Five members of the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will visit Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project (PMP) for a performance and Q&A session with students on Wednesday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Charter School of Paterson located at 75 Spruce Street in Paterson. The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, originating from Venezuela’s national music system, El Sistema, which uses music as a vehicle for social change and led by dynamic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, will open Carnegie Hall’s 2016–2017 season on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium located at 881 Seventh Avenue in New York City.

Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project (PMP) is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. PMP provides intensive, low-tuition musical training to students throughout Paterson after school. Students study a primary instrument (violin, cello, viola, bass, clarinet, flute, or trumpet) and participate in ensemble practice and instrumental sectionals. Students also study music theory, music history, aural training, and singing. Students perform frequently for the school and community.

PMP launched its first site at the Community Charter School of Paterson in January 2013 with 32 second graders and has since added a new class of students each year. In January 2015, PMP partnered with the Paterson Public Schools to open a second site serving students from Paterson Public School 1 and 26. Most recently, through the support of a 21st Century Learning Grant, PMP began a Woodwinds and Brass Program in January 2016 at the Community Charter School of Paterson Middle School. There are now over 200 students in the program across the city grades 1-8. For more information, visit patersonmusicproject.org.

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The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) was founded by José Antonio Abreu. Under the music direction of Gustavo Dudamel, its members have been trained under El Sistema's orchestral academic program, and have performed under conductors of international stature who have included Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Krzysztof Penderecki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Lorin Maazel. Between 2000 and 2015, the SBSOV toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas, appearing at festivals such as the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Semperoper Dresden, Carnegie Hall's Berlin in Lights and Voices from Latin America festivals, the Lucerne and Salzburg festivals, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Immortal Beethoven festival. The SBSOV has also performed in various world-class venues that include Royal Festival Hall in London, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

The SBSOV and Mr. Dudamel are exclusive artists of Deutsche Grammophon, with which they have recorded Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh symphonies and Mahler's Fifth Symphony, a successful album titled Fiesta, and an album of works by Tchaikovsky that features the Fifth Symphony and Francesca da Rimini. In 2013, the SBSOV recorded the soundtrack of Alberto Arvelo's film El libertador under the baton of Mr. Dudamel, who composed the music. A year later, they recorded excerpts from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela gratefully acknowledges the generous support provided by the Hilti Foundation with the purchase of instruments.

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony which serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, WIPA offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles for all ages and all abilities. We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theatre program.

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WIPA’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.