BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Wharton Music Center invites the public to attend its annual Vocal Competition featuring 16 vocalists who will compete for prizes and the opportunity to receive first place in one of two divisions in the Nancy M. Wright Vocal Competition. The competition will be held on Sunday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m. at Wharton Music Center located in Berkeley Heights. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 12 and under. An award ceremony will follow the performances.
Vocalists in the Junior Division, ages 9 to 12, will perform songs such as “Roar” by Katy Perry, “Dites-Moi” from South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and “Castle on a Cloud” from Les Miserables. Senior Division vocalists, ages 13 to 18, will perform “Home” from The Wiz, the Italian song “Caro Mio Ben,” and “Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield.
Prizes and scholarships for the winning vocalists are made possible by a generous gift from Gerry and Christopher Wright in memory of Nancy M. Wright, wife and mother. Both Wrights are faculty members at Wharton Music Center who share a love of the performing arts. Says Chris Wright, “My father and I have wanted to do something meaningful in memory of my mother and the Vocal Competition is a perfect opportunity.”
Judging this year’s competition is vocalist and director, Ken Magos. Mr. Magos, an active musical and stage director and versatile performer, has been seen on stages throughout the U.S. and Italy in professional opera and concert productions. He has had principal roles in Boris Godunov, Samson et Dalilah, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Rodelinda, and Le Nozze Di Figaro. In addition, his concert appearances include the tenor soloist in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Mozart’s Requiem. His regional theater credits include leading roles in The Boys from Syracuse, Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, A Christmas Carol, My Fair Lady, Oliver!, The Mikado, and Footloose. On film, he appeared in Dangerous Affections and Plain Clothes.
More recently, he has served as Musical Director for Passaic Valley Summer Theater’s production of Miss Saigon, Stage Director for The Mikado, and Musical Director for The Sound of Music. He also was Stage Director for The Rocky Horror Show and Rent and is founder and director of South Mountain Theater Works. Mr. Magos has a bachelor’s degree from University of Washington and a master’s in opera and vocal performance from Manhattan School of Music where he was awarded the Richard F. Gold/Shoshanna Foundation Career Development Grant and the Richard Rodgers Scholarship.
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, 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 music 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 www.NJYS.org or www.WhartonMusicCenter.org.
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