BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) continues its 2015-2016 Meet the Orchestra series with an interactive concert for the entire family on Sunday, February 7 at 3:00 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Meet the Percussion is free and open to the public.

Meet the Orchestra, a fun, informative and interactive series where children and adults explore the instrument families of the orchestra, features members of the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) and includes a musical petting zoo where the members of the audience are given the chance to play each instrument. Five members of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Percussion Ensemble, led by conductor Dr. Kenneth Piascik, offer a survey of percussion instruments from rudimental, classical, contemporary, and world genres. Be ready to dance in your seats!  

Dr. Kenneth Piascik has always been dedicated to performing a wide range of music and providing the best education to students at the university and public school level.  His journey began at William Paterson University, under the tutelage of Raymond Des Roches.   After a short intermission with his rock band and programming computers at AT&T, Dr. Piascik experienced the joy and power of teaching that led to his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dedicated to performing new music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Dr. Piascik has performed and toured nationally and abroad.  Dr. Piascik has also been featured on television, National Public Radio, and has recorded on many labels. In addition to being an active chamber musician and soloist, Dr. Piascik is deeply committed to music education.  Besides clinics and workshops, Dr. Piascik has taught at several leading music universities and is also proud of his private studio, AmusiK Studio (est. 1991). Besides spending time with his family and playing his drums, Dr. Piascik is currently on the faculty at Black River Middle School in Chester and is proud to be the director the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s Percussion program.

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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.

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.