Community Announcements

WHRHS Winter Instrumental and Choral Music Concerts Set for Dec. 14 and 16

Credits: B. Nemcek

WARREN, NJ  – The annual Winter Instrumental Concert, featuring performances by student musicians, and the annual Winter Choral Concert, featuring performances by student singers, will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, and Friday, Dec. 16, respectfully, at Watchung Hills Regional High School.

The general public is invited to join students, and their parents, families and friends, at their concerts in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

The Choral Concert will be held at the same time as Juan Carlos Cruz Night and the Men’s Varsity Basketball Game versus Bridgewater-Raritan High School, which will be held in Gym 5/6. Some of the singers who will perform at the concert are expected to lead the “Star Spangled Banner,” and sing the song, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” in Gym 5/6, before then walking to the Performing Arts Center to begin the Choral Concert.

Sign Up for E-News

The Instrumental Concert will be conducted under the baton of Paul McCullen, Director of Bands and Orchestra, and the Choral Concert will be conducted by Angela DiIorio Bird, Director of Choral Music.

The concerts promise to be entertaining and enriching to their audiences, while at the same time be opportunities for the student musicians and singers to stretch their knowledge of both music and culture, and to exercise their experience of performing as a collective musical team to a concert hall-sized audience, according to McCullen and DiIorio Bird.

McCullen and DiIorio Bird also want to invite the public to mark their new 2017 calendars: The WHRHS Spring Choral Concert, which will be held on June 7 and the WHRHS Spring Instrumental Concert, which will be held on June 6.

The Winter Instrumental Concert Program

The program of pieces expected to be presented at the Instrumental Concert are:

By the Concert Band: “Festive Sounds of Hanukah,” arranger by Bill Holcombe; “Folk Songs from the Eastern Counties,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, arrangement D. Wagner; “Suite from Bohemia: Procession to the Castle, Folk Tale, Round Dance, Tournament, by Vaclav Nelhybel:  “Suo Gan,” a Welch Fold Song, arrangement by Larry Clark; “Holly and the Ivy,” a British Folk Carol, arrangement by Tom Wallace; and “Toccata for Band,” by Frank Erickson;

By The Wind Ensemble: “First Suite in Eb for Military Band Op.28, No.1,” Chaconne,  Intermezzo,  March, by Gustav Holst; “Sleepers Wake,” by J.S. Bach, arrangement by Mark Williams; “Pageant,” by Vincent Persichetti; “Sussex Mummers’ Carol,” by Percy Grainger; and “Variants on a Medieval Tune,” Theme, Var. I - II – V, by Norman Dello Joio;

By the Orchestra: “Carol of the Bells,” by Mykola Leontovych, arrangement by Micheal Hopkins; Brandenburg Concerto No.3,  Movement I,” by J.S. Bach, arrangement by Merle Isaac;  “Concerto grosso in G minor, Op.6, No.8,” Allegro, Adagio, by Arcangelo Corelli; “Winter” from The Four Seasons,” by Antonio Vivaldi.

There will be a performance by a Soloist: “Siberian Sleigh Ride,” by Paul O’Neill, arrangement by Bob Phillips;

The Wind Ensemble will conclude the concert with three numbers: “Kaddish,” by W.F. McBeth; “Russian Christmas Music,” by Alfred Reed; and “Sleigh Ride,” by Leroy Anderson.

Program Notes

“One of the hardest challenges for any director is concert programming,” said Maestro McCullen. “The questions are endless and uncertainty abounds. What is the ensemble capable of playing? Have we played it before? What educational purpose does it serve? Will the students like it, or more importantly will the audience like it? A college professor once told me that concert programming should have the same effect as a well-designed dinner. An appetizer, salad or soup, several courses (complimenting and building in intensity), and then dessert (unless you are me and sneak one in as your appetizer). Of course with the belief that all of the music programmed satisfies the musicians and audience equally, making sure to avoid a food coma.”

About the menu for this year’s Winter Instrumental Concert, McCullen said: “We’ve looked to balance the program in a way that there is something for everyone. From Holst, to arrangers such as Tom Wallace, we are presenting some of the best from the then and now in the genre of wind band music. Perhaps you’ve even played some of these pieces yourself, a long time ago in a band room far far away. Holst, Vaughan Williams, Persichetti, Reed, McBeth are the Bach, Beethoven, Mahler of this genre that should be celebrated and performed more often than they are.”

