There are many good reasons to live in New Jersey's Hunterdon County. My husband and I moved to the Flemington area in 2005, and we thoroughly enjoy being here. We love driving across Hunterdon, with its acres and acres of farmland dotted with quaint little towns--Clinton, Frenchtown, Milford, Pittstown, among many others--which have somehow managed, against all odds, to retain much of their flair and traditions. History doesn't seem to have passed nearly as quickly here as it has in some other parts of New Jersey, where local culture has given way to expansive industrial and residential developments.
But we are attached to Hunterdon County not just because of the beauty of its land and local attractions--the fresh brew at Milford's Ship Inn (my husband likes beer; what can I say...), the amazing coffee at Rojo's Roastery in Lambertville, Clinton's famed Red Mill and Art Museum, Round Valley Park, or the weekend canoeing adventures on the Raritan River. To families with children, one of the most important selling points of the area has been the high-quality school system and the education and future opportunities it affords their children. I'm optimistic that despite the substantial cuts to public school budgets, the Hunterdon school system will remain strong and competitive.
For those of us who have moved to Hunterdon from more urban and densely populated areas, the slower pace of life, limited shopping opportunities, and the lack of "hang-outs" may require some serious adjustment. Socializing and making new friends in this still rural community can be a challenge; the number of public music performance spaces and movie theaters is quite limited, and while there are some new shopping centers, they are not typically where people go to make new friends.
Striving to offer an excellent and affordable education in music and the arts to
students of all age groups and levels of ability, Hunterdon Academy of the Arts is making an ever more significant contribution to the local community. Though our mission is primarily educational, we are very excited to be able to bring people together from across the county to pursue their passion for the arts. Our concerts are attracting growing audiences, and our student body keeps expanding.
While their children are taking classes or lessons, parents befriend other parents in our two spacious waiting areas (it does get quite noisy at times!), discussing their children's education and sharing stories about their lives in beautiful Hunterdon County. It makes me happy to think that many new friendships must have started right here at Hunterdon Academy of the Arts!
As a more recent development, we've had quite a number of adults join our music lesson program. To offer them a high-quality, low-cost alternative to music lessons, we have designed a number of group music classes exclusively for adults, including keyboard classes, voice classes, and even a "Closet Rockers" Band. These classes also provide an opportunity for singles to meet new people in the area, while exploring with them one of the most enjoyable things on earth--making music!