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New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces Bring A Buddy Week March 12-16


The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) invites students in grades 3-11 to attend a rehearsal during its annual Bring A Buddy Week March 12-16 at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. Students are encouraged to bring their instrument and sit in on the first half of a rehearsal with an ensemble appropriate to their grade and experience level. Bring A Buddy Week is free and open to the public. Students are encouraged to register in advance by calling 908-771-5544 or contacting NJYS Manager of Orchestras Stacy Beltran at

Bring A Buddy Week allows the community to experience first-hand the artistry and unique style of each conductor while getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process and camaraderie inherent in all of NJYS’s ensembles. Complete ensemble descriptions are available online at   

The New Jersey Youth Symphony, the orchestral and ensemble affiliate of Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, features fourteen ensembles, available by audition for students in grades 3 – 12. One of its two full, advanced orchestras, Youth Symphony, was awarded first place in the prestigious 2014 Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival and has appeared in such internationally renowned concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna. The New Jersey Youth Symphony has been featured on NJTV’s The State of the Arts and recently appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

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Bring A Buddy Week Calendar of Events

Sunday, March 12
Jazz Ensemble
2:30 p.m. Grades 6-12
Dave Schumacher, Conductor
Percussion Ensemble
2:30 p.m. Grades 7-12
Dr. Kenneth Piascik, Conductor


Monday, March 13
Youth Orchestra
6:15 p.m. Grades 7-12
Simon Lipskar, Conductor
Flute Choir
5:15 p.m. Grades 6-9
Diana Charos Reilly, Conductor
Flute Forum
6:45 p.m. Grades 9-12
Diana Charos Reilly, Conductor


Tuesday, March 14
5:00 p.m. Grades 5-8
Nate White, Conductor
Youth Symphony
6:30 p.m. Grades 9-12
Jeffrey Grogan, Conductor


Wednesday, March 15
6:15 p.m. Grades 6-9
Mark Gunderman, Conductor
Junior Wind Ensemble
5:00 p.m. Grades 4-8
Bryan Rudderow, Conductor
Clarinet Ensemble
6:45 p.m. Grades 8-12
Bryan Rudderow, Conductor


Thursday, March 16
Preparatory String Ensemble
4:30 p.m. Grades 3-5
Michelle Hatcher, Conductor
Junior Strings
6:15 p.m. Grades 5-7
Michelle Hatcher, Conductor
Fortissimo Flutes
8:00 p.m. Grades 10-12
Diana Charos Reilly, Conductor


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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