Thanks for visiting!

The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band has been bringing live, quality music to New Jersey residents for three decades. With more than 80 members, the RVSB has grown in both size and caliber to be recognized as one of the state’s premier volunteer symphonic bands since inception in 1984.  With a diverse repertoire, from classics to Broadway, the RVSB brings together talented amateur and professional musicians, distinguished conductors, renowned guest artists and enthusiastic audiences. The band has become known for its tradition of bringing quality music to the community, frequently featuring some of New Jersey’s most accessible music education outreach to the community.


Raritan Valley Symphonic Band Performs Annual Holiday Concert

Bridgewater, Branchburg, Hillsborough and Somerville Musicians “Celebrate” the Season

Bridgewater, N.J., June 11, 2017— The Raritan Valley Symphonic Band (RVSB) will present its annual pops concert, Sunday June 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm in the Bridgewater-Raritan High School auditorium. The school is located at 600 Garretson Road, Bridgewater, New Jersey. Admission is free and open to the public.

Under the musical direction of Dr. Christopher G. Sumner, the band invites you to the final concert of the season where we will celebrate the musical genius of John Williams. Whether it be works from his early career like “Jaws,” or “ET” or “The Cowboys, or from his more recent successes such as “Jurassic Park,” “Harry Potter,” and of course “Star Wars,” John Williams has mastered bringing film to life with music.


With over 100 feature films, it’s no secret John William’s fame stems from his film score writing. However, it’s important to note that not all his music was written for film. One of these includes, “Olympic Spirit” which was written for the 1988 Olympics. In fact, much of his music has an Americana theme including “Midway March”, “The Patriot” and “Hymn to the Fallen” (from “Saving Private Ryan”). However, some of the films he wrote music for focused on atrocities that happened in Europe such as “A Prayer for Peace” (from “Munich”), and “Schindler’s List”.


It is no surprise that John William’s music for these movies is just as powerful as the movies themselves. But certainly, his most well-known and most recognizable music comes from movies of science fiction and fantasy.


The RVSB is a community band of 75+ amateur and professional musicians who have been making and enjoying music for three decades. Don’t miss one of New Jersey’s premier volunteer musical organizations in this exciting pops concert. Concert admission is free, though donations are gratefully accepted at the door.


This concert is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program. For more information about the concert, becoming a sponsor, to request assistance for persons with disabilities, or to inquire about joining the Band, consult the Band’s website at, find us on Facebook or call 908-359-3136.



About the Conductor


RVSB Artistic director and conductor, Dr. Christopher G. Sumner has been the Instrumental Music Director at Piscataway High School in Piscataway, New Jersey since 2000. Prior to that appointment, he also taught at Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, and Union County College. He received his Master of Music from Mannes College of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from Rutgers University.


“Doc,” as he is affectionately known in school, is also an active professional musician both as a conductor and performer. In addition to his tenure at Piscataway as director of the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, he has also been a guest conductor for the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, and Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, as well as assisting Maestro Mariusz Smojli with the Riverside Symphonia. He has conducted and played in dozens of musical productions including the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse. As a free-lance clarinetist, Dr. Sumner is the associate principal clarinetist of the Riverside Symphonia for which he is also the personnel manager and contractor. He has also performed with numerous other orchestras, concert bands, and jazz bands across the country, including the Allentown Symphony, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and Aspen Jazz Ensemble, as well as with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville on their East Coast Tour in 2004.


Dr. Sumner has recorded on the Mark and Capstone record labels and has also been published by Grand Mesa Music Publishers for his string orchestra arrangement of “Flow My Tears” by John Dowland. In 2005 he was awarded the “William D. Revelli Award” for Best Overall Concert Band in a competition with the Piscataway High School Wind Ensemble. His conducting teachers have included Dr. William Berz of Rutgers University (and past conductor of the RVSB), and Mr. Peter Rubardt, artistic director of the Pensacola Symphony. Dr. Sumner’s most recent accomplishments include being accepted into the Julliard School Summer Conductor’s Symposium, and being nominated as a semi-finalist for the “GRAMMY Signature Schools Award” 2014, sponsored by the Grammy Foundation.


About the Assistant Conductor


RVSB Assistant Conductor, John Hylkema, is in his inaugural season with the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band however, he’s no stranger to the podium. John currently serves as the Director of Bands at Readington Middle School in Whitehouse, NJ, where he directs the 6-8th grade concert bands, advanced win symphony, jazz ensemble, pep band and is the district’s brass lesson specialist. He is also one of the Wind Instructors for the Hunterdon Central Regional High School Marching Red Devils and conducts the Hackettstown Community Band. John is still an active musician, playing trumpet for the RVSB, performs with the Eastern Wind Symphony, freelances as a pit orchestra musician and continues to attend various conduction symposia around the country.


John holds a Bachelor degree in Music Education and a Master degree in Wind Conducting and Music Education, all from Syracuse University. While at the Setnor School of Music, he gained extensive experience as a music director and conductor at the University and around the Syracuse community.

John can be heard on many recordings with the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble, produced by Mark Records and has performed with world-renowned artists.


Contact: Stacey L. Womack

Phone: 908-431-5928




Our concerts are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and are administered by the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission through the State/ County Partnership Local Arts Program.