WESTFIELD, NJ — The New Jersey Festival Orchestra is back performing live music this Saturday afternoon with “Swing Time,” an outdoor concert of beloved hits from the big band era.

Rosena Hill Jackson, a singer, songwriter and recording artist who has performed on Broadway, with the New York Pops and with symphony orchestras around the world will make a special guest appearance.

Safety protocols and social distancing will be strictly observed, according to the NJFO: Masks will be required for audience members, who will be seated in pods for groups of up to four people. Pods will be spaced 6 feet apart. There will be room for socially distanced dancing, as well.

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“People have been crying out for something to get us through what seems to be this perpetual lock-down,” said NJFO Music Director and Conductor David Wroe. “We at the NJ Festival Orchestra believe a responsible, socially distanced and outdoor concert is the perfect way for the community at large to celebrate our resilience, solidarity and hope for better times going forward.”

“Hope” is the operative word here, he said, “a concept governing the type of music we will be performing — Swing! It represents a musical ‘coming out’ party, an upbeat, celebratory and popular event designed to lift people’s spirits. Nothing fits the bill better than the uniquely, yet classy, jazzy dance rhythms and melodies of the Big Band era.”

Expect to hear the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and more, Wroe said.

“Everyone knows ‘Moonlight Serenade,’ ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo,’ ‘Pennsylvania 6-5000,’ ‘Little Brown Jug,’ ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and many more,” he added.

The NJFO, which is based in Westfield, is made up of the finest professional players in the Tri-state area, sharing musicians with the New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theater and many more, Wroe noted.

“When we switch gears to play different genres we call upon our specialists — particularly within the saxophone family — highlighting our experts who play on Broadway and record with stars such as Barbara Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Michael Bolton and Disney Productions, to mention just a few credits,” Wroe said.

The performance will take place in the spacious gardens at the rear of 241 E. Dudley Ave. in Westfield. Audience members are invited to bring a lawn chair, cushion or blanket. The concert, made possible in part through the support of the PNC Foundation, begins at 2:00 p.m. and will last about an hour. The rain date is set for Sunday, Oct. 18, at the same time.

Pod tickets ($150 for a pod that accommodates up to four people) are available by advance reservation only. Single tickets are not available for this concert for safety reasons. Pod tickets can be purchased online at www.njfestivalorchestra.org or by calling 908-232-9400. Patrons will be seated in their socially distanced pod on arrival on a first come, first served basis. 

For more information, contact NJFO by email at patronservices@njfestivalorchestra.org or call 908-232-9400. For full details on NJFO concert protocols go to www.njfestivalorchestra.org

TAPintoSPF is proud to be a media sponsor of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra.