Bay Atlantic Symphony honors veterans with free concert

Stockton University honored its veterans on the evening of Saturday, November 12th, with a performance from the Bay Atlantic Symphony at the performing arts center. Veterans, Stockton students, and community members were welcome to attend the performance free of charge thanks to sponsorship from Dr. Harvey Kesselman, President of Stockton University, Michael Barany, Director of Stockton’s Military & Veteran Success Center, and others.

The Veterans’ Day concert was a memorable program that paid respects to all those who served, are still serving, and have sacrificed their lives for their country. The strings, wind ensemble, and percussion played harmoniously to elicit pride in the community’s service members. Songs from the program included “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “Armed Forces: The Pride of America,” and the Symphony No.9 Finale.

The Bay Atlantic Symphony performs at Stockton’s PAC. Photo courtesy of Rachel Rolle.

“Fanfare For the Common Man” was the opener and is notoriously known as its composer’s— Aaron Copland—concert opener as well. This piece was intended to pay tribute to those who served in World War II.

“Armed Forces: The Pride of America,” was conducted by Jed Gaylin, who requested audience participation during the performance. Gaylin encouraged the service members to stand for recognition as their respective branches were called. Toward the end of the composition, everyone stood and sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”

To end the entirety of the program, the Bay Atlantic Symphony played Symphony No.9 Finale, “From the New World,” by Antonín Dvořák. This musical piece was influenced by Dvořák’s feelings of homesickness for the Czech Republic. The piece’s melodic alterations described the excitement of discovering a “new world,” as well as a longing to return home.

The Symphony No.9 Finale, “From the New World,” was a fitting finale, since it reflected many soldiers’ mixed emotions of proudly serving their country while missing the loved ones they left behind.

About 500 of Stockton’s student body are military-affiliated. The university offers accommodations like waived application fees, discounted housing, specialized personnel to assist students, etc. to ensure students’ success. Michael Barany, a veteran himself, works hands-on with veterans and their dependants making sure they have a smooth transition from military service to academia.

To look for more concerts from the Bay Atlantic Symphony, go to https://www.bayatlanticsymphony.org/season-overview-2223-copy-1