BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will hold its annual Halloween Playdown on Monday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Under the direction of faculty member Elzbieta Winnicki, violin students are invited to come in costume to perform selections from the Suzuki Method books 1-5 together as one ensemble. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and treats will be served. For more information about the Halloween Playdown, visit

Violinist Elzbieta Winnicki has been teaching violin and has served as Chair of the String Department at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts for fifteen years. Since 1988, she has served as an active chamber and orchestral coach for the New Jersey Youth Orchestra. Winnicki’s past teaching experience includes the Hudson School for the Gifted, the Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, and nearly a quarter-century of private studio teaching. She holds a degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from the Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland. She continued violin studies in the United States with Masako Yanagita, Oscar Ravina of the New York Philharmonic, and Burton Kaplan. She has attended several teaching workshops and seminars at the Hartt School of Music, Juilliard School of Music, the Starling-DeLay Symposium, and the American String Teachers Association Conference. Her professional engagements include concerts as a soloist and chamber musician at the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Polish Cultural Foundation. Her orchestral experiences include Riverside Symphonia, New Jersey Philharmonic, Saint Peters by the Sea Orchestra, Montclair Chamber Orchestra, and the Szczecin Symphony Orchestra in Poland. She has performed in major concert halls in New York and New Jersey including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and NJPAC. She has toured Italy, Germany, and South Korea and has performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy as well as the Bedford Spring Festival in Pennsylvania.


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.

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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.


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.