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Wharton Music Center Offers Summer String Programs

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BERKELEY HEIGHTS - Wharton Music Center (WMC) offers two string programs as part of their summer course offerings: Summer Camp for Strings for students entering grades 3-11 from July 13-24, and Fiddlin’ Fun for Violin and Cello for children ages 4-7 from June 23-July 28. For complete summer camp and course listing, visit www.WhartonMusicCenter.org.

The Summer Camp for Strings is open to violinists, violists, cellists, and double bass students entering grades 3-11 who want to experience the excitement of playing chamber music with other talented young musicians. Campers will improve technique and performance skills while participating in this fun, collaborative program. During this two-week, half-day morning camp, students will have the opportunity to compose, expand their music theory knowledge, experiment with fiddling and other styles, and visit a local violin maker. The Summer Camp for Strings includes special guest artist electric violinist Joseph Deninzon.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Joseph Deninzon has been hailed by critics as “the Jimi Hendrix of the Violin” because of his innovative style on the electric seven-string violin and his compositions combining jazz and rock with Gypsy influences. A musician who transcends many genres, he has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Phoebe Snow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Robert Bonfiglio, and Les Paul among others. He has also performed as a solo electric violinist with the New York City Ballet and has performed, co-written, and musically directed the Broadway show Spider Dance with percussionist Alessandra Belloni.

Deninzon is the lead singer and violinist for the band Stratospheerius which recently released their fifth album, The Next World, on the Digital Nations label and were named “Best Jam Band” in the Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards. Deninzon can be heard on over a hundred CDs and jingles as a violinist and strings arranger.

WMC faculty member Elzbieta Winnicki has been directing the Summer Camp for Strings for nearly a decade and has served as violin instructor and ensemble coach at WMC since 1993. She holds a degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from the Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland and has attended teaching workshops and seminars at the Hartt School of Music, The Juilliard School, Starling-De-Lay Symposium, and the American String Teachers Association Conference.

Ms. Winnicki's orchestral experience includes the Riverside Symphonia, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Philharmonic, St. Peters by the Sea Orchestra, the Montclair Chamber Orchestra, St. Cecilia Orchestra, and the Szczecin Symphony Orchestra in Poland. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, among others. Ms. Winnicki has toured Italy, Germany, Korea, and China and has performed at Italy’s Spoleto Festival.

Fiddlin’ Fun is an introductory course in playing the violin and cello for ages 4-7 in a fun group setting. Fiddlin’ Fun offers a weekly 45 minute group class and 30 minute private lesson for six weeks where children are engaged in playful rhythms, movement, tunes, and activities while developing skills necessary for string playing: posture, concentration, coordination, and right and left hand technique. Parents will be actively engaged in this process while being guided in creating a natural, un-pressured home environment for practice that is both fun and musically rewarding.  Individual lessons allow each student to learn at his or her own pace while participation in a weekly group class helps reinforce skills, introduce new concepts and share in music making with the opportunity for individual mini-performances.

Wharton Music Center, where creativity and expression converge with exploration, provides a diverse range of classes and programs as New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center. Serving nearly 1,200 students with high quality instruction in all instruments and voice, musical theatre, drama, and dance, Wharton and its esteemed faculty of talented professionals offer instruction for beginners of all ages, as well as an in-depth, sequential course of study through its Achievement Program, and orchestral and ensemble training with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, its orchestral and ensemble affiliate. New Jersey Youth Symphony features fourteen ensembles, available by audition for students in grades 3 – 12, and its premiere ensemble has appeared in such internationally renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.

Innovative programming and over 500 classes taught weekly, from Early Childhood Music, music theory, and audio recording to Introduction to Instruments, ensures that there is something for all ages and interests.

Part of our mission as a community school for the performing arts is to engage, educate, and enrich our community with a broad spectrum of accessible programming. Dedicated to serving the community, WMC provides instruction at local public, private and charter schools in after-school settings and during the school day. From an assembly program to a full-year residency, our outstanding faculty collaborates with school principals and staff to offer customized curriculum to meet the needs for music, drama, and musical theatre instruction for each school or organization. One of the highlights of our community programs is the Paterson Music Project, an El Sistema-inspired program that provides intensive music instruction to elementary school students attending the Community Charter School of Paterson. In January 2015, Paterson Music Project partnered with Paterson Public Schools to open a site at Public School 1. This new site serves 75 first through fifth graders from P.S. 1 and P.S. 26. Students in the after-school Instrumental String Program learn violin, viola, and cello for six hours weekly. Younger students participate in Pre-Orchestra, a preparatory program which meets for two hours weekly. Pre-Orchestra students sing, participate in paper orchestra, and play the recorder and buckets.

Wharton Music Center builds personal connections in the community through an array of faculty and student performances, many of which are free and allow community members to become more involved with WMC. These often interactive Community Concerts include classical, jazz and family programs and are held at a variety of venues throughout the region. New Jersey Youth Symphony ensembles, both large and small, perform throughout the community.

Located in Berkeley Heights and New Providence, New Jersey, Wharton Music Center and New Jersey Youth Symphony serve students from thirteen counties.

For additional information about our community programs and class offerings visit our website www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or call 908-790-0700.

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