Arts & Entertainment

NJ Intergenerational Orchestra Celebrates 20 Years of Bridging the Generations

April 4, 2014 at 2:20 PM

At 3 pm on April 27th at the Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC) in Rahway, the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra (NJIO) celebrates 20 years of bridging the generations through music with its 20th Anniversary Gala Concert. For the first time, all three of the NJIO orchestras will be performing together onstage. In addition, the concert will feature an intergenerational chorus. This “Celebration for the Ages” includes a program of joyful and celebratory music including Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto Grosso for three orchestras and Alexander Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, featured in the musical Kismet. The program finale will include music from Haydn's final Oratorio, The Seasons, where the orchestra joins forces with the chorus.

NJIO includes three ensembles. The Symphony Orchestra features full orchestra instrumentation, while the Intermezzo Orchestra is currently a string ensemble. The Prelude Orchestra is especially geared for less experienced orchestra musicians. All three groups will be playing together in the Vaughan Williams Concerto Grosso. The conducting duties in this work will be shared by Intermezzo Conductor Gavin Davies and NJIO Artistic Director Warren Cohen.

Following the concert, a 20th Anniversary Gala Reception will be held in honor of NJIO’s outstanding musicians and many accomplishments. The reception will be held in the UCPAC lobby. Proceeds from the reception will allow the orchestra to continue its important work for our community. NJIO has recently received several honors including performing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and as a finalist for the prestigious Eisner Foundation Prize for Intergenerational Excellence. This summer they have been selected to perform at a Somerset Patriots game and for several performances of Les Miserables at Hillsborough High School. Other NJIO achievements include playing at Lincoln Center, at the United Nations and at a UN Conference on the Aging in Europe.  Participants at the Anniversary Gala will enjoy eating many decadent delectables, bidding on several items donated to NJIO  and listening to chamber music from some of NJIO’s own outstanding professional musicians, Maria Ramsey, Vincent Novellino, Elizabeth Nowik and Martin Steinberg. Quartet 48, an ensemble of talented NJIO student musicians with Annalise Nassani, Emily Wang, Graham Cohen and Eric Jacobson will also perform.

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NJIO bridges the generations through music and brings artistic excellence to our communities by presenting concerts at several different venues as well as many outreach performances at senior and health care facilities. Recognized across the country as a model for intergenerational programming, NJIO provides education and performance opportunities for people of all ages that would like to be part of an orchestra or ensemble. Our members are friends, families and individuals of all abilities, who range in age from 6 to 86. NJIO members learn side by side with experienced players and professional musicians who mentor their fellow performers. NJIO is committed to ensuring that all programs and concerts are accessible to everyone. For more information regarding the concert or to inquire about patron services, please contact Mary Beth Sweet at (908) 603-7691 or


Concert tickets are $10; students and children are admitted for free. Concert tickets are available through Ticketmaster, the Union County Performing Arts Center box office (online at or in person) and through NJIO. Gala tickets are $30, $15 for students and children 8 and under are admitted for free. Gala tickets are available through NJIO online or at (908) 603-7691.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. This arts program is made possible in part by a 2013 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.  Funding is also provided by Merck Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, The Lillian Pitkin Schenck Fund, The Standish Foundation, The Shilling Family Foundation and Summit Medical Group.

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