New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Symphony Celebrates Sapphire Anniversary with Zeal

New Britain Symphony Orchestra Still Active and Diverse after 65 Years

The New Britain Symphony Orchestra, one of the older organizations in the city, is proud to be celebrating their 65th concert season. The Symphony purports to be “back and better than ever” with replenished finances and a renewed spirit.

“We are doing many concerts in various venues in New Britain and surrounding communities this season,” said Nancy Judd, president of the board of directors.

Not looking to limit themselves, they kicked off the season with two free library concerts, including a steel drum ensemble and a group covering Beatles’ hits on the strings. One was in Plainville and one in New Britain.

Seeking to be as creative within the organization as within performances, the Symphony Board has made a point to recruit youthful music enthusiasts to serve on the Board, as the Executive Director in Celeste Roche and as Guest Conductor of the Orchestra in Ertan Seyyar Sener for its full performance.

“It is our hope beginning next season we will expand with several main stage concerts,” said Judd. “The season is fall to Spring. We are doing a lot of outreach so we can include the whole community. Next to the museum this is the oldest art treasure in New Britain.”

This season’s main stage concert featuring the full orchestra is scheduled for February at CCSU. The Symphony has teamed-up with the American Clock and Watch Museum of Bristol to create “On Time,” a multimedia experience related to time, keeping time and our perceptions of it. Clocks from the Museum’s special collections will be brought to campus for display and perusal during intermission. Listeners will be delighted by an assortment of clock-inspired pieces, including “The Syncopated Clock,” which will be conducted by Kurt Anderson—the son of the late composer LeRoy Anderson.

Although the emphasis remains on classical music appreciation, the group has embraced change with open arms.

“In its heydays, Symphony orchestra’s filled auditoriums. But now there are so many other things that kids do now,” said Judd. “They are overloaded. Everyone is reaching out to their communities with smaller concerts and smaller venues to bring more of the community in.”

The Symphony’s next event will be their annual brass quintet and organ traditional holiday concert at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 3p.m. on Dec. 8 Admission is set as free-will donations in benefit of the Symphony and St. Mark’s outreach food pantry. A reception will follow with hot mulled cider and holiday treats.

A Young’s People Concert will take place on April 2. A Pre-Valentine Recorder Concert is also planned in Feb.

“We will invite young people to come and play one piece with the symphony,” Judd added. “We hope that will bring more families in.”

The group is focusing on diversity and making sure young people are involved. Ticket prices have also been kept low so ever family can participate.

For more information about the Symphony, find them on Facebook or call the office at 860-826-6344.