On March 28, 2016, more than 200 singers will gather on the Mayo Concert Hall stage on The College of New Jersey campus for a concert that will blend cultures and showcase young talent. TCNJ choir students will perform alongside five high school choirs from Japan who all come from the region affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The performance is part of Project Hand-in-Hand, which aims to support the recovery of the East Japan disaster by using performance to support cultural exchange and education. This will be the fourth time in five years that TCNJ has partnered with Project Hand-in-Hand.
The concert at TCNJ will feature performances from each individual choir, in addition to the groups performing several pieces en masse. The March 28, concert will begin at 6:30PM in the Mayo Concert Hall and is free and open to the public.
“We might not be able to have a conversation with each other, but we can still come together and communicate something beautiful through music,” said TCNJ senior Sarah Finnan. “That’s really incredible.”
The choral groups from TCNJ and Japan will also perform together on March 29, 2016, at the Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York (PONY). That concert will begin at 7:30PM and is ticketed. With PONY’s 80-plus musicians and a chorus of more than 200 Japanese and American singers, this concert will bring together the most performers ever assembled onstage at Rose Theater for Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.”
“Being a Part of Project Hand-in-Hand is a wonderful experience on so many levels,” said Dr. John Leonard, Department of Music Chair and Director of Choirs at TCNJ. “Performing great music with high-caliber professional musicians at one of the world’s most celebrated venues, using the language of music to communicate love, compassion and empathy across cultures and languages, and seeing the resiliency in the faces and actions of the young Japanese musicians who join us.”
TCNJ choirs have been rehearsing for these two performances since the start of the spring semester.