Symphony performs annual family concert

The event takes place Saturday at Sparta HS

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  • Flute soloist Shuangyu Han, age 16

— The New Sussex Symphony, under the musical direction of Karen Pinoci, recently announced its program for its upcoming annual family concert. The March 18 event starts at 3 p.m., and takes place at Sparta High School on West Mountain Road in Sparta.

More than 100 student musicians from Sparta, Vernon, North Warren Regional Schools, and the Crescendo Suzuki Studio will be joining the orchestra for this performance. The repertoire includes Dvorak’s “Humoresque, and Mozart’s “Allegro Maestoso from the Concerto for Flute in G Major.” There will also be a narrated presentation of Daniel Dorff's “Billy and the Carnival” which is made possible through the courtesy of the Theodore Presser Company. The concert will conclude with Suzuki tunes and “The Irish Washerwoman,” featuring the orchestra and student musicians performing together.

Flute soloist Shuangyu Han, age 16, is currently a sophomore at Princeton High School and is also studying at the Juilliard Music School in the Pre-College Division. He has won several competition prizes, including Second Prize in the Serbia Six Anton Eberst International Flute Competition in Serbia in 2013, First Prize in the First China Flute Association High School Division in Beijing, China in 2014; and First Prize in the High School Division of the First Asia Wind Orchestra Competition in Taejon, South Korea in 2016. When not practicing his flute or doing school work, Shuangyu enjoys his favorite sport, basketball, and plays with his friends every day. Each weekend he goes to nursing homes and plays concerts for the residents. In the summers in China, he travels to the countryside to help people with their small businesses. He is performing as the winner of the NJ Flute Society’s annual high school competition that was held last October. The NJ Flute Society, established in 2009, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in flute performance and pedagogy, and providing an encouraging environment for students, amateurs, and professionals alike.

“Billy and the Carnival” will feature narrator Mark Hontz, an Elder Law and Estate Planning and Administration Attorney in Newton. Mark is the Lay Leader and Administrative Council Chair of the First United Methodist Church of Newton, where he and his family are active members. Mark also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Boards of Sussex Bank and Sussex Bancorp and is active in community affairs.

Children 5 and under attend for free when accompanied by an adult. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Although tickets may be purchased at the door, advance purchase is recommended due to anticipated high turnout. Tickets are available at the Bill Wright School of Music in Sparta, the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council in Newton, NJ, or by emailing to In the event of inclement weather, the concert will take place on Sunday, March 19.

The New Sussex Symphony was founded in 1959. Concert repertoire extends over four centuries, from the early 1700s to contemporary music. In addition to the formal concert series, the symphony acts as a resource to the county's musical community.

Funding has been made available in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Block Grant Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council and supported by the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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