Musicians were hit hard during the pandemic of 2020-21 and the New Jersey Symphony was no exception. Most of the musicians’ freelance work on Broadway, in recording studios, and elsewhere suddenly vanished. The Symphony found innovative ways to keep the music alive and employ their players. And, they found ways to address some the urgent social issues of our time. They commissioned a new work from composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, for example, called “i am a white person who ________ Black people.”

Meet music director Xian Zhang, composer Daniel Bernard Romain, filmmaker Yuri Alves and members of the Symphony and hear about their challenges and successes.

Eric Schultz produced the feature for State of the Arts. Dan Gordon narrates and the videographer was Joe Conlon.