#ORCHESTRAYOU Unites NJSO Concertgoers and Musicians

#ORCHESTRAYOU Unites NJSO Concertgoers and Musicians

The first ever #OrchestraYou saw 78 concertgoers, students, music teachers, parents, subscribers and NJSO musicians come together for a special session in which audience members performed their own orchestral instruments alongside NJSO musicians following the Orchestra's March 15 performance at NJPAC in Newark. NJSO Education & Community Engagement Conductor Jeffrey Grogan led #OrchestraYou in "Les Toreadors" from Bizet's Carmen.

Hundreds of concert attendees, families and friends watched the session unfold from the Prudential Hall lobby and balconies, sharing photos and comments on social media. Grogan invited participants to share the view from their seats as well-the conductor even postedsome selfies of his own!

"The energy in the room was indescribable," Grogan says. "Everyone-#OrchestraYou members and audience alike-was cheering each other on in an incredibly supportive way. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced before."

Participant Seiji Shiraishi shared his excitement about the "magic" of #OrchestraYou on Facebook. NJSO Coordinator of Education & Community Engagement Lester Vrtiak-an #OrchestraYou violinist-says: "Nothing brings people together better than music. [The NJSO] and #OrchestraYou mashed together so many of my worlds into one amazing musical moment. The use of cell phones isn't usually encouraged at classical concerts, but at #OrchestraYou, it was-looking up and seeing all those people capturing the scene with cameras was a breathtaking and unique experience."

NJSO clarinetist Andrew Lamy says: "This was the best time, place and manner to do a community collaboration ever. The space was beautiful, and there was such a great buzz-[my fellow NJSO musicians and I] didn't know who we'd meet there, so everyone was looking around to see who was playing. It was a thrill to see people we knew-[especially ones] we didn't know played orchestral instruments. The orchestra sounded terrific-there were really good college and regional players there, as well as great students.