Next Century is not a typical orchestra, according to Schneider. The goal of the orchestra is to entertain a younger generation. It targets a group of people who are not concerned about the boundaries of certain genres, but are interested in cutting-edge music.

“One of its purposes is to serve today’s audiences,” he said.

In fact, the orchestra is quite out of the ordinary. All of the performers are from a younger crowd, according to Schneider. Since their debut last April, the performers do not wear tuxedos and Schneider does not wear tails while conducting.

“Our aim is to be as different from the typical concert experience as possible,” he said. “There’s nothing stuffy about it.”

This festival is the first of many Schneider hopes to participate in with The Orchestra for the Next Century. He plans to tour around New York City, starting with the Ecstatic Music Festival. The orchestra has already received great reviews since their debut, according to Schneider.

The Ecstatic Music Festival’s aim is to redefine music for a post-classical generation, according to their press release. It is a fusion between indie-rock and indie-classical. All of the pieces being performed are world premieres, according to Schneider. When the Kaufman Music Center contacted Schneider, he was excited. “I
immediately said ‘absolutely’ because it was exactly the kind of thing we wanted to do,” he said.

The orchestra’s performance will not just include music. According to Schneider, it will also feature projected images that go along with selected poetry during the orchestra’s musical performance. The festival is popular amongst students in the New York area, according to Schneider. He especially encourages those who like indie-rock to attend their performance.

“In the same way that indie-rock is not your typical package top 40 music, it’s a little deeper, a little more original…this has a lot of connection to that,” he said.

The concert will be held Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. For more information or for tickets, call (212) 501-3330 or please visit For more information about the
Orchestra for the Next Century, please visit

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