Development Blog by Elizabeth Piercey | September 2018
New Jersey Youth Symphony is excited to celebrate our 40th anniversary season this year! To commemorate this milestone, we are partnering with social service agencies for each of our 13 concerts. We will ask audiences to bring an in-kind donation to help serve families in the local community.
Here is the schedule of concerts and partners for the fall season. We invite you to attend all NJYS concerts and make an in-kind donation to our partners!
Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 8 pm
Partner: Toni’s Kitchen
Suggested In Kind Donation: Support area youth through the Healthy Backpack Program, including: Peanut butter, pasta, tuna, pasta sauce, oatmeal, healthy cereal, rice, beans, snack bars, and raisins (no glass please).
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 3 pm
Partner: St. Joseph Social Service Center
In Kind Donation: Toiletry items, including: toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, lip balm, soap, deodorant, travel-size shampoo and conditioner, travel-size body lotion, travel-size mouthwash, travel-size hand sanitizer, comb, brush, hair ties, and tissue packs.
Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7 pm
In Kind Donation: Non-perishable food items.
Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3 pm
Partner: Homeless Solutions, Inc.
In Kind Donation: low-sugar breakfast cereal, low-sugar oatmeal packets, coffee, toilet paper, and paper towels.
Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 3pm and 7pm
In Kind Donation: Cold weather items, including: hearty soups and stews, gloves, hats, umbrellas, and warm thermal socks.
Musical Theater Arts Blog by Timothy Maureen Cole | September 2018
September means three things to me: Autumn is around the corner, pumpkin spice everything, and it’s time to go back to school again! In my case, back to school means the start of a new season of theater classes and shows at Wharton Arts. We had an amazing summer full of camps and performances. If you missed it don’t worry. We have plenty to offer starting right now!
This month I would like to shine a spotlight on the theater classes for our youngest students, and our most experienced students. Fairy Tale Theater is a brand new class this year for students 3-5 years old. Students will learn about storytelling and acting with the help of our amazing instructor, Emma Peterson. Ms. Peterson also teaches our Pathways to Musical Theater class for students 5-7 years old. Pathways students practice the skills of acting, singing, and dancing while preparing for a finale showcase at the end of the semester. Both classes are the perfect way to see if your student has the acting bug! Fairy Tale Theater and Pathways to Musical Theater begin on Saturday, September 22.
Musical Theater Company is our most advanced class for students 10 and up. Last year for the first time our amazing cast wrote and performed an original musical based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales. This year Musical Theater Company will return with a new theme, and some hard working students creating a show from start to finish. Auditions will take place on November 9th and 10th. Our first class is on Tuesday, November 27th.
Inquire about these and any of our other classes by calling the Student Services Office. The Theater Arts department offers classes in Drama, Improv, Musical Theater, and Hip Hop throughout the week. Whether your student lives to be on the stage, craves a creative outlet, or wants to improve their social skills and public speaking, Wharton Arts is the place for you.
Happy Autumn from the Theater Arts Department. We hope to see you in class soon!
Director of Musical Theater Arts
Hector Otero, a student of Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project (PMP), returned recently from a cross country trip to Los Angeles to participate in the National Take A Stand Festival! Hector had the opportunity to make new friends from other El Sistema-inspired programs nationwide, develop his musical skills, and perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Hector says that he will bring his newly acquired skills and knowledge back to Paterson with him this fall as he enters eighth grade at the Community Charter School of Paterson.
Hector had the honor of being accepted into the National Take a Stand Festival Junior String Ensemble, an opportunity specifically for younger musicians and open to only 36 string players aged 12-15 from across the country. Se lecte students worked with a world-class artist faculty and rehearsed and performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. As an ambassador for PMP and his community, Hector traveled to Los Angeles and Aliso Viejo, CA from July 5-15 to participate in the event sponsored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
“My favorite part of the experience was visiting the Hollywood Bowl…it was a great experience to see Gustavo (Dudamel) in action with an amazing orchestra,” says Hector. “The music was very interesting; I’ve never seen anything like it. Sometimes we would just stop, take a break, relax, and then play the music vigorously again. It was a very wonderful experience overall.”
Two familiar faces greeted Hector in Los Angeles: Oklahaom City University Director of Orchestras, Jeffrey Grogan, founder and former Artistic Director of PMP, led the Junior Strings Ensemble in Sibelius Andante Festivo and Soon Hee Newbold Perseus at Disney Hall. Hector had the rare opportunity to meet and work with Soon Hee Newbold, renowned composer and arranger. PMP Founding Teaching Artist, Terrence Thornhill, participated as a cello coach, working with the Junior Strings Ensemble and cello section for the 10-day long festival.
Says Thornhill, “What I liked most—they weren’t just selected by how well they played, but also their personal statements, so we got a diverse group. They all left as different kids than when they arrived, which was amazing.”
In addition to performing in the final concert on Saturday, July 14 at Disney Hall, Hector participated in composition and songwriting workshops, international music education courses, leadership workshops, cultural significance of music discussions, group lessons, ensemble and orchestra workshops, and chamber ensembles.
A bright and motivated viola player who has participated in the Paterson Music Project for four years, Hector, 12, has proven that his growth and ambition show no signs of stopping. In addition to practicing with PMP three times per week, he serves as a Junior Teaching Assistant, assisting and teaching younger students in grades 2-5 on days he does not have class. Hector also participates in Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music’s prepatory program on Saturdays, an honor which only eight PMP students have received. Says Hector, “I want to be a doctor some day. I see that there are a lot of people that need help across the country and I want to help.” This fall marks Hector’s fifth year in the transformative music program in Paterson where he will continue in the Concert Orchestra and as a teaching assistant.
