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2020-2021 Season Archive

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Saturday, July 30, 2022  8:00pm

Pre-concert lecture at 7pm by Yifei Xu

The Hertell Gardens at 241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield, NJ

USA’s Gershwin meets the French impressionists under the stars in the gardens of one of Westfield’s finest residences! Join NJ Festival Orchestra, led by Maestro David Wroe, for an unforgettable evening of glorious live music featuring masterworks by George Gershwin, Saint-Saens, Debussy and more. Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments and enjoy a summer celebration for the entire family! VIP seating (chairs provided) available close to the stage.

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Program

GERSHWIN An American in Paris
SAINT-SAENS Carnival of the Animals

DEBUSSY Danse macabre

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark Ascending

 featuring Brennan Sweet, violin

 

Artists

David Wroe Conductor

Brennan Sweet Violin

Learn more about this concert from TAP into Westfield.

Sunday, July 31, 2022  2:30pm

Pre-concert lecture at 1:30pm by Yifei Xu

Fellowship Cultural Arts Center, Basking Ridge, NJ

Save the date for for a sizzling summer celebration and glorious live concert featuring masterworks by Gershwin, Debussy, Saint Saens and more.

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Concertmaster AND soloist!

Born in New York City, Brennan Sweet began violin studies at the age of two in Edmonton, Alberta.  In 1977 he studied violin at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. Beginning his college education as an engineering student at Washington University in St. Louis, Mr. Sweet transferred and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, eventually serving for three years as teaching assistant for Josef Gingold before joining the faculty as a Lecturer. In 1994 he joined the New Jersey Symphony as Associate Concertmaster, subsequently leading the orchestra for three seasons as Acting Concertmaster under Maestro Zdeněk Mácal.
Mr. Sweet has also performed with other ensembles including Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center,

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and has served as concertmaster for Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York Chamber Symphony and New Jersey Festival Orchestra. Mr. Sweet currently teaches at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and continues to perform as soloist and chamber musician throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area.

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Saturday, May 7, 2022  7:00pm

First United Methodist Church,  Westfield, NJ

Pre-concert lecture  6:00pm

Celebrate Mother's Day with NJ Festival Orchestra

Great moms deserve great music! Celebrate Mother's Day in style as David Wroe leads NJ Festival Orchestra in a special tribute to moms everywhere. Concert features much loved masterpieces from J. Strauss and Debussy as well as Mother's Day serenades by renowned tenor Anthony Kearns. (PBS: The Irish Tenors)

Chinese born pianist, Yifei Xu will offer a free pre-concert lecture 6pm. Her talk is an informative and engaging way to learn more about the program, the composers and their respective masterpieces prior to the concert.

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Saturday, March 26, 2022  7:00pm

First United Methodist Church,  Westfield, NJ

Pre-concert lecture  6:00pm

Fellowship Room, First United Methodist Church

Sunday, March 27, 2022  3:00pm

Pre-concert lecture 2:00pm

The Concert Hall, Drew University, Madison, NJ

NJ Festival Orchestra continues its triumphant return to the concert hall as masterworks from Rautavaara, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky come together in a passionate storm of ice and fire. Featuring authentic Arctic birdsong, soaring Sibelius melodies with internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso Jaewon Kim and, arguably, Tchaikovsky’s finest and most heartrending symphony, live music doesn’t get much better than this! 

Chinese born pianist, Yifei Xu will offer a free pre-concert lecture 6pm. Her talk is an informative and engaging way to learn more about the program, the composers and their respective masterpieces prior to the concert.

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Program

J. STRAUSS II
Roses from The South Waltz Op. 388
Blue Danube Waltz Op. 314

Selection of Irish ballads, love songs and serenades

DEBUSSY

La Mer (The Sea)

Artists

David Wroe Conductor
Anthony Kearns
 Tenor

New Jersey Festival Orchestra

Program presented through the generous support of Mercedes-Benz of Union, a Ray Catena dealership.

