Retired music educator launches Jackson Heights Orchestra

Patricia Glunt taps into local musical talent; auditions set for mid-September

Read the New York Daily News article by Clare Trapasso, here.

 

Long-time Jackson Heights resident and violinist Patricia Glunt is launching the Jackson Heights Orchestra. Auditions are slated for Sept. 11, 12 and 18.

A retired music educator is hoping to hit the right note with a community orchestra in Queens.

Long-time Jackson Heights resident and violinist Patricia Glunt, 58, is launching the Jackson Heights Orchestra, comprised of more than two-dozen local musicians.

Auditions are slated for Sept. 11, 12 and 18.

“Jackson Heights is growing as a cultural community,” Glunt said. “The time is right.”

Glunt said she hopes the orchestra will eventually grow to about 50 musicians and that she’s already received a good response from interested participants.

Members will not be paid.

“The vision is one to explore not only the classics, but also reflect the diversity of the community,” said Glunt, a retired assistant principal at Long Island City High School and president of the Music Educators’ Association of New York City.

“I envision featuring local talent and composers,” she wrote via email.

The Jackson Heights Beautification Group gave Glunt $500 in seed money to get the orchestra up and running.

“We just thought it was a terrific idea,” said Edwin Westley, president of the group. “We have a lot of untapped talent in the neighborhood — especially musical talent.”

He said he also believes it will be a boon to Jackson Heights.

“It is another building block in establishing a world-class neighborhood,” Westley said.

Violinist Lisa Leonardi, 53, of Huntington, L.I., said she hopes to join the orchestra.

“Pat Glunt is a fantastic musician,” said Leonardi, a music teacher at Huntington High School. “The camaraderie in community orchestras is great. You meet people who are like-minded.”

The venture also struck a chord with City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).

“It will bring notoriety, it will bring class, it will bring [cultural] diversity to the neighborhood,” he said. Glunt “will make sure that the orchestra is a reflection of the diversity of the neighborhood.

Alex Lauren, president of the board of the Astoria Music Society, which oversees the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, said Queens residents are increasingly looking for local culture.

“There’s a younger, more artsy crowd moving into Queens,” Lauren said. So “there will be more demand for performing arts.”