The Montclair Orchestra Announces Advisory Board
Montclair, N.J. – The Montclair Orchestra has announced the creation of an advisory board to help guide the organization as it continues to expand on its mission to present conservatory-level students with opportunities to perform alongside many of the best orchestral musicians in the world.
Among the members of the advisory board is the Metropolitan Opera’s incoming Music Director and Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “I am impressed and inspired by the community-driven mission of the Montclair Orchestra. [The Montclair Orchestra’s Music Director] David Chan is one of the greatest musicians of our country, and I am proud to support him and the initiatives of this musical institution,” he says.
Joining Nézet-Séguin is Montclair mayor Robert Jackson, who recognizes the value of the orchestra to the town. “I am thrilled to serve on the Montclair Orchestra Advisory Board. The Orchestra is a major addition to Montclair’s cultural infrastructure and it must be carefully nurtured and fervently supported,” he says. “I hope that I can do both as a lover of great music and as the township’s mayor.”
Additional members of the advisory board include Fabio Luisi, Music Director of the Dallas Symphony and former MET Opera Principal Conductor; internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano soloist Joyce DiDonato; Jazz House Kids’ founder and president, Melissa Walker; and Grammy Award-winning virtuoso bassist, Christian McBride.
“Seemingly with each passing month, Montclair is proving itself to be one of the more important cultural havens in our country” says McBride. “The Montclair Orchestra further adds to the lure...and lore...of our great city. Symphonic music has always been a medium that can open new vistas in the human psyche. Hats off to [Founder and Chairman] Andre Weker, David Chan and our Montclair Orchestra.”
The Montclair Orchestra’s second season will commence with its first performance on Sept. 30, 2018, returning to Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church on South Fullerton Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey. A full 75-piece orchestra made up of student fellows and professional mentors will present A Shakespeare Evening—a curated selection of Shakespeare-themed music including Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet,” along with Korngold’s “Much Ado About Nothing” suite and Verdi’s music from “Macbeth.” Local actors will interweave spoken passages into the program to provide additional context for the music.
Tickets can be purchased individually or in multi-concert or full season packages. Information on ticket pricing and donor discounts can be found on the orchestra website at www.montclairorchestra.org.
Montclair, NJ – The Montclair Orchestra is pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas Parente has been elected to the Board of Directors.
Dr. Parente is a faculty member and an Associate Professor at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and a long-time Montclair resident. A well-known and respected pianist, composer and clinician, Dr. Parente is the author of several books and texts for musicians including The Evolving Class Pianist (Linus, 2012), "How to Teach Group Piano Successfully through Flow" (Linus, 2008), and piano pedagogy book The Positive Pianist: How Flow Can Bring Passion to Practice and Performance (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is author of a series of piano books titled Awaken Your Musical Passion through the Piano. He is also a coauthor of Experiencing Choral Music, an innovative series of choral books published by McGraw Hill/Glencoe, which is published by GIA.
Montclair, NJ – The Montclair Orchestra is pleased to announce that Investors Foundation has awarded a grant of $5,000 to help fund operations moving into the inaugural season. The grant will help further the Montclair Orchestra’s mission of presenting high quality orchestral music in the Montclair region, utilizing a blend of professional musicians, avocational performers, and students currently in music programs in the regions universities and conservatories.
As the first in a series of short interviews with local Montclair residents, we ask "Why Is Music Important To You?" Listen to Mayor Robert Jackson's response, and then discover your own soundtrack with The Montclair Orchestra this season. Tickets are on sale now.
The Montclair Orchestra has formally announced it’s inaugural season, consisting of five concerts at venues throughout Montclair.
The inaugural concert will take place on October 22nd at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church on South Fullerton Street in Montclair. An orchestra of 80 musicians will present an ambitious program of Operatic Connections, an homage to new Music Director David Chan’s background as concertmaster for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Manhattan. The program will open with a forceful declaration in the overture to Verdi’s La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny), followed by Mozart’s Symphony #29, with song-like themes throughout the piece. The second half of the concert will present Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, often billed as a ‘pastoral’ work. Internationally acclaimed soprano Ying Fang will make an appearance between her engagements at the MET and the National Opera to sing the solo role in the final movement, a role she recently performed with the New York Philharmonic.
The orchestra selected Saint Luke’s Church as the venue for the first concert in recognition of the roots of the orchestra in Montclair. Nearly one hundred years ago, the first Montclair Orchestra was organized by musicians at Saint Luke’s, with performances including a 1922 event at Montclair Art Museum. Soon after, the orchestra merged with other music groups in the area, ultimately moving to Newark and becoming the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, now the largest professional orchestra in the state.
