Arts & Entertainment

Budding Musical Theater Stars Learn Their Trade

Miss Timmie teaches students between the ages of 7 and 10 the basics of singing in her Explorations of Voice classes at Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Using the white board to learn about music notation and the scale is part of each class. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
The "Ball Game" involves singing the scale forwards and backwards while keeping in tune. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Reading music isn't easy at first, but the students quickly master the task. Credits: Barbara Rybolt

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The old adage that it takes "practice, practice, practice" to make it to Carnegie Hall applies to Broadway, too.

Singing may come naturally to some, but most people need singing lessons to appear on stage. Fortunately, aspiring singers from tweens to adults can learn to sing at Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts.

Miss Timmie, whose formal name is Timothy Maureen Cole, is the Director of Musical Theatre Arts. She was busy teaching the Explorations in Voice class on Thursday, Sept.29, to a small group of aspiring singers.  The class, which is for youngsters from 7- to 10-years-old, lasts 45 minutes. During the class, they practiced singing the words, "I love to sing," while smiling, as Miss Timmie played the piano, then switched to singing the traditional scale, "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do," with enthusiasm -- forwards and backwards -- in not quite perfect pitch.  Miss Timmie worked on correcting their pitch and volume, gently suggesting they use their "little mouse voices," while adding volume and attitude to the song. It worked.

Sign Up for E-News

There were a few lessons on musical notes and symbols at the white board before she asked if they wanted to play the "ball game," which involved tossing a ball back and forth and singing the next note in the "Do, Re, Mi" song when they caught the ball. A few pitch corrections and it was time to pull out their binders and sing the chorus of "Naughty," a song from Matiilda. The class wrapped up after they began learning a new song, "I Don't Need Anything But You," from Annie.

They covered a lot of ground in 45 minutes, especially since it was only the third class, and no one seemed anxious to leave.

Timmie, who joined the school last year, is a trained classical singer, with a BA from Ithaca College, a MS in Vocal Pedagogy and Voice from Westminster Choir College. She called the Explorations Class a "good starter class" for youngsters, "especially since they are not great at reading music. (They) get used to it" after a while and are soon sight-reading the music.

"Anyone can learn to sing," she said. "It's mostly about listening."

Timmie also teaches Advanced Musical Theatre, a Musical Theatre Workshop and the school's only class that requires students to audition, the Musical Theatre Company, for children 10 years of age and older.  The next auditions for that class will be Nov. 19, between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., she said and, if there is a conflict, arrangements can be made for another date and time.

Students will also be able to audition for the New Jersey Youth Theatre November/December production of  "The Christmas Carol" from noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 8, at Wharton, she said.

The program has changed a lot since last year, Timmie said. She now has a co-director and choreographer, Jessica Lombardi, for the Musical Theatre Company. There are now an Advanced Method class and workshop and there will be an audition workshop. "It's an exciting time," for the program, she said.

To find out more about Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, located at 60 Locust Ave., Berkeley Heights, visit the website,, call 908-790-0700 or email

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...



Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

Food & Drink

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment


Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Memorial Park, Berkeley Heights

2018 Berkeley Heights Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website,


The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...