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Thursday, June 15, 2017

NJSO announces departure of Education & Community Engagement Conductor and NJSO Youth Orchestras Artistic Director


Jeffrey Grogan to assume new roles with Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma Youth Orchestras

NEWARK, NJ (June 15, 2017)—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces the departure of Education & Community Engagement Conductor and NJSO Youth Orchestras Artistic Director Jeffrey Grogan. Grogan will serve as Director of Orchestras at Oklahoma City University and will lead the university’s graduate orchestral conducting program; he has also been appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, effective in August.

Under Grogan’s artistic leadership, the NJSO’s family of youth orchestras has celebrated milestones including its Carnegie Hall debut in 2016, as well as the addition of a fourth performing ensemble through the NJSO’s MANY (Music for the Advancement of Newark-area Youth) partnership with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Grogan was the founding artistic director of NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project), the Orchestra’s El Sistema-inspired music-instruction program.

During his 11-year tenure with the NJSO, Grogan has led family performances and Concerts for Young People at schools and venues across the state. He has also conducted #OrchestraYou, the NJSO’s celebrated pro-am Orchestra experience, for four seasons.

NJSO Trustee Donald Strangfeld, co-chair of the NJSO Education Committee, says: “With his extraordinary gifts as a conductor and educator, Jeff Grogan inspires young musicians to strive for excellence in both performance and life. His passion for sharing music with people of all ages, talents on the podium and trademark humor have left an indelible mark on the NJSO and NJSO Youth Orchestras families. We thank Jeff for his incredible dedication and leadership, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on this exciting new chapter in his career.”


Part of the NJSO Academy

The NJSO Youth Orchestras give qualified middle- and high-school students—especially African-American and Latino youth in the Greater Newark area—unparalleled opportunities to achieve personal and musical excellence. Coaching by NJSO musicians and a supportive peer-to-peer environment provide quality learning and performing experiences and build a unique culture of collaboration. The achievements of this program and its impact on the lives of these young musicians have received national recognition from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Four distinct ensembles—the Academy Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, String Ensemble and Training Ensemble—perform two full concerts each year and participate in masterclasses and workshops with renowned guest artists. In addition, the Training Ensemble offers joint instructional and performance opportunities with its sister program, the NJPAC Symphonic Band. Through this partnership (known as Music Advancement for Newark-area Youth, or MANY), the two organizations lay the foundation for students’ membership in their more advanced ensembles.

The NJSO Youth Orchestras annually serve more than 200 students from 11 counties across northern and central New Jersey. For more information, visit


Through the education programs that comprise the NJSO Academy, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra provides intensive coaching and instruction for musicians of all ages. The lauded youth orchestra program, El Sistema-modeled NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project), NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, NJSO Coach-in-Residence Program and customized in-school clinics and master classes create participatory learning environments across the state that foster meaningful connections with live music.


Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

The NJSO welcomes new Music Director Xian Zhang in the 2016–17 season. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement (ECE) programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People performances, NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at nearly 200 community events in a variety of settings through the NJSO’s REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony) program. The Orchestra’s ECE programs annually serve more than 60,000 New Jerseyans in nearly 21 counties.

For more information about the NJSO, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.

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