Educators—2019 study guides for BAS Young People’s Concerts are HERE!


Dear New Jersey Educators,

Thank you for participating in the Bay Atlantic Symphony’s Young People's Concerts!

I am extremely grateful for and appreciative of the tremendous effort, skill, stamina, and artistry it takes to be a classroom teacher. I believe I have provided all materials that you would need to give students an excellent doorway into the pieces we are performing. The only supplies the classroom teacher should need are the ability to purchase and play a CD or to download mp3 files (Amazon) and play them on loud enough speakers, and crayons if desired. The pre- and post- concert activities have been kept simple in part because I understand that some “classrooms” are not all that well-equipped. That said, this simplicity also fits my educational philosophy. I believe the activities supporting these concerts should not be a distraction from the event of the concert. 

As teachers, of course, you are in the position of developing many skills and sensitivities that go into music-making and music appreciation. The point of taking students to the concert hall is to reinforce just that non-classroom side of art—the open-ended, slow-breathing, undistracted, concentrated joy of an encounter with something sublime. Once students taste this nectar, they are more inspired to sit down in the classroom and learn about the composer, the instruments, or even STEM and the history and culture that could lead someone to create the Eroica Symphony, ‘Round Midnight, Guernica, or Hamlet.

Our 2019 program continues our program of “how music talks.” This year, we are calling our concerts: “How Music Talks, painting with sound!” The emphases in this program are 1) specific sounds and the images those sounds portray especially in orchestration and melody and 2) how those sounds, those aural pictures, paint a story, or paint feelings. This year we are performing both an unfamiliar work, and a very familiar work (at least to the teachers), featured in Walt Disney’s Fantasia: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral. For our new work, we will perform a world premiere by an American composer Amanda Harberg. In fact, Amanda is based in New Jersey.

It may be cliché that music is a universal language. Cliché or no, we have two vastly differing pieces: one written by a living New Jersey composer. In Beethoven’s we have a work written exactly 200 years ago, by a German composer. But, in both works, we find music as a powerful, descriptive expression that awakens our feelings. At any given moment, various instruments shed different colors and paint different aural scenes. We will highlight some of these scenes in these two colorful, sumptuous pieces.

I deeply hope you and your students enjoy these pieces, and this presentation!

On the basis of overwhelming positive feedback I am maintaining a feature we introduced in previous years: As discussion becomes in depth, optional discussion is set off in green print, allowing you to quickly choose whether to press on, or elaborate.  



Jed Gaylin, DMA

Music Director, Bay Atlantic Symphony


Bay Atlantic Symphony’s Blind Children’s Camp

The Bay Atlantic Symphony has forged a partnership with the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children in Avalon, New Jersey, to bring the world of music to visually impaired children.

For this eight-week summer program, which runs from mid-June to the second week in August, a Bay Atlantic Symphony musician meets each week with a new group of 20 to 25 children from the summer camp to explore the joy of music. The children, aged five to 12, learn music dynamics and get to participate in creating an orchestra and performing.

For last summer’s program, Symphony flutist Beverly Pugh Corry is helping the campers create a “Hobo Band” or, as she prefers to call it, a “Recycled Orchestra.” Corry works with the campers and counselors to create and try out instruments representing the four sections of the orchestra—strings, wind, brass and percussion.

“We use recycled bottles, strings, sticks, and rolls from toilet paper and gift wrap, as well as simple household items,” Corry says, noting that other musicians have donated used drum sticks and broken violin, guitar and harp strings and buttons. Other items were obtained from dollar stores.

“With just ordinary plastic shoe boxes, strings, buttons, and a little duct tape, the kids have great fun making a string instrument that can actually play,” she adds. Drums can be made with a little cloth, duct tape, and a big upside-down plastic basket. Wind instruments are created from tuned plastic soda bottles or a cut garden hose with a funnel at the end.

“Sometimes the kids use their imaginations to hand-craft their own unique instruments,” Corry says. “In the end, they are so excited about being able to keep the instruments they made.”

Corry, a Hopewell Township resident and also a flute instructor at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown, has seen this partnership between the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and the camp for the blind grow over the past three years. “The first year, we concentrated on flute and percussion,” she says. “The second year, the children played along with me on recorders that I brought. I also showed them Braille musical notation.”

 “Our philosophy is to eliminate or lower barriers to attendances to concerts, programs and educational experiences,” says Bay Atlantic Symphony Music Director Jed Gaylin. “These outreach programs have helped to bring classical music to new audiences, and new audiences to classical music. They have brought the pleasure of a musical experience to those who cannot take such a thing for granted.”