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New Jersey Youth Symphony Winter Concert Sunday, February 12


NEW PROVIDENCE—The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) presents a Winter Concert featuring Youth Orchestra and Youth Symphony on Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Union County Performing Arts Center located at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 908-771-5544. Youth Orchestra, led by Conductor Simon Lipskar, will open the concert with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture, Op.36, Sibelius’s Valse Triste, Op.44, and two movements from Holst’s The Planets, Op. 32. Youth Symphony, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Jeffrey Grogan, will follow with a performance of  Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture.

Both Youth Orchestra and Youth Symphony are advanced, full orchestras in the NJYS family of ensembles. Youth Orchestra is open to students in grades 7-12 and Youth Symphony is open to students in grades 9-12. Youth Symphony has appeared at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. NJYS Youth Orchestra has recently been selected to perform at the 2017 NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City in April.

A conductor focused on inspiring and educating young musicians, Simon Lipskar has been the conductor of NJYS Youth Orchestra since 2006. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Lipskar conducted Philharmonia. He conducts in the summers at the Kinhaven Music School where he was a student as a teenager. He has regularly guest conducted at the Third Street Music Settlement in NYC and served as Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic under Robert Spano, as well as for a number of other orchestras and opera companies. A member of Tanglewood’s prestigious Conductor’s Seminar led by Robert Spano and Gustav Meier, Mr. Lipskar took part in master classes led by Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, André Previn, and Joseph Silverstein. He received his Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied under Michael Morgan and Denis de Coteau and was awarded the Conducting Department Award in Honor of Outstanding Contributions to the Conservatory Ensembles. A graduate of Yale University, he received a B.A. in Religious Studies. As a teenager, Mr. Lipskar was a Juilliard Pre-College violinist, pianist, and composer as well as an award-winning chamber musician. Along with his extensive work with young orchestral musicians, Mr. Lipskar is President of Writers House, a leading literary agency where he represents many of today’s bestselling and award-winning authors.

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Applauded for performances “high in energy, with close attention to ebb and flow,” American conductor Jeffrey Grogan is hailed as a musical leader who “knows what kind of sound he wants from an orchestra…rich and vibrant.” His humanistic leadership style, coupled with a strong command of skills as a musical communicator, has earned him an impressive reputation with audiences and music programs throughout the country. Known for “shrewd programming, skillful rehearsing, and an energized performance,” he was chosen in 2009 to participate in the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview sponsored by the League of American Orchestras.  Mr. Grogan joined NJYS in 2011. As conductor of its premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, he has led the orchestra through a metamorphosis that has seen it grow and mature into one of the most musically engaging youth orchestras in the country. In addition to its seasonal performances, Youth Symphony performed at Musikverein in Vienna, and Carnegie Hall. In July 2014 YS won first place at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Festival and Competition in Vienna. Considering his work with young musicians to be a cornerstone of his career, Mr. Grogan also serves as Artistic Director of the NJSO Academy and the InterSchool Orchestras of New York. Mr. Grogan is Artistic Director of two El Sistema-inspired music programs, the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s CHAMPS. As Education and Community Engagement Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 2006, Mr. Grogan leads the NJSO in a variety of concerts each season.


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 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 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. 

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Warren Township to Collect Winter Storm Quinn Tree Debris

March 15, 2018

WARREN, NJ - The Department of Public Works of Warren Township will be collecting tree and brush debris from all Warren Township residents in the aftermath of Winter Storm Quinn.

Due to the intense effects of Storm Quinn that impacted Warren Township on March 7, the Township Committee has authorized and directed the DPW to. begin the collection process ...

Somerset County Opens Emergency Shelter for Storm Victims at RVCC

BRANCHBURG, NJ – Due to the extended power outages in Somerset County as a result of Winter Storm Quinn and the expected cold temperatures over the next few days, the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with the American Red Cross to open a shelter for county residents at Raritan Valley Community College.

The shelter opened as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, ...

Update from Warren Office of Emergency Management on Saturday, Mar. 10

WARREN, NJ - The Warren Township Office of Emergency Management has provided a timeline and Jane Asch at Warren’s Office of Emergency Management has updated storm recovery information as of 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10 with the following:



The most pressing issue is restoration of power. It may be helpful to understand the triage system both JCP&L and ...

