PATERSON— On Sunday, September 9, bicycle riders and volunteers are banding together to raise funds for music education and the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project (PMP) in the 2018 Gran Fondo New Jersey. With a choice of 5 spectacular routes starting at Headquarters Plaza in Morristown and winding through scenic Morris, Warren, and Hunterdon counties —107 miles, 75 miles, 62 miles, 42 miles, and 18 miles—the event features the 62-mile Medio Fondo selected by the editors of Bicycling Magazine as one of "The 50 Best Rides in America." For the second year, Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is sending a team to support PMP in the Gran Fondo. Last year’s riding team raised $2,300 to help underserved kids in Paterson receive life-changing music education. Team PMP has a goal of raising $10,000 for this year's ride.


Says Director of Development Pamela Palumbo, "Hundreds of students and their families benefit from the nearly free music education provided by the Paterson Music Project. Tuition cost is $1,800 per student per year, so Team PMP will be fundraising to support at least 5 students out of our 250 for the year.”

“Each student gets 32 weeks of instruction, a free instrument, access to the PMP Saturday program including an orchestra, community choir, and percussion ensemble, the chance to enroll in private lessons via our honors program, guest artist workshops, concerts and community events,” says PMP Program Director Elizabeth Moulthrop. “Gran Fondo New Jersey is the perfect blend of a great biking event and the chance to showcase our students who will be performing at a key rest stop in Califon. I love the ride and am thrilled that our team has expanded this year. We're so proud of all the riders and equally admire those volunteers who commit their time and energy supporting this event so we can help improve the lives of our students in Paterson."

Sign Up for Paterson Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.


Team PMP will be riding a combined total of 359 miles in this year’s event. Palumbo, who is heading up Team PMP, will be riding 42 of those miles. Her first ride was in 1996, biking 300 miles over 3.5 days in the Boston to New York AIDS Ride. She has been training for the Gran Fondo since June, covering 20-30 miles weekly on her Trek Lexa. An avid athlete, she also run marathons—23 so far with her 24th being this November—as well as particpates in triathlons. Palumbo participated in her first Half Ironman in 2015 and has not yet ruled out enlisting a team to support PMP in a similar future event.


For Moulthrop, the Gran Fondo is a family affair. In addition to the 42 miles she will be riding on September 9, both her father and her brother will be riding 42 miles each to support the Paterson Music Project. Moulthrop started biking last year for the 2017 Gran Fondo, and after acquiring a Trek bike, fell in love with the sport. Generally biking around 12 miles a week, she has recently ramped up her weekly mileage in anticipation of the September 9 ride.


To find out more about the Gran Fondo New Jersey, or to support Team PMP, visit or call 908-790-0700. Sponsorships available by contacting Director of Development Pamela Palumbo at

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.


Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project (PMP) is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. PMP provides intensive, low-tuition musical training to students throughout Paterson after school. Students study a primary instrument (violin, cello, viola, bass, clarinet, flute, trumpet, or percussion) and participate in ensemble practice and instrumental sectionals. Students perform frequently for the school and community. PMP also offers a Saturday Community Music Program which includes a city-wide orchestra, intergenerational choir, and an Afro-Fusion percussion ensemble. PMP now serves almost 300 students in grades 1-8 from five Paterson Public Schools including the Community Charter School of Paterson, School 1, School 26, School 15, and Norman S. Weir Elementary School. For more information, visit

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. 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 theater program.


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.