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Artists

Jaewon Kim Violin

David Wroe Conductor

New Jersey Festival Orchestra

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Program

RAUTAVAARA Cantus Arcticus III. Swans migrating

SIBELIUS Violin Concerto in D minor
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B minor Pathétique

Your health and that of our guest artists, musicians, and staff is important to us. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required upon arrival at concerts. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION. NJFO will also adhere to all protocols set by each of our venues.

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MEET JAEWON KIM

South Korean violinist Jaewon Kim has performed as a soloist with the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, Busan World Philharmonic Orchestra, Busan Symphony Orchestra, Ulsan Philharmonic Orchestra, Bomberg Philharmonic Orchestra in Spain, Korean National University of Arts Orchestra, China National Youth Orchestra, with renowned conductors such as Xincao Li, Alexander Anissimov, Chi Yong Chung.

 

At the age of 24, Ms. Kim was chosen as 2nd Concertmaster of the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, where she worked under the direction of Paavo Järvi until 2021. She also made guest appearances as 2nd Concertmaster of the l’Orchestre National de Lille in France, and 1st Concertmaster of the One Korea Youth Orchestra under the direction of Myung-whun Chung.

Ms. Kim has given recitals in Italy, France, Switzerland and Korea and has performed at music festivals such as Charolais-Brionnais Chamber Music

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Festival and Giverny Music Festival in France, Pyeongchang International Music Festival(Rising Star Series), Seoul Art Center Summer Music Festival, and Busan Classic Music Festival, where she is currently an assistant artistic director.

 

She was an artist-in-residence of the Foundation of the Banque Populaire in France 2017-2019 and an academician of Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and l’Opera de Paris during her study time in Paris.

 

Ms. Kim is a winner of numerous national and international violin competitions including Lipizer in Italy, Brahms in Austria, Schoenfeld in Hong Kong, Sofia Young Virtuoso in Bulgaria, and Kloster Schöntal in Germany.

 

Ms. Kim frequently plays chamber music concerts with musicians from the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich and with Olli Mustonen, Ilya Rashkovskiy, Andreas Janke, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, Diyang Mei, Vladimir Bukac, Psophos Quartet, Michel Strauss, among others.

A graduate of Korea National University of Arts, Ms. Kim obtained a Master’s degree and Artist Diploma at the Paris Conservatoire where she studied with Svetlin Roussev and Roland Daugareil.

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Friday, December 31, 2021  7:00pm

Saturday, January 1, 2022  2:30pm

Westfield High School Auditorium,  Westfield, NJ

Fellowship Cultural Arts Center,  Basking Ridge, NJ

Ring in the New Year with NJFO!  

NJFO’s quintessential New Year’s celebration is back with a superb revue of Broadway classics in glorious symphonic splendor. Come join the festivities as Maestro David Wroe, guest Broadway soloists and dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem swing to favorites from America’s Great Songbook.

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Artists

David Wroe Conductor

Paige Faure Soprano 

James Moye Tenor
Marissa McGowan 
Soprano  

Dancers from Dance Theatre Harlem

New Jersey Festival Orchestra

Your health and that of our guest artists, musicians, and staff is important to us. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required upon arrival at concerts. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION. NJFO will also adhere to all protocols set by each of our venues.

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Program

Favorites from the Great American Songbook and renowned song and dance classics from the best of Broadway.

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MEET OUR GUEST SOLOISTS

Paige Faure

Paige Faure was last seen on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of “Miss Saigon”. Other Broadway credits include Woody Allen and Susan Stroman’s “Bullets Over Broadway”, the revival of “How to Succeed in Business...” featuring Daniel Radcliffe, and starring in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” as Cinderella, both on Broadway and on the National Tour. Off-Broadway she lead the company of “A Taste of Things To Come” as Joan, was a featured dancer in “Mack and Mabel” at Encores! City Center, and has toured nationally with “A Chorus Line”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Little Women” and “Aida”. Paige has been a part of of numerous readings, workshops and Broadway-bound productions, including “Tuck Everlasting”, “Honeymoon In Vegas” (Papermill Playhouse), “The Heart of Rock and Roll” (Old Globe), “From Here To Eternity” (Lorene), “Chess” (Kennedy Center), “Beetlejuice” and “Robin and the Seven Hoods”.  She has performed leading roles in many fantastic regional theaters, is a frequent performer with The New American Pops Orchestra in DC, and has taught Broadway master classes all over the country. As a Certified Yoga instructor thru The Yoga Ground in West Orange, NJ, she has created a new workshop series, “Namaste On Stage” to imbue future Broadway professionals with not only good use of their onstage talents, but offstage strengths as well, through mindfulness, healthy habits, clarity of goals, and versatility.   Learn more.

