NJCU Symphony of Winds and Percussion: Remembrance


A performance from Symphony of Winds and Percussion. Photo Courtesy of Patrick Burns.

Nick Camejo

The NJCU Symphony of Winds and Percussion will be performing multiple works from a variety of composers focusing on the theme of Remembrance. The free performances will be on Tuesday, November 23rd at NJCU’s Margaret Williams Theater, November 30th at North Bergen High School and the final performance will be on December 7th at Lyndhurst Middle School, all at 7:30 pm.

Sitting down and speaking with Professor Patrick Burns, the Symphony’s director since 2011, he expressed how thrilled he is to host such a big performance again and have all band members able to meet in one room together again after the COVID’s setbacks of the past 18 months. “This is our return to normal rehearsals and return to the stage,” Burns said. He also explained that he wanted to put together a program this year that recognizes “remembrance” in one way or another. “Each piece is either a personal remembrance or is more of a loftier, societal kind of thing,”

The Symphony of Winds and Percussion while practicing. Photo Courtesy of Patrick Burns.

The Fall 2021 program will feature William Grant Still’s rarely-heard To You, America!, the first piece by an African-American composer ever commissioned by the US Military Academy Band. The program also includes works of a variety of composers including Clifton Williams, Francis McBeth, Yukiko Nishimura, Thom Ritter George, Robert Hanson, George Gershwin, and Patrick Burns himself as well. Burns also mentions that the very first song they are performing is from a famous composer, Clifton Williams. The final performance is being held on December 7th, which is the date that Williams’ daughter sadly passed away, hence it being a “remembrance” to honor her.

I had the pleasure of sitting in during one of the Symphony’s rehearsals. I was amazed at the talent gathered in that one room and would encourage anyone who enjoys music to not miss one of these incredible performances. Each student was thrilled to be there, and Professor Burns made sure to include even the newcomers. For more information please email [email protected].

Flyer for the Symphony of Winds and Percussion concerts.