“The Orchestra this evening represents something “completely different,” he said, “the serious and cheeky. Bach, Corelli, and Vivaldi represent three composers from one period in music history -- The Baroque Period -- yet all three approach string orchestra differently. As a clarinetist I’m often lost with music of this period; the clarinet would not be invented until the latter half of the Classical Period, some 75 years yet to come. This is an appreciation and exploration into music I rarely get to perform, and paired with a lot of dessert.  I’ll let the performance speak for itself! So… Sit back. Listen and Bon Appetit!”

The Winter Choral Concert Program

The Winter Choral Concert, which will be performed “in loving memory of Soccer Coach Senor Juan Carlos Cruz,” will include the following songs and spoken comments:

Opening remarks by Jordon Reynolds and Anthony Speros, followed by Select Vocal Ensembles and Senor Cruz’s fellow students singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” arranged by James McKelvy, and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” by Peter C. Lutkin.

The Chorus will sing: “Durme Durme,” “Sleep, sleep mother’s little boy, free from worry and pain/ Listen (with) joy to your mother’s words, the words of Sh’ma Yisrael/ Sleep, sleep mother’s little boy, with the beauty of the (words of) Sh’ma Yisrael,” a Sephardic Folk Song, arrangement by Audrey Snyder;

“That’s What Friends are For,” words and music by Bacharach and Sager, arrangement by Alan Billingsley, with accompaniment by Anthony Speros playing Harmonica,  Andrew Morrison playing Soprano Saxophone, and Benjamin Kosakowski playing guitar;

“You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch,” from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” music by Albert Hague, lyrics by Dr. Seuss, arrangement by Jeff Funk, accompanied by soloists, Benjamin Kosakowski on Baritone Saxophone, Anthony Speros on Guitar, and Matt Renzo on Percussion; and

“Fix You,” words and music by Berryman, Buckland, Champion and Chris Martin of “Coldplay.”

The Advanced Chorus will sing: “Silence,” written for the 2011 New Jersey Region II Chorus, by Mark A. Boyle; “Zadook the Priest,” by G.F. Handel, accompanied Ryan Branco and Carl Peterson on Trumpets;

“Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy” from “The Nutcracker Suite,” music by Peter Tchaikovsky, arrangement by Jeff Funk, accompanied by WHRHS Student Dancers, Brianna Casas, Emma Kotar, Abigail Kotar, Michelle Shui and Kostandena Vayas, choreography by WHRHS Teacher Annanda Carmody;

“Let It Be,” recorded by “The Beatles,”  words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, arrangement by Mark Brymer; “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” by Frank Loesser, arrangement by Kirby Shaw, accompanied by Lindsey Shi on Flute; “Auld Lang Syne,” by Robert Burns, WHRHS Alumni are invited to join the Advanced Choir on stage.

Various singing ensembles will also perform:

“Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” arrangement by John Rutter; “That’s Christmas to Me,” recorded by “Pentatonix,” words and music by Hoying and Olusola, arrangement by Brymer;  “Glow,” by Eric Whitacre; “FunMedley,”  featured in the NBC television series, “The Sing-Off,” arrangement by Deke Sharon; “Eatnemen Vuelie (Song of the Earth),” by Frode Fjellheim, arrangement by Emily Crocker;

“Frozen Heart,” from Disney’s animated blockbuster feature, “Frozen,” music and lyrics by Anderson-Lopez and Lopez, arrangement by Mark Brymer, “Briefcase Full of Blues (A Tribute to The Blues Brothers),” arrangement by Alan Billingsley, accompanied by Andrew Morrison on Saxophone, Matt Renzo on Percussion, and with Choreography by Annanda Carmody

The Combined Chorus will conclude the concert, singing: “Man in the Mirror,” words and music by Ballard and Garrett, recorded by Michael Jackson, arranged by Ed Lojeski; and “Disney Movie Magic (A Choral Medley),” arranged by Mac Huff

There will also be senior solo performances sprinkled into the program. Solos will be determined closer to the concert date.

