BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—Wharton Music Center (WMC) presents Clarinets à la Mode as part of its Community Concert Series on April 26 at 3:00 p.m. at the Long Hill Township Public Library located at 917 Valley Road in Gillette. The concert is free and open to the public.

The clarinet quartet, featuring John Centenaro, Dimitry Chernavsky, Joe Elliott, and WMC faculty member Carlyn Smith, will perform an array of repertoire from masterworks of the Classical period, including Mozart and Beethoven, to the swing era jazz of George Gershwin and Henry Mancini.

Clarinets à la Mode, formed in 2009 by members of the Hanover Wind Symphony and consisting of three Bb clarinets and bass clarinet, continues to dazzle audiences with arrangements of Baroque favorites and transcriptions from the Classical string quartet literature as well as jazz tunes and contemporary music, either arranged by the ensemble or originally composed for the medium. They frequently perform as an opening act for the Hanover Wind Symphony.

John Centenaro, a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, plays Bb, A and Eb clarinets as well as bass clarinet in area ensembles including the Waldwick Band, The Hanover Wind Symphony, Livingston Symphony, Ridgewood Symphony, SOMA Orchestra, and the Ridgewood Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Orchestra, where he is principal clarinet. He has been featured as a soloist on both the clarinet and bass clarinet, and is also active as a singer, having appeared as a chorister with the New Jersey State Opera, Opera at Florham, and the New York Grand Opera, where he served as chorus master for eight years. As a vocal soloist, he was principal comic baritone of the Ridgewood Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company for 14 years and has performed supporting roles in opera, operetta, and musical theatre. Mr. Centenaro is a composer and arranger with three comic operas to his credit as well vocal works, chamber pieces, and five major works for concert band. Many of his arrangements are in the repertoire of Clarinets à la Mode. Mr. Centenaro has also served as a past music director for the Ridgewood Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company.

Dimitry Chernavsky holds both his Bachelor and Master degrees from the Kiev Conservatory of Music in the Ukraine. He has been a two-time Laureate winner of the Ukrainian State Wind Player's Competition and has performed with various ensembles in Kiev as either the principal or second chair clarinetist, including engagements with the Conservatory Opera Theatre, State Opera Theatre, State Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra, State Operetta, Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and Radio Ukrainian Folk Orchestra. He has participated in solo tours throughout the former USSR, including Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia. Since moving to the United States, Dimitry has performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Staten Island Symphony, and is presently principal clarinetist of the Livingston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Chernavsky has been a dedicated member of the Hanover Wind Symphony for over 15 years.

Joe Elliott holds degrees from Indiana University and the Manhattan School of Music. A music teacher for 28 years in Chatham, Mr. Elliott is the former principal clarinetist with the Plainfield Symphony and has performed with the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, the Somerset Hills Symphony, in numerous pit orchestras for community theatre, woodwind quintet concerts, and concert bands, including the First Army Band and the 61st Army Band. He has served as the Music Festival Coordinator for the Morris-Union Jointure Commission, conducted the 7/8 Bands for the Morris-Union Jointure Commission, served as an assistant conductor for the New Jersey Youth Symphony, has conducted the All North Jersey Intermediate Band, and continues to maintain a private teaching studio. Mr. Elliott joined the Hanover Wind Symphony in 2006.

Carlyn Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and continued her studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She is presently principal clarinetist of the Hanover Wind Symphony and was past principal clarinetist of the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Smith performs regularly in local operas and musical theatre productions and has taught music in public and private schools. Ms. Smith has been a faculty member of WMC teaching piano, clarinet and saxophone for over 21 years.

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 or call 908-790-0700.