Maestro Gerardo Edelstein is eager for the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra's 2014-15 season to begin - just don't ask him to choose a favorite upcoming performance.
"All five!" he said with a laugh. "I couldn't choose."
Those five performances, along with three concerts by Billtown Brass, two by the Williamsport Symphony Youth Symphony and one by the Junior Strings, make up the orchestra's new season, a unique collection that the orchestra has titled "Unplugged."
"People tend to walk around with headphones on, with iPhones and cellphones and all these electronic devices, so the idea is to encourage people to 'unplug' and come to hear a live performance," he said. "There is nothing that can replace (it) - the excitement, the energy, every single moment is precious."
Edelstein also said that the season's performances - which were chosen with input from Edelstein, some of the musicians, a board member and several community members - have been structured to appeal to everyone.
"We think our programs are very strong, but we want to attract new audiences as well, of course," he said. "I think we've done that with this season - people who are loyal to the symphony, who know the music, will enjoy it and find their 'well-knowns,' but people who are not familiar with classical music can enjoy it for the first time."
Edelstein said that the season, which opens on Oct. 21 with Beethoven's "Triple Concerto" and Mendelssohn's "Symphony No. 2," also strives to incorporate diversity in its musicial influences.
The orchestra will present "Jazz and Latin" on March 21, a performance featuring compositions from Alberto Ginaserta's "La Estancia" and Arturo Marquez's "Conga del Fuego," in addition to the classic mambo piece from "West Side Story."
The season also will feature guest artists and soloists, which Edelstein said will both highlight and enhance the local talent that makes up the orchestra.
"On the one hand, we're showcasing our amazing local talent, but we're also bringing in internationally-renowned performers as well, which will play off of each other wonderfully," he said.
Some of those guest artists include the Grammy Award-winning Eaken Piano Trio, who will take part in the season opener, and Mexican pianist Jorge Osorio, who will perform the solo in a classic Schumann concerto during the season's closing performance on May 12.
Edelstein said that the season also has family appeal, especially the holiday concert, "Time to Rejoice!," on Dec. 16, which includes musical selections from the films "The Polar Express," "Home Alone" and the wildly popular Disney feature "Frozen."
It also includes music from Camille Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals," which Edelstein said is a popular family performance - and in a fun twist on the evening, the orchestra will invite children and parents alike to dress in costume.
"Disney costumes, superheroes, whatever (children) want to do," he said. "We want to encourage the little ones to dress up."
Edelstein said every aspect of the season will be one to enjoy, and not only for the audience. "When people ask me who my favorite composer is, I always say the one I'm currently working on," he said. "That way, I can really enjoy conducting every single concert."