WESTFIELD, NJ — A moderate plan that focuses on the safety of patrons and keeps in mind the financial challenges of COVID-19 is in the works for the New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s 2020-21 season, the orchestra’s director said.

While coronavirus cut the last season short, Music Director David Wroe said, the NJFO is in identifying concept plans for the next season, selecting specific music and identifying soloists.

“I am of the strong belief that arts are an essential part of the fabric of our society — bonding people in solidarity and creating a culture of mutual empathy and understanding to form a collective community spirit,” Wroe said. “I cannot imagine a time when a catalyst such as music is more needed. It is with this motivation that we at the NJ Festival Orchestra are resolute in planning for the future by presenting a 2020-21 season.”

Sign Up for Westfield Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The season, he said, will be more modest than usual due to the financial challenges COVID-19 has presented.

“Realizing dreams are built upon the backbone of a sound operational plan, we have recognized the unprecedented financial pressure the pandemic has inflicted upon individuals and companies, thereby limiting the life blood of an orchestra such as ours — revenue through donations and ticket sales,” Wroe said.

Story continues below video.

When the orchestra is permitted to play for audiences, he said, it will ensure the audience is safe.

“We are presently designing a comprehensive concert protocol which incorporates CDC guidelines to hold a large gathering,” Wroe said. “Sterilization, social distancing, personal protective equipment, and instantaneous temperature taking are all strategies under consideration.”

Among the performances set for the season is the NJFO’s “Opera’s Ultimate odd Couple,” which is to feature the coupling of I Pagliacci and Wagner's Die Walkure (Act 1),” Wroe said.

“Last season we planned and rehearsed it — all ready to be ‘shot out of the cannon’ one day before state mandates prohibited public performances,” he said. “But the eagerness and energy is still there with all involved.”

The perennial holiday favorite, “The Three Holiday tenors” will return, as will the NJFO’s New Year's celebration, Wroe said.

“February 2021 will see a multi community commemorative concert to, simultaneously, remember those lost to the pandemic and celebrate the front-line workers,” he added. “These are just some of the exciting plans in the pipeline for NJFO's devotees.”

For ticket information and updates on performance schedules, visit https://njfestivalorchestra.org/.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

Read More Westfield NJ Local News

MORE: Bear Sighting in Cranford Near Orchard Street: Police
MORE: Murphy, Malinowski Kneel for George Floyd at Student-led Protest in Westfield
MORE: Coronavirus Accelerates Westfield Real Estate Market