The NJYS Youth Symphony, the top ensemble among New Jersey Youth Symphony’s (www.njys.org) fourteen ensembles, will join 32 other youth ensembles from around the world in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna from July 4 through 8 as part of NJYS’s 2014 European tour. Youth Symphony is one of three U.S. ensembles traveling to Austria for the Festival and the only ensemble representing the state of New Jersey.
While at the Festival the NJYS Youth Symphony will participate in Summa Cum Laude Festival’s prestigious competition held in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein and interarctive orchestra workshops conducted by members of the Festival’s orchestra jury at the University of Music in Vienna. In addition to the five days at the Festival, NJYS Youth Symphony will present concerts in Salzburg and Prague and spend time exploring the history and culture of Western Europe as part of their tour.
“This is an amazing opportunity for NJYS’s students to shine on the international stage while representing the state of New Jersey. Their excitement to collaborate with other talented youth from every corner of the globe is electrifying,” says NJYS Executive Director Karen Deschere.
The Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival was founded in 2007 and hosted by the Vienna International Association for Music and Culture Exchange. During its first year, the Festival accomplished two main objectives: to provide a unique platform for the world's most talented youth choirs, bands, and orchestras to perform in Vienna's magnificent Musikverein, and to set new standards in the music festival arena. The Festival has gained the broad support of the Austrian public as well as national and international decision-makers in the fields of politics and culture. Close ties have been established between the Festival and foreign embassies and international organizations, affording its young participants a truly international atmosphere.
“NJYS’s talented young musicians have so much to offer, and an opportunity like this to hear and play for other students from around the world inspires them to perform at their absolute best,” comments NJYS Artistic Director Jeffrey Grogan.
The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) has been providing inspiring experiences to young musicians since 1979. The program, known for its high standard of excellence throughout the United States and internationally, is the orchestral affiliate of the Wharton Music Center and offers a tiered family of orchestras and ensembles led by distinguished conductors and coaches. The most advanced of NJYS’s ensembles is the Youth Symphony, comprised of nearly 100 highly talented students ranging in age from 15 to 18 hailing from eight counties. Youth Symphony appeared at Carnegie Hall in 2013 and the Musikverein, home to the Vienna Philharmonic, in 2012. Youth Symphony can be heard on the OMAC label performing Mark O’Connor’s March of the Gypsy Fiddler with the Ahn Trio.
The NJYS Youth Symphony offers two farewell concerts before embarking on their European tour; the orchestra will perform on Sunday, June 22 at 3:00 p.m. at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence and advanced chamber ensembles will perform on Sunday, June 29 at 3:00 p.m. at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts on the campus of Drew University in Madison. Both concerts are free and open to the public.
Since the 2011-2012 season NJYS Youth Symphony has been led by NJYS Artistic Director Jeffrey Grogan. A lifetime advocate for young musicians, Grogan also serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra, the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, and has served as the Education and Community Engagement Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2006. He was recently appointed Artistic Director of two El Sistema-inspired music programs: the Paterson Music Project, a community program of Wharton Music Center in Paterson, and CHAMPS (Character, Achievement, and Music Project), launched by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Newark.
Wharton Music Center, where creativity and expression converge with exploration, provides a diverse range of classes and programs as New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center. Serving nearly 1,200 students with high quality instruction in all instruments and voice, musical theatre, drama, and dance, Wharton and its esteemed faculty of talented professionals offer instruction for beginners of all ages, as well as an in-depth, sequential course of study through its Achievement Program, and orchestral and ensemble training with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, its orchestral and ensemble affiliate. New Jersey Youth Symphony features fourteen ensembles, available by audition for students in grades 3 – 12, and its premiere ensemble has appeared in such internationally renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.
Located in Berkeley Heights and New Providence, New Jersey, Wharton Music Center and New Jersey Youth Symphony serve students from thirteen counties. For additional information about our community programs and class offerings visit our website www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or call 908-790-0700.