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James Moye

James Moye is an accomplished singer, actor and director based in New York City. His career boasts ten Broadway shows, many films, TV shows, commercials, world premiere musicals and plays at many of America's finest regional theaters. Moye has worked with some of the most prominent directors in America today, including TONY winners, Walter Bobbie, Joe Mantello, Kathleen Marshall, Jerry Mitchell, Casey Nicholaw, Jack O'Brien, John Rando, Susan Stroman and Jerry Zaks. He has appeared to critical acclaim both on and off Broadway/Off-Broadway performing a variety of roles in Tootsie, Dear Evan Hansen, Aladdin, On The 20th Century, Bullets Over Broadway, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, A Tale of Two Cities, The Full Monty, Urinetown, Far From Heaven (Playwrights), Happiness (Lincoln Center), and more.  His national tours include The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldopho), Little Shop of Horrors (Orin et. al), White Christmas (Bob Wallace, Ordway). Audience members may remember James performing the role of Buddy in Elf at Paper Mill Playhouse. James appeared in the movie Film/TV: Fair Game (w/ Sean Penn), and has made numerous TV appearances with roles in “Law and Order: C.I.,” “As The World Turns,” “Guiding Light.” He featured in original cast recordings of On the 20th Century, Bullets Over Broadway, Dogfight, Far from Heaven, Meet John Doe, Dream True, and more. He recently directed his third critically acclaimed production of Million Dollar Quartet at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke, VA. In October 2021, he returned to the stage to sing alongside Broadway favorite Catherine Brunell with the Carolina Philharmonic in Pinehurst, NC.   Learn more.

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Marissa McGowan

Soprano Marissa McGowan has appeared on Broadway in A Little Night Music, Les Miserables where she performed both the roles of Eponine and Cosette, and Bonnie and Clyde.  Marissa was chosen by Marvin Hamlisch to star in the world premier of his last musical "The Nutty Professor" directed by the legendary Jerry Lewis.  She has extensive regional starring credits, has worked with numerous US orchestras including Baltimore and Houston Symphony Orchestras, and has recently been seen on television in Major Crimes (TNT), and Odd Mom Out (BRAVO).

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DEREK BROCKINGTON | Dance Theatre of Harlem

Derek Brockington began his dance training the Dance Asylum in Holland, Michigan. He went on to train at the Grand Rapids Ballet under Patricia Barker, before attending Interlochen Arts Academy his junior and senior year. Brockington has attended summer intensives at The Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet West, and in 2015 he competed in the Youth America Grand Prix semifinals, receiving First Place in Contemporary.

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ALEXANDRA HUTCHINSON | Dance Theatre of Harlem

Alexandra Hutchinson is a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem. She trained at The Washington School of Ballet and Wilmington Academy of Dance and spent summers at The Ailey School, Alonzo King, Carolina Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and Nashville Ballet. She received a BS in Ballet from Indiana University and danced with Nashville Ballet before DTH. Hutchinson’s repertoire includes Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Western Symphony, Swan Lake, Concerto Barocco, and Giselle.

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ANTHONY SANTOS | Dance Theatre of Harlem

Born in New York City, Anthony Santos trained at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2009-2013, working with Adrienne Hurd, Pedro Ruiz and Kristen McGrew among others. Anthony graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan Jaffe. While at UNCSA he performed works by Susan Jaffe, Doug Varone, Lucinda Childs, Brenda Daniels, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and Sasha Janes. He has a background in musical theater, singing and acting. Has performed with Zest Collective, Caitlin Trainor Dance in NYC and Antonio Ciacci’s La Spezia Jazz Festival.

