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Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Celebrates Life-Changing Music Programs at its "West Side Story in Paterson" Gala

originally published: 02/14/2020

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Celebrates  Life-Changing Music Programs at its "West Side Story in Paterson" Gala

(WOODLAND PARK, NJ) -- On Friday, March 6, the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts will celebrate its successful, life-changing music education programs with a special gala event entitled “West Side Story in Paterson” at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park. Jennifer and David S. Stone serve as Honorary Chairs of the event which features performances by students from the Paterson Music Project, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and the Performing Arts School.

The gala is inspired by Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic movie which was partially filmed last summer in Paterson, the home of the Wharton Institute’s Paterson Music Project. The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Jamie Bernstein, whose father, Leonard Bernstein, composed “West Side Story’s” groundbreaking score. The evening will also feature a welcome by Paterson Mayor André Sayegh.

Author, narrator, and filmmaker Jamie Bernstein has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and passion with others. Guests will receive a copy of her memoir, “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein,” published by HarperCollins. The book, published in 2018, gives a captivating perspective on growing up as a child of the world-acclaimed composer and conductor.  An award-winning film director, Jamie also writes articles and poetry which have appeared in a variety of publications from Opera News to Town & Country. Her award-winning film documentary, “Crescendo: the Power of Music,” follows children in West Philadelphia and Harlem participating in youth orchestras inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, a program that uses music to transform the lives of children in underserved communities.

“I’m honored to be part of this grand celebration of music education with the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts,” said Jamie Bernstein. “I know my father would have been thrilled to see the impact of programs such as the Paterson Music Project and the New Jersey Youth Symphony.”

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo looks forward to showing off the talents of the young performers. “Jamie’s inspiring documentary ‘Crescendo: The Power of Music’ was instrumental in fueling the growth of El Sistema-inspired programs throughout the country, including our Paterson Music Project. I hope everyone joins us for this special evening and experiences the transformative power of the music shared by our young musicians. What they have accomplished is awe-inspiring.”



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“The show ‘West Side Story’ illustrates what happens as a result of the failure to integrate and empower young people in a constructive way,” explained Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. “Our mission is to reverse that failure by providing the highest quality performing arts education to students in a very supportive and inclusive environment and we make a huge difference in the communities we serve.”

Located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Paterson, the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent nonprofit community arts education organization, serving more than 1,500 students. The 15-ensemble New Jersey Youth Symphony performs throughout Northern New Jersey with a season that offers more than three dozen public concerts. The Paterson Music Project provides after school and weekend experiences for youngsters in the state’s second largest school district through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. This remarkable program not only brings respect and pride to Paterson, it is building self-confidence and fostering academic success for participating student musicians.

For more information and to support the Wharton Institute  by celebrating “West Side Story in Paterson,” go to www.whartonartsgala.org. Tickets for this event are $250.00.

Photo: Author and director Jamie Bernstein will be honored at “West Side Story in Paterson” on Friday, March 6; photo courtesy of Steve. J. Sherman.


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Event calendar
Fri, Feb 21, 2020


MUSIC


FUNGKSHUI @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Longwave @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

SUPER DIAMOND @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

Light Opera of NJ presents "Die Fledermaus" @ St Marks Episcopal Church (Basking Ridge), Basking Ridge - 8:00pm

LUCERO @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 8:30pm

Les Paul Festival: The Young Philadelphians @ Berrie Center for the Arts, Ramapo College, Mahwah - 8:00pm

Get The Led Out @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Academy of St Martin in The Fields with Joshua Bell @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

Mardi Gras Boogaloo 2020 @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Rod MacDonald in concert at Princeton Folk Music Society @ Christ Congregation Church, Princeton - 8:00pm

Mandy Harvey @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm

Eric Lindell Solo @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm

Kinky Boots (Broadcast) @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:30pm






THEATRE


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 8:00pm

RITZ KIDZ - Pinocchio @ The Ritz Theatre, Haddon Twp - 10:00am

LEGALLY BLONDE @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 7:00pm


Sound of Music @ Rhino Theatre, Pompton Lakes - 8:00pm

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

COMEDY


BOB SAGET @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Progressively Funny: John Fugelsang and Friends @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 8:00pm

Tracy Morgan: No Disrespect @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm


DANCE


two may be one, presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance @ Hearst Dance Theater at Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton University campus, Princeton - 8:30pm


FILM


Screening of William Greaves’ Nationtime—Gary, presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts @ James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street on the Princeton University campus, Princeton - 6:00pm


POETRY


Open Book III - Poetry & Perform - FREE @ Bluefox Craft Beer & Restaurant, South Plainfield - 7:00pm

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