NJ Festival Orchestra will play ‘Summertime Folk Fantasies,’ indoors and outdoors


Baritone Stephen Gaertner.

“Summertime Folk Fantasies” will be the theme of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s concerts at the Sieminski Theater in Basking Ridge, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.; and the Hertell Gardens in Westfield, Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

David Wroe will conduct, and the program will include Frederick Delius’ Brigg Fair, An English Rhapsody; Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs (featuring baritone Stephen Gaertner); and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Fantasy.

Old American Songs features Copland’s arrangements of material including the minstrel song “The Boatman’s Dance,” the ballad “Long Time Ago,” the Shaker song “Simple Gifts” and the children’s song “I Bought Me a Cat.”

Porgy and Bess Fantasy is a symphonic presentation of songs from Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” including “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ ” and “My Man’s Gone Now.”

“The program highlights the deep connection between the English and American musical cultures, not only because of the shared language, but also because of their love of common folk melodies sprinkled with both sweet melancholy and dancing rhythms,” said Wroe, in a press release.

Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and refreshments for the Westfield show, though chairs will be provided for those with VIP seating. For information and tickets, visit njfestivalorchestra.org or sieminskitheater.org.


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