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'The Gypsy Spirit' at The Bickford Sunday, February 23, 3 pm

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This February at the Bickford a celebration of high-spirited folk and dance rhythms in a symphonic context by masterful composers from the heart of Europe. The New Jersey Festival Orchestra will perform The Gypsy Spirit at the Bickford Theatre on Sunday, February 23 at 3:00pm.

Conducted by David Wroe, the concert will feature guest virtuoso Allison Eldredge in a performance of Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No.1. “The bursting dance rhythms, folk melodies, and sheer rustic energy pervading this concert are guaranteed to bring out the gypsy in us all,” commented Maestro Wroe.

The program opens dramatically with Zoltán Kodály’s evocative Dances of Galánta. With their shimmering displays of melody and color, these brilliant dance orchestrations evoke the music of roving gypsy bands from the composer’s childhood and are considered to be the embodiment of the Hungarian spirit.

The evening continues with Camille Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor performed by guest cellist Allison Eldredge. Fast, brilliantly virtuosic, yet charmingly whimsical, this music will have you on the edge of your seat.

A graduate of the Juilliard School in Manhattan, Ms. Eldredge has performed as a soloist with many of the world's most prestigious orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, China National Symphony, Berlin Symphony, London’s Royal Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. She is also a renowned master class teacher and promoter of the arts, as well as a versatile recording artist with numerous television and radio credits.

The evening culminates with one of the great orchestral works of the Romantic era, Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8, an ode to 19th century pastoral life in the composer’s native Bohemia. With its wistful, folk-like themes and colorful orchestral textures, Dvorák evokes an idyllic country outing, replete with peasant dances, bird calls, fanfares and more.

Tickets are $30 for Members, $35 for Non-Members and $50 for Premium Seating. Tickets may be purchased by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre Box Office. The Bickford Theatre is conveniently located within the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box Office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra (formerly the Westfield Symphony Orchestra/Musica Morristown) is a premier, fully professional, symphony orchestra. Founded in 1983, NJ Festival Orchestra has grown to become New Jersey’s second largest professional orchestra, having a presence throughout many cultural communities of New Jersey, and appearing as far afield as Carnegie Hall on a regular basis.

Now in its 31st season, with multiple performances each year, NJ Festival Orchestra, led by renowned Music Director David Wroe, is viewed as one of the cultural jewels of the metropolitan area. Cited by the Star Ledger as “the leading professional freelance orchestra in NJ”, the organization has been recognized by the NJ State Council on the Arts as a Distinguished Arts Organization and is the resident orchestra of Union County. In addition to an adventurous subscription season, popular concerts near and far, and a rousing New Year’s Eve celebration, the NJ Festival Orchestra sponsors educational and music therapy programs throughout the state of New Jersey.

The Bickford Theatre is a professional theater that produces and presents year-round entertainment, including a Main Stage Series, two Children’s Theatre series, a Jazz Showcase, and Blues at the Bickford. The theatre is a Senior Member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of 30 professional theaters throughout the state, and works in conjunction with Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). From its beginnings in 1994 to the present, tens of thousands of theater-goers from across the tri-state area have enjoyed the Bickford Theatre’s many entertaining and diversified offerings in theatre, music and dance.

Celebrating 100 years, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, community-based arts and cultural institution which serves the public through high caliber exhibitions in the arts, sciences and humanities. The Museum also offers educational programs, family events, and is home to the Bickford Theatre and its wide range of performing arts offerings. Continuously serving the public since 1913, the Morris Museum has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards. The first museum in New Jersey to be accredited, the Morris Museum was re-accredited in 2013 by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road (at the corner of Columbia Turnpike) in Morristown, NJ, and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm.

In addition, the Museum is open evenings from 5:00 to 8:00pm on the second and third Thursday of the month. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults and $7 for children, students and senior citizens. Admission is always free for Museum members. Every second and third Thursday of the month between 4:00 and 8:00pm, the Museum offers visitors the opportunity to Pay What You Wish. For more information, call (973) 971-3700, or visit www.morrismuseum.org.

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