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Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Presents Salon Series Featuring Harpist Diane Michaels

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BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) continues its 2015-2016 community concerts season with a salon-style concert, Salzedo’s Harp, featuring harpist Diane Michaels on Thursday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors, available at the door or by calling 908-790-0700. Wine and cheese will be served.

Works to be performed include selections by Salzedo, Hasselmans, and Haydn. Carlos Salzedo, well-regarded by many as one of history's greatest harpists, was as highly regarded during his lifetime as a pianist and conductor as he was as a harpist. With an unparalleled virtuosity and signature style of clarity, facility, fluidity, and subtleness of phrasing, his playing gave the impression of being without limitations. His transcriptions and compositions were remarkably original and well ahead of his time, with a continual seeking of new tonal resources. His composition style progressed from the French Romantic to Impressionism until ultimately settling into a new style uniquely his own. He influenced numerous composers with new ideas surrounding the harp's sounds and notation, which were not always warmly received by fellow harpists. As an educator, he raised the technical and musical standards of performance in the areas of tonal projection, tone quality, sound color, and facility, and his students were often widely sought-after for leading teaching and orchestral positions.

Harpist Diane Michaels has performed with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea since 1993, has played on Broadway for the show Thoroughly Modern Millie, and has performed with the Queens Symphony, Metro Lyric Opera, the New York Verismo Opera Company, RTG Productions, the Garden State Philharmonic and the Monmouth Symphony. She has also performed with Tony Bennett at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City and was a member of the All American College Orchestra at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center. Ms. Michaels has played aboard the QE2 and the Seven Seas Navigator and is on the roster of Music for all Seasons, a non-profit organization that provides concerts at facilities such as hospitals and shelters for victims of domestic abuse. She has toured with the New York Harp Ensemble in the United States and Italy and with the Paulson Harp Ensemble in New Jersey and Ireland. Ms. Michaels was a Masterwork Music and Arts Foundation Young Artist Recitalist and a four-time gold medalist in the harp division of the United Irish Counties of New York, Inc. As a winner of this competition, she appeared in the winners’ concert at Carnegie Recital Hall. She is the Mid Atlantic Regional Director of the American Harp Society. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, Ms. Michaels is on the faculty of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts in Berkeley Heights. She has published arrangements for harp ensemble and a book for beginning harp students. Ms. Michaels received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where she studied harp with Alice Chalifoux. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was a student of Joan Holland, the National Music Camp, also in Interlochen, Michigan, the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

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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. 

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