Youth orchestra dedicates show to longtime supporter

The two principal orchestras of New Jersey Youth Symphony, will perform on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. at UCPAC as a tribute to the memory of long-time New Jersey Youth Symphony supporter and champion Mary Johnston.
The two principal orchestras of New Jersey Youth Symphony, will perform on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. at UCPAC as a tribute to the memory of long-time New Jersey Youth Symphony supporter and champion Mary Johnston.

The two principal orchestras of New Jersey Youth Symphony, Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra, will perform on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. at Union County Performing Arts Center located at 1601 Irving St. in Rahway.
Tickets to the concert are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased in advance from UCPAC online at www.ucpac.org. The concert is open to the public and is especially suited for families.
The concert is a tribute to the memory of long-time New Jersey Youth Symphony supporter and champion Mary Johnston who passed away in June 2012.
Johnston was an integral part of NJYS since its founding in 1979. She served on the board before and after her presidency and subsequently continued as a community advisor. During her tenure as president of NJYS during the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons, the orchestra made its second highly successful European tour, participating again in the annual Music Festival for Youth in Neerpelt, Belgium, where it garnered another First Prize.
Johnston also oversaw the strengthening of the NJYS chamber music and music listening programs. These two areas were very important to her, having co-authored the NJYS founding mission statement that encouraged NJYS members to “reach their highest potential as performers and listeners.” Under her leadership, NJYS chamber music instruction, guided by Bernard Yannotta, grew to include a weekly 45-minute small ensemble session with a coach, while new NJYS members participated in music listening classes with the Music Director.
In memory of Johnston, NJYS’s premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony led by NJYS Artistic Director Jeffery Grogan will perform Gustav Holst’s epic seven-movement “The Planets.” During the last movement, guest choir Continuo Arts Foundation Singers and the Chanticleers, Continuo Arts’ middle and high school ensembles, will join the orchestra.
New Jersey Youth Symphony the orchestral and ensemble organization of Wharton Music Center, a non-profit charitable organization, offers music education for grades 3 through 12. NJYS is located at 570 Central Ave. in New Providence. NJYS, one of the foremost youth orchestras in the state, has ten orchestras and ensembles for which auditions are held annually. NJYS’s premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally-renowned concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.
The mission of Wharton Music Center, a 501c3 charitable organization, is to advance excellence and education in music and the other performing arts. For more information, visit www.NJYS.org or www.WhartonMusicCenter.org.

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