A youth organization recognized the Paterson Music Project on Monday for its commitment to music and young people in the Silk City.
Paterson Youth Council recognized the group run by the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts with the Martin Luther King Youth Recognition Award for its work with over 250 Paterson students in grades 2-9 at its annual award ceremony at the Brownstone.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Paterson Youth Council. There are so many incredible organizations in Paterson with people behind them making a positive impact on the city of Paterson on a daily basis,” Elizabeth Moulthrop, director of the Paterson Music Project, said. “At PMP, we are grateful to work alongside such an inspiring group of change makers and passionate community advocates. I count myself lucky to get to work with some of the best kids and families in New Jersey and make music with them every day.”
The Paterson Youth Council recognizes various individuals and one organization at its award ceremony every year.
“Being recognized with this special award on the actual MLK day is extremely touching,” Peter Gistelinck, executive director at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, said.
The Paterson Music Project launched at the Community Charter School of Paterson in 2012. It began with 32 second-graders, each year adding new students. It has partnered with the Paterson Public Schools to bring music programming to students at School 1, 24, and 26. Through a partnership with the William Paterson University’s Music After School Program it created a central band site at the Norman S. Weir School to serve 60 students. It also holds Saturday classes at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for young people.
Students take up a primary instrument and participate in ensemble practice and instrumental sectionals. An average of six hours of instruction is provided per week. Students perform at community events 30 times a year.
“Expanding the Paterson Music Project per our strategic plan will remain our first priority,” Gistelinck said.