New Jersey Symphony’s Grogan finds niche fostering young talent

Posted on: October 15, 2012

In Sunday’s (10/14) Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), Ronni Reich writes, “Jeffrey Grogan raises a tight fist and his biceps bulge. His face reddens as teenage string players unfurl a rapid descending scale, and then a chorus of winds and brasses fills a classroom on the Rutgers Newark campus. ‘If you rush,’ Grogan sighs and pauses dramatically, ‘we’re dead.’ … Grogan is the guide for hundreds of young musicians in and around New Jersey every year. As education and community engagement conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, he leads the NJSO’s youth outreach arm, the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra. Besides the youth orchestra, he is music director of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and artistic director of the Interschool Orchestras of New York. … ‘I enjoy my time with the big orchestra,’ he says, referring to the NJSO. ‘That scratches my artistic itch, but, really, this is what I love.’ … Even for New Jersey’s resident youth conductor, striking the right tone is a challenge. Watching him, there’s a mixture of elevated maestro and a friend who’s on the students’ level. … He saves his most enthusiastic moments of praise for the minute something locks in just right. ‘The ultimate trust of a student is for their teacher to be honest with them,’ he says.”

Posted October 15, 2012