CLINTON, NJ - “Music in Flight” is the theme for the Concert for Young People to be presented by the Hunterdon Symphony at 3 p.m. Feb. 8, at Clinton Township Middle School, 34 Grayrock Road, Clinton. Music selections have been chosen for their portrayal of insect flight, space flight, and balloon flight, as well as their appeal to audience members of all ages.
A featured selection on the program will be A Hunterdon Ode, a composition by Raymond Wojcik commissioned by the Hunterdon Tricentennial Committee and premiered in 2014 by the Hunterdon Symphony to mark the 300th Birthday of the county. Subtitled “Balloon Flight,” the music describes a hot air balloon ride over the county’s many historic features and farmlands, with a theme inspired by the vistas from atop some of the highest points in the county.
Other music planned for the concert includes works by John Williams, Rimsky-Korsakov, Vaughan Williams, and James Horner. These works will be familiar to many listeners, with “Flight of the Bumblebee” frequently used in popular culture and John Williams and James Horner known for their movie scores for films that are set in space.
Composer Raymond Wojcik, who lived in Hunterdon County at the time this composition was written, died shortly after its premier. His works include music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, dance companies, and film. Also a conductor and educator, his activities as a composer included a three-year position as composer-in-residence at the Cape May Music Festival. His music has been recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic (Czech Republic) and Rzesnow Philharmonic (Poland) and performed in New Jersey by the Westfield Symphony Orchestra and the South Orange Symphony.
In addition to his 29 years as conductor with the Hunterdon Symphony, Lawrence Kursar also conducts the Princeton Symphonic Brass and has conducted other groups in New England and New Jersey. He teaches instrumental music at Woodglen School in Lebanon Township and plays French horn with the Crosswinds Trio and regional orchestras.
This concert will be followed by an “instrument petting zoo” in the lobby, a popular feature of the children's concerts in the past. Members of the Symphony, many of whom are music teachers, will be on hand to guide young people in trying out various instruments. Hunterdon Music, located in Flemington, is again loaning the instruments that will be available for this hands-on experience.
Tickets prices for the concert are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Advance sales are available through the group’s web site, www.hunterdonmusicalarts.org, or the following local merchants (cash or check only): Califon Book Shop, Bear Paw Leather in Clinton, Teaberry’s Tea Room in Flemington, Libbybeans Chocolatier or The Book Garden in Frenchtown.
Tickets will also be available at the door of the auditorium on the afternoon of the concert (cash or checks only). In case of snow, the concert will be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 9. For more information or to request an accommodation for a disability, visit the website or call 908-995-7977. Hunterdon Musical Arts may also be found on Facebook.
Hunterdon Musical Arts sponsors the Hunterdon Symphony, Hunterdon Choral Union, Hunterdon Chamber Series, and Music for Youth, which includes the Saturday Strings program. Funding is made possible by funds from the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. With advance notice, reasonable accommodations can be provided for persons with disabilities.