December 18, 2019

Youth Orchestra Performs Higdon “Percussion Concerto”

Angela Zator Nelson, associate principal timpanist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, will perform with the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey (YOCJ) on Sunday, January 19, 7 p.m., at Kendall Hall on the campus of The College of New Jersey in Ewing.

Nelson joins YOCJ’s Symphonic Orchestra to perform a work by 2010 Pulitzer Prize and Grammy winner, Jennifer Higdon. The performance of Higdon’s Percussion Concerto is the featured event of the annual YOCJ winter concerts. It will also include classical and modern music performed by YOCJ’s most advanced groups, the Saxophone Choir and the Symphonic Orchestra. An earlier concert at 3 p.m. will include the String Preparatory Orchestra, Pro Arte Orchestra, and Wind Symphony.

Nelson rehearsed extensively with the Symphonic Orchestra, working with students individually and helping many grow as musicians. According to YOCJ’s percussion director, Chris Colaneri, “It was a pleasure to have Angela Zator-Nelson work with the YOCJ Orchestra. She was an inspiration to the percussion section and energized us to reach our full potential.”

Ariane Adcroft, a sophomore percussionist from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, said, “Rehearsing with an experienced and talented percussionist like Angela Zator-Nelson was an amazing opportunity, and watching her play really inspired me to work towards her level of performance.”

In addition to the concert, Nelson will conduct a master class for YOCJ that will be free and open to the public. The class will be held on April 7, at 7 p.m. at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North.

Nelson joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999 as the first-ever female percussionist to be hired by the Orchestra. She received a bachelor of music degree from Northwestern School of Music and masters of music degree from Temple University.

YOCJ has performed since 1978 and is composed of about 250 student players who seek to improve and play at a higher level. Players must be privately taught, and must continue to work with their school orchestras and bands.

Tickets will be available starting Friday, January 3 at or the Kendall Hall box office on the day of the concert. Kendall Hall is located behind Park Drive on the TCNJ campus, which is found at 2000 Pennington Road in Ewing. All tickets are good for both concerts. The snow date is January 26.