SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - On Sunday, December 14, at 3:00 p.m., 90 skilled young musicians from over 18 towns in Essex County will be performing at the Youth Orchestras of Essex County (YOEC) Winter Concert at SOPAC, located at 1 SOPAC Way, in South Orange. Local musicians performing include: Jenny Zhu and Raina Bhagat of Livingston; Matthew Rodriguez and James Lukenda of Montclair; Jack Hagan  of  West Orange; Sean Qin of Short Hills; and Hank Mecinski and Sophia Tsioulcas-Sherman  of South Orange. Tickets are available at Find more information about the orchestras HERE. Interested musicians and community members are invited to attend.

Rehearsing together once a week, these 8-18 year-old students will be performing music in three distinct symphonic orchestras (Overture Strings, Junior Symphony Orchestra, Essex County Symphonic Orchestra) and the ABC (Anything But Classical) Ensemble. The ABC Ensemble features music from all over the world, and this concert will offer selections from Haiti and Latin America, among others.

Providing a diverse and musically talented group of young people the opportunity to participate in an affordable, high-level orchestra experience and cultivate a lifelong love of music has been the mission of YOEC since 1956. The vibrant group is the longest operating youth orchestra in New Jersey.

Admission to YOEC is through auditions, held in January and May. Right now, they are being scheduled for January, for the spring 2015 session. Spaces are available for most instruments and for the newly expanded Overture Ensemble, which is seeking brass and woodwind players, as well as a pianist for the first time. The other Orchestras and ABC Ensemble will also be holding auditions.