The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Piascik presents a concert featuring over 20 talented students on Sunday, December 6 at 3:00 p.m. at Mendham High School located at 65 East Main Street in Mendham. The concert is free and open to the public. Performing on a wide variety of instruments from traditional percussion to buckets and dining room silverware, students will present works from 1953 to the present day. Audiences will be delighted by World, classical, and hard groovin’ musical genres as well as Henry Cowell’s well-known Ostinato Pianissimo.

American composer, music theorist, pianist, pedagogue, and publisher Henry Cowell is hailed as a musical pioneer whose works were both radical and accessible to audiences of his day. Cowell invented a variety of groundbreaking compositional techniques for stroking, strumming and plucking inside the piano, which he dubbed the string piano, as well as tone clusters which he played across the piano with his forearms and fists. He developed a complex pitch-rhythm system that correlated the mathematical ratios of the pitches of the overtone series with rhythmic proportions. Later in life he was a leader in the incorporation of non-western idioms in compositions of the mid-twentieth century.

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.

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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 serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. 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.


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.