Fri Feb 10, 2017

New Jersey Stage previews concerts, #OrchestraYou

“There are really so many unique NJSO concerts in the coming weeks!” Spotlight Central writes in an interview with NJSO Director of Artistic Programming Patrick Chamberlain for New Jersey Stage.

Chamberlain talks about the variety of concert experiences the NJSO presents in Dancing & RomancingPeter and the Wolf, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert.

The outlet also previews #OrchestraYou: “the NJSO invites audience members of all ages to shake the cobwebs off their instruments and bring them to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark on Feb. 24, 2017 for the experience of a lifetime!”

Spotlight Central: We were excited when we learned that at one of the venues — NJPAC — there will something truly special called “Orchestra You” following the [Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto] concert. Can you tell us more about that?

Patrick Chamberlain: Yes! “Orchestra You” is a really cool opportunity where amateur musicians — anyone who plays an instrument — can come and perform alongside members of the New Jersey Symphony with our Education and Community Engagement conductor Jeff Grogan, and other audience members. It’s right in the lobby of NJPAC following the Rachmaninoff 2 concert on Friday, Feb. 24, and it’s a real opportunity to dust off that clarinet or trombone you haven’t played since high school band — or your violin, or whatever — and, just for a moment, revisit what it feels like to play in an orchestra. And to have members of the New Jersey Symphony anchoring this means the artistic experience will be quite good, especially when playing under a great conductor like Jeff Grogan.

Spotlight Central: And who can sign up to do this?

Patrick Chamberlain: Everyone who plays an instrument can do this — so we’re open to everybody — as long as they sign up by February 17, 2017. We’re going to be playing an excerpt from Verdi’s Nabucco Overture — and that piece is on the program of the actual NJSO concert that night, along with Rachaninoff’s Piano Concerto №2 and Elgar’s Enigma Variations — so people can hear it played by the pros and, then, the amateurs of “Orchestra You” will get a chance to play it, too.

Spotlight Central: And will the sheet music will be available ahead of time online?

Patrick Chamberlain: Yes. In fact, you can download it right from our “Orchestra You” page on the website — and, there, you can also preview it via YouTube and hear what it’s supposed to sound like, to help you get ready and practice. It’s a really fun event and if you’re on the fence, I would just say “Do it!,” because playing live music and playing amongst great musicians — there’s nothing like it!

» Read the full interview at

» Explore upcoming concerts and events

» Register for #OrchestraYou by Feb 17