“As Maestro McCullen said about the Instrumental Concert, the Choral Concert will offer a broad array of musical expressions, from the solemn to the lighthearted, some special to the holidays, many timeless literature, with acknowledgement to the tastes of the student musicians as well as their audience of all ages,” Maestro DiIorio Bird said. “Some of the selections are those the students approached from having been intimately familiar with them since childhood and/or from listening to their favorite listening devices. Now they have learned to sing them themselves and have deciphered their “music” language in the process. They may have sung them at ‘Mommy and Me’ classes, or with grandparents during visits, or at bedtime before lights out. Others are new to them, stretches to their musical, cultural and language arts education, and as a result they have grown as singers, as students, as people.  They will continue to grow through the rest of the year, in anticipation of the Spring Choral Concert in June. There will also be other musical performance opportunities, including during a school music learning trip to Disney World, and performances in the school musical and various school sponsored cabarets. But for now, if I may translate Maestro McCullen’s comment to Italian, ‘Sit back. Listen. Buon Appetito.’”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Found: Green Brook and Warren, Do You Know this Dog?

April 18, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Do you know me? I'm a young, male German Shepherd who appears to be around a year old. Found near Warrenville Road near the Green Brook, Bound Brook border and now at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter. Call  908-725-0308.

Gallery Reception to Showcase Sherman Feller’s Photography

April 20, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The public is invited to the Scotch Plains Public Library to view the photography of Sherman Feller. There will be an artists’ reception which the public is welcome to attend on Sunday, May 6 at from 1-3 pm.  Registration is not required for the reception.

Feller has exhibited six times at the Scotch Plains Library and at the Malamut Art Gallery, the Pearl ...

Lisbona All Sports Camp Welcomes Beginners

Parents, summer is quickly approaching and it’s time to sign up for Lisbona All Sports Camps.

The camp runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., beginning June 25, at Millington School. Those who need longer hours can register your child for the Long Hill K-8 Summer Rec Camp that begins at 8:30 a.m. at Millington School.  When recreation camp ends your child will be escorted to the ...


Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Baby Seal Waddles Its Way onto Belmar Beach

BELMAR, NJ — A baby seal waddled its way onto the Fifth Avenue beach earlier today to enjoy one of the warmest days of spring so far.

Around noon on April 12, photographer Nancy Orlowski took these snapshots, which have also been posted on the Belmar Facebook page where it states that the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has been notified.

This is the second known instance ...

Bateman Bill, “ Bijou’s Law”, to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 12, 2018


TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 17, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

WHRHS Baseball: Watchung Hills Tops Morristown, 6-3

April 11, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Senior Joe Blajsa picked up his first win of the season and Kevin Badger went 4-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base and one RBI to lead Watchung Hills over Morristown on Wednesday, 6-3.

Blajsa pitched six and 2/3 innings allowing only six hits, striking out five and walking one. Junior Ben Ant came in for the strikeout save to pick up his ...

Watchung Borough Council Recognizes Watchung Hills Senior Julia Cunningham, Proclaims April 19 Julia Cunningham Day

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ - Watchung resident and Watchung Hills Regional High School graduating senior, Julia Cunningham was recognized at a special meeting of the Watchung Borough council Thursday. 

Councilman Bill Nehls praised Cunningham, “ as probably one of the best basketball players in the state,” and “an inspiration for girls in the seventh and eighth grades, ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Loaded Gun and Drug Paraphernalia Found in Warren Traffic Stop, Prosecutor Says

SOMERVILLE, NJ –  Two men were charged with possession a handgun, hollow bullets and drug paraphernalia after a motor vehicle stop in Warren Township on Saturday,Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Warren Township Chief of Police William Keane announced on Thursday. 

Martin Harris, age 33, and David ...

Somerville HS Students Design Commemorative Coin for Police Unity Tour


SOMERVILLE, NJ – Three proud Somerville High School seniors have something tangible to show for their participation in a competitive project in Linda Conklin’s communications design class.

Emily Hickson, Gillian Belkin and Junior Ramirez combined their artistic talents to design a limited edition commemorative Challenge Coin that combines a variety of elements reflective ...

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

TAPintoTravels Area Teens Invited to the First Meeting of Aviation Explorer Post 523

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Exploring helps young people make more informed decisions about future careers and learn about different jobs within a particular field. 

In that vein, Aviation Explorer Post 523 will hold its first meeting for young men and women, ages 14-20, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., at DM Airports, 8 Airport Road in Morristown. Future meetings will ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...