Morris Arts brings NJSO inside for Giralda festival

FLOWER POWER: The NJ Symphony performs in Mennen Arena at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
FLOWER POWER: The NJ Symphony performs in Mennen Arena at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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By Jeff Sovelove

What do you do when you have scheduled an outdoor concert and festival but the weather isn’t cooperating?

Just move them indoors. 

Bo, 10, of Morris Plains shows how hula hooping is done, at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Bo, 10, of Morris Plains shows how hula hooping is done,
at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.

That’s just  Morris Arts did with Sunday’s Giralda 2018 Music & Arts Festival.

Patrons traded a threat of violent storms at Madison’s hot-and-steamy Giralda Farms for the safety and air-conditioned comfort of Mennen Arena in Morris Township. 

(No hockey games broke out during the festival.)

The change in venue didn’t seem to dim the enthusiasm of attendees, who simply brought their picnics indoors.

 

Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove and Kevin Coughlin

FLOWER POWER: The NJ Symphony performs in Mennen Arena at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Whirled Revolution at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Hula hoop games for the kids at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Bo, 10, of Morris Plains shows how hula hooping is done, at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
The New Jersey Symphony at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Miya, 5 1/2, of Madison tries the cello at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
NJSO Concertmaster Eric Wyrich at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
WHEN DOES THE GAME START? The 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, at Mennen Arena, June 24, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts before 50-50 raffle drawing at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
NJSO Conductor José Luis Dominguez at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
The NJSO performs in Mennen Arena, at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
The Lakeland Youth Symphony at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Morris Arts President Tom McMillian at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Vivienne, 9, of Morristown, at the poetry booth. She enjoys making up poems on the spot about whatever someone chooses. She attended the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
The harpist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Jay Hanson, of Charlotte NC, visiting his daughter in Berkeley Heights, tries hooping at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Jessica and Heather from Whirled Revolutions in Sussex at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Picnic servings at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
A picnic spread at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
YOU WANT ICE WITH THAT? The rink at Mennen Arena for the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Panorama of the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
The view from the mezzanine, at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Morris Arts banner flies over the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
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The New Jersey Symphony at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
The New Jersey Symphony at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.

Vendors sold crafts and handmade jewelry, and there were activities for the young and the young at heart. Jessica and Heather from Whirled Revolutions in Sussex County were on hand to teach the intricacies of hula hooping, and the Lakeland Youth Symphony shared its talent.

As always, the main attraction was the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducted this year by José Luis Dominguez.

The NJSO rounded out the afternoon with such classics as Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Mozart’s overture to Le nozze di Figaro, and selections from Star Wars, much to everyone’s delight.

Video playlist, by Jeff Sovelove: 1. Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ overture; 2. Puccini “Intermezzo’ from ‘Manon Lescaut’ ;  3. Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture ; 4. Massanet ‘Meditation’ from ‘Thais’ ; 5. Carousel Waltze; 6. Carol Mesieles and Annie duet with Lakeland Youth Symphony.

Tom Werder, executive director of Morris Arts, estimated the crowd size at 1,000. That’s about half the usual outdoor attendance for the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser, which marked its 35th year.

Miya, 5 1/2, of Madison tries the cello at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Miya, 5 1/2, of Madison tries the cello
at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.

Still, the spirit was good and nobody got drenched.

“This is really about gathering with friends and family and hearing a wonderful symphony, whether we do it here or outside. We skirted the storms and feel good about the result,” said Werder, who decided to switch locations about three hours before the festival’s 4 pm start.

Fortunately, forecasts of violent thunderstorms did not materialize. Raindrops started falling as the concert let out.

Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts was happy with the turnout. 

“I’m sure all of the artists are enjoying the air conditioning, as opposed to the heat and humidity,” Siebert said. “Events like this are a great way to introduce young people to classical music in a more casual way than a formal concert hall.”

Morris Arts President Tom McMillian at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.
Morris Arts President Tom McMillian at the 35th annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove.

This festival was the swan song for Tom McMillian, stepping down after five years as president of the Morris Arts board. Tara Skirzenski will succeed him.

McMillian boosted the organization’s visibility, Werder said.

Now, “people know about our contributions. He has given us the flexibility to grow and try new things. It’s a testament to his leadership,” the director said.

McMillian, a marketing consultant, said he looks forward to spending more time with his beloved ukulele.

Kevin Coughlin contributed to this report.

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