PLAINFIELD, NJ – The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra launched its 100th season on Saturday, Oct. 12 with the American premiere of a major work performed by its composer Roland Batik. Before the concert began, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp presented a proclamation recognizing the Symphony’s contributions to Plainfield, and Union County Freeholder Rebecca Williams presented a resolution from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders congratulating the Symphony on its centennial.
Under the baton of Maestro Charles Prince, Batik and guest jazz base soloist Lorenzo Kim Sandi were featured on Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 – Meditation upon Peace. PSO also performed Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.
Prince’s opening concert featured two nods to PSO history with a piece written, Minuet, Op. 50 No 3, by Christiaan Kriens, PSO’s first conductor, and an encore presentation by Batik and Sandi of My Foolish Heart, a standard composed by Plainfield native Bill Evans.
“Saturday night’s audience experienced the best of PSO: internationally renowned performers, music that expands our knowledge and appreciation of classical music, and an unequaled standard of excellence from our orchestra members,” said Rebecca Perkins, PSO President.
The evening continued with an after party that allowed guests to meet the guest performers.
PSO’s next concert on Nov. 23 will feature soloists Brian Cheney and Steven Scheschareg performing selections from “Die Fledermaus.” In another nod to Plainfield history, PSO will host the New Jersey Army National Guard 63rd Army Band to perform John Phillip Sousa marches. Sousa gave his first performance with his own band in Plainfield in 1892.
Celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra is New Jersey’s oldest community symphony and the third oldest continuously operating community symphony in the United States. The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra represents the highest standard in musical excellence in programs designed to educate and uplift local audiences. Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. Additional funding has been received from a 2018 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.