SUMMIT, NJ -- The New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra will endeavor to bring concertgoers back to a simpler time when they perform “Musical Traditions in Song and Story,” February 18 at the Lawton C. Johnson Middle School. The free concert, which begins at 3 p.m., will feature performances from all three of NJIO’s orchestral ensembles, as well as its Flute Choir and Festival Chorus.

NJIO’s Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Artistic Director Warren Cohen and featuring the Festival Chorus, will dazzle auditions with a rendition of the under-performed “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast,” the first of a trilogy of cantatas by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Coleridge-Taylor was a descendant of African-American slaves and made multiple trips to America in his lifetime, including an invitation to the White House by Theodore Roosevelt. His most famous work, "The Song of Hiawatha," is a trilogy of cantatas based on the epic poem of the same name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and was an immediate hit upon its London premiere in 1898.  

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NJIO’s Symphony will also perform the moving “Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana, whose most famous composition about a river in Bohemia combined the symphonic poem form with nationalistic ideals.  Intermezzo Orchestra will be performing Vivaldi’s delightful “Concerto Alla Rustica” and Offenbach’s “Barcarolle” from The Tales of Hoffmann.  Be sure to arrive half an hour early to catch Prelude Ensemble’s performance in the lobby, and Flute Choir’s performance at intermission.

Since 1994, NJIO has bridged generations through music, bringing artistic excellence to New Jersey communities. NJIO provides opportunities for musicians of all ages and abilities to study and perform classical music by rehearsing, learning and performing side-by-side with professional musicians and experienced players. Its members include individuals from over 40 communities in northern and central New Jersey whose ages have ranged from 5 - 85.