Storm Watch: Closings, Cancellations and Postponements

WARREN, NJ - The snow has started to fall. The National Weather Service is forecasting as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow to accumulate across the northern half of New Jersey and Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency.

The Warren Township Municipal Building and the Warren Library are closed today, Wednesday, Mar. 7 due to the storm. Watchung Borough offices and ...

North Plainfield High School Alumni Association 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Set for April 21,

March 18, 2018

The North Plainfield High School Alumni Association is holding its 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday April 21, 2018 at North Plainfield High School from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

The 2018 Hall of Fame inductees include:

• Frederick Sheeler, Class of ’63 – Community Service

• Robert Kirchberger, Class of ’65 – ...

Center for Great Expectations Celebrating 20th Anniversary

SOMERSET, NJ - The Center for Great Expectations, a non-profit organization, is celebrating 20 years of providing substance use and mental health treatment for women and adolescents who are homeless, pregnant or parenting.

According to a release, the goals of the program are to guide women through their pregnancies, ensure proper care, increase the likelihood of a healthy baby and provide the ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, March 19, 7:15 PM

WHRHS Media Center, Warren

WHRHS PTO meeting



Sat, April 14, 7:00 PM


Support Watchung Hills Project Graduation: SIP ...


South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
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AAA Cautions: Daylight Saving Could Affect Daily Commute

March 10, 2018

WARREN, NJ - AAA is reminding drivers that the change to Daylight Saving Time may create distractions on the roadway and challenges for drivers who lost an hour of sleep. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday at 2 a.m.

“As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits,” said Robert Sinclair, Manager of Media ...

Fairytale Marriage Proposal Takes Center Stage at St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 17, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A surprise engagement took center stage at last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Somerville. In the midst of the March 11 festivities, Piscataway resident Steven Verardi boarded a float and popped the question to his girlfriend Elise Latona, marking the first known engagement to take place at the parade in 27 years.

Since opening The Beauty Bar ...

Somerset County Student Escorted from School; Loaded Gun Found in Backpack

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A 17-year-old high school student was escorted from school yesterday by police who found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his back pack along with narcotics, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Robertson said the initial investigation by law enforcement revealed that there were no known threats to the students or faculty; he commended the ...

Somerville: Students Make a Statement about School Safety and Eulogize Florida Shooting Victims

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Hundreds of Somerville High School students participated in the National School Walkout Wednesday morning to pay their respects to the 17 victims of last month’s mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and to draw attention to the issue of students' safety while in school.

The students gathered outdoors on the track in front ...

Danielsen Holds First in Series of Marijuana Hearings

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - Lifelong Franklin resident, Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17 Middlesex/Somerset), chairman of the Assembly Oversight, Reform, and Federal Relations Committee is leading discussions regarding legalized marijuana in New Jersey. 

Danielsen's committee heard testimony for several hours regarding the impact of expanding legalized marijuana Monday, March 5.

Local Travel Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day - Calm Family Events to Drinking Shots from...Nevermind

March 17, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is coming upon us even faster than St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland.  Here are some of the areas great events to celebrate Irish pride.

March 17 Events

Hoboken - The Nerds at Willie McBride’s (see poster up in the slide show)

Newton - Sober St. Patrick’s Day Gathering

Newton (parade) - Sussex County St. Patrick's Day ...

After a Couple Painful Travel Days the New York City Area Airports Are Returning to Normal

After a couple of difficult travel days, the local airports are returning to normal.  The FAA is reportin only 10 to 15 minute delays.  Allow extra times for the commute to the airport and you should be fine.

Just keep these ideas and links fresh in mind for future travels.  You may even want to bookmark the page for future reference.

Most Airlines now offer ...

Air Travel Disruptions - Newark and Laguardia Airports Are Reporting Delays of 1 to 2 Hours.

The weather continues to play havoc on local air travel.  Newark is reporting average delays of 1 hour 41 minutes and LaGuardia is experiencing 59 minute delays.

Most Airlines now offer APP, text, or email updates to flight delays.  Make sure to sign up for them.  That will be your fastest way to get notifications. Also, make sure to ...

St. Patrick’s Day Sobriety Check in Belmar/Neptune Area on Tap by State Police

March 17, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Giving no details on location and time, New Jersey State Police plans to conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, March 17 in the area of Belmar and Neptune Township,

The state police made the announcement on its Facebook page, alerting motorists that state troopers will be pulling over vehicles at this undisclosed location and time  “looking for signs of ...