By ALICE HAMLET
August 3, 2020 at 12:40 PM
NEW PROVIDENCE—The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS), a program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, announced today that it is one of 392 creators and artists selected for a New Music USA Project Grant. The 110 chosen projects demonstrate the imaginative, diverse, and high-quality work that New Music USA is dedicated to supporting.
Totaling $502,700 in funding, this year’s grants support new American music projects in 26 states. The 110 awarded projects include a wide range of activities and events involving new music as a central element; these projects involve collaborations in dance, theater, opera, and the visual arts. 54% of the 2020 Project Grant participants are people of color and 58% are women.
The New Jersey Youth Symphony, in collaboration with the Inner City Ensemble of Paterson, NJ and composer Raul Abbad, will present La Frontera: Stories of Migration In Movement, a celebration of the stories of immigrants through music and dance. The 20-minute multi-movement work for solo voice, guitar, percussion quartet, and string ensemble will blend classical, Latin, jazz, and fusion music with interpretive dance and will air on NJYS.tv in December 2020.
Said Abbad, “I’m excited to collaborate with the New Jersey Youth Symphony. This artistic platform empowers me to share my story and heritage with pride and I hope it can encourage others to do the same.”
“During these unprecedented times of isolation, I am more motivated now than ever before to collaborate with a composer and talented young student musicians, and to contribute to a new work that celebrates cultural identity in America,” said Nicholas Rodriguez, Inner City Ensemble Artistic Director and Choreographer.
Said Helen H. Cha-Pyo, Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, “La Frontera, a deeply personal work by Abbad, will open up doors to a new world of sound for both the performers and the listeners. This exciting collaboration represents New Jersey Youth Symphony’s commitment to amplifying voices of diverse artists and perpetuating their stories through artistic interpretation.”
New Music USA supports the sounds of tomorrow by nurturing the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music for adventurous listeners around the world. We empower and connect US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences by providing funding through our Project Grants; fostering new connections through our programs; deepening knowledge through our online magazine, NewMusicBox; and working as an advocate for the field. New Music USA works in collaboration with its community in response to pressing needs and to amplify the diverse voices of music creators. New Music USA envisions a thriving and equitable ecosystem for new music throughout the United States.
The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS), founded in 1979, is a tiered orchestral program offering ensemble education for students in grades 3-12 across New Jersey. NJYS has grown from one orchestra of 65 students to over 500 students in 15 different orchestras and ensembles, including the internationally recognized Youth Symphony. NJYS ensembles have performed in venues including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Carnegie Hall, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. NJYS has received numerous prestigious awards for its adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and has had six European tours, including participation in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Festival and Competition (Vienna), winning First Prizes in July 2014 and 2017.
Now in its 42nd season, NJYS continues to achieve musical excellence through intensive instruction and high-level performance. Under the guidance of a talented team of conductors, coaches, and teaching artists, students are immersed in challenging repertoire, learning the art of ensemble playing, and exploring their potential in a supportive and inclusive environment. NJYS remains committed to programming works by diverse composers and featured 20th century African American and women composers such as Duke Ellington, George Walker, Yvonne Desportes, Emma Lou Diemer, Julia Perry, and Florence Price this past season.
The New Jersey Youth Symphony is a program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. Wharton is New Jersey’s largest non-profit performing arts education organization serving over 1,500 students of all ages and abilities through a range of classes and ensembles. In addition to the New Jersey Youth Symphony, programs include the Paterson Music Project and the Performing Arts School.
Photo Via Inner City Ensemble of Paterson Facebook.