The Garden State Philharmonic will open its 2018 season honoring the heart-wrenching and humbling ways Superstorm Sandy continues to bond the people of the Jersey Shore. The performance will be part of Toms River's October NEA Big Read program.

Season-opening performance will remember Sandy, celebrate Jersey Shore

In Station Eleven, the novel that has anchored Toms River’s first NEA Big Read this month, a cluster of survivors including the main character, Kirsten, establish the Traveling Symphony to bring arts such as music and performance to other survivors. As part of its programming, Toms River Regional Schools has partnered with a nonfiction and renown traveling symphony of its own—Garden State Philharmonic.

In addition to its arts focus, a major facet of the district’s NEA Big Read program is utilizing Station Eleven to reflect on Superstorm Sandy five years later. The Jersey Shore’s most popular orchestra will also be reflecting on Sandy as part of its season-opening performance, and the event will be part of the NEA Big Read timeline. The Garden State Philharmonic will open its Exploring American Genius season honoring the people and places of the Jersey Shore, and will do so this Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College. The concert will feature the multi-media work of a local composer, William Vollinger (Portraits of the Jersey Shore). Other musical selections will include American favorites; John Philip Sousa and George Gershwin.

For its NEA Big Read partnership, Garden State Philharmonic—in conjunction with the Grunin Center and the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce—is offering a 20% discount to the performance with the code NEABIGREAD. Tickets are still available but going fast, and Toms River Regional Schools urges the community to utilize this fantastic offer for what is sure to be an extraordinary event.