The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) will honor a milestone with its 40th Anniversary Concert and Gala on Sunday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center located at 1 Center Street in Newark.

Under the baton of Helen Cha-Pyo, the celebratory concert will showcase the youth symphony’s extensive talent with Carl Orff’s iconic Carmina Burana. Described as “one of the most richly tuneful choral pieces of modern times,” the orchestra will be joined by soprano Mia Pafumi, tenor Theron Cromer, and baritone John-Andrew Fernandez as well as the Newark Boys Chorus, J.P. Stevens High School Chorus, Newark Academy Concert Choir, New Providence High School Chorus, Ridge High School A Cappella Honors, and the Somerville High School Chorus for a show-stopping performance by an ensemble of nearly 500 performers.

Helen Cha-Pyo

Says Artistic Director and Conductor Cha-Pyo,”I anticipate this concert to be what post-Millennials would call an ‘epic event!’ When nearly 500 high school musicians from 13 different counties of NJ take the stage at NJPAC to perform Carmina Burana, it is truly an extravaganza! I am also thrilled to present a 145-member Festival String Orchestra of our elementary and middle school-age string players assembled just for this concert. Please come and experience the transformative power of music shared by our young musicians that is guaranteed to be larger than life!”

The combined festival string orchestra made up of NJYS Sinfonia, Concertino Strings, Primo Strings, and the Paterson Music Project Concert Orchestra will perform works by Jenkins and Rimsky-Korsakov. Also joined by Newark Boys Chorus and the Paterson Music Project Chorus, the Festival String Orchestra will give a world premiere performance of Three Poems of Langston Hughes by Jack Bender, a newly commissioned work to commemorate the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s 40th Anniversary celebration.

Gala honorees include Mayor of Paterson Andre Sayegh and First Lady Farhanna Balgahoom Sayegh and WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM which is also celebrating its 40th anniversary. Concert tickets are $20, $35 and $50 available online at Gala ticket price includes preferred seating at the concert available at For more information, call 908-790-0700.