Performing Arts School
Welcome to the 2018–2019 season at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts where over 1,500 young musicians and life-long learners are exploring their potential and sharing the love for music every day at our three program branches: New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS), Paterson Music Project (PMP), and Performing Arts School (PAS). As New Jersey’s largest nonprofit music education organization, we are committed to providing the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a rigorous and supportive environment leading to high-level performing opportunities. I am thrilled to invite you to over 30 public concerts presented by NJYS’ 15 ensembles ranging from symphonic to jazz, PMP Concert Orchestra and Band, and talented PAS faculty and students. From our season-opening performance of the brilliant Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 at Kasser Theater to the intimate Salon Series at PAS, PMP students’ performance with the stereotype-defying Black Violin at Shea Auditorium, and the grand finale of the NJYS 40th Season with a Gala Concert at NJPAC featuring Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, this season is full of inspirational concerts that will allow you to experience the transformative power of music. I look forward to seeing you at our concerts and sharing with you the pure joy that only music can bring to our lives!
Helen H. Cha-Pyo
Artistic Director and NJYS Conductor
The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) is pleased to announce the availability of the Joel Perry Scholarship at its Performing Arts School for the 2018-2019 academic year. For students between the ages of 8 and 16 who are eager to learn more about music but may not be able to afford private lessons, the scholarship is made possible in partnership with the Perry family and will be awarded to one vocalist or instrumentalist in the amount of 34 thirty-minute lessons. Applications will be accepted through September 15, 2018. To learn more about the scholarship, call 908-790-0700.
Late guitarist Joel Perry was the recipient of the 2016 New Jersey Jazz Education Achievement Award from the New Jersey Association of Jazz Educators (NJAJE) and one of the premier guitarists and musicians of our time with an extensive educational background to compliment his performing and recording credentials. He was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education, Music Educators National Conference, and American Choral Directors Association. The list of artists he performed and recorded with is a who’s who of the music world. Perry performed in over fifteen countries and in venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Garden State Arts Center, The Rainbow Room, Windows on the World, U.S. Department of State tour of West Africa with blues artist Johnny Copeland, and jazz clubs including Trumpets, The Blue Note, Sounds of Brazil, The 55 Bar, Tramps, and The Famished Frog. Perry has performed with Papa John Creach, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Joni Mitchel, Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Gore, Margaret Whiting, Eddie Fischer, James Cotton, Percy France, Leon Thomas, Jimmy Dawkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Ken Peplowski and Al Hibbler. Amongst some of the artists he recorded with are Johnny Copeland and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He published a book of scales for guitar, The Building Blocks of Music for Guitar, and hosted the radio show The Jersey Bounce live on Sunday mornings on wfdu.fm.
Says Director of Education and close personal friend Andrew Nitkin, “Joel Perry was an amazing presence here at Wharton’s Performing Arts School. An exceptionally talented guitarist playing classical, jazz, and his beloved blues; a great music theory teacher; a composer; and a tireless advocate for early childhood education. In addition to his many years here at Wharton, Joel taught music at Redwood Elementary School in West Orange. He performed frequently and brought pleasure to many, many people.”
On Monday evening, Wharton recognized 15 graduating seniors for Senior Night at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Eight students performed for the event: Katherine Buchan of Summit, who has been studying flute at PAS for 13 years and will attend Carnegie Mellon University; Bridget Lynn of Berkeley Heights, who has been studying voice at PAS for 7 years and will attend New York University Tisch School of the Arts; Andres Marquez of Millington, who has been studying piano at PAS for 5 years and will attend Northeastern University; Megan Pan of New Providence, who has been studying voice at PAS for 5 years and will attend Princeton University; Carter Rosen of Long Hill, who has been studying violin at PAS for 11 years and will attend Stevens Institute of Technology; Shruti Sagar of New Providence, who has been studying piano at PAS for 11 years and will attend Tufts University; Sanjay Subramanian of Warren, who has been studying alto saxophone at PAS for 3 years and will attend the University of Maryland; and Victoria Zhou of Berkeley Heights, who has been studying flute at PAS for 5 years and will attend Princeton University.
Seven seniors were unable to attend the event: Julia Baldacchino, cello, of Summit will attend The College of New Jersey; Sarah Lalevee, guitar, of Berkeley Heights will attend Georgetown University; Annamaria Newmark, violin, of Warren will attend Lithuanian State University for Health Sciences; Michael Raman, piano, of Millington will attend Georgia Tech; Matthew Shih, violin, of Scotch Plains will attend Princeton University; Theo Stephen, clarinet, of Summit will attend George Washington University; and Nika Zaslavsky, violin, of New Providence will attend Carnegie Mellon University.
Says Student Services Manager Kristen Wuest, who organized the event, “As an alumna of the organization, I think it is important to recognize the commitment and dedication the seniors have demonstrated through the years. I can only hope they will come back to visit the Performing Arts School!”
Wharton’s Performing Arts School has a thriving adult division as can be seen in the inaugural concert for the Small Ensembles program. Small Ensembles is a 15-week course for students of all ages, instruments, and abilities. After a placement audition in January, students began rehearsals and coachings with Performing Arts School faculty members Christine Ciuffreda, Joe DeVico, Laura George, Sean Hack, Alice Hamlet, Lyubov Vasilyeva, and Kristen Wuest.
Says adult student Robert Bohrer, “I’ve been taking piano lessons at Wharton for four years—now I’m an old beginner! I signed up for Small Ensembles for the opportunity to play with other musicians. The experience is very different from playing solo. You have to listen to others as well as to your own playing.”
Adds Bohrer, “I have very much enjoyed playing piano with my ensemble partner, Gail Bayse, on cello. And I thank our coaches, Alice Hamlet and Luba Vasilyeva, for their patient and helpful instruction.”
Says Bayse, “I have been studying cello for over five years at Wharton. I was intrigued when I heard students had the opportunity to participate in a small ensembles program with faculty guidance. It has been wonderful to get to know Robert, my ensemble partner, as well as become aware of what playing a piano involves. It’s a great way to broaden my appreciation for the time and effort is required to play our five-minute second movement of a Vivaldi Sonata.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) presents a concert featuring students in its Small Ensembles program on Saturday, May 5 at 3:00 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Performances by Lily Liu, percussion, Matthew Higgins, piano, and Andrew Furst, trumpet; Maggie Liu, flute, Elizabeth Eck, cello, and Marcello Silva, piano; the adult flute ensemble; and Gail Bayse, cello and Robert Bohrer, piano include works by Miles Davis, Gurlitt, Vivaldi, and original works by the students. The concert is free and open to the public.