Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

so_group_photoSaturday, June 10th at 7 PM at the Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University

Sponsored by Princeton Violins, LLC, Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra presents its 57th Annual Spring Concert at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium. GPYO will feature Concerto Competition Winner, Anna Gugliotta performing Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto, first movement.   The Concert and Symphonic Orchestras will also present works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Borodin, Holst, Prokofiev,Suppe under the batons of Dr. Arvin Gopal and Mr. Kawika Kahalehoe.  This concert will be a delight to all as well as an inspiration to upcoming musicians in the area. Pre-concert reception is at Nassau Presbyterian Church (in front of Richardson Auditorium) for all ticket holders from 5- 6:30pm.

GPYO is made up of elementary to high school students from Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, entrance is by competitive audition. Through their involvement with the orchestra, gifted young musicians from across central New Jersey and Pennsylvania hone their skills as performers in a large orchestral group, as well as in chamber and quartet ensembles. They learn to work with others in pursuing common goals, and enrich all of our lives through public performances of classical music.

The concert orchestra is comprised of talented developing musicians ranging from middle school through high school. This ensemble offers students the full symphonic orchestra experience, which is not common amongst most school programs in New Jersey. The Symphonic Orchestra is the flagship ensemble for the GPYO. Students invited to play in the symphonic orchestra enjoy playing music of the highest
level, most of which is played by professional ensembles around the world.

This Weekend: An Intimate Evening of Art Song


Participants of Westminster Choir College‘s CoOPERAtive Program will present an intimate evening of art song. Experience the talent of these young artists at the beginning of their operatic careers.

The concert will take place on Friday, July 17th at 7:30 PM at Bristol Chapel, 101 Walnut Lane in Princeton. Free to the public.

About the CoOPERAtive Program

The CoOPERAtive Program is a unique program, presented in cooperation and consultation with professionals in the field of opera, designed to help young singers prepare for the essential next step toward acceptance into an advanced young artist or summer apprentice program.

Graduates of the program have been finalists in the Metropolitan Opera Council’s National Auditions and have gone on to work with opera companies throughout the United States.

Princeton Festival 2015

2015-06-04_11-58-07Tickets are now on sale for events in The Princeton Festival’s 2015 season, June 6-28, with 23 performances in 11 musical genres at venues in the Princeton area. There are also a
number of free lectures, previews and special events.

Stage performances range from Mozart’s opera “Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)” to a concert by rising country music stars Striking Matches. Other genres
include jazz, a Broadway musical, classical Indian music and dance, and a solo piano recital. Lecturers include famed theater and opera director Stephen Wadsworth,
Emmy award-winning engineer Mark Schubin, and Michael Unger, who directed the premiere of this season’s musical, the Tony award-winning “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

“This is the most varied season in our 11-year history,” said Richard Tang Yuk, the Festival’s general and artistic director. “The events on our roster range from pure fun to thought-provoking, all in professional productions with outstanding artists.

“We’re also gratified by the participation of outstanding speakers in our educational and outreach activities. People coming to the Princeton area this June will have
plenty to see and hear, and lots to enjoy.”

In addition to its performances and free lectures, the Festival hosts a Piano Competition for young performers, drawing talented participants from the MidAtlantic region and beyond. There will also be free informal post-performance receptions where audiences can mingle and share their experiences.

Full descriptions of all offerings are available on the Festival website, with instructions for ordering tickets by phone, email, or online.

Performance Overview

• A cappella jazz: featuring The Tribunes and West Side 5, Saturday, June 6, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall, Princeton University.

• Jazz: Falkner Evans Quintet, Sunday, June 7, Clark Music Center, The Lawrenceville School.

• Musical Comedy: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, June 12, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, Matthews Acting Studio, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University, 185 Nassau St.

• Opera: Mozart’s “Le Nozze de Figaro”, Saturday, June 13, Sunday, June 21, Sunday, June 28, McCarter Theatre, Princeton.

• Piano Competition for Young Artists, Finals: Sunday, June 14, Clark Music Center, Lawrenceville

• Concordia Chamber Players: Saturday, June 20, All Saints Church, Princeton.

• Country Music: Striking Matches, Sunday, June 21, McAneny Theatre, Princeton Day School, Princeton.

• Baroque Music: Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra, Wednesday, June 24, Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary.

• Piano Recital: Fei-Fei Dong (a Van Cliburn Competition finalist), Friday, June 26, Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall, Princeton University.

• Choral Concert: Conducting masterclass participants with Dr. Jan Harrington, Saturday, June 27, Unitarian Universalist Church, Princeton.

• Indian Music and Dance: Pradhanica Indian Music and Dance, demo and workshop Sunday June 6, Clark Music Center, The Lawrenceville School; performance Saturday, June 27, Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton.

