BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA)  will present a “Perform Your Best With Less Stress” Workshop with faculty member Thomas Kamp on Sunday, March 11 at 1:00 p.m. at 60 Locust Ave. in Berkeley Heights. The workshop, based on the teachings of sports and music performance psychologist Dr. Don Greene, is for students of any age or experience level. The workshop will take place during Wharton’s Summer Camp Open House and is free and open to the public.

Students will learn how to quiet the mind, prepare the body, and focus their energy in order to perform their best. Kamp will explore how breathing, visual focus, and centering the body can result in peak performance, including the use of a “cue word” and developing an inner hearing of the music to generate a strong artistic intention. Students are encouraged to bring their instrument and a prepared piece of music.

Says Kamp, “Have you ever been disappointed in your performance? You did all the practicing but somehow it didn’t translate into a great recital? This workshop will help students create their own “pre-performance routine” which can be incorporated into their daily practice to bring their performances to a new level. Techniques covered are applicable to recitals, auditions, concerts, lessons, and even to help you practice more effectively every time you make music.”

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Dr. Don Greene, a champion diver, West Point graduate, Army Ranger and Green Beret who earned a doctorate in sports psychology at the U.S. International University in San Diego, has helped all kinds of people struggling to do their best under extreme pressure. His reseach led to the development of a Performance Skills Inventory (PSI), an assessment tool that has proved critical in helping performing artists. The first musicians who took an early form of the PSI and applied Greene’s performance strategies won auditions for the Houston Symphony and Chicago Lyric Opera. After several of Greene’s clients won prestigious positions with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony, he was invited to teach at The Juilliard School and The New World Symphony. His book, Performance Success, was an outgrowth of the graduate class at Juilliard and master class series at the New World Symphony. After working with Merrill Lynch executives on Wall Street, he wrote Fight Your Fear and Win to train business executives and public speakers as well as athletes and performing artists. Now living in San Diego, Greene continues to work one-on-one with performing artists.

Thomas Kamp is a trombonist, teacher, clinician, author, composer, and arranger.  He works for the Berkeley Heights Public Schools as an elementary band instructor and teaches trombone at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. Kamp created and taught the “Exploring Music and Technology” class at Governor Livingston High School and has also taught general music and middle school band. Kamp has taught privately for over 30 years, teaching all levels and specializing in low brass and jazz improvisation. His motto is “No Rules, No Fear Jazz,” helping musicians, music educators, and students have a good time with jazz improvisation.

As a trombonist, Kamp has performed, toured and recorded with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and was a featured soloist with the Jordan Thomas Orchestra at the NJ JazzFest in Madison, NJ. He has performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Pops Orchestra, Papermill Playhouse Orchestra, and the New Philharmonic and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and Birdland jazz club in NYC. Other career highlights include playing with the Woody Herman Orchestra in a Poplar Bluff, Missouri high school auditorium during a blanketing blizzard, backing The Temptations and The Four Tops for a hardware convention, and playing on the beach with a symphony orchestra conducted by a priest in combat fatigues. (It’s a Jersey thing.)

Kamp is the founder, leader, trombonist, and chief arranger and composer for the ACME BRASS CO., an eight-piece brass with rhythm section group. Tom produced ACME BRASS’s first CD, entitled “X-MAS X-ING” which was released in 2004. Kamp’s book Rhythm First! A Beginner’s Guide to Jazz Improvisation was published in January 2016 by Sher Music Co.


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.