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Get Your Music On + The Arts Virtually!


Article by Chatham & Short Hills Lifestyle

Photography by Chatham & Short Hills Lifestyle

If you are looking to check the arts off of your bucket list or get your kids off of their Xbox this summer then The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey is your answer!  

What do they offer? They have three great programs under one umbrella.

The New Jersey Youth Symphony, ensemble excellence, is an award-winning program with over 500 students ranging in grades 3 to 12. They have auditions to be a part of the youth orchestra organization, hold weekly practices, and have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., NYC’s Carnegie Hall, NJPAC and on international music tours including an upcoming tour to Italy. Can you say Pavoratti? ;)

The Paterson Music Project, music for social change, was established in 2013 and has over 200 students learning strings, percussion, and wind and brass instruments as an after school program, for an average of nine hours a week in addition to a Saturday program. This initiative, funded largely by grants and private donors, strives to make a difference in the lives of children in Paterson, NJ. Students can also try out for the New Jersey Youth Symphony and have an opportunity to be part of this amazing local and nationally-expanding music program. 

The Performing Arts School members range from parents who want their toddlers and children to experience theater and music to adults looking for a creative outlet. For your kids this summer, check out their Theaters Explorers program all done virtually with live instructors. Campers will be asked to write a script, learn songs, and perform a live event via Zoom with the support of staff and a sound and video engineer. Each week has a theme that caters to every age group and gender from Sponge Bob to High School Musical. There are also private music lessons via Zoom and webinars with guests from Broadway and Television, too. 

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The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, with over 1,500 students, has been around for over 4 decades. Their new virtual summer programs connect us with the arts and with others who also share the same enthusiasm, while social distancing. What better way to look back at your summer of 2020 and say you performed as part of a virtual arts team!