Bay Atlantic Symphony Holds Educational Concert for South Jersey Students

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POMONA, N.J. -

Every level and just about every seat in the Performing Arts Center at Stockton University was filled with students whose feet could barely reach the floor.

The South Jersey students were listening to one of Mozart's greatest works and final symphony, The Jupiter, being performed by the Bay Atlantic Symphony.

The main goal of the event is to bring classical music to the generation symphony officials believe will be the future of this genre.

“Many people believe that when you play young people’s concerts that you have to do something that’s always fast and jazzy and splashy," said Jed Gaylin, music director of the Bay Atlantic Symphony. "But in fact, what kids know — and they feel it in their essence — is quality. You can’t fake them out and so I don’t condescend. I only play the best music." 

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This is the Bay Atlantic Symphony's 21st year of doing these interactive and educational performances for different schools throughout South Jersey. This specific three-concert series was titled, "How Music Talks: Sharing a Symphony's Secrets."

Gaylin said that the concert, which was held on Tuesday, May 8th, was the first time they received a standing ovation from a group this age.

“Just sitting there, I like to imagine pictures almost that go with the music," said Gracie Schwenger, an 8th grader at Pilgrim Academy. "It was very emotional for me. I was like, 'Wow, this is amazing!' It was very expressive and creative.”

“Sometimes [what] I think people need to know is if you think you’re hearing those kinds of things in this music, you are — it’s there," said Gaylin. "Go ahead, allow yourself to feel that because so much in our world is" ‘No, don’t do that, stay in this box, don’t do this.’

"And this is a chance [to] breathe in, take it in and experience it fully because it’s there."

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Gaylin also gave students the opportunity to answer questions during the performance and even broke down the music they were playing, piece by piece.

“I think it’s very, very important for the young people to understand classical music, and actually when they do they usually love it," said Ruotao Mao, concert master. "We really love playing for them because I think some of them will be the future of classical music.”

With the children’s concert series, the Bay Atlantic Symphony reached more than 2,000 children with just three concerts.

The Bay Atlantic Symphony holds many events over the year; for more information visit bayatlanticsymphony.org.

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