WEST WINDSOR: High School South orchestra invited to Gettysburg

West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South’s Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra is set to open the 150th anniversary celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

By Jennifer Kohlhepp, Staff Writer
   WEST WINDSOR — West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South’s Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra is set to open the 150th anniversary celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
   There are 82 students traveling to Pennsylvania. The school has three orchestra ensembles. The group traveling is from the auditioned-for ensemble called the Philharmonia Symphony Orchestra, which is comprised of students from grades 10-12, according to conductor Jean Mauro.
   ”All their music will be from the Civil War era,” Ms. Mauro said. “Two songs are compilations of songs from that time period, and two are songs with narration.”
   The first song is by Aaron Copland, called “Lincoln Portrait.” The second was written for this celebration, called “Lincoln at Gettysburg.” The narration for the second song will be performed by the middle school orchestra director, Robert Peterson, whose ancestor was Sen. Edward Everett, the keynote speaker before President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
   ”We are also playing Morton Gould’s ‘American Salute,’ which is based on ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ and ending with Wilhousky’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Ms. Mauro said.
   The first performance will be on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel. The second day the orchestra will perform at the historic Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. The concert time for the second night will also be 7:30 p.m.
   ”I am happy to expose my students to such a piece of history, especially if I can show it to them in person,” Ms. Mauro said. “This should be a lifetime memory for them. I am honored that we have been invited to perform. We have a reputation for performing. We have traveled to Russia, Scotland, Austria, and most recently to Pearl Harbor to perform for the 70th anniversary celebration of the bombing.”
   The orchestra is playing in Gettysburg to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life.
   ”We have a history of performing for charities, such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina relief funds,” Ms. Mauro said.
   Tickets for the Gettysburg concerts are $10 and can be purchased at the door or by contacting jean.mauro@ww-p.org.