LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Department of Senior, Youth & Leisure Services (SYLS) has announced that for the first time ever--they are offering aspiring musicians, from Livingston and other local towns, in grades 8 through 12, an after-school youth orchestra program. The program is open to any string player (violin, viola, cello, or string bass) who has been playing for at least two years and is interested in having fun making music with other musicians. Registration is now open and anyone interested in participating or finding out more information should contact SYLS at 973-535-7925 or Oliver Shapiro at 973-533-1260 or

Beginning in early January, these young musicians will meet on Thurs. afternoons, for a period of 10 weeks, culminating in a public performance of the works they have rehearsed and studied.

The program is being led by Livingston resident Oliver Shapiro, a local music teacher specializing in cello and piano. Shapiro works with private students in his home studio as well as with students at Elefante Music in New Providence, where he also offers instruction in violin and viola. His work at Elefante often involves organizing and preparing student ensembles for performances.

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Shapiro is also a founding member of the performing chamber music group Radiance Chamber Ensemble, and serves as Executive Director and Livingston Arts Council liaison for the Essex County Summer Players Orchestra, and has performed with a number of area orchestras.

Shapiro said, “Livingston is great; it has always been extraordinarily interested in and supportive of all of the arts, including music of course, and this program will give some of our younger musicians a chance to spread their musical wings that much more. It should be amazing fun!”