The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) will present a concert featuring the NJYS String Octet, Flute Choir, Flute Forum, Clarinet Quartet, and Sinfonia on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at the Concert Hall at Drew University located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors available online at

Coached by Milan Milinkovic and Harlem Quartet’s Ilmar Gavilan, the NJYS String Octet featuring Kingston Ho, violin; Jay Kuo, violin; Jimmy Yu, violin; Seungho Lee, violin; Daniel Woo, viola; Julia Kebuladze, viola; Jeremy Cha, cello; and Sean Lee, cello, will open the concert with the first and fourth movements of Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20. Led by conductor Diana Charos Reilly, Flute Forum and Flute Choir will follow with selections by Charles Threatte, Ryohei Hirose, Bert Kaempfert, Keith Amos, Ricky Lombardo, and Mozart. The Clarinet Quartet featuring Alexander Cha, Maya Vuchic, Emily Kane, and Paul Zatorski, coached by conductor Bryan Rudderow, will perform two movements from Astor Piazzolla Histoire Du Tango. The concert will conclude with Sinfonia, led by conductor Nate White, performing works by Giovanni Bottesini, Mike Forbes, Jack Jarrett, and Brian Blamages.

“At NJYS, we strive to provide musical experiences that embrace more than just excellence in music,” says Helen Cha-Pyo, Artistic Director and Conductor. “We believe music is a powerful agent that transforms individuals, communities, and the world, and through our partnerships with local social service organizations we aim to use music as a tool to connect with the communities we live and serve.”

In celebration of the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s 40th Anniversary, the youth organization is partnering with social services in the communities where NJYS will perform throughout the season. For the December 16 concert at Drew University, NJYS will partner with Morristown’s Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center and take in-kind donations including: hearty soups and stews, gloves, hats, umbrellas, and warm thermal socks. For a full list of the NJYS 2018-2019 season concerts and social services partners, as well as ways to give back at each concert, go to

NJYS sponsors an advanced chamber group each year through an audition process for members of Youth Symphony to represent the organization in formal concerts and other special events and outreach concerts. The students named to this ensemble receive full scholarships to the chamber music program and receive coaching from distinguished musicians from The Juilliard School, Emerson String Quartet, Harlem String Quartet, and the New York Philharmonic. This season, the NJYS String Octet has been formed for the first half of the year and the NJYS String Quartet will finish out the second half of the season.

The Clarinet Quartet consists of select members from the larger Clarinet Ensemble at NJYS chosen for their independence, confidence, and abilities. Coached by Bryan Rudderow, tonight will be the inaugural performance. Students have the opportunity to choose music and lead each other, guiding the performance and direction of the quartet all without the aid of a conductor.

Serbian native Milan Milinkovic is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral violinist in the New York metropolitan area. Milinkovic has performed with a large number of orchestras include the Manhattan Virtuosi, Riverside Symphony, and Garden State Philharmonic. Last year, Milinkovic had the opportunity to be a part of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s first American tour. A graduate of the University of Music Arts in Belgrade, Milinkovic studied with Prof. Dejan Mihailovic and Prof. Srboljub Zikic, concertmaster of the Belgrade Philharmonic. In his native country, Milinkovic’s orchestral experience included performing with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the National Opera Theater. As a member of renowned St. George Strings, Milinkovic has performed widely throughout Europe. After his move to the United States in 2001, he became interested in violin pedagogy and in 2008 was offered a position as adjunct faculty at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown as well as the Far Brook School in Short Hills. In 2016, Milinkovic became Orchestra Director at the Far Brook School and maintains private teaching studios in New Providence and Summit.

