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New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces Bring A Buddy Week March 4-8


NEW PROVIDENCE—New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) invites young musicians in grades 3-11 to attend open rehearsals for Bring A Buddy Week, March 4-8 at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. Participating students will observe the first half of a rehearsal. Students can visit any ensemble based on their grade and experience level. Students who do not have a friend in an ensemble can still participate by registering by email. Bring A Buddy Week is free and open to the public. Due to space limitations, students must register by emailing NJYS Manager of Orchestras Stacy Beltran at with the following information:

  • Student Name, Instrument and Current Grade
  • Parent/Guardian Name and phone number
  • Name of the NJYS member who invited you, if you were invited by a current member
  • Date and Name of Ensemble in which you are interested
  • Deadline to register: Thursday, March 1

Bring A Buddy Week allows the community to experience first-hand the artistry and unique style of each conductor while getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process and camaraderie inherent in all of NJYS’s ensembles. Complete ensemble descriptions are available online at

The New Jersey Youth Symphony, the orchestral and ensemble affiliate of Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, features fourteen ensembles, available by audition for students in grades 3 – 12. One of its two full, advanced orchestras, Youth Symphony, was awarded first place in the prestigious 2014 and 2017 Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival and has appeared in such internationally renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York City, John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Musikverein in Vienna. The New Jersey Youth Symphony has been featured on NJTV’s The State of the Arts.

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Bring A Buddy Week Calendar of Events

Sunday, March 4
Jazz Ensemble
2:30 p.m. Grades 6-12
Dave Schumacher, Conductor

Percussion Ensemble
3:30 p.m. Grades 7-12
Mesia Austin, Conductor


Monday, March 5

Youth Orchestra
6:15 p.m. Grades 7-12
Helen Cha-Pyo, Interim Conductor and Artistic Director Designate
Flute Choir
5:15 p.m. Grades 6-9
Diana Charos Reilly, Conductor
Flute Forum
6:45 p.m. Grades 9-12
Diana Charos Reilly, Conductor


Tuesday, March 6
5:00 p.m. Grades 5-8
Nate White, Conductor
Youth Symphony
6:30 p.m. Grades 9-12
Simon Lipskar, Conductor


Wednesday, March 7
6:15 p.m. Grades 6-9
Mark Gunderman, Conductor
Junior Wind Ensemble
5:00 p.m. Grades 4-8
Bryan Rudderow, Conductor
Clarinet Ensemble
6:45 p.m. Grades 8-12
Bryan Rudderow, Conductor


Thursday, March 8
Preparatory String Ensemble
4:30 p.m. Grades 3-5
Michelle Hatcher, Conductor
Junior Strings
6:15 p.m. Grades 5-7
Michelle Hatcher, Conductor
Fortissimo Flutes
8:00 p.m. Grades 10-12
Diana Charos Reilly, Conductor


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. 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.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education 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.

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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New Providence

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