The Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra (GNSO) will offer a free “Best of Big Bands” concert on Saturday, September 30 at 3 p.m. at Safe Harbors Green in Newburgh, at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street. The concert is made possible by a grant from Arts Mid-Hudson.
“Some of the catchiest tunes ever written come from swing music,” said GNSO Maestro Russell Ger. “Its infectious rhythms made it the most popular music of its day, reaching a peak during World War II. Swing gave people a chance to escape reality and find joy in music and dance. Today it is still irresistibly toe-tapping and guaranteed to be a fabulous afternoon for everyone on Safe Harbors Green.”
Winner of the prestigious Brian Stacey Memorial Trust Award for Emerging Australian Conductors and the Special Orchestra Prize in the Makris International Conducting Competition in Serbia, Russell Ger is one of the foremost Australian conductors of his generation. Mr. Ger’s broad repertoire spans orchestral, operatic and choral music, which he has conducted across North America, Europe and his home country. Since 2016, Ger has been Music Director of the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he conducts five subscription series in addition to Holiday and Summer Pops concerts. Under his leadership, the orchestra consistently delivers performances of great artistry for near-capacity audiences. Ger is also the new Music Director of Orchestra914, which is committed to providing unexpected orchestral experiences for diverse audiences.
Speaking for Safe Harbors, Executive Director Lisa Silverstone said: “We are thrilled to host the GNSO on Safe Harbors Green and help make our amazing Symphony free and accessible to everyone in our community to experience and enjoy!”
Repertoire for the “Best of Big Bands” includes all-time favorites such as “In the Mood,” “Groovin’ Hard,” “Body and Soul,” Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Mambo Inn,” “Over the Rainbow,” and “It Don’t Mean a Things If You Ain’t Got That Swing.”
The grant is made possible with funds from the statewide Community Regrants Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.
Safe Harbors is a non-profit, mixed-use housing and arts organization in the City of Newburgh with the mission of transforming lives and building community through housing and the arts. We work to address issues of housing disparity while revitalizing our downtown with free and accessible visual and performing arts.
The Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra is one of the leading cultural institutions of the Hudson River Valley. It was founded in 1995 by Dr. Woomyung Choe and its first president, George Handler, who was followed as president after 10 years by the late Fred McCurdy. In addition to its regular concerts, the Orchestra performs special engagements, such as with Moxart and summer concerts at Boscobel House and Gardens and now with Safe Harbors.