The month of March is a time when music and arts are celebrated both across the country and in New Jersey.
So what better time of the year to showcase the highly acclaimed music and art programs in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.
The prized presentation of the school year—The Festival of the Arts–will be showcased on three days in March as well as one day later in May.
The Festival of the Arts 2023 will kick off with the Chorus Concert on Thursday, March 23, and then followed a week later with the Orchestra Concert on March 29 and then the Band Concert on March 30.
All three performances will be staged in Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s spacious main gym—Vaughn Stapleton Gymnasium—and will begin each day at 7 p.m.
Dr. Laura Bassett had served as the Supervisor of the school district’s Fine and Performing Arts Department since 2017 but has just moved on to become the Principal of the Eisenhower Intermediate School, shared her passion for The Festival of Arts.
“The district’s Festival of the Arts concert series and art exhibition are always a highlight of the year. This annual event is an opportunity to showcase the incredible work that our art and music faculty do year-round through exciting student performances and displays,” Dr. Bassett said.
She continues to be involved as the Supervisor Emeritus while Matthew McCarthy was appointed as her successor and will oversee a department that is expected to continue to flourish and be regarded as one of the finest in New Jersey.
She also touched on the timing of the events that are being performed this month.
“It is fitting that our concert series is held in March each year, as we are celebrating Music in Our Schools Month across the country, and Arts in Our Schools Month here in New Jersey,” Dr. Bassett said.
The opening show—the Chorus Concert–on March 23 will feature the highly popular choral program from Grades 4-12. The equally attractive shows a week later, the Orchestra Concert on March 29 and the Band Concert the following evening, will showcase students from Grades 6-12.
“Due to the number of student performers and the maximum capacity of our performance space, the Chorus Concert is open to parents/guardians of performers only and there will be no public admission,” Dr. Bassett reported.
However, both the Orchestra Concert and the Band Concert will offer free admission and are open to the general public.
An example of how gifted these students are, the poster that is promoting The Festival of the Arts was designed by Sharanya Ram, who is a junior at Bridgewater-Raritan High School.
The District Visual Art Exhibit, the fourth and final day of The Festival of the Arts, will be held on Wednesday, May 17. That exhibit will display the works of students from Grades K-12 and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the high school’s main cafeteria.
What the audiences of all four shows will receive is a first-hand look at these skilled student performers.
“A great deal of time and effort goes into planning and preparing students for these performances, and we cannot wait to share the fruits of these efforts with our community,’ Dr. Bassett said