Bridging the Generations

               Through Music

 

Intergenerational musicians

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History

NJIO FOUNDER
Lorraine Marks

 
 
 

 

 
NJIO at the United Nations

United Nations, New York City, February, 1999

NJIO History
NJIO was founded in 1994 by Lorraine Marks, a string specialist in the Cranford Public Schools, who was looking for a new way to provide performance opportunities for her students.  At the same time, Ms. Marks was coping with the death of her mother and discovered that cello lessons helped her father deal with his grief.  Ms. Marks placed advertisements in several community newspapers announcing an opportunity for musicians of all ages to come and play together.  Over 60 people of all ages showed up for the first rehearsal.  NJIO’s founder was succeeded by Karen Pinoci in 2003 and then in 2004 Todd van Beveren took over.  In January 2008, Joe Gluck succeeded Mr. Van Beveren. Each of these individuals, all of whom are accomplished musicians and educators, made a positive impact on the organization and helped NJIO grow into a larger and more artistically accomplished musical group while holding fast to the ideals of an intergenerational experience.  

NJIO has had a wonderful history of performances.  In addition to the regular community concerts, NJIO has performed at the United Nations, the Capital Building in Washington D.C., the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ, the Turtle Back Zoo for the New Jersey Zoological Society, the YM/WHA of Union, NJ, the City of Summit’s Fourth of July Celebration, Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, and in the Plaza Fountain Concert Series of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.  Special events have included a gala benefit concert at Kean University’s Wilkins Theatre, featuring internationally recognized composer, musician and musical satirist Peter Schickele and the music of P.D.Q. Bach, and a trip to Spain for an appearance and workshop at the International Day of Older Persons.  In 2009 NJIO celebrated its 15th anniversary with a concert at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway featuring cello soloists Andre Emelianoff and Hyewon Kim.

NJIO in Spain

NJIO is featured in the documentary “The Open Road: America Looks at Aging,” which aired in 2005 on public television stations across the U.S.  NJIO has been recognized as a model intergenerational program at the Creativity Matters conference sponsored by The National Center for Creative Aging and was consulted for the publication “Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit”.  NJIO is also featured in the “ArtsPlan NJ”, co-sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA), ArtPRIDE Foundation and New Jersey Network Foundation (NJN).
 
NJIO has a long history of working with prominent New Jersey musicians and has featured such artists as the renowned jazz violinist John Blake; oboe virtuoso Oscar Petty; saxophonist, composer and pianist Mario Lombardo; the Latin Jazz Connection with Vincent Calabrese; soprano Angela Intili; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra violinist Joseph Gluck; pianist Rio Clemente and his Jazz Trio; violinist Jim Gaskill; harpsichordist Paul Somers; the Rahway Valley Jersey-Aires Barbershop Quartet; harmonica virtuoso Robert Paparozzi; Reggie Workman, renowned jazz bass man from the John Coltrane Quartet; Kamron Saniee, violin prodigy; opera singer Jamie Baer Peterson, cello soloist Cynthia Longley, guitarist Anton Del Forno and composer and jazz keyboard artist Joe Kurasz.  NJIO has presented special programs with Tony-Award nominated tenor Willy Falk, accompanied by Constantine Kitsopolous of the Chatham Opera.  NJIO has also presented educational programs for its members and the general public.  These have included a presentation by Kerry Keane, musical instrument specialist from Christie’s Auction House in New York featuring the “Hammer” Stradivarius violin, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra principal bassoonist Robert Wagner, New Jersey luthier Richard Gagliardi, and others.

Lincoln Center, New York City

In 1998 NJIO commissioned a piece by noted composer Benjamin Lees, Intermezzo for String Orchestra, which was premiered at our 1998 concert series.  New Jersey composer Mario Lombardo composed several pieces for NJIO over the years such as Winter Frolic, Gavotte for Oboe and Strings and Music in Our Lives.  And Joe Kurasz composed the song Intergenerational for the orchestra’s 1997 season.

In 2008 NJIO was awarded a prestigious Citation of Excellence by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA).  In 2009 NJIO received a three year General Operating Support Grant from the NJSCA.

 


NJIO, 570 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974
Phone: 908-603-7691 - E-mail: info@njio.org - © NJIO 2013