Arts & Entertainment

Golda Och Academy Student Musicians to Perform with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Wednesday

GOA student musicians practice for their special performance in small groups with music teacher Mr. Richard Perini.
Golda Och Academy is pleased to welcome the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for a special concert on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Credits: Fred Stucker

WEST ORANGE, NJ — As part of the UJA Benefit Concert outreach project, Golda Och Academy student musicians have been invited to join members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) during a special performance on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Golda Och Academy’s Eric F. Ross Upper School Campus.

Under the direction of GOA music teacher Richard Perini, Golda Och Academy instrumental music students in grades 5-11 are practicing to play Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, with the orchestra. On the day of the performance, GOA musicians will have the opportunity to learn from NJSO professionals as they practice alongside one another and then perform together during the concert.

“Bringing the NJSO to GOA is an amazing opportunity for our band students to learn and perform with working professionals in the field,” said Jordan Herskowitz, Arts Department Chair at GOA. “This event will elevate the arts at GOA as we continue to find new and innovative ways to enhance our program.”

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Golda Och Academy’s instrumental music program begins in 3rd grade, when students can choose to play the trumpet, trombone, French horn, baritone horn, clarinet, flute, saxophone or percussion instruments. Students in their second year of the music program can join the Lower School band. Once at the Upper School, instrument lessons are also offered as well as the band.

GOA junior Shachar Kessler, the student coordinator for An Evening with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at GOA, is marking his eighth year with the school band.

“It is a huge honor to play with the NJSO,” he said. “While my experience in the school band has helped me grow as a musician, playing with a professional orchestra will be an eye-opening experience. I am eager to see the work professional musicians do and learn from them.”

An Evening with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at GOA is made possible through generous funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and the UJA Benefit Concert Supporting Foundation.

“The UJA Concert used to be a single large event held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center," said Ed Zinbarg, president of the UJA Benefit Concert Supporting Foundation. "It was a phenomenal success, raising $4 million for UJA and Federation over 18 years. In 2015, with the “Chai Concert” of the series, it seemed time to help local Federation agencies more directly. The event at Golda Och Academy is in that spirit.”

The concert, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m., and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at the Eric F. Ross Upper School Campus, 1418 Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange. Space is limited; please RSVP for the event at

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