Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces New Interim Director of Percussion and Conductor of the Percussion Ensemble

cd8963ca593ff43f8207_Mesia_Austin.jpg
cd8963ca593ff43f8207_Mesia_Austin.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS—It is with great pleasure that the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts welcomes Dr. Mesia Austin as its new Interim Director of Percussion and Conductor of the Percussion Ensemble. Dr. Austin is an adjunct professor of percussion at Rutgers University from which she received her Doctor of Musical Arts in 2016. She holds a Master of Music from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Kennesaw State University.

As an orchestral percussionist, Dr. Austin has performed with the Plainfield Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, and Princeton Symphony Orchestra. She founded Ozone Percussion Theater, a competitive percussion ensemble that performed in the Winter Guard International competition circuit. Created to offer fundamental marching percussion skills to students in rural Georgia, it grew into an award-winning novice ensemble.

In her new position, Dr. Austin will be working with the three full orchestras of the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS): Youth Symphony, Youth Orchestra, and Philharmonia, as well as fulfilling the percussion needs for the other NJYS ensembles. She will conduct the Percussion Ensemble, which incorporates student percussionists from the NJYS orchestras as well as other students from the community who seek to learn percussion ensemble repertoire.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition to her new duties as Director of Percussion, Dr. Austin is the Site Director and Percussion Teacher for the Paterson Music Project.

 

As part of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, the New Jersey Youth Symphony has a rich history of fostering musical talent for over 35 years. Each of its 14 ensembles offers participants a different, yet fully rounded experience. The family of orchestras serves students from 3rd to 12th grades. NJYS is committed to providing the finest ensemble musical training led by our staff of experienced and renowned conductors, and is known for its high standard of excellence throughout the United States and internationally.

 

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 education 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.

 

The Paterson Music Project is Wharton’s El Sistema-inspired program held at the Community Charter School of Paterson and Paterson Public School 1/26. Students receive 6 hours of intensive music instruction each week with the goal of creating social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence.

 

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.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Register Today for Summer Youth Courses Offered at Union County College

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD – This summer the Office of Continuing Education at Union County College is expanding its course offerings for youth ages 11-18. Classes are taught by NJ-certified teachers and subject matter experts that specialize in delivering high-quality youth programs. Classes begin the week of June 25 and run through August 23.

Classes offered include Introduction to Musical Theater, ...

Summit Area YMCA Pride Celebration Brings Strong Support from the Local Community

On a sunny Friday Afternoon in June, the Summit Area YMCA hosted its first Pride Event at Columbia Park in Berkeley Heights.

This first-of-its-kind event was to provide a venue for our local community to show its support of the LGBTQ community. June has been designated as the month to celebrate LGBTQ pride worldwide. According to the Library of Congress, “Celebrations include pride ...

eMedical Urgent Care to Hold Free Teddy Care Clinic During Berkeley Heights Street Fair, Sunday, June 24

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ  – What happens when a teddy bear gets a boo-boo?
Children will learn how minor ailments are treated during eMedical Urgent Care’s Teddy Bear Clinic during the Berkeley Heights Street Fair on Sunday, June 24.

At the office, located at 369 Springfield Avenue, children under 8 will receive a FREE plush teddy bear, and staff will provide each bear with a ...

The Grove at Connell Park Hosts a Home for Good Dog Rescue Adoption Event: Wednesday, June 27

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Home for Good Dog Rescue presents an adoption event from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27 at The Grove at Connell Park located on Connell Drive in Berkeley Heights. (Rain Date June 28)

Click here to apply to adopt: bit.ly/HFGadopt

About Home for Good Dog Rescue: Home for Good Dog Rescue (HFGDR) is a 100 percent foster-based, non-profit ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...