For more information and a link to ticket sales (handled by McCarter Theater), visit To purchase tickets by phone, call McCarter Theatre at 609-258-2787.

Princeton Music Gets a $10 Million Boost


This aerial photograph shows progress on the arts complex construction site as of mid March 2015. (Photo by Aerial Photos of New Jersey)

This aerial photograph shows progress on the arts complex construction site as of mid March 2015. (Photo by Aerial Photos of New Jersey)

A Princeton University alumnus and his wife have anonymously donated $10 million for the 23,000-square-foot music building in the new arts complex currently under construction, university officials said Monday.

While the identity of the donors is currently being withheld at the request of the couple, the music building will eventually be named for the donors, the university said.

“This splendid gift will benefit our student musicians and the audiences who come to hear them,” President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in a statement. “The additional space is an essential element in enabling our arts initiative — launched less than a decade ago — to flourish. We are excited about seeing the arts at Princeton reach their full potential, and we are grateful to our generous alumni and friends for helping to make it possible.”

The music building at the $330 million arts and transit project will be home to the university’s Department of Music and the Lewis Center for the Arts. The building will “meet the urgent need for space and bring student musicians — and the music they create — to the south edge of the campus,” according to the university’s announcement.

The three-story building will include a performance and rehearsal space, acoustically advanced practice rooms and teaching studios, and a digital recording studio. Also under construction at the site are the Wallace Dance Building and Theater, and a Tower that will house faculty and administrative offices and an art gallery.

The anonymous donor was quoted in the announcement saying: “When my wife and I visited campus and witnessed the engagement, curiosity and passion of so many students in so many areas of arts study, the decision to be a part of the team in promoting the arts at Princeton was an easy one.”

Kinnara Ensemble Presents “Lament”


Join Kinnara Ensemble and conductor, JD Burnett for Monteverdi’s Sestina, a collection of six poems titled “Lament at the tomb of the beloved”, which forms the centerpiece of this hour of singing.

This concert will also feature Ginastera’s Lamentations of Jeremiah and other choral works. The concert will be held Friday, March 13th at 8:00 P.M. at Trinity Church in Princeton. Tickets are $25 with student discounts available.

To find out more about the ensemble or to purchase tickets in advance, please visit:

About KINNARA Ensemble

Comprising 32 voices, KINNARA Ensemble is a professional choir based in the Princeton, NJ area. Singers hail from all over the country for a week in residency together as they prepare for each concert series. Singers in KINNARA Ensemble perform with other professional ensembles such as Conspirare, The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Apollo Master Chorale, Tucson Chamber Artists, and Skylark Ensemble.

Date night: An evening of passionate duos in Princeton


Photo: COURTESY OF Marco Borggreve)

Photo: COURTESY OF Marco Borggreve)

Chamber music — a small group of unamplified musicians — to my mind is the purest way to experience the gifts the Western classical tradition has to offer. Granted, the theater of opera, ballet and the visual stimulation of a conductor leading a vast orchestra are largely missing in the chamber music experience.

Instead we are confronted, in an intimate, very direct way, with the personalities of the few performers and the raw musical experience. We experience the sweat, the muscle dexterity, the vibration of each string, the nuances of interplay between the musicians, the way a performer’s physique moves beneath the dress or jacket.

The experience approximates an embrace. We watch an opera or a symphony concert behind a kind of screen of spectacle; in chamber music we become part of the action.

The craft of music — all music, in fact, not just Western classical repertoire — is designed to engage us, intellectually and emotionally, and yes, even physically. We’re in tune with the composer and the performers across ages and gulfs of time and space. Because we’re closer to the players in a chamber setting, the opportunities for that engagement in chamber music are simply more frequent and more profound.

Violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov will perform a program of passionate 19th and early-20th century duos at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Feb. 5.


Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra Winter Concert

5459038392f30via Mini Krishnan/ Princeton Patch

The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra will be presenting it’s Winter 2014 concert at the Montgomery High School Performing Arts Center in Skillman, NJ. The concert will take place at 3:00 pm on December 14, 2014. This concert will feature not only our Symphonic and Concert orchestras, but also the premier performance of the newest GPYO ensemble, the GPYO Choir, under the direction of Ms. Jennifer Sengin. Our audience will be treated to the music of Tchaikovsky, Smetana, Edward Elgar, Richard Meyer and many, many more! Concert Orchestra is once again under the baton of Dr. Arvin Gopal, and the Symphonic Orchestra is led by Artistic Director, Mr. Kawika Kahalehoe.

At this time GPYO also is inviting students who would be interested in joining the orchestra or choir after the turn of the new year, to register for an audition. Anyone interested in choir should contact Mr. Matt VanDyke at
Questions about the orchestra auditions can be directed to Mr. Mark Morris at Registration forms for both groups are available on the GPYO website (

The Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra is very excited to once again be hosting a youth orchestra festival in Verizon Hall, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. This festival will include performances from all four of GPYO’s
orchestras, plus the Hopewell Valley High School Orchestra. Symphonic Orchestra.

