The Performing Arts School (PAS) (formerly Wharton Music Center), founded in 1985 at the Madison YMCA, provides instrumental and vocal instruction through private and group classes to students of all ages and abilities. In 2008, coinciding with a move to its current location in Berkeley Heights, PAS added summer camps and a musical theater, drama, and dance department. PAS became a founding member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Development Program in 2012.
PAS provides over 500 lessons and classes each week, ensuring that there is something for everyone. This premier educational institution often prepares youth for advanced ensembles, like the New Jersey Youth Symphony. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, PAS offers classes in music theory, songwriting and composition, early childhood music, and music for children with special needs. Offerings include a range of musical genres, including classical, rock, jazz, and blues. As New Jersey’s largest nonprofit community performing arts education provider, PAS serves students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, and other surrounding counties.
The school presents many performances each year, including 60 studio recitals, 16 student musical theater productions, four intimate Salon Series concerts, two faculty recitals, and various community events. New this year, PAS proudly opened a state-of- the-art keyboard lab. Beginning piano for children is currently offered, and we will soon be offering a variety of classes for all ages in the lab.