Friday, January 26, 2024


WHEN: Saturday, February 3, 1-3 PM & 5-7 PM
John F. Kennedy High School located at 61-127 Preakness Avenue in Paterson

The Paterson Music Project (PMP) announced today that 300 students from all 5 PMP sites will perform in the two concerts, including students from the Paterson School 16 site, Paterson School 6, New Roberto Clemente School, John P Holland Charter School, and the Community Charter School of Paterson. 

The 1:00 p.m. concert will include Strings, Guitars, and PMP students from New Roberto Clemente School. The 5:00 p.m. concert will include the PMP Bands, jazz students from School 6, and the PMP Improv Ensemble.

Said PMP Director Shanna Lin, “It is incredibly exciting that PMP has grown so much in the past 11 years that we can present two concerts on the same day. I am also thrilled that the two new jazz sites will be performing for the first time. It has been a goal to add jazz programming at PMP and we are grateful to the Paterson Public Schools for giving us the opportunity to do so this year.”

"In my initial two months here, I've been deeply moved by PMP's lifelong commitment to the families and community of Paterson,” said Wharton Arts Executive Director Gina Caruso. “With over 11 years of dedicated leadership, they've nurtured students from elementary school to college by fostering their growth as both musicians and scholars. This journey extends to supporting students academically, as well as in competitions and festivals. Beyond the classroom, the faculty and staff's genuine care make them indispensable figures in the lives of the students they serve. Witnessing numerous students from the PMP program chart a course to college under their guidance is truly inspiring. The profound impact that the PMP faculty and staff have had on students, their families, and the community is nothing short of extraordinary."

In 2013, PMP started at the Community Charter School of Paterson with 32 second graders and 3 teaching artists. This year, as Paterson’s largest and only El Sistema-inspired music education program, PMP began the school year with over 500 students from over 20 different schools in Paterson and over 30 teaching artists. In the past decade, Paterson Music Project has expanded from a string ensemble to include band instruments, percussion, choir, guitar, and now jazz. Students have successfully auditioned for and participated in national and international festivals, played under the baton of LA Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel at the YOLA National Festival in Los Angeles, and joined students and teaching artists from several international programs in Lisbon, Portugal.

As we continue in our 11th season, we look forward to celebrating the wonderful accomplishments of our current students while continuing to build our rich and diverse community of young musicians through the joy of ensemble playing. For all PMP upcoming events, visit

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

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 over 2,000 students through a range of classes and ensembles. The 5 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. 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. Based in Paterson, 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. From Pathways classes for young children to Lifelong Learning programs for adults, the Wharton Performing Arts School has a robust musical theater and drama program and offers both private and group classes for instruments and voice for all ages and all abilities. 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 12 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.