The Discovery Orchestra (TDO) is dedicated exclusively to teaching individuals and larger audiences how to listen to classical music, differentiating TDO from other professional symphony orchestras and institutions that focus on the performance of classical music. TDO continues to transform the listening experience for millions of people—from students and curious classical novices to experienced concertgoers and professional educators—with its highly praised “Discovery” focus and format. Nationally televised Discovery Concerts, DVDs, social media and other new media are supplemented by live programs that are presented in concert halls, private homes, schools and community centers in New Jersey. Teacher guides and other aids make programs such as YouTube Discovery Chats a convenient and distinctive resource for educators to use in classroom and lesson settings.
The Discovery Orchestra, under Founder and Artistic Director George Marriner Maull, is leading a movement to inspire an interest in classical music listening. Maestro Maull’s innovative and verified teaching methodology makes TDO’s programs widely accessible. Intern programs help to ensure TDO’s enduring reach and influence. Regardless of age, geographic location, education or economic status, participants say the TDO experience has transformed their listening and enhanced their lives. TDO will become a national model of how music listening is taught.
About The Discovery Orchestra
The Discovery Orchestra® (TDO) began its life 26 years ago as the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, a professional symphony orchestra founded to present classical concerts for the growing population in Somerset County. Over time, the orchestra’s mission evolved and culminated in a name change in 2006. Today, The Discovery Orchestra teaches the listening skills that help people emotionally connect to classical music. We achieve this through intimate gatherings, live performances and media programs. We combine performance with interactive instruction – creating an atmosphere in which individuals may receive powerful, aesthetic experiences from music.
TDO believes that many factors of 21st century society are actually training people to merely hear music as a background while multi-tasking – almost ignoring music, as it were. This phenomenon has ironically been made possible by one of the great boons to society – the mass distribution and availability of recorded music. In addition to depriving people of the emotional encounters they can potentially have through active listening, this trend may also sadly contribute to the demise of audiences for live concerts by symphony orchestras and other classical and jazz ensembles. Paradoxically, the very technology that created this environment may be the most viable tool to teach people to listen to music.
The good news is that research by prominent scientists such as Dr. Oliver Sacks, chronicled in the PBS television special The Music Instinct: Science & Song, demonstrates that giving one’s undivided attention to music positively affects one’s mental and physical well being. This is achieved not just from listening to classical music but to all the music one encounters. To encourage deep, active listening, The Discovery Orchestra offers: Discovery Concerts® and Discover More sessions for adults and teens; Intimate Evenings & Afternoons: in-home chamber music recitals which include Discovery segments; Fall in Love with Music listening courses; weekly Discovery Orchestra Chats on YouTube; and outreach programs for underserved youth.
While TDO’s live presentations primarily serve New Jersey residents, the orchestra has reached national and international audiences through broadcasts of its two television shows – the Emmy nominated Bach to the Future© and Discover Beethoven’s 5th©. Also the winner of three Telly Awards, Discover Beethoven’s 5th has reached over 60 million US & Canadian households to date. Both shows have been distributed by American Public Television, which will again distribute our third television program, Discover Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, taped before a live audience on May 19, 2012 and set to premiere in the spring of 2013.
The Discovery Orchestra receives underwriting from corporations, foundations, individuals, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. It is a priority to provide free and/or discount tickets to underserved constituents for most TDO programs. Information can be found at www.DiscoveryOrchestra.org or by calling 908-226-7300.
Our Core Values
Integrity: in the pursuit of artistic and educational excellence, financial stewardship and relationships.
Transformation: by improving lives through knowledge and experiences.
Accessibility: by bringing TDO programs to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities; and breaking down barriers to classical music.
Innovation: in the use of unique program formats, communication methods and product distribution.
Inspiration: in the fostering of emotional connections to and communal enthusiasm for classical music.