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NJ Youth Symphony Legacy Concert Honors Former Artistic Director Barbara Barstow


originally published: 09/22/2022

NJ Youth Symphony Legacy Concert Honors Former Artistic Director Barbara Barstow

(NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ) -- The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS), a program of Wharton Arts, will host a legacy concert in honor of former Artistic Director Barbara Barstow on Sunday, October 2 at 3:00pm at the Cullen Center at Westminster Choir College located at 101 Walnut Lane in Princeton. Featuring alumni musicians of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and Westminster Community Orchestra, as well as special guests, the legacy orchestra will be led by NJYS Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo, Music Director of The Discovery Orchestra George Marriner Maull, and Westminster Community Orchestra Conductor Ruth Ochs. The concert is free but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved at NJYS.org.

Barbara Barstow was the second Artistic Director of NJYS (2000-2009) and longtime conductor (1981-2009) who spearheaded the start of the youth orchestra program’s Preparatory Orchestra, Junior Strings, and Orchestral Strings Training Ensemble (OSTE), as well as the annual NJYS summer camp. As an extraordinary teacher, conductor, educator, and mentor, she inspired thousands of young musicians at the New Jersey Youth Symphony with her infectious enthusiasm for music and passion for excellence. Her dedication and visionary leadership for nearly three decades helped shape the organization into the thriving musical community that it is today.

Said Cha-Pyo, “Barbara Barstow’s Legacy Concert program will include some of her favorite works for strings as well as a world premiere of a solo viola work composed and performed by her former student, Scott Lapin. There will also be symphonic music from the NJYS Playathon performed by those whose lives were deeply touched by her. As we, members of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and Westminster Conservatory, prepare for this gathering to honor her, I feel Barbara’s larger-than-life presence bringing music lovers together once more with her infectious enthusiasm and humor.”

The New Jersey Youth Symphony officially opens the symphonic season on Saturday, October 30 at 4:00pm at The Patriots Theater at the War Memorial with a dynamic concert featuring the NJYS Youth Symphony and special guests Brooke Jee-In Newmaster and Company, Samgomu Dancers, in a vibrant display of Korean arts and culture featuring traditional Korean dancing and drumming. Join the NJYS Youth Symphony under the baton of Helen H. Cha-Pyo for four signature concerts this season chronicling a variety of dance rhythms from across the globe in the Beyond Cultural Boundaries Series: A Confluence of Music, Dance, and Story. Tickets and event details for all NJYS concerts can be found at NJYS.org.

The mision of Wharton Arts is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities.

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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 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. The five 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. From Pathways classes for young children to Lifelong Learning programs for adults, the Wharton Performing Arts School offers both private and group classes for instruments and voice for all ages and all abilities and has a robust musical theater and drama program. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, 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. 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 10 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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