New Jersey Youth Symphony to host concert honoring former artistic director

The New Jersey Youth Symphony, a program of Wharton Arts, will host a concert honoring former artistic director Barbara Barstow.

The concert will take place at 3 p.m. on October 2 at the Cullen Center of Westminster Choir College located at 101 Walnut Lane in Princeton.

Featuring former musicians from the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) and the Westminster Community Orchestra, as well as special guests, the legacy orchestra will be conducted by NJYS Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha- Pyo, Music Director of the Discovery Orchestra George Marriner Maull and Ruth Ochs, Conductor of the Westminster Community Orchestra.

The concert is free, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved at

Barstow, who died in February at the age of 75, was the NJYS’ second artistic director (2000-2009) and longtime bandleader (1981-2009) who spearheaded the launch of the preparatory orchestra, Junior Strings and Orchestra Strings Training Ensemble (OSTE), as well as the annual NJYS summer camp. As an extraordinary teacher, conductor, educator and mentor, she has inspired thousands of young NJYS musicians with her infectious enthusiasm for music and her passion for excellence. His dedication and visionary leadership over nearly three decades helped shape the organization into the thriving music community it is today, according to those at NJYS.

“Barstow’s Legacy Concert program will include some of her favorite works for strings as well as a world premiere of a work for solo viola 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 have been deeply touched by it. As we members of NJYS and Westminster Conservatory prepare for this gathering in her honor, I feel the larger than life presence of Barbara who once again brings music lovers together with her infectious enthusiasm and humor.

The NJYS officially opens the symphonic season at 4 p.m. on October 30 at the Patriots Theater at War Memorial with a dynamic concert featuring the NJYS and special guests Brooke Jee-In Newmaster and Company, Samgomu Dancers, in a dynamic 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 direction of Cha-Pyo chronicling a variety of dance beats from around the world in the series Beyond Cultural Boundaries: A Confluence of Music, Dance, and Story. Tickets and event details for all NJYS concerts are available at

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

Its vision is that a transformative performing arts education in an inclusive community is accessible to all.

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