Contact Us

60 Locust Avenue
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts comprises the Performing Arts School, New Jersey Youth Symphony, and Paterson Music Project. Our Mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

The Performing Arts School (formerly Wharton Music Center), located in Berkeley Heights, provides instrumental, vocal, dance and musical theater instruction through private and group classes to students of all ages and abilities. Instrumental students may participate in the Achievement Program and the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Development Program. Musical Theater Arts students may audition for the Musical Theater Arts Company.

New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS), located in New Providence, offers high-quality ensemble education for youth in grades 3 through 12. NJYS ensembles perform more than 30 concerts annually. In July 2014, the Youth Symphony, our premier ensemble, won first place at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Festival and Competition in Vienna, Austria. All 14 NJYS ensembles performed in November 2014 at NJPAC in celebration of the NJYS 35th Anniversary, and the Youth Symphony performed in Carnegie Hall in June 2015.

The Institute’s primary community engagement program is Paterson Music Project (PMP). PMP is an El Sistema-inspired program that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. PMP offers after school musical education at both PS 1/26 and the Community Charter School of Paterson. Students perform frequently for the school and community and have performed with NJYS at NJPAC. PMP was featured in a 2015 Telly Award-winning documentary.

Our rich past and bright future are made possible through the generosity and talents of our teachers, staff, students, volunteers and donors.


Innovative programming and over 500 classes taught weekly, from Early Childhood Music, music theory, and audio recording to Introduction to Instruments, ensures that there is something for all ages and interests.

Located in Berkeley Heights and New Providence, New Jersey, Wharton Music Center and New Jersey Youth Symphony serve students from thirteen counties.