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New Jersey Youth Symphony to host legacy concert in honor of former artistic director

The New Jersey Youth Symphony, a program of Wharton Arts, will host a legacy concert in honor of former Artistic Director Barbara Barstow.

The concert will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Cullen Center at Westminster Choir College located at 101 Walnut Lane in Princeton.

Featuring alumni musicians of the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) 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.

Barstow, who passed away in February at the age of 75, 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 NJYS 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, according to those at NJYS.

“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,” Cha-Pyo said.

“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 NJYS 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 NJYS officially opens the symphonic season at 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at The Patriots Theater at the War Memorial with a dynamic concert featuring the NJYS 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.

The NJYS is preparing to present four signature concerts this season under the baton of Cha-Pyo 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.

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

Its vision is for a transformative performing arts education in an inclusive community to be accessible for everyone.

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