New Jersey Youth Chorus Joins Wharton Institute For The Performing Arts Demonstrating Vitality of Two Renowned Arts Organizations
As a demonstration of the growth and vitality of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, its Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that the New Jersey Youth Chorus, entering its 30th anniversary season, will be joining the Wharton Arts family of educational performing arts programs. Effective July 1, 2022, the inclusion of NJYC in the programs offered by Wharton Arts is in direct alignment with its recently adopted five-year strategic plan in which two of the highlights are to offer a complete array of educational performing arts programs and a focus on ‘inclusivity’ by creating ‘access for all’.
The New Jersey Youth Chorus, founded by Trish Joyce in 1992, provides exceptional choral music education and performance experiences to New Jersey students from 3rd to 12th grades, fostering expression, artistry, and growth. An auditioned choral program, it consists of five performing ensembles: Primo Coro, for girls in grades 3-5; Sola Voce for girls in grades 6-8; Coro Vivo for boys with unchanged voices in grades 3-8; Coriste for girls in grades 9-12; and Camerata for boys with changing and changed voices in grades 7-12. Choristers come from over 40 towns out of seven counties in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Youth Chorus has performed with legendary artists and orchestras including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Brass, The Celtic Tenors, Ronan Tynan, The Chieftains, Cantus, Barry Manilow, composer Marvin Hamlisch, and alongside Queen Latifah at Super Bowl XLVIII. They have appeared at the most prestigious concert halls from Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center for the Arts to Citi Field and MetLife Stadium, and even the White House. The Chorus has toured worldwide and performed in festivals throughout America. The choir’s “Kids for Kids” initiative includes opportunities to perform and assist children’s organizations and charities.
Sharing his enthusiasm for this new relationship, Robert Hamburger, President of the Board of Trustees, said, “On behalf of the full Board, I welcome the students, families, and leadership of the New Jersey Youth Chorus. It is a mutually beneficial step forward for both of our organizations. NJYC has a reputation for excellence in choral programs that are both inspirational and impactful for students in New Jersey. We look forward to continuing the work of the NJYC in the years ahead.”
Looking to the future, Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director of Wharton Arts, whose contract was just renewed for another five years, said, “It has always been incredibly important for Wharton Arts to offer a wide array of performing arts disciplines that serve the entire community. Offering choral arts education was identified as a key pillar in our latest strategic plan to move our organization forward. This exciting combination will allow for the chorus to continue to thrive and grow, delivering high-quality choral programs to students throughout the communities we serve.”
NJYC Co-Presidents, Dan Kornick and Michele Dowling Johnson, are equally thrilled for this new relationship. Kornick said, “I’m very excited for the world of possibilities that will be available to our choristers as we join the Wharton Arts organization. Our program will become part of a larger music community that will open the door to new musical opportunities and strengthen our educational programs, while deepening the support for the administrative and operational functions of the choir. All of us on the NJYC board are eager to see how the next 30 years of the choir evolves.”
Johnson added her positive thoughts and said, “My family has enjoyed the enriching opportunities provided by NJYC that include my daughter touring internationally to Salzburg and Vienna and domestically to Boston and Chicago, and performing at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and even the Super Bowl. She was able to develop musically under the guidance of Trish Joyce, who has created a culture that combines a high level of musical performance with a nurturing environment where the choristers have fun and form life-long friendships. I’m so thrilled to see this legacy continue with the support of Wharton Arts.”
Artistic leadership will continue to flourish when Trish Joyce, Founder & Artistic Director of NJYC, joins Helen H. Cha-Pyo, Artistic Director of Wharton Arts. She said, “As we approach our 30th anniversary season and reflect on the journey that has brought us to this point, we also look to the path that leads us forward into the future, brimming with possibilities and potential. NJYC has always been committed to the idea of creating a deep and meaningful connection with the music, with our audience, with each other, and with ourselves. When artistry, beauty, and connection lead, excellence follows. We look forward to bringing this philosophy with us as we begin a new chapter as part of the Wharton Arts family.”
Helen H. Cha-Pyo, whose contract was also renewed for five years, sees many benefits for the growth of their organization. She added, “The New Jersey Youth Chorus offers a program that matches our artistic and educational philosophy, and bringing their program into the Wharton family allows us to truly create a space to nurture all young musicians, both instrumentalists and vocalists in New Jersey. I am truly thrilled to work with Trish in continuing to serve our common mission of making a positive impact in young people’s lives through the transformative power of music.”
Wharton Arts’ mission is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities.
Wharton Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,500 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve 500 students in grades 3 – 12 by audition. Beginning with Pathways classes for young children, Wharton offers private lessons, group classes, and ensembles for all ages and all abilities at the Performing Arts School. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton teaches all instruments and voice and has a robust musical theater program. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing.
Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 10 counties in New Jersey. All of Wharton’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.