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AMANDA SMITH | Dance Theatre of Harlem

Born in Orange County, California, Amanda studied at SUNY Purchase where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Amanda has performed works by George Balanchine, Helen Pickett and Nicolo Fonte, and studied abroad within the Dance New York International Dance Festival in Madrid and Burgos, Spain. In January of 2016 she began working with New York Theatre Ballet under the direction of Diana Byer. While with NYTB she danced works by Jerome Robbins, Antony Tudor, Antonia Franceschi, Keith Michaels and Jim Sutton. Ms. Smith also spent a few months freelancing, teaching, participating in projects with The Black Iris Project and choreographer; William Isaac. She was also featured in a national campaign for GAP in 2016.

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Saturday, December 18, 2021  7:00pm

The Presbyterian Church,  Westfield, NJ

Sunday, December 19, 2021  3:00pm

The Concert Hall, Drew University,  Madison, NJ

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Award-winning tenors, guests and choruses join NJFO to celebrate and captivate with a dazzling selection of renowned tenor and holiday fare. A family festival of symphonic pops and wintertime favorites guaranteed to make the season merry.

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Program

Traditional and contemporary holiday songs and music, renowned tenor fare, seasonal favorites and more.

Artists

David Wroe Conductor

Jonathan Boyd Tenor

Brent Reilly Turner Tenor

Dane Suarez Tenor

Holiday Choruses

New Jersey Festival Orchestra

Your health and that of our guest artists, musicians, and staff is important to us. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required upon arrival at concerts. NJFO will also adhere to all protocols set by each of our venues.

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MEET OUR TENORS

Brent Reilly Turner

American tenor Brent Reilly Turner has been critically acclaimed across the United States. His appearances in opera, concert and recital have been characterized as having a full, dramatic timbre, energetic personality and unique honesty. Recent engagements for Mr. Turner include multiple company debuts: with West Bay Opera as Florestan in Fidelio, Heartbeat Opera as Don Jose in Carmen, Opera Birmingham as Don Jose in The Tragedy of Carmen. and Pacific Opera Victoria as Florestan in Fidelio.    Other recent engagements include debuts with Austin Opera as Carlson in Of Mice and Men, Atlanta Opera as the Kronprinz in Silent Night, and his return to Austin Opera for their production of Bizet’s Carmen. Mr. Turner's Wagnerian repertoire includes roles such as Siegmund in Die Walküre, the title role of Lohengrin, Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, and Froh/Loge in Das Rheingold. Other roles include Max in von Weber's Der Freischütz, Bacchus in R. Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio, Don Jose in Bizet's Carmen, Sam Polk in Floyd's Susannah, and Eisenstein in J. Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Learn more.

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Dane Suarez

Praised for his “big, heroic voice” and “powerful emotions,” tenor Dane Suarez has developed an exciting and varied career. In the winter of 2020, Mr. Suarez returned to West Bay Opera to perform the role of Macduff in their production of Macbeth. In the summer of 2020, Mr. Suarez was thrilled to perform the role of First Armored Man in Opera Neo’s innovative digital production of The Magic Flute. In 2021, Mr. Suarez returned to Opera Memphis as a tenor soloist in concert and performed the roles of Tamino in The Magic Flute and Antonin Scalia in Scalia / Ginsburg as well as joining the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for The Magic of Memphis, and Maryland Opera for a concert. In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Suarez sang Canio in Opera Memphis’ production of Pagliacci, reprises the role of Antonin Scalia in Scalia / Ginsburg at the Penn Square Music Festival, makes his Opera Birmingham and Newport Classical debuts as Rodolfo in La bohème, makes his NJ Festival Orchestra debut in a Christmas concert, and will sing the tenor solos in Verdi’s Requiem with the Butler Symphony Orchestra.  Learn more.

