Thursday, January 2, 2020


*featuring Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy student dancers (Fatima Magboul, choreographer)

WHEN: Friday, January 17, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy,27 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Elizabeth.
TICKETS: Single ticket price levels for non-Elizabeth residents are $25 per adult; $20 per senior; and $15 per student.
To purchase tickets, concert patrons may visit  Please e-mail with any questions.

The Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra (CJSO) will continue its 50th anniversary season – Friends at Fifty – with a performance of selections from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet. Michael Avagliano will conduct, continuing his 12th season as music director of the orchestra.

The performance will feature not only the orchestra but also student dancers from the Academy, with choreography by TJAA faculty member and CJSO violinist Fatima Magboul. The concert will be the orchestra’s second collaboration with the Academy, following its performance of The Nutcracker in 2018.

“We are excited and eager to collaborate with the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra once again, on Sleeping Beauty, and are especially honored to be a part of its 50th anniversary season,said TJAA principal Michael Ojeda. “The incredib

About Michael Avagliano, music director

Michael Avagliano has served as music director of the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and was recently appointed music director of the Summit Symphony. He joined the faculty of Drew University as director of the chamber orchestra in 2015. Mr. Avagliano is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor, making his European debut with the Pleven Philharmonic in Bulgaria. Recent and upcoming appearances include the Newburgh, University of Oregon, Summit, Plainfield, and Northern Dutchess symphony orchestras. Mr. Avagliano also served as a conducting fellow for the Allentown (Pa.) Symphony. Under his leadership, the CJSO has drawn acclaim from both audiences and critics. In the 2014 season, Mr. Avagliano conducted the orchestra’s first opera performances, collaborating with the Light Opera of New Jersey for a fully-staged production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Previously, the orchestra was a runner-up for The American Prize, awarded each year for excellence in orchestral performance. Also an active violinist and violist, Mr. Avagliano has performed with the New Jersey and Singapore symphonies, as well as the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. As a member of the Madison String Quartet, he has performed on chamber music series throughout the United States, with recent appearances in Alaska, New York, and Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit

About the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1970 as the Somerset County College Orchestra, the orchestra changed its name to the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 1985. For 16 seasons, the orchestra presented six to eight concerts, performing the standard orchestral repertoire. At its Gala 10th anniversary concert under the new name, the orchestra completed a cycle of the Beethoven symphonies with a sold-out performance of the Ninth. In the following year, it presented an acclaimed concert of “Music of the Holocaust at Terezin.” In 1998, the orchestra began a cultural exchange with Lithuania, presenting Lithuanian guest artists making their U.S. debuts. Committed to presenting the works of New Jersey composers, the orchestra has presented world premieres by Mario Lombardo, John Sichel, David Rimelis, and David Sampson.

le talent and dedication the CJSO brings to this event inspires our students to challenge themselves both technically and creatively. The final product will be a wonderful event for friends and families of all ages.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy again,” Mr. Avagliano said. “The work the teachers at TJAA are doing to inspire our next generation of artists is so incredibly important, and we are glad to be part of the experience for the young dancers.”