(NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ) -- The New Jersey Youth Chorus (NJYC) will host two benefit concerts this month to raise community awareness and funds for local charities Oasis, on Saturday, February 11, and Matheny on Sunday, February 12.
The Heart to Heart Benefit Concert, featuring singers from NJYC’s Primo Coro and Coro Vivo ensembles, students from the Paterson Music Project, and members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church choir, will take place on February 11 at 2:00pm at St. Paul’s Church located at 451 Van Houten Street, Paterson.
The Middle School Treble Choral Festival Kids for Kids Concert, featuring NJYC’s Sola Voce ensemble and area middle school choirs, will take place February 12 at 5:00pm at Mt. Olive Middle School located at 160 Wolfe Road, Budd Lake.
Both concerts are free and open to the public with a free-will offering. For more information, visit WhartonArts.org.
In addition to Badgers and Hedgehogs by Andrew Carter and Animal Imagination by Tom Shelton, NJYC will perform Shojojee, a Japanese folk song arranged by B. Wayne Bisbee, and Shine on Me, a spiritual arranged by Rollo Dilworth on the February 11 fundraising concert. Fifty-five students from the Paterson Music Project will join the choir for a moving performance of arrangements of Lift Every Voice and Sing, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, and Love is Love is Love to raise money for Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization located in Paterson, New Jersey. Oasis carries out educational and social service programs that help women enter and succeed in the workforce and help children flourish academically. Oasis also operates a soup kitchen and provides emergency food, clothing, and social support to city residents in need.
This year’s Kids for Kids concert on February 12 will support The Matheny School, a New Jersey-approved private school for children with disabilities. When a school district needs the resources to effectively educate a student with complex disabilities and associated health needs, Matheny is there to help. Children with a variety of developmental disabilities, physical challenges, and complex medical conditions find a safe, supportive environment at Matheny where they can reach their academic, social, vocational, and personal potential. Each participating choir in the event will perform individual selections, and all ensembles will join together to perform Ubi Caritas ("Where Charity Is") by Michael John Trotta.
In 2001, during NJYC’s 10th Anniversary Season, the youth choir adopted the philanthropic philosophy of "Kids for Kids" to teach choristers the importance of giving back to the community. The annual benefit concert has supported local charities including the Hugs for Brady Foundation, Casa of NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Relay for Life, Matthew Larson Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Brooke Healey Foundation, Team Campbell Foundation, and Good Grief, among others. In 2014, NJYC produced and distributed a CD entitled Stand Together: Music for Hope and Healing, a project benefitting cancer patients in local hospitals.
Founded in 1992 by Trish Joyce, the New Jersey Youth Chorus is an auditioned choral program for children in grades three through twelve, divided into five performing ensembles. The Chorus, which joined Wharton Arts in July, performs frequently with professional ensembles including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Canadian Brass, among others. Past highlights include performing at the White House for “Christmas at the White House, 2019,” with Queen Latifah at Super Bowl XLVIII, with six-time Grammy winner The Chieftains in NYC, with Barry Manilow at the Prudential Center, at the New Jersey State Theater’s Gala under both Oscar and Grammy award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Conti, with Ronan Tynan, at the Jimmy V Basketball Classic at Madison Square Garden, and multiple performances at Carnegie Hall. In addition, they have been a featured choir at regional and national music conferences and invited to perform the national anthem for several sports teams.
NJYC has participated in numerous festivals and tours to New Orleans, Hawaii, Canada, England, Italy, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Budapest, Vienna, and Wales. This summer, members of both high school ensembles, Coriste and Camerata, will tour Italy.
The mission of Wharton Arts is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities. Wharton Arts’ vision is for a transformative performing arts education in an inclusive community to be accessible for everyone.
Wharton Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving nearly 2,000 students through a range of classes and ensembles. The 5 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, an auditioned choral ensemble program for students in grades 3–12, encourage a love and appreciation of choral music while nurturing personal growth and creative development. The 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve over 500 students in grades 3–12 by audition, inspire young people to achieve musical excellence through high-level ensemble training and performance opportunities. Based in Paterson, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music education as a vehicle for social action by empowering and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. From Pathways classes for young children to Lifelong Learning programs for adults, the Wharton Performing Arts School has a robust musical theater and drama program and offers both private and group classes for instruments and voice for all ages and all abilities. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and that performing arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton Arts offers need-based scholarships.
Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 12 counties. All of Wharton Arts’ extraordinary teaching artists, 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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