One of the highlights for the afternoon will be the performance of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with renowned cellist Yumi Kendall, the Assistant Principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Hitting the right note Large crowd attends JazzFeast

via Leah Kahn/ Princeton Packet

2014-09-16_11-12-44The last thing that Dan Zaksas and Elisa Wagman had planned to do on Sunday was to sit at a table on Palmer Square West, listening to jazz music at Palmer Square’s 23rd annual JazzFeast. The West Chester, Pennsylvania, couple set out Sunday morning to visit the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township. But they discovered that it was closed for the day.And that’s how they ended up in Princeton.

“It was an accident that we discovered JazzFeast,” Mr. Zaksas said. “We love it. Now that we know about it, we will come back on purpose. We are not regular listeners to jazz, but we are certainly enjoying it, especially in a setting like this.”

Mr. Zaksas and Ms. Wagman were among the hundreds of people who thronged Palmer Square to listen to jazz bands on a warm, sunny afternoon. The musicians took turns, playing on a stage set up on the lawn in front of the Nassau Inn.

The grassy area was filled with jazz lovers. Many folks brought collapsible camping chairs, and others brought lawn chairs. For those who forgot to bring a chair, there was plenty of room to sit on the steps of the Princeton post office.Unlike Mr. Zaksas and Ms. Wagman, the Eby family — parents Wayne and Sara, and 9-year-old Zoe and 2-year-old Sophia — knew about JazzFeast, which combines a jazz festival with a food festival. Besides the music, restaurants set up shop on the square so visitors could sample their specialties.”We (learned) on Friday that they were having this activity,” Mr. Eby said. The Princeton family had other activities on their agenda, but they decided to stop at JazzFeast. Mr. Eby said he likes jazz, but his wife is not such a big fan of jazz music.

“I like jazz. I like Herbie Hancock. I have been listening to a lot of his music. My wife likes jazz somewhat, but probably not as much as me,” Mr. Eby said.

Ms. Eby does, however, enjoy food.

“There are a bunch of good food stands. I love food. I like Indian food and I like seafood. I had some paella, and I am still hungry,” she said with a laugh.

There was certainly no lack of food. Vendors offered everything from seafood, Indian, Chinese, crepes and pizza to Caribbean food and soul food — jerk chicken, jerk pork, curry chicken, curry goat, ox tails, rice and beans, collard greens, corn bread and candied yams.

For the less adventurous whose palates favored more traditional fare, good old-fashioned hot dogs and hamburgers could be found at some booths. Pork roll was also available, as well as popcorn, funnel cake and corn dogs.

Tables and chairs were set up along the perimeter of Palmer Square West and on the west side of Tiger Park — the small grassy island at the top of Palmer Square at Nassau Street. One group of visitors brought along a folding table that they set up in the middle of Tiger Park, to accommodate the assortment of food they purchased from the vendors.

Meanwhile, most of the tables along Palmer Square West were filled by visitors who were happily munching away. For those who could not find a table, there were plenty of places on the curb to sit down and eat — and that’s what many folks did.

While food was the draw for many visitors, there were just as many for whom jazz was the main attraction.

“We like jazz,” said Tom Griggs, who was sitting on a collapsible camping chair.

“It’s a beautiful day, and we both like jazz,” agreed Glenda Griggs. “We came for the music, not the food. (Palmer Square) is always a nice venue. There is a mix of performers. It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.”

The Hightstown residents have been attending JazzFeast for at least 10 years — long enough, as Ms. Griggs said, “to know enough to bring chairs.”

Princeton Folk Music Society presents David Jones

David Jones © Lisa Marshall (2006)

David Jones © Lisa Marshall (2006)

Princeton Folk Music Society presents David Jones in a program of British and American songs about the great days of sail, from the music hall, and by contemporary writers. Jones sings, a cappella or accompanied on the guitar, in a rich baritone with a strong English accent.

While many of his songs deal with the realities of life, humor and love are also present. “Jones look[s] like a husky sea dog with his white beard and worn baseball cap — a man that might be seen sailing an old boat around Cape Cod, fishing and singing to himself”  wrote a reviewer.

His engaging presence charms the audience, while the choruses and refrains offer the audience a chance to join in a fun-filled evening of music and entertainment.

To hear Jones’ music visit:

WHEN & WHERE: Friday, March 21st Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane, Princeton

Admission at the door:  $20 ($15 members, $10 students and $5 children).

Doors open at 7:30 PMThe show starts at 8:15 PM. Ample free parking. For more information:  609-799-0944,