By CAROL COMEGNO
The Haddonfield Symphony will commission a composition
with the sea life of the battleship New Jersey as its
The ship's arrival in Camden to become a museum gave
orchestra Director Dorothy Rivers the idea to commission a
piece, said Eileen Myers, orchestra development
The symphony has applied to the prestigious National
Endowment for the Arts for a $10,000 grant to help cover
the cost of the work, Myers said.
"We're hoping to get the full grant, but even if we don'
t, we'll find other private donors," she said.
The piece will be written by composer Carter Pann of Ann
Arbor, Mich., Myers said. Pann won the symphony's Young
Composers' Competition award in 2000 for his composition
titled "Slalom," about the thrill of skiing, which was
unveiled at the symphony's children's concert last
Myers said the symphony plans to premiere the new piece at
an "Anchors Away" children's concert in the spring of
The USS New Jersey, veteran of three major wars, is one of
the most decorated battleships in U.S naval history, with
16 battle stars, and at 887 feet belongs to the largest
class of U.S. battleships ever built.
It has fired its 16-inch guns, largest on any naval
ship, in three major wars - World War II, Korea and
Vietnam - as well as off the shores of Beirut, Lebanon.
He predicted that one day Pann will be "one of the great
Hollywood composers" like John Williams.
Pann, contacted at his Michigan home, said he is
extremely excited at the prospect of writing music for the
ship. He said he had included some conceptual suggestions
for the seafaring piece in the Haddonfield Symphony's
application to the National Endowment application,
including using sea chanties and evoking the ship's marine
"I am all the more thrilled that this will be coming
about, to get an opportunity to write about such an heroic
ship," said Pann, 29, who is waiting to see if his "Slalom"
piece wins the coveted Master Prize competition in London this year. Out of 1,150 submissions, his is one of 12
chosen as semifinalists for the 50,000 pounds (about $72,
000) in prize money.
He hopes to visit New Jersey this year to "get a better
feel for" the ship.
The warship is now undergoing $7 million in restoration
and is scheduled to open Sept. 2 on the Camden Waterfront
south of the New Jersey State Aquarium.