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The Performing Arts School (PAS) (formerly Wharton Music Center), founded in 1985 at the Madison YMCA, provides instrumental and vocal instruction through private and group classes to students of all ages and abilities. In 2008, coinciding with a move to its current location in Berkeley Heights, PAS added summer camps and a musical theater, drama, and dance department.
PAS became a founding member of The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Development Program in 2012.
PAS provides over 500 lessons and classes each week, ensuring that there is something for everyone. This premier educational institution prepares youth for advanced ensembles such as the NJYS Youth Symphony. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, PAS offers classes in music theory, early childhood music, musical theater, drama, and dance.
Offerings include a range of musical genres, including classical, rock, jazz, and blues. As New Jersey’s largest nonprofit community performing arts education provider, PAS serves students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, and other surrounding counties.
The school presents many performances each year, including 60 studio recitals, 16 student musical theater productions, four intimate Salon Series concerts, two faculty recitals, and various community events. New in 2016, PAS proudly opened a state-of- the-art keyboard lab. Beginning piano for children is currently offered, and we will soon be offering a variety of classes for all ages in the lab.
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.