According to orchestra president Andre Weker, “Since inception, we have deliberately reached out to many corners of the Montclair community, to play a part in connecting different communities, different organizations. Part of that includes recognizing the history of music in Montclair, in which Saint Luke’s plays an important role.”
Moving past the first event, the second concert will take place on December 10th at Immaculate Conception on North Fullerton Street. In this event, the theme of Changewill explore three pieces from very different time periods ranging from the Baroque, in Vivaldi’s well known The Four Seasons, to modern, in Arvo Pärt’s Fratres (1983). In this work Pärt creates a mesmerizing, hypnotic sense of moods using strings and percussion; the piece has been used several times in various forms in different films.
In February of 2018, a program of Contrasts will be on display at the intimate Leshowitz Hall at Montclair State University’s Cali School of Music. Wagner’s Siegfried-Idyll, a lush large-chamber work of depth and texture, stands in stark contrast to the dramatic and pointed music of Shostakovich’s Two Pieces for String Octet. To expand the imagination even further, Wynton Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Tale will take over. Marsalis premiered this technically demanding piece in 1998, as a ‘reimagining’ of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale nearly one hundred years earlier. Three narrators will tell the story of a fiddler who sells his soul to the devil to sell more records, with the solidly jazz-inspired music demonstrating the range and abilities of the musicians.
Balletic Reinvention is the theme to the March 25, 2018 concert at Montclair State University’s Memorial Auditorium. The first half of the concert will contain the full version of Stravinsky’s music to the ballet Pulcinella, unusual in that it is typically performed in the condensed suite, and rarely in the complete version with vocalists. The three vocal soloists presented will be members of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program. The second half of the program is Rodion Shchedrin’s incredibly lively Carmen Suite, written as a ballet in 1968 and based on the well-known themes to Bizet’s opera Carmen. The orchestra on stage includes four percussionists, playing a combined 24 different percussion instruments.
To finish out the season, the orchestra will return to St Luke’s on May 13, 2018 to present Tour of Colors, a theme that will invoke bright colorful music from Mozart in the Classical period of the late 18th century, to Tchaikovsky in the late 19th century, and Ravel in the early 20th century. The finale is Milhaud’s early 20th century film-score Le bœuf sul le toit, originally written as music for a Charlie Chaplin silent film. This energetic work has all the hallmarks of the music of the period, recreating the frenetic energy of a city in motion. The end of the season film-inspired finale is also a nod to the Montclair Film Festival, which will be ending the weekend prior.
Donors to the orchestra have access to tickets now; tickets go on sale to the general public on July 1, 2017. Tickets can be purchased individually, or as season tickets for all five performances. Information on ticket pricing and donor discounts can be found on the orchestra website at www.montclairorchestra.org.
The Montclair Orchestra is proud to be able to offer 2 tickets to the 2016 Salvation Army Winter Benefit Concert. The event takes place on Friday, December 16th at 7:30pm, at the Salvation Army Montclair Citadel located at 13 Trinity Place in Montclair. This is one of the first opportunities to see The Montclair Orchestra Music Director and world class violinist David Chan perform in Montclair, along with other fine musicians for a great holiday event. For sweepstakes rules, click here.
To make a donation and enter the drawing, visit the sweepstakes page.
The Montclair Orchestra has selected David Chan as its first Music Director, to lead the orchestra in its 2017-2018 inaugural season. The search process began in August, with nearly one hundred candidates from all across the globe applying to lead the development of the new ensemble.
Mr. Chan is the concertmaster of the MET Orchestra in New York, where he is in his seventeenth season as leader of that renowned ensemble. Widely recognized as a brilliant violinist and one of the leading musicians of his generation, Chan enjoys a diverse career as soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and teacher. His concerts have taken him to leading stages in North America, Europe, and Asia, appearing as soloist with such conductors as James Levine and Fabio Luisi. He is highly sought after as a chamber musician, performing regularly at the most prestigious summer festivals as well as throughout the New York City area.
The Montclair Orchestra recognizes the efforts of our educational community to expand children's knowledge of the arts. For #ArtsEdWeek, The Montclair Orchestra organized an interview with Shawn David Dey, music teacher at local school Northeast Elementary. See what he had to say.
Montclair, NJ – A new orchestra has been established in the New York City suburb of Montclair, New Jersey. The Montclair Orchestra will be a semi-professional full orchestra, with players to include local area professional musicians, conservatory level students, as well as highly trained amateurs. An inaugural 2017-2018 season is in the planning, with full orchestral concert repertoire ranging from traditional classical works from Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, to modern pieces and scores of twentieth century and contemporary composers.