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Jonathan Boyd

Tenor Jonathan Boyd who sings “with an easy lyricism” (Opera News) consistently performs to great acclaim in Europe, North America and South America. Mr. Boyd recently sang the role of Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata with Portland Opera, Icelandic Opera in Reykjavik, Iceland and Deutsche Oper Am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany. Noted international engagements include his role debut of Lensky in Eugene Onegin marking his company debut with L’Opéra de Reims and a return to Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole. Noted recent North American engagements include the title role Faust with Portland Opera and a triumph as Narraboth in Pittsburgh Opera’s production of Strauss’ Salome came following his successful company debut in the role of Heurtebise in Orphée by Philip Glass. Mr. Boyd’s concert appearances have included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Opéra de Rouen Haute Normandie, Britten’s War Requiem for Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Fort Worth Symphony, Haydn’s Creation with the Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center, and Mozart’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall. He was recently heard in a live TV broadcast with Virginia Symphony the role of Mozart in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri.  Learn more.

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Saturday, October 2, 2021  7:30pm

The Hertell Gardens | 241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield, NJ

It’s a night of musical masterpieces under the stars as Maestro David Wroe leads the NJ Festival Orchestra in a glorious live moonlit concert in the gardens of one of Westfield’s finest residences.  

 

Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments and enjoy an unforgettable evening of dazzling classical guitar, Mozart and more. VIP seating available for those who wish to take advantage of a limited reserved section of chair seating close to the stage. Appropriate Covid Protocols will be strictly observed.  

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Artists

David Wroe Conductor

Ana Vidovic Guitar
 

New Jersey Festival Orchestra
 

Program

DVORAK  Slavonic Dance No. 8     

 

RODRIGO  ConcIerto de Aranjuez    

 

MOZART  Symphony No. 40

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Please check our social media platforms for announcements regarding any last minute tickets that may be made available.

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Saturday, June 26, 2021  7:30pm

Rear gardens at 241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield, NJ

Don’t wait until Fall for the curtains to rise on Broadway! Get a jumpstart right here in central NJ as NJFO, led by Maestro David Wroe, brings Broadway back with a superb review of American stage, screen and television musicals presented in glorious symphonic splendor. Featuring guest soloists from Broadway and beyond, this is a live outdoor summer celebration for the entire family.

Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments and enjoy an unforgettable evening of festive entertainment in the splendid garden setting of one of Westfield’s finest residences. Patrons are welcome to arrive as early as 5:30PM to set up and enjoy the evening sun.

VIP seating available for those who wish to take advantage of a limited reserved section of NJFO chair seating close to the stage.
 

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Saturday, October 2, 2021  7:30pm

The Hertell Gardens | 241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield, NJ

It’s a night of musical masterpieces under the stars as Maestro David Wroe leads the NJ Festival Orchestra in a glorious live moonlit concert in the gardens of one of Westfield’s finest residences.  

 

Bring your own lawn chairs and refreshments and enjoy an unforgettable evening of dazzling classical guitar, Mozart and more. VIP seating available for those who wish to take advantage of a limited reserved section of chair seating close to the stage. Appropriate Covid Protocols will be strictly observed.  

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Artists

David Wroe Conductor

Julie Benko Soprano
Paige Faure 
Soprano

Program

Show-stoppers from the
Great American Songbook.

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NJFO is back with a roar to present an afternoon of blistering hits from the big band era and beyond. Swing time will delight music lovers and swing dancers of all ages and is guaranteed to chase the blues away.

This is a socially distanced LIVE music event in the spacious rear gardens at 241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield. Covid Protocols will be strictly observed. Pods for up to a total of 4 people are available for only $150 per pod. Individual tickets will not be available for this event. Get your group of 4 together and come and have some fun!

Program

Big Band standards from the 30s to the 50s

Artists

David Wroe Conductor and Band Leader

New Jersey Festival Orchestra

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Rear gardens at 241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield, NJ

Saturday, October 17, 2020  2pm

SWING TIME!

Chase the Blues Away with NJFO

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Come support your New Jersey Festival Orchestra and join us in tasting a symphony of fine wines! Tickets $75. Cigars and a Macallan Scotch tasting (including a rare cask) available for extra donation.

LIVE Music

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Under the Tents at Shackamaxon Country Club

Friday, October 23, 2020  6:30pm

A TOAST TO NJFO

Presented by the Friends of NJFO

Scotch Plains, NJ

This event has passed.