The first time Jed Gaylin heard Brahms' First Symphony as a 10-year-old piano student, he was hooked.

"It's a big, intense piece," he said. "I put on the LP and remember thinking, 'Wow! I don't know what this is, but it's bigger than I am.'"

Gaylin is music director for the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, which is based in Bridgeton but performs throughout South Jersey. He holds the same job for the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore and the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra in West Virginia.

"The travel is really not bad," said Gaylin, who lives in Baltimore and is artist in residence at Richard Stockton College in Galloway Township. That's important, because he loves spending time with wife Lia Purpura, a poet and essayist, and son Joseph, 17.

"When I'm up on the podium making music with an orchestra it's a huge energy outlay, but at the same time energy is flowing back to you," he said. The variety in his work, which includes lining up artists, editing parts, rehearsing and working on public relations and grant writing, also helps, he said.

"There are all sorts of hidden efficiencies, synergy and contacts," he said.

The Bay-Atlantic Symphony's concert this month will feature:

•Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," depicting American childhood and set to text by novelist James Agee;

•Maurice Ravel's "Tombeau de Couperin," an homage to friends lost in World War I;

•Richard Strauss love songs; and

•Franz Schubert's Fifth Symphony. Jennifer Casey Cabot, soprano, is soloist.

"For people who have any apprehension, I would say, 'Come.' It's immediate, and takes you into a very quiet, beautiful and intimately passionate world," he said of the program.

Discussion on Haiti relief

The Hammonton Regular Republican Club's Young Republican Committee will host Atlantic County attorney Stefanie Zarych as guest speaker at the next meeting of the Hammonton Regular Republican Club 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hammonton VFW, 390 S. Egg Harbor Road.

Zarych will be discussing her relief work in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. She was a 2008 Republican National Convention delegate and has been active in national, state and county campaigns. For more information, contact info@hammontonGOP.org.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219, MPost@pressofac.com

If you go

The Bay-Atlantic Symphony

will perform at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's

Performing Arts Center 2 p.m. March 23, preceded by a 1 p.m. "Conversation with the Conductor" Jed Gaylin in the L-Wing Gallery. Tickets are $32 at stocktonpac.org or by calling 609-652-9000.