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White Plains Orchestra Gets 15 Minutes Of Fame In New Amazon Series

The New Westchester Symphony Orchestra performs in Amazon's "Mozart In The Jungle."
The New Westchester Symphony Orchestra performs in Amazon's "Mozart In The Jungle." Photo Credit: Courtesy photo

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The New Westchester Symphony Orchestra (NewWSO) is riding its 15 minutes of fame.

The group of amateur musicians from in and around Westchester County was recently featured as the background orchestra in several episodes of Amazon.com’s comedy-drama series “Mozart in the Jungle," starring, among others, Bernadette Peters, Malcolm McDowell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Debra Monk and John Hodgman.

The orchestra scenes were shot at SUNY Purchase and included Grammy Award-winning violinist and conductor Joshua Bell, as well as Bernadette Peters and Malcolm McDowell.

The whole thing came about from an Internet search on the part of the Amazon folks.

"When I first got the call from the Mozart music supervisor in October 2013, I had no idea what an Amazon series was. I actually thought it sounded shady, or at least low-budget," said Belinda Kan, NewWSO's executive director and co-founder.

"When NewWSO started out three years ago, we could never have imagined that our commitment to playing simply for the sake of playing would be recognized in this way," added Kan, who started the group with Conductor Benjamin Niemczyk.

"It goes to show that if you do what you love, and are willing to share that love with others, in whatever unexpected form that sharing might take  -- such as a web-TV series -- good things will inevitably follow."

For more information on the group, which is made up of musicians of all ages and abilities, go to newsymphony.org/ or call 914-623-8075.

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