The music of Leonard Bernstein, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Fred Ebb came alive as the talented student-musicians of the ISO Symphonic Band performed before hundreds of celebrants at Green-Wood Cemetery’s annual Memorial Day concert.
Sponsored by the Green-Wood Historic Fund, the annual concert, held at the famed cemetery, 500 25th Street, has become a holiday mainstay in New York, and offers a peaceful setting to recall the contributions and sacrifice of those who died serving the country.
The ISO Symphonic Band is one of six ensembles comprising The InterSchool Orchestras of New York, a not-for-profit educational youth orchestra program that provides musical opportunities for school children in the New York Metro area.
Making its debut at Green-Wood’s annual Memorial Day Concert, the ISO Symphonic Band — a 50-piece wind, brass and percussion ensemble — performed under the direction of Conductor and Founder Brian P. Worsdale.
The program included stirring patriotic selections, as well as compositions by Green-Wood residents Bernstein, Gottschalk, Ebb and others.
“On Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who have sacrificed their own lives in defense of our freedom,” said Richard J. Moylan, president of Green-Wood Cemetery.
“This day is particularly significant for Green-Wood. Right here on Battle Hill in August 1776, soldiers died defending our new nation against advancing British troops. Green-Wood is also home to more than 3,000 veterans of the Civil War, both North and South. And more recently, young soldiers who lost their lives fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq have found final respite here. We are proud to honor their memories every year with this very special concert. I would like to thank ISO director Brian Worsdale, and the extraordinary musicians at The InterSchool Orchestras of New York for such a moving performance.”
The InterSchool Orchestras of New York offers five orchestras, a symphonic band, and a chamber music program to players of all levels. With students ranging in age from six to 19 years of age, the ISO ensembles have performed in major concert halls throughout the city, including Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Symphony Space.
The InterSchool Orchestras of New York is considered to be the preeminent youth orchestra program in New York City.