BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ, March 18, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — It was a glorious night for Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts at the sold-out “Together We Celebrate” Annual Gala on Thursday, March 10, 2022. Held at the beautiful Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, NJ, host WNYC’s David Furst welcomed the huge crowd, introduced the outstanding musicians and guests of honor: world-renowned multi-instrumentalist Paul Shaffer who received the Lifetime Achievement Award and harpist/educator Robbin Gordon-Cartier who received the Education Award. There were many performances during the night including a harp showcase by Gordon-Cartier and her students, the Cicely L. Tyson Harps and Shaffer with members of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra. Offering support for those in the Ukraine, all of the proceeds from the gala’s silent auction — $8,865 – was donated to Doctors Without Borders.
Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director of Wharton Arts, shared his enthusiasm about the evening and said, “People are telling us it was, by far, the best gala in our history. There was a wonderful energy in the room and great enthusiasm for our honorees. We were thrilled that our founder, Judith G. Wharton, attended with our Board of Trustees and honored guests.” He continued, and said, “Paul Shaffer is respected worldwide and is known for his years serving as David Letterman’s musical director, band leader and sidekick. In addition, his career spans all aspects of entertainment – music, acting and comedy. He exemplifies the versatility available in the performing arts, and he is a true inspiration to our students. When Paul performed with our jazz students, it was thrilling for the youth and equally for everyone in attendance.”
Helen H. Cha-Pyo, Artistic Director of Wharton Arts, was equally pleased with the evening and very proud of the student performers. In recognition of Robbin Gordon-Cartier, she said, “Robbin is an extraordinary educator with passion for using music to help young people find themselves. Her talent as a harpist extends from the stage to the classroom to community gatherings as an ambassador of music with messages of hope. She is someone who inspires us all. Watching her performance along with several other harpists was wonderful for everyone in attendance.”
About Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts:
Wharton Arts’ mission is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities. Wharton Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,500 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve 500 students in grades 3 – 12 by audition. Beginning with Pathways classes for young children, Wharton offers private lessons, group classes, and ensembles for all ages and all abilities at the Performing Arts School. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton teaches all instruments and voice and has a robust musical theater program. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing.
Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 10 counties in New Jersey. All of Wharton’s extraordinary 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. For more information, visit www.whartonarts.org.
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