The August Symphony Orchestra (TASO) announced its annual free concert will be held on Sunday, July 29 at 3 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield, under the baton of conductor Michael Avagliano. The program features the passionate energy of Brahms’ First Symphony, Haydn’s popular trumpet concerto in E flat major with guest soloist Andrew Filippone, and select pieces by Mendelssohn and Strauss.

Haydn’s radiant concerto in E flat major is the most famous trumpet concerto and possibly Haydn's most popular concerto. The spirited piece is chock full of sparkling humor, dramatic surprises, harmonic detours, while showcasing the expressive artistry of both the soloist and trumpet. Guest soloist Andrew Filippone is principal trumpeter for the Plainfleld Symphony Orchestra and teaches trumpet at Drew University.

Brahms Symphony 1 in C Minor is a complex piece with passionate energy. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest symphonies of the Austro-German tradition. In this, his first symphony, Brahms pays homage to Beethoven with a majestic theme, heard in the strings, that closely resembles the “Ode to Joy” melody from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

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The charming Strauss Serenade for Winds is thoroughly pleasing for its special fluctuation from calm moments such as the simple, sweet beginning to moments of great intensity.

"Strauss was still a teenager when he wrote the Serenade, and I think that youthful exuberance shows in the piece,” said Michael Avagliano.

Mendelssohn’s Overture in C Major is both energetic and dramatic. It is the composer’s first large piece for wind instruments; prior to that he had only written for strings or piano. 

This year marks the third season the orchestra will be conducted by Michael Avagliano, who has served as music director of the Central Jersey Symphony since 2008 and was recently appointed music director of the Summit Symphony. He is on the faculty of Drew University as conductor of the Drew Chamber Orchestra and violin professor. As a violinist and violist, Mr. Avagliano has appeared with the New Jersey Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, the Strauss Symphony of America, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and is an active performer in the New York area.

“Maestro Avagliano brings a wealth of talent and expertise to The August Symphony Orchestra,” states Robert Whiteley, President of TASO. “We are honored to have him lead our orchestra and maintain our high standard of quality performance of musical works.”

The Presbyterian Church in Westfield is located at 140 Mountain Avenue at the intersection of East Broad Street. It offers ample parking and accessibility. There are parking lots at the back entrance to the church and across the street from the Sanctuary next to the Church Cemetery, plus plenty of on-street parking. The church is handicap accessible via a ramp in the front of the Sanctuary and through the Parish House which is ground level with elevator access.

The concert is made possible in part by funds from the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a generous donation from Two River Community Bank with branches in Westfield, Cranford and Fanwood.

About The August Symphony Orchestra

The August Symphony Orchestra (TASO) is a non-profit organization whose objective is to enrich the Garden State community by offering an accessible way for classical orchestral music to be performed, listened to, and appreciated by all. TASO’s mission is to maintain a high standard of quality and performance while bringing people together and upholding a spirit of accessibility, community, and mutual love for classical music. The orchestra welcomes and appreciates the financial support from the public as well as from local companies, financial institutions, and New Jersey state grant foundations. For further information please visit: http://tasonj.org/