Photo Flash: The Discovery Orchestra Celebrates Annual Discovery Concert & Gala

Approximately 230 leading community figures, donors and supporters gathered at The Concert Hall at Drew University on Sunday, April 29, for The Discovery Orchestra's (the Orchestra's) annual concert and gala celebration entitled Discover the Joy of Corelli. The celebration honored Far Hills residents Ellen and David Williams with the annual Discovery Award, which recognizes an individual or couple for their longtime support of the Orchestra's music education mission and work.

"Each year we are more and more excited to celebrate our mission to provide innovative music education programs, performances and content," said Virginia Johnston, Executive Director of The Discovery Orchestra. "We feel immense pride and purpose to offer unparalleled music education programs and performances that serve our greater community. We are incredibly grateful to our many sponsors, patrons and longtime fans who have enabled the Orchestra to foster classical music appreciation both locally in New Jersey and worldwide."

"For over three decades, we've been privileged to teach people of all walks of life how to become better listeners and to savor the experience of exploring music at new depths," said George Marriner Maull, Artistic Director of The Discovery Orchestra. "We are humbled by our community of support and look forward to the future and our growing ability to use new formats to touch more lives with the gift of being able to truly connect with classical music."

The celebration kicked off with concert attendees enjoying a musical journey to 17th century Rome through a performance of Arcangelo Corelli's Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 4, one of the most joyous musical statements of the Baroque repertoire. In traditional Discovery Concert format, the Orchestra's Artistic Director, Maestro George Marriner Maull, used humor and narrative to interactively guide the audience through the musical details of Corelli's concerto, creating an immersive listening experience. After the concert intermission, audiences viewed a powerful video detailing the Orchestra's community outreach efforts to inner city music students, seniors and people with special needs. That video is available for viewing on YouTube and interested donors are encouraged to support the Orchestra's community outreach efforts by visiting www.discoveryorchestra.org.

As part of their community outreach efforts to reach more individuals with the power of musical appreciation, the Orchestra invited several dozen members of community groups throughout NJ and their families to attend the concert free of charge. Over 50 members from groups including Friends of the Blind, Paterson Music Project, Warrenbrook Seniors, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra CHAMPS, ArtsConnection and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NJ attended the concert. The young students in particular enthusiastically participated in Maestro Maull's musical exercises throughout the performance, often raising their hands and laughing at the Maestro's jokes.

Following the concert, guests celebrated at a gala reception at the renowned Conservatory at The Madison Hotel, where they enjoyed an elegant cocktail reception and three-course dinner. The gala's Event Chair and one of the Orchestra's youngest Board members, EJ Harrison, delivered remarks on the power of classical music. "To hear without listening is like eating without tasting - an experience bereft of the kind of meaningful thought that makes us uniquely human. Classical music is a spice that adds complexity and depth to our everyday experiences, and tonight we proudly celebrate thirty-one years of adding a little spice in the lives of audiences across the world!," said EJ Harrison, who at age twenty-five is pioneering the Orchestra's efforts to expand its connection to millennial and younger audiences.

Patrons of the gala took part in a number of fundraising activities, including "A Taste of New Jersey" fine dining raffle totaling $3,000 in value, a high-end wine pull and a silent auction to bid for a suite at a New York Giants football game and sailing lessons from Manhattan Sailing School. Proceeds from the gala will support the Orchestra's community and educational outreach efforts for seniors, people with special needs and inner city student music groups to experience the Orchestra's live concerts and interactive music listening presentations with Maestro Maull.

Sponsors for this year's gala celebration included Judy Musicant and Hugh Clark; Kim and Mike Johnston; Judy and Josh Weston; The Powers family; Glenmede; Sherman Wells Sylvester & Stamelman LLP; Ellen and David Williams; Rachel Weinberger and Ed McGann; Stephen Reynolds; Robin & Chris Willcox; Alan Yu; and Midnight Media Group.

Photo Credit: Daniel Hedden

high res photos

Photo Flash: The Discovery Orchestra Celebrates Annual Discovery Concert & Gala
George Marriner Maull

Photo Flash: The Discovery Orchestra Celebrates Annual Discovery Concert & Gala
George Marriner Maull & Audience

Photo Flash: The Discovery Orchestra Celebrates Annual Discovery Concert & Gala
George Marriner Maull & Audience

Photo Flash: The Discovery Orchestra Celebrates Annual Discovery Concert & Gala
George Marriner Maull & Audience

Photo Flash: The Discovery Orchestra Celebrates Annual Discovery Concert & Gala
Stephen Reynolds, David Williams, Ellen Williams, Virginia Johnston

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