Diana Charos Reilly, conductor of Flute Choir, Flute Forum, and Fortissimo Flutes, is a proud alumna of NJYS. Reilly joined the teaching staff in 1993 as Ensemble Director for the Orchestral Winds Training Program and founded both the Flute Choir and Flute Forum in 1998; Fortissimo Flutes debuted in 2014. Reilly is the Director of NJYS Summer Programs which includes Orchestral Camp and Summer Winds Camp. Reilly served as the private flute instructor, master class coach, and director of summer programs at Kent Place School in Summit for almost a decade. In 1994, she was appointed flute instructor at the Skidmore Summer Flute Institute at Skidmore College in New York. Reilly serves as flute instructor at Farleigh Dickenson University and Westminster Choir College. A graduate of the Julliard pre-college division, Reilly was a student of Brad Garner. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Hartt School of Music where she studied under John Wion of the New York City Opera and continued her graduate studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Additionally, Reilly furthered her training at Ithaca College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Reilly has appeared on numerous recordings including Jack the Ripper, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel which premiered in 1999 at the Paper Mill Playhouse with the musical theater company The Enchanted Players.

Bryan Rudderow, conductor of Concertino Winds, Clarinet Ensemble, and Director of the NJYS Summer Winds Camp, also serves as Adjunct Music Faculty at Kent Place School in Summit.  Rudderow has appeared on three continents as conductor, composer, and clarinetist, focusing his energy on music composed in his lifetime. He earned degrees from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University and William Paterson University in Music Education, Performance, Conducting, and Composition/Theory. While at Montclair State University, Rudderow received one of three highly competitive graduate assistantships and was named Assistant Conductor of Instrumental Ensembles, a position created specifically for him. Shortly after completing his Master of Music degree, he was invited to attend the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina to study operatic conducting and composition. As a conductor, Rudderow has collaborated with ensembles around the world, from the Orquesta Filarmónica in Buenos Aires to the Montclair State Symphony Orchestra and Bands. Additional appointments include the TRANSIT Ensemble (NYC), Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra, Greater Princeton Youth Symphonies, and the Shippensburg (PA) Symphony Orchestra. As the conductor of Concertino Winds since its inception in 2009, the ensemble has grown steadily, performing works commissioned and arranged for the ensemble, hallmarks of the wind band repertoire, and several pieces Rudderow composed for the ensemble. As conductor of Clarinet Ensemble, Rudderow strives to give the most advanced student clarinetists in New Jersey the opportunity to perform challenging music written and arranged for the instrument.

Nate White joined the NJYS family as a student in 1989 and has served in numerous capacities. White is currently the conductor of Sinfonia. He also works as a freelance double bassist and private teacher in the greater New Jersey area. After beginning his studies at the Manhattan School of Music, White continued the remainder of his studies at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. There he studied double bass with Linda McKnight and conducting with Paul Hostetter. A gifted soloist, White has performed solo concerti with several orchestras including the New Jersey Youth Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, the Doctor’s Society Orchestra of New York and the Montclair State University Symphony. In 1999, he won the Grand Prize of the NJ ASTA State Solo Competition and in 2008 he won the Montclair State University Concerto Competition. White can often be seen performing with the South Orange Symphony, the Central Jersey Symphony, the Staten Island Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Peter’s by the Sea, the Eastern Wind Symphony, and the Bravura Philharmonic. In 2008, White founded the Freelance Ensemble Artists of NJ with the purpose of extending a more professional performance experience to young student musicians. He now serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the FEA Symphony, a group made up of professional performers and music educators who take the stage with advanced college and high school student musicians.

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

Wharton 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 Out of the Box Music and Pathways classes for young children, WIPA offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles for all ages and all abilities. We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theater program.

Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project (PMP) is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. PMP provides intensive, free musical training to students throughout Paterson after school. PMP launched its first site at the Community Charter School (CCSP) of Paterson in January 2013 with 32 second graders and has since added a new class of students each year. Since its inception, PMP has partnered with the Paterson Public Schools to open the Paterson Public School 1 and 26 site as well as the CCSP 21st Century Community Learning Center Program to start a winds and brass middle school program. Last year, PMP partnered with William Paterson University’s Music After School Program to create a central band site at the Norman S. Weir School to serve over 60 students. This year, Paterson Music Project will be partnering with the Rosa Parks Performing Arts High School in Paterson to host the PMP Saturday Program which includes large ensemble rehearsal, Community Choir, Afro-Fusion Percussion Ensemble, and private lessons. There are now over 250 students in the program across the city of Paterson grades 1-8.

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 10 counties. All of WIPA’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.