Avalon is making final preparations for what is expected to be the biggest celebration of America’s birthday in South Jersey. The world-renowned Bay-Atlantic Symphony will be presenting a festive concert on Thursday, July 4th, at 7:00 p.m., inside the Avalon Community Hall, 30th Street and the beach. After the concert, Avalon will present one of the largest fireworks displays along the New Jersey coastline at approximately 9:15 p.m., at the 30th Street beach. The concert and fireworks are free and open to the public. No tickets are needed for the concert and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
“This Independence Day week in Avalon will truly be a celebration of America,” said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “We are honored to have the Bay-Atlantic Symphony call Avalon its summer home, and the Borough is excited to present an evening filled with outstanding music and family activities.”
The Bay-Atlantic Symphony will begin its seventh summer of Avalon performances on July 4th with a program entitled “Lincoln and Liberty.” Conducted by Music Director Jed Gaylin, the concert will be an all-American patriotic celebration of our country. Brigadier General (Retired) Jeffrey L. Pierson, Sr., will be the guest conductor for a rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever. General Pierson served in the United States Army with 42 years of military service and over 30 years of federal Technician Service. Mayor Pagliughi will be the narrator for Aaron Copland’s stirring A Lincoln Portrait.
The program will also include The Star Spangled Banner, Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and John Henry, John Philip Sousa’s Washington Post March, and the Bay-Atlantic Symphony’s roaring rendition of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
The July 4th concert is sponsored by the Borough of Avalon and the Avalon Department of Recreation. Patriotic music that accompanies the fireworks display will be simulcast on radio station WCZT 98.7, the Coast radio station. Before the fireworks event, the Avalon Department of Recreation will have various fun kids’ activities on the Avalon beach and next to Avalon Community Hall.
Avalon will welcome the Bay-Atlantic Symphony for two additional concerts presented by the Avalon Free Public Library. On Saturday, July 20th, the symphony presents an Italian Opera Gala featuring renowned soprano Julia Kierstine and tenor Richard Crawley. On Saturday, August 17th, the Symphony presents “Life Dances” featuring noted violinist Stefan Jackiw as guest soloist. These performances will be held inside the Avalon Elementary School, 235 32nd St., at 7 p.m. both evenings.
The July 4th performance by the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and fireworks display is part of a five-day celebration which takes place from July 1st through 5th. The celebration begins with a Mummers String Band and Decorated Bicycle throughout Avalon on July 1st at 6:00 p.m. The festival also includes field races and a special boat parade on July 4th.
Now entering its 30th year, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony is the resident orchestra of the Stockton College Performing Arts Center and the Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center at Cumberland County College, as well as being the orchestra-in-residence at the Cape May Music Festival since 2003. Avalon is the summer home of the Symphony, which is orchestra-in-residence of the resort’s “Symphony by the Sea” series. The Symphony has received worldwide exposure through its appearances on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, Voice of America, and WWFM’s Celebrating our Musical Community. Their first commercial label recording, of She Comes to Shore–concerto for improvised piano and orchestra by the contemporary Hong Kong-born, Canadian-based composer and pianist Lee Pui Ming, was recorded August 2010 and is available on the Innova label, distributed by Naxos.
Jed Gaylin, now entering his 17th season as Music Director of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, is Artist in Residence at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey—the latter position being part of an innovative model in which the Bay-Atlantic Symphony is integrated into the college’s musical curriculum. He is also the Principal Conductor of the Cape May Music Festival, Music Director of the Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore, and Music Director of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra in Shepherdstown, WV.
The Symphony will open its 2013–14 season with a gala spectacular—Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney on Sunday, September 22, at 3 p.m., at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, in Atlantic City.
For more information on the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, please call their office at (856) 451‑1169, visit the Symphony’s website at http://www.bayatlanticsymphony.org/, or visit them on Facebook. For additional details about the Avalon’s July 4th celebration activities, visit Avalon’s official website, http://www.avalonboro.org/.