All Press Releases for February 10, 2022

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Honors World-Renowned Paul Shaffer with Lifetime Achievement Award

The award will be presented to Paul Shaffer at the "Together We Celebrate" Gala on March 10, 2022.

"I am so pleased to be recognized by Wharton Arts, an organization I admire for their work of offering accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth," said Shaffer.

    BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ, February 10, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On Thursday, March 10, 2022, Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts will honor world-renowned singer, composer, comedian, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Shaffer with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the "Together We Celebrate" Annual Gala. The Education Award is being presented to Robbin Gordon-Cartier, harpist, award-winning educator and founder of the Elizabeth School District harp program which is now at the Cicely Tyson Performing Arts School in East Orange. She is President of the North Jersey Chapter of the American Harp Society and a sought-after presenter of workshops across the country.

The gala is a lavish cocktail party and reception with student performances and an auction during a three-course sit down dinner. It takes place at Westmount Country Club, 728 Rifle Camp Road in Woodland Park, NJ. To attend the gala and support Wharton Arts, please visit

The Wharton Arts Lifetime Achievement Award distinguishes individuals who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the performing arts and represent a beacon of inspiration to Wharton Arts' students. Shaffer will accept the award at the annual event celebrating Wharton's thriving, life-changing performing arts education programs featuring performances by the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Paterson Music Project, and Performing Arts School. Shaffer will join nine students from the New Jersey Youth Symphony jazz program for a surprise performance and the theme of the gala recognizes Wharton's dedicated young musicians who are thrilled to share the gift of music and bring positivity to their communities despite the challenges faced by COVID-19.

Peter H. Gistelinck, Executive Director of Wharton Arts, shared his enthusiasm for the honorees and said, "Paul Shaffer is respected worldwide and is known for his years serving as David Letterman's musical director, band leader and sidekick. In addition, his career spans all aspects of entertainment – music, acting and comedy. He exemplifies the versatility available in the performing arts, and he is a true inspiration to our students."

Helen H. Cha-Pyo, Artistic Director of Wharton Arts, is equally pleased to recognize Robbin Gordon-Cartier and said, "Robbin is an extraordinary educator with passion for using music to help young people find themselves. Her talent as a harpist extends from the stage to the classroom to community gatherings as an ambassador of music with messages of hope. She is someone who inspires us all."

Paul Shaffer was overwhelmed when he first learned of this honor. He said, "I am so pleased and honored to be recognized by Wharton Arts, an organization I admire for their work and creative mission of offering accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities. I look so much forward to spending time with the students and guests at the gala."

About Paul Shaffer:
Shaffer served as David Letterman's musical director, band leader, and sidekick on the entire run of both Late Night with David Letterman (1982-1993) and Late Show with David Letterman (1993-2015). He was also a member of the house band and a featured performer on Saturday Night Live (1975-1980) and made many movie and TV appearances. Grammy-award winner and four-time EMMY nominee, Shaffer holds two honorary doctorate degrees, was inducted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame and awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2008, Paul received the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honor. He lives in the New York area with his wife and two children. More information about Paul Shaffer can be found at

About Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts:
Wharton Arts' mission is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities. Wharton Arts is New Jersey's largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,500 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve 500 students in grades 3 – 12 by audition. Beginning with Pathways classes for young children, Wharton offers private lessons, group classes, and ensembles for all ages and all abilities at the Performing Arts School. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton teaches all instruments and voice and has a robust musical theater program. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing.

Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 10 counties in New Jersey. All of Wharton's extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best. For more information, visit

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Wharton Arts 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Paul Shaffer on The Late Show with David Letterman