NEW PROVIDENCE—The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) presents a Spring Concert featuring Youth Orchestra and Youth Symphony on Sunday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m. at Morristown High School located at 50 Early Street in Morristown. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or online at http://njys.myboxoffice.us. Youth Orchestra, led by Conductor Simon Lipskar, will open the concert with Dvorak’s American Suite, Op. 98, Sibelius’s Valse triste, Op. 44, Ravel’s Pavane pour une infant defunte, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, Op. 36. Youth Symphony, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Jeffrey Grogan, will follow performing Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.
Both Youth Orchestra and Youth Symphony are advanced, full orchestras in the NJYS family of ensembles. Youth Orchestra is open to students in grades 7-12 and Youth Symphony is open to students in grades 9-12. Youth Symphony has appeared at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. NJYS Youth Orchestra recently appeared at the 2017 NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City.
A conductor focused on inspiring and educating young musicians, Simon Lipskar has been the conductor of NJYS Youth Orchestra since 2006. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Lipskar conducted Philharmonia. He conducts in the summers at the Kinhaven Music School where he was a student as a teenager. He has regularly guest conducted at the Third Street Music Settlement in NYC and served as Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic under Robert Spano, as well as for a number of other orchestras and opera companies. A member of Tanglewood’s prestigious Conductor’s Seminar led by Robert Spano and Gustav Meier, Mr. Lipskar took part in master classes led by Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, André Previn, and Joseph Silverstein. He received his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied under Michael Morgan and Denis de Coteau and was awarded the Conducting Department Award in Honor of Outstanding Contributions to the Conservatory Ensembles. A graduate of Yale University, he received a B.A. in Religious Studies. As a teenager, Mr. Lipskar was a Juilliard Pre-College violinist, pianist, and composer as well as an award-winning chamber musician. Along with his extensive work with young orchestral musicians, Mr. Lipskar is President of Writers House, a leading literary agency where he represents many of today’s bestselling and award-winning authors.
Jeffrey Grogan is an internationally-known conductor and teacher who has spent over 25 years dedicated to the pursuit of his craft and the nurturing of young talent. Mr. Grogan has served as adjudicator, conductor, and clinician for many prestigious national and international festivals including the Honor Orchestra of America sponsored by Music for All; the Association for Music in International Schools Orchestra (Singapore); the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center; and the Honors Performance Series Orchestra and Band at Carnegie Hall. Upcoming international festival appearances include conducting at the Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland; in Bangkok, Thailand; and at Australia’s Sydney Opera House. Mr. Grogan has also conducted numerous all-state orchestras and bands throughout the U.S. including his home state of Texas, among others.
Grogan has served as Education and Community Engagement Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conductor and Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and the New Jersey Youth Symphony. In the recent past, his youth orchestras performed to capacity crowds at some of the greatest concert halls in the world, including Carnegie Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna. He has appeared as a guest conductor at the University of Georgia, Indiana University, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Mannes School of Music Pre-College Division. He has also conducted performances with the Little Orchestra Society of New York, the Reno Philharmonic, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra and the New York Concerti Sinfonietta.
In addition, Mr. Grogan is Artistic Director of the El Sistema inspired music program, the Paterson Music Project (PMP) in Paterson, New Jersey. He is also Artistic Advisor to the NJSO CHAMPs (Character, Achievement and Music Project) in Newark, New Jersey.
Grogan’s prior experience includes teaching for over a decade at the University of Michigan, Ithaca College and Baylor University where he taught conducting and trained future music educators. He is also the former Associate Director of Bands and Marching Band Director at the University of Michigan and Baylor University.
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.