Mountainside Church To Host Classical Concert

MOUNTAINSIDE—On Sunday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m., the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts Concert Band will perform at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 300 Central Avenue in Mountainside.  This is the third of a five concert series for the 2009-2010 concert season. The event is open to the public and admission is $10 per person.

“We are delighted to be invited back to play at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.  Our musical selections are geared to please a variety of musical tastes and range from Renaissance to Ragtime favorites,” said Conductor Howard Toplansky.


The featured soloist for this concert is Alexander Malao of Scotch Plains.
Clarinetist Alex Malao will perform the “Polonaise for Clarinet and Band” by Richard Hofmann.  Alex is in the sixth grade at the Terrill Middle School and studies clarinet at the N. J. Workshop for the Arts in Westfield.  He has been a member of the Concert Band for one and a half years and enjoys papercraft, drawing and Tae Kwando.   The NJWA Concert Band is proud to present this talented young musician as our soloist for this program.

The “Poet and Peasant Overture” by composer Franz von Suppe, will be the main selection on the first half of the program.  “Violets Waltz” by Emile Waldteufel will also be a featured selection on this concert.  Waldteufel became famous in the late 1800s when he was discovered in 1874 by the Prince of Wales, who contracted the composer to perform many of his works throughout England. His most famous compositions were often played at Buckingham palace for Queen Victoria.

John Ondrey, the organist and adult choir director at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, as well as band director at Kenilworth’s David Brearley High School, will be featured as guest conductor while the Concert Band performs “Rhapsodic Episode” by the American band composer Charles Carter.

The concert will also offer Highlights from “Man of La Mancha” composed by Mitch Liegh and several interesting march selections including
“March of the High Altitude Workers” from the Soviet era movie “Heights,” composed by Rodion Shchedrin, “The Governor’s Own” by Alton Adams, and “Symphonia” by Merle Evans.  Alton Adams had the distinction of being the first black bandmaster serving in the United States Navy and Merle Evans served as the director of the Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus Band from 1919 to 1970.  Evans was known as the “Toscannini of the Big Top.”

Rounding out this concert will be “Prelude and Fugue in F minor” by Bach, “Windmills of Your Mind,” Harmony Rag and Joseph Olivadoti’s march “Hall of Fame.”

For further information about the concert or to learn how to become a member of the NJWA Concert Band, call 1-908-964-1793 or e-mail at

Clarinetist Alex Malao will perform the “Polonaise for Clarinet and Band” by Richard Hofmann. Photo courtesy of NJWA Concert Band

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