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New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Programs for Grades 6-10 Return October 4

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The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) offers two exciting jazz programs for students in grades 6-12 beginning October 4. The Intro to Jazz Workshop for grades 6-10 is open to all instrumentalists who can play most major scales. This 29-week program gives students the opportunity to learn melodic and rhythmic improvisation, harmonic and motivic development, as well as become familiar with jazz forms. The Jazz Combo for advanced level musicians in grades 9-12, also 29 weeks, highlights improvisation, repertoire-building, and ensemble skills while studying and performing classic jazz compositions and works from the American Songbook. Guest artists coach and play with the students. Audition or consent from instructor required for the Jazz Combo.

The Intro to Jazz Workshop meets on Sundays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. and tuition is $700. The Jazz Combo meets on Sundays from 2:30-4:00 p.m. and tuition is $1,100. Both the Intro to Jazz Workshop and Jazz Combo take place at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence and are directed by bandleader and saxophonist Dave Schumacher. Students may register for the NJYS Jazz Program online by going to www.NJYS.org or calling 908-771-5544. 

Chicago native Dave Schumacher has been a key player in the New York jazz scene for more than three decades, touring throughout the United States and internationally with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Art Blakely Big Band, T.S. Monk on Monk Ensemble, Nicholas Payton's Louis Armstrong Tribute Big Band, and as an original member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra. Highlights of his international career include an appearance at Mount Fuji Jazz Festival in Japan with the Art Blakely Big Band. Schumacher can be heard on nearly a dozen Columbia Records recordings with the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra and with such jazz greats as Lionel Hampton and Mel Torme.

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The Wharton Music Center’s 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.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony which serves 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, WMC 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.

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 Music Center is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WMC’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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