August 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM
SUMMIT, NJ - Last night, the New Jersey Youth Symphony came together at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit to celebrate their return from a ten-day long trip to Austria and the Czech Republic. The Arboretum and its magnificent gardens created an optimal backdrop for a celebration of talent and friendship.
While on their trip, the orchestra participated in six performances in three of the greatest concert halls in the world including Vienna’s Musikverein. They also entered the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival where they represented America against sixteen different countries. The challenge was well worth it because the group took first place, sharing the title with New Zealand's Westlake Symphony Orchestra.
Beside the outstanding talent that all the members of the group have individually, there was something else that was extraordinary about them - their ability to “gel” their talents together. The orchestra consisted of a group of ninety-seven teenagers and one would think it would be hard to have a group of that size mesh so well. “The bonding happened on this trip - the kids figured out how to work together on a whole new level, they completely gelled as friends and musicians,” said orchestra director Jeffrey Grogan.
Many of the members of the group come from the towns near by but some travel as much as an hour and a half to be part of this orchestra.
The twilight reception was a fitting platform to say farewell to the group of gifted seniors, who are all off to some amazing schools this fall, said Grogan.
We wish all the seniors great success as they enter the next chapter of their careers as students and musicians, said Grogan.