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Renowned Jazz Bassist Rufus Reid and The Discovery Orchestra's George Marriner Maull to be honored at the 2024 Wharton Arts Gala

originally published: 11/16/2023

Renowned Jazz Bassist Rufus Reid and The Discovery Orchestra

(BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ) -- On Thursday, March 7, 2024, Wharton Arts will honor award-winning jazz bassist, educator, and composer Rufus Reid with its Lifetime Achievement Award and will honor George Marriner Maull with its Education Award at their 2024 Gala.

An active presence in the jazz world since the 1970s, Reid has recorded over 500 albums and can be heard on recordings with Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Quartet, Kenny Barron, Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson, Lee Konitz, and Jack DeJohnette, among others. His reputation as an educator is equal to that of his musical achievements. Reid’s book, The Evolving Bassist (Myriad Limited, 1974), remains the industry standard for double bass methodology. Reid and Dr. Martin Krivin created the Jazz Studies and Performance Bachelor of Music Program at William Paterson University, a program offering the first professional academically accredited Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies in the tri-state area.

Reid received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony Grant. His 2014 release, Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project, received two Grammy Nominations for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Composition.

The prestigious Wharton Arts Lifetime Achievement Award distinguishes individuals who, during their lifetime, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the performing arts and represent a beacon of inspiration to Wharton Arts' students. Previous Wharton Arts Lifetime Achievement honorees were Jamie Bernstein, John Debney, Paul Shaffer, and Angel Blue.

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award, Wharton Arts will honor George Marriner Maull with its Education Award at the 2024 Gala. Maestro Maull’s musical affiliations in New Jersey began with his joint appointment in 1979 as Assistant Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and founding Music Director and Conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS). He led NJYS, now a program of Wharton Arts, for eighteen seasons until 1997, including three performances at Carnegie Hall and on four European tours: Belgium and The Netherlands (1983), Belgium and England (1985), Romania and Hungary (1987), and Poland (1989). Under his leadership, NJYS received First Prize at both the 1983 and the 1985 European Music Festival for Youth in Belgium, and was the subject of a 1987 WNET New York Channel 13 documentary entitled Art Effects: Young & Noteworthy.

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Today, Maull is the Artistic Director of The Discovery Orchestra and three-time Emmy-nominated public television personality, touching the lives of millions of individuals nationwide and abroad by helping them to heighten their classical music listening pleasure through his Discovery Concerts™ distributed by American Public Television and APT Worldwide. These programs, including his signature listening course, Fall in Love with Music, are available to stream on Amazon Prime and PBS Passport. His public radio show, Inside Music, is broadcast on second and fourth Saturdays each month at 7:30 p.m. on WWFM, 89.1 The Classical Network in Princeton. Maull believes that everyone has the innate ability to become a virtuoso music listener.

Wharton Arts’ Annual Gala will feature student performances and a live auction at the Westmount Country Club, 728 Rifle Camp Road in Woodland Park, New Jersey. To attend the gala and support Wharton Arts, including its silent auction, please visit

Wharton Arts’ mission 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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