Wharton Music Center Announces Karen Deschere as New Executive Director

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - President of the Board of Trustees of Wharton Music Center, Lenore Davis, has announced the appointment of Karen Deschere as Executive Director effective January 2, 2014. Says Ms. Davis, “Karen's passion for arts education is matched by her wealth of experience in the field.” Ms. Deschere served for 8 years as president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, a community music school based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with three branch locations, outreach programs, and a concert series presenting faculty and guest artists. Prior to Wisconsin Conservatory, Ms. Deschere served as executive director for both the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, adjuncts of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has also served as the Managing Director of Education for the Grammy Foundation. Ms. Deschere’s leadership at Wharton Music Center will continue her commitment to advancing arts programming and education.

“I am honored and excited to be the next executive director of Wharton Music Center and to continue its legacy of outstanding community arts education,” says Ms. Deschere. “Combined with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, the organization is poised to further develop its strengths. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and board to accomplish that.”

Ms. Deschere has a bachelor of music in vocal performance and music education from Syracuse University.

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Wharton Music Center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, provides music, theatre, 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 theatre, dance, 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 performing arts centers serving students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, and other surrounding counties.

New Jersey Youth Symphony, the orchestral and ensemble division of Wharton Music Center (WMC), offers music education for grades 3 through 12. 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 premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally-renowned concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.

The mission of Wharton Music Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is to advance excellence and education in the performing arts. For more information, visit or www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or www.NJYS.org.

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