MENDHAM, NJ - The Percussion Ensemble of New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) will perform in concert on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at Mendham High School located at 65 East Main Street in Mendham, NJ. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Piascik, will perform pieces by Paul Bissell, Anthony Cirone, Corodon Fuller, Mark Ford, and Edgard Varèse. In attendance at the concert will be Corodon Fuller, whose composition “Ghosts” will be performed.

During the concert, Dr. Piascik will honor his former teacher Raymond Des Roches as the ensemble’s Distinguished Educator of 2014. Mr. Des Roches founded the world-renown New Jersey Percussion Ensemble in 1968 and co-directed the group until 2004. He was at the forefront of contemporary percussion for decades and made numerous recordings. Says Dr. Piascik, “Ray Des Roches taught me the true beauty and power of percussion music.”

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Dr. Piascik has a bachelor of music from William Paterson University where he studied under Raymond Des Roches and a master of music and doctorate of musical arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Piascik is on the faculty at Black River Middle School in Chester and is the Director of Percussion at New Jersey Youth Symphony. He has performed internationally in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Bucharest, and The Netherlands and performed at venues including Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall in New York City. Dr. Piascik was featured on television and National Public Radio and has recorded on many labels.

New Jersey Youth Symphony is the orchestral and ensemble division of Wharton Music Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) is located at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. NJYS, one of the foremost youth orchestras in the state, has ten orchestras and ensembles for which auditions are held annually. NJYS’s premier orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally-renowned concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.

Wharton Music Center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, provides music, theater, and dance instruction, educational programs, and performances for children, teens, and adults. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, WMC offers classes in musical theater, drama, choral music, vocal music, music theory, audio recording, early childhood music, and music for children with special needs. Offering a range of musical genres including classical, rock, jazz, and blues, WMC is one of New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community music centers serving students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, Middlesex, and surrounding counties.