“If Music Be the Food…”, a concert series benefiting Rochester’s Foodlink, will conclude its fifth season with an exciting program of music on Friday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd., Rochester.
The concert will open with Eastman School of Music Professor of Harp, Kathleen Bride, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Director of Music, Robert Poovey, performing Marcel Grandjany’s arrangement for harp and organ of Handel’s Concerto in B-flat. This will be followed by Grandjany’s “Aria in Classic Style” for Harp and Organ. Eastman students Zachary Hammond, oboe, Victor Ronchetti and Alex Lee, violins, Molly Goldman, viola, and Ben Fried, cello will play beloved British composer Arthur Bliss’s Quintet for Oboe and Strings. The concert concludes with the Ying Quartet performing Beethoven’s monumental Quartet, Opus 59, Number 1.
The mission of “If Music Be the Food…” is to increase awareness and support for the hungry in the community through classical music performances of the highest caliber, to share beautiful music with the community, and to teach music students the importance of utilizing their art as a powerful vehicle for change. Members of the Eastman faculty, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, other local professional musicians, distinguished international guests, and Eastman students join together and donate their time and talents for these concerts. All participants in every aspect of this endeavor volunteer their services and pay their own costs, so that all proceeds can go to the hungry via Foodlink. No tickets are sold for the concerts; rather, audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for Foodlink as the price of admission. Last year’s concerts yielded nearly $2500 and 750 pounds of food for Foodlink and this year’s series is well on its way to surpassing last year’s totals.
“If Music Be the Food…” was created in 2009 by Carol Rodland, Professor of Viola at the Eastman School of Music. Rodland, a passionate and long-time supporter of food banks, joined the Eastman faculty in 2008. Reports in the news of increased need for food aid in the community due to the economic downturn inspired her to create the series. Dr. Robert Poovey, Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Peter DuBois, Director of Music at Third Presbyterian Church, are invaluable partners, both musically and administratively, in this endeavor.
The success of “If Music Be the Food…” has inspired other prominent musical institutions in the United States to create initiatives based on this concept in their own communities, including “If Music Be the Food…” Tampa, “If Music Be the Food…” Brockport, “If Music Be the Food…” at Grace Church in New York City, and “Music For Food” in Boston.
Foodlink is a non-profit regional food bank that distributes food to soup kitchens, shelters and emergency food pantries, and to non-emergency programs such as group homes, and senior centers. Founded in 1978, Foodlink serves a 10-county area in the Genesee Valley and Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York. Foodlink’s mission is to empower at-risk communities by providing food, nutrition, education and resources in Central and Western New York. Today, the food bank serves nearly 90,000 meals each week or a total of 4.5 million meals annually.
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Friday, May 9
“If Music be the Food.” Benefit concert for Foodlink with Kathleen Bride, harp; Robert Poovey, organ; the Ying Quartet; Zachary Hammond, oboe; Victor Ronchetti and Alex Lee, violins; Molly Goldman, viola; and Ben Fried, cello.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd., Rochester.
Admission: audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for Foodlink as the price of admission.