In The Schools

Acclaimed Cranford Musicians to Hold Benefit Concert for CHS Performing Arts

Money raised by the concert will go to the high school's orchestra and band programs, with a portion going to the performing arts general fund. Credits: Christine Sweet
Money raised by the concert will go to the high school's orchestra and band programs, with a portion going to the performing arts general fund. Credits: Christine Sweet

CRANFORD, NJ – Three Cranford musicians will hold a concert to raise funds for the Friends of the Cranford High School Performing Arts, a group of parents who support the school’s dance, drama, chorus, band and orchestra programs.

The featured performers include Brennan Sweet, associate concertmaster of the NJ Symphony Orchestra, his wife, Christine Sweet, an accomplished cellist, and special guest Dr. Allison Brester Franzetti, a multiple Grammy-nominated pianist.

“The money will go to the group's band and orchestra funds, with a portion also going to the general fund,” the trio wrote in a press release.

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Each of the performers brings a unique background to the performance. Franzetti was a 2008 Grammy nominee in Best Instumental Soloist without Orchestra and was chosen to participate in a Grammy salute to pianists Lang Lang and Earl Wild. Additionally, she currently works as a program coordinator at the Mason Gross Music Program.

Brennan Sweet was featured on worldwide television as the lead violinist for Andrea Boccelli’s New Jersey’s Liberty State Park concert. Christine Sweet has worked in music education to develop new ways to engage students with professionals. That includes the concert, which encourages college, high school and middle school students to attend.

"A vital performing arts department is so important in a school district,” Christine Hoffman, founder of the Friends of CHS Performing Arts, said. “It teaches the students to think and communicate in a variety of ways and to work hard to bring about talents that can bring satisfaction to the performer and the audience. It is one of the ways to truly move people and help them to understand different ideas. For high school students, practicing their talent has the extra advantage of helping students get into the colleges of their choice.”

Tickets for the events are $25 for adults and $10 for students. The concert will be held at Trinity Church in Cranford on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. Following the performance, a light dinner will be served for ticket holders.

For tickets, go to or contact Hoffman at

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