What is a Guitar Orchestra?
The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra is founded by Fort Lee School of Music (FLSM), directed by Michael Gilsinan and Matthew Pidi. The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra mission is to create opportunities for participants to learn orchestral music in a group setting, to perform with world-renowned guest artists in formal performing arts centers, as well as building a strong community in Fort Lee.
The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra consists of a junior orchestra and adult orchestra. Junior orchestra targets children above 6 who have a basic understanding of music and can demonstrate the ability to understand written music on all six strings. Adult orchestra requires participants with at least a 1-year of musical training either with a private teacher or in a formal university setting.
The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra welcomes FLSM students and Non-FLSM students for our fall and spring semesters. Each semester there will be 10-weekly rehearsals at FLSM's homestead. Enrollment for Non-FLMS students is by audition: play one song (either from memory or reading from a score) and demonstrate a basic ability to understand written music on all 6 strings.
The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra is committed to commissioning and performing new music. We have invited composers from culturally diverse backgrounds (American, Asian, Turkish, South American) to write music for us. Musical styles have ranged between classical, jazz, and contemporary.
The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra provides opportunities for participants to work with world-renowned musicians. Past guest faculty and performers have included Celil Refik Kaya, Michael Newman, Laura Oltman, and Masayo Ishigure. In the future, Soundplay will be inviting guest soloist to perform with the The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra, creating a chance for participants to share the stage with distinguished musicians.
Once a year, The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra participants will be performing at formal performance arts centers in New York City, including but not limited to Dimenna Center, Engelman Recital Hall, and National Opera Center.
The Fort Lee Guitar Orchestra is committed to building a local community in Fort Lee. We encourage participants to join and occasionally perform at our community / seasonal events. Some of which have been held at the Fort Lee Rec Center, Public Library, local senior centers, and the Fort Lee Music and Arts Festival.