The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) returns to The Mills at Jersey Gardens for its annual Playathon on Sunday, March 26. Nearly 500 talented young musicians will entertain shoppers with pops favorites, including symphonic highlights from Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and Star Wars. In addition to the festival orchestra performance in Center Court at 3:00 p.m., two additional stages will feature NJYS jazz, woodwind, and percussion performers beginning at 12:30 p.m.

As the youth orchestra program’s largest fundraiser, Playathon helps provide financial assistance for students who would not otherwise be able to participate in NJYS, as well as ensures the continuation of programs that support excellence in music education for all. This year, 25% of donations to the Playathon made on March 26 will go to support Children’s Specialized Hospital to give back to other children in need in the Garden State.

To learn more, make a donation, or view the Playathon livestream, visit

“It is so wonderful to finally see us all back performing in person at The Mills at Jersey Gardens for the NJYS’ annual Playathon fundraiser,” said Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director at Wharton Arts, the mother organization of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. “NJYS’ tuition only covers 75% of the actual program costs and this fundraiser is crucial to enable us to continue providing music education in an inclusive community accessible for everyone.”

“The New Jersey Youth Symphony’s Playathon is not just an annual event, it’s a cherished family tradition that celebrates music and community,” said Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo. “From wide-eyed third graders to seasoned high school seniors, Playathon is a rite of passage that unites our students and families in a larger-than-life gathering of the NJYS musical family. Through this annual tradition, we strive to instill a sense of belonging and importance in our community, showcasing the power of music to bring people together.”