Metropolitan Orchestra Prepares for Winter Concert to be heard locally!

By mark-slade March 6, 2011

Metropolitan Orchestra Prepares for Winter Concert

Family-friendly music is the focus of upcoming performance.

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“The idea is to have music that parents would like to have their kids listen to, but that they would enjoy listening to as well,” said Michael Stratechuk, conductor of The Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey and a Maplewood resident. The ensemble will present their winter concert, titled “Family Favorites,” on Sunday at the Community Congregational Church in Short Hills. The concert will begin at 3 p.m.
Songs scheduled during the performance include “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky, “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by Handel, a “West Side Story” medley by Bernstein, and Copland’s  “Hoe-Down” from “Rodeo.”
Former Millburn Mayor Thomas C. McDermott will narrate the performance of Prokofieff’s “Peter and the Wolf.” This portion will take place during the first half of the concert.  “A Millburn Township board member said to us that the former mayor had done something like this before so we asked him to do it,” Stratechuk explained. “The community will get a chance to see him in another light.”
McDermott said he is very much looking forward to performing with the orchestra. “The is the first time I have been involved with this orchestra,” he said. “‘Peter and the Wolf’ is a great piece for children and adults alike. I am not so musically inclined, but I will do my best.”
The orchestra, which contains musicians of various ages, is comprised of players from a number of towns in the metropolitan area. Members hail from Millburn-Short Hills, Livingston, Maplewood, South Orange, Berkeley Heights, Ringwood, Newton, New York City and other locales.
The ensemble, which is celebrating its 39th year, will perform at the Community Congregational Church in Short Hills. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. and admission is free. “This is music that tells a story,” said Stratechuk. “It paints a picture that everyone can enjoy.”
In addition, the orchestra will soon be preparing for its spring concert which will be held May 22. For ticket information, call 973-379-9009 or log on to www.metropolitanorchestra.org.