New Jersey Symphony CHAMPS

New Jersey Symphony CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project) harnesses the power of music to enhance students’ lives by fostering social and academic success.

An intensive after-school program inspired by the Venezuelan social change and music education program El Sistema, New Jersey Symphony CHAMPS partners with Philip’s Academy Charter School in Newark. The program provides up to 50 students in grades three through six with after-school instruction in violin, viola or cello for two hours per day, two days per week.

  • Intensive after-school instruction—including group string lessons and full ensemble rehearsals—for up to two hours per day, two days per week.
  • Professional musicians serve as teaching artists, providing small group instruction on violin, viola and cello.
  • New Jersey Symphony musicians serve as coaches-in-residence, providing pull-out private lessons and special workshops.
  • At least four public performances annually.
  • Educational chamber music performances by New Jersey Symphony musicians.
  • Family Fun Days for students and parents.
  • Complimentary tickets to select New Jersey Symphony concerts.

More information

Contact the Education & Community Engagement staff at or 973.735.1733.

El Sistema New Jersey Alliance

Funded by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, El Sistema New Jersey is a unique alliance of El Sistema-inspired music-instruction programs across the Garden State. New Jersey Symphony Orchestra CHAMPS, Keys 2 Success, the Paterson Music Project, Sister Cities Girlchoir (Camden), Sonic Explorations (Orange), Trenton Music Makers and Union City Music Project are the anchor programs of this emerging network. The aim of El Sistema New Jersey is to provide collaborative training, performance and professional development opportunities that empower participating families to come together in a statewide musical community.

El Sistema Resources

New Jersey Symphony Youth Orchestra Artistic Leadership

A group of dedicated professionals leads the New Jersey Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Meet the Team