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NJSO Launches Interactive Planets Video Adventure


The adventure stars assistant principal flute/piccolo Kathleen Nester and violinist James Tsao as the astronauts who accompany participants through the solar system.

NJSO Launches Interactive Planets Video Adventure

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has launched an interactive video adventure to explore the planets-and Gustav Holst's The Planets-in a virtual experience designed for young music lovers and space enthusiasts and enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

Fans embarking on this virtual mission to Mars start by taking a quiz that determines which planets they will visit on their adventure. They can then watch their personalized journey through the stars. The experience starts at

The adventure stars NJSO Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo Kathleen Nester and violinist James Tsao as the astronauts who accompany participants through the solar system. An NJSO musician greets virtual travelers arriving to each planet, sharing insight into the planet and Holst's musical rendering of it.

Nester says: "The medium of video has given us the perfect platform on which to share our love of Gustav Holst's The Planets. Connecting the music to mythology and science, this experience gives a closer look at the instruments of the orchestra-and a chance to meet the wonderful and creative musicians of the NJSO. Every musician cast for this series brought their own unique perspective to their role-I was inspired by my colleagues' creativity and commitment to this project."

Musician "tour guides" include violinist JoAnna Farrer, Assistant Principal Bass Alexander Bickard, Principal Flute Bart Feller, Principal Bassoon Robert Wagner, Principal Horn Chris Komer, Principal Tuba Derek Fenstermacher and Principal Percussion David Fein.

Nester provided concept and script, stage direction and costume design. Nester and Feller produced; Marketing & Video Coordinator Dan Graziano edited.

After completing the quiz and experiencing their video journey, audiences can learn more about the planets and listen to concert audio of the NJSO, Music Director Xian Zhang and Newark Voices performing The Planets.

"This series can be enjoyed by audiences young and old, and it will spark a desire to hear the NJSO's recording of The Planets and to attend our in-person concerts to hear the NJSO musicians perform live," Nester says.

Start the journey at

This NJSO adventure is generously sponsored by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.

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