New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Family Concert Series

One of the best things about my family’s long Thanksgiving holiday weekend was attending the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s (NJSO) Family Concert at NJPAC.

I had never been to a NJSO concert before and I was impressed from the moment the musicians began. The orchestra is comprised of some of the country’s finest musicians and under the leadership of Jacques Lacombe as Music Director. In addition to playing throughout the state and broadcasting regionally, NJSO’s mission is tor provide education programs. This is where its Family Concert Series comes in.

Each season, NJSO offers a series of concerts for families with young children (and the young-at-heart.) Each concert has a unique theme and includes a pre-show meet and greet, hands-on experience for families and a concert with narrative from the conductor and musicians. Tickets are just $15, very affordable compared to other theater shows.

Saturday’s show was titled Music and Emotions and focused on the masterpiece works of Ludwig Van Beethoven:

Happy, sad, frightened or glad, we experience emotions every day. Music can enhance those feelings, or even change them, the way cheerful music can help make a gloomy day better. Explore the ways composers are inspired by their emotions with this interactive program that features the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

The conductor Jeffrey Grogan, was wonderful at explaining music to children and novices, like myself. A highlight of the show were special guests Project Trio, three hip Brooklyn guys who blend classical music with eclectic musical styles. Did you know you could Beatbox on a flute? Well, Greg Patillo, one of the trio can, and it’s awesome. Here is Project trio performing its version of Peter and The Wolf:

My 8 year old loved them.

We loved the entire experience of NJSO’s Family Concert. Trying out the instruments pre-show, sitting in NJPAC’s beautiful Prudential Hall, learning about Beethoven and enjoying the music. It was wonderful and we’re excited to see the other two shows in this season’s lineup: Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street fame on February 9 and Dancing Around the World on June 1. You don’t want to miss these musical learning experiences for your family!

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