Percussion Ensemble

Percussion Director

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts has selected Dr. Mesia Austin as Interim Director of Percussion and Conductor of the Percussion Ensemble. Dr. Austin is an adjunct professor of percussion at Rutgers University from which she received her Doctor of Musical Arts in 2016. She holds a Master of Music from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Kennesaw State University.

As an orchestral percussionist, Dr. Austin has performed with the Plainfield Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, and Princeton Symphony Orchestra. She founded Ozone Percussion Theater, a competitive percussion ensemble that performed in the Winter Guard International competition circuit. Created to offer fundamental marching percussion skills to students in rural Georgia, it grew into an award-winning novice ensemble.

In her new position, Dr. Austin will be working with the three full orchestras of the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS): Youth Symphony, Youth Orchestra, and Philharmonia, as well as fulfilling the percussion needs for the other NJYS ensembles. She will conduct the Percussion Ensemble, which incorporates student percussionists from the NJYS orchestras as well as other students from the community who seek to learn percussion ensemble repertoire.

In addition to her new duties as Director of Percussion, Dr. Austin is the Site Director and Percussion Teacher for the Paterson Music Project.


NJYS is proud to offer high quality percussion ensembles for our talented musicians in New Jersey.
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