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The Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra Launches its 79th Season on a High Note with New Conductor and Future Stars of Broadway

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , The Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra (RSO) announced the first concert of its 79th season will present some of the most beloved music of Broadway, performed under the baton of its new artistic director and conductor Stephen Culbertson. The concert, featuring young musical theater professionals performing with the orchestra to present favorite Broadway melodies, will be held on October 20 at 8:00 pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, located at 155 Linwood Avenue, in Ridgewood, NJ.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stephen Culbertson as our new Artistic Director and Conductor and look forward to his experience and vision in the upcoming year,” said Jim Jordan, President of the RSO. “Maestro Culbertson comes to the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra at an ideal time. Our first concert of the season is an evening of Broadway favorites, and Steve has a background as a singer, as well as conducting both in the USA and Europe.”

The season opener is a pops concert presented in an informal setting, appealing to all ages and musical tastes. The program features selections from Broadway favorites, including Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables, culminating with West Side Story’s “Tonight” as a tribute to Leonard Bernstein on what would be his 100th birthday. The music will be performed by musical theater professionals Kaela O’Connor, Nate Irvin, Tyler Huckstep, and Sarah Bishop, all accomplished soloists with degrees in musical theater from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, accompanied by the acclaimed Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra.

“I am very excited to work with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, known for its high standard of quality performances of varied repertoire,” said Stephen Culbertson. “This orchestra has been serving the community for over seven decades, and I am honored to contribute to its positive impact on the Northern New Jersey region.”

Stephen Culbertson has conducted orchestras, opera productions, and ballet companies in Europe and the U.S. and is recognized by performers and concert goers for his inspirational and creative approach to making music fresh and exciting. He serves as the Music Director and Conductor of the Society of Musical Arts (SOMA) in Maplewood NJ. A strong advocate of American music as both a conductor and a publisher, Culbertson is the founder and president of Subito Music Corporation, located in Verona, NJ.

True to its slogan “Great Music Close to Home,” the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra presents exceptional, professional-level music and provides a platform for developing local and international talent under the direction of world-class artistic leadership. It is committed to enriching the lives of future musical performers and listeners through educational outreach programs, scholarships, Festival Strings Youth Orchestra, composer competitions and special treatment for patrons from senior living communities. With the exception of the first concert, all performances are held at the majestic, state-of-the-art concert hall of the West Side Presbyterian Church, located at 6 Monroe Street in Ridgewood. It is handicap accessible with ample parking.

Subscriptions for the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting the RSO website: or by calling the RSO office at 201-612-0118. Individual concert tickets are also available.

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