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