The National Take a Stand Festival is an opportunity for students from El Sistema-inspired and aligned programs throughout the United States to perform as part of a top-tier national youth orchestra. The National Take a Stand Festival is a free program: travel, lodging, meals, and programming are provided at no cost for all participating musicians. By offering young people the opportunity to learn from exceptional musicians, including world-renowned conductors and guest artists, become ambassadors of their programs, and engage with young people from diverse regions and backgrounds, the orchestra aims to develop a model for excellence and a national community of citizen musicians from historically excluded populations in the United States. Students not only have access to top artistic and educational resources, but experience some of the world’s finest learning institutions and concert venues.
This year’s festival featured two ensembles: a Symphony Orchestra for advanced musicians aged 12-18 and a Junior String Ensemble for intermediate string musicians, aged 12-15. The festival aims to develop a model for excellence and a national community of citizen musicians from historically excluded populations in the United States. Young musicians from diverse regions and backgrounds will become ambassadors of their programs, learning from world-renowned conductors and artist mentors in beautiful settings and concert halls, including Walt Disney Concert Hall.
A bright and motivated viola player who has participated in the Paterson Music Project (PMP) for four years, Hector Otero, 12, has been accepted into the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Take a Stand Festival Junior String Ensemble, an opportunity specifically for younger musicians and open to only 36 string players aged 12-15 from across the country. Hector has proven that his growth and ambition show no signs of stopping: in addition to practicing with PMP three times per week, he serves as a Junior Teaching Assistant, assisting and teaching younger students in grades 2-5 on days he does not have class. Hector also participates in Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music’s preparatory program on Saturdays, an honor which only eight PMP students have received.
Says Hector, “I want to be a doctor some day. I see that there are a lot of people that need help across the country and I want to help. But my favorite musical memory is performing with PMP at NJPAC. It brought us lots of emotion to play together on stage.” As an ambassador for PMP and his community, Hector will travel to Los Angeles and Aliso Viejo, CA July 5-15 to participate in the event sponsored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The National Take a Stand Festival is an opportunity for students from El Sistema-inspired and aligned programs throughout the United States to perform as part of a top-tier national youth orchestra. All students will have the opportunity to learn from a world-class artist faculty and to rehearse and perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The National Take a Stand Festival is a free program: travel, lodging, meals, and programming are provided at no cost for all participating musicians. By offering young people the opportunity to learn from exceptional musicians, including world-renowned conductors and guest artists, become ambassadors of their programs, and engage with young people from diverse regions and backgrounds, the orchestra aims to develop a model for excellence and a national community of citizen musicians from historically excluded populations in the United States. Students will not only have access to top artistic and educational resources, but experience some of the world’s finest learning institutions and concert venues.
Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project (PMP) is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. PMP provides intensive, low-tuition musical training to students throughout Paterson after school. Students study a primary instrument (violin, cello, viola, bass, clarinet, flute, trumpet, or percussion) and participate in ensemble practice and instrumental sectionals. Students perform frequently for the school and community. PMP also offers a Saturday Community Music Program which includes a city-wide orchestra, intergenerational choir, and an Afro-Fusion percussion ensemble. PMP now serves almost 300 students in grades 1-8 from five Paterson Public Schools including the Community Charter School of Paterson, School 1, School 26, School 15, and Norman S. Weir Elementary School.
Meet violinist and New Providence resident, Kingston Ho, 16, who has won a coveted seat on the roster of young musicians in Carnegie Hall’s 2018 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). He is one of only five musicians from New Jersey to be selected for the highly competitive 100-member ensemble. A junior at the Academy for Allied Health Sciences in Scotch Plains, Kingston studies violin with New York Philharmonic’s Duoming Ba and serves as co-concertmaster for the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS).
He is also a member of the NJYS String Quartet which is coached by Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet and frequently performs throughout the Garden State. This summer will mark Kingston’s second year with NYO-USA. Last summer, he performed with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall and toured Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia under the baton of Marin Alsop. In 2016, he was selected to be the concertmaster of the inaugural NYO2 orchestra. He was a semifinalist at the 2018 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players and held the position of concertmaster of the New Jersey All-State Orchestra from 2014-2016. As a soloist, Kingston has appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center. From 2015-2017, Kingston was the concertmaster of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, a full scholarship youth orchestra.
Says Kingston, “To be a part of NYO-USA again is very exciting. This year we will be working with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, and we will perform at Carnegie Hall and other venues in Asia including Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, and Daejeon.”
When asked what he likes best about music, Kingston responded, “I enjoy chamber music because of the collaboration with other players and everyone has a part. I like playing with the New Jersey Youth Symphony because the level is very advanced and I am friends with many players in the orchestra. And NJYS is also very convenient as I can walk from home to rehearsals in several minutes!”
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), a free program for all participants. Following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as dynamic music ambassadors. In 2018, the orchestra travels to Asia with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing a new Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by Ted Hearne alongside works by Sibelius and Gershwin. The tour kicks off with the orchestra’s annual concert at Carnegie Hall, continuing with stops in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Daejeon. In 2019, NYO-USA returns to Europe with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
As part of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, the New Jersey Youth Symphony has a rich history of fostering musical talent for nearly 40 years. Each of its 15 ensembles offers participants a different, yet fully rounded experience. The family of orchestras serves students from 3rd to 12th grades. NJYS is committed to providing the finest ensemble musical training led by our staff of experienced and renowned conductors, and is known for its high standard of excellence throughout the United States and internationally.