The New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra begins its 20th anniversary season this fall with a new home — Burgdorff Hall in the New Jersey Youth Symphony building in New Providence.
The orchestra, which used to rehearse in a chorus room at Cranford High School, moved into its largest rehearsal space ever this summer. There are now three orchestras that accommodate all ages and musical skill sets, an outreach ensemble that visits senior centers and hospitals and a wealth of workshops offered.
Recently, the orchestra was honored when The Eisner Foundation named them as a finalist for the Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence, an award for nonprofit organizations or individuals that model positive, lasting changes in their communities through the commixture of different generations.
"The Eisner Foundation exists to provide access and opportunity for disadvantaged children and the aging and is dedicated to improving communities with intergenerational programming," said founder Michael Eisner.
"The Eisner Prize allows us to honor organizations nationwide that share our mission, and it serves as a catalyst for a national conversation on how much good can be done when children and seniors unite under a common cause."
Michael Eisner and the Eisner Foundation will be coming to New Jersey in September to meet with the orchestra.
The national spotlight also was cast on the orchestra earlier this summer when NJIO was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center. Under the baton of their new conductor, Warren Cohen, the orchestra played to a packed house in Washington, D.C.
The orchestra is always looking for new members of all musical abilities, ages and backgrounds. If you are interested, check out www.njio.org or contact Mary Beth at 908-603-7691.
Board President Susan Peterson said, “We pride ourselves on our inclusivity. Everyone is welcome. We provide discounts for seniors and scholarships for those that have a need. Last year we provided several scholarships to students in underserved communities. We hope to provide more as we continue to live up to our motto, bridging the generations through music.”