BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host an Open House to kick off its 2016-2017 season on Saturday, September 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The free event is open to the public and will be held at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.

Wharton’s esteemed faculty will provide demos of early childhood music, dance and musical theatre group classes and private music lessons, showcasing the world class instruction with experienced, passionate teachers that has garnered accolades for the Institute, including a recent Citation of Excellence from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Institute is now in its thirty-second year and the state’s largest non-profit community performing arts school. Staff and faculty, including Early Childhood Music Coordinator Joyce Alexander, Musical Theatre Arts Director Timothy Maureen Cole, Director of Education Andrew Nitkin, Education Coordinator Kristine Peters and the Student Services staff, will lead guided tours which will include behind-the-scenes areas such as classrooms, teaching studios, and audio recording and music theory lab, in addition to Wharton’s black box theater. Scheduled classes and events at the Open House include the following:

  • Instrumental and Vocal Private Lesson Observations, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. - Studios 1-19
  • Early Childhood Music and Pathways to Music placement evaluations with program coordinators, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Studio 22
  • Dance Classes, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Dance Studio 13
  • Pathways to Musical Theatre Ages 5-7, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Black Box Theater

Students who register for private lessons and group classes at the Fall Open House will receive a free Wharton t-shirt. Students may also register online for private lessons and classes by going to www.WhartonArts.org. For more information, call the Student Services office at 908-790-0700.

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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 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.