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New Jersey Youth Symphony Winter Concert Sunday, February 12


NEW PROVIDENCE—The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) presents a Winter Concert featuring Youth Orchestra and Youth Symphony on Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Union County Performing Arts Center located at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 908-771-5544. Youth Orchestra, led by Conductor Simon Lipskar, will open the concert with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, Op.36, Sibelius’s Valse Triste, Op.44, and two movements from Holst’s The Planets, Op. 32. Youth Symphony, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Jeffrey Grogan, will follow with a performance of  Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture.

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 has recently been selected to perform at the 2017 NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City in April.

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.

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Applauded for performances “high in energy, with close attention to ebb and flow,” American conductor Jeffrey Grogan is hailed as a musical leader who “knows what kind of sound he wants from an orchestra…rich and vibrant.” His humanistic leadership style, coupled with a strong command of skills as a musical communicator, has earned him an impressive reputation with audiences and music programs throughout the country. Known for “shrewd programming, skillful rehearsing, and an energized performance,” he was chosen in 2009 to participate in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview sponsored by the League of American Orchestras.  Mr. Grogan joined NJYS in 2011. As conductor of its premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, he has led the orchestra through a metamorphosis that has seen it grow and mature into one of the most musically engaging youth orchestras in the country. In addition to its seasonal performances, Youth Symphony performed at Musikverein in Vienna, and Carnegie Hall. In July 2014 YS won first place at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Festival and Competition in Vienna. Considering his work with young musicians to be a cornerstone of his career, Mr. Grogan also serves as Artistic Director of the NJSO Academy and the InterSchool Orchestras of New York. Mr. Grogan is Artistic Director of two El Sistema-inspired music programs, the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s CHAMPS. As Education and Community Engagement Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2006, Mr. Grogan leads the NJSO in a variety of concerts each season.


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. 

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Berkeley Heights

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