Sri Lankan chants, Bulgarian accordion melodies, and hammered dulcimer compositions will fill Kilbourn Hall for Mitzie Collins’s popular annual World Music Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 18. For the 16th year, Collins, a faculty member of the Eastman Community Music School, has gathered a group of musical friends to produce a program as part of the Eastman School of Music’s Summer Concert Series.
Hailing from the Sri Vidya Temple in Rush, N.Y., the Sri Rajarajeswari Bhajan Group will perform Hindu religious chants accompanied by drum, cymbals, and harmonium. The Sri Vidya Temple helps preserve the culture and rituals of Sri Lankans and South Indians living in western New York. The works are typical of the South Indian and Sri Lankan musical traditions and are part of weekly ceremonies at the temple. Because the Sri Rajarajeswari Bhajan Group only occasionally performs outside of the temple setting, the Kilbourn Hall concert presents a rare opportunity to hear these ancient chants.
Prize-winning accordionist Alex Alexandrov learned to play the instrument in her native country, Bulgaria. She served as concertmaster for the National Accordion Orchestra of Bulgaria and the Palace of the Pioneers Accordion Orchestra, traveling widely and performing throughout Europe before escaping Communist Bulgaria in the 1980s. She received political asylum in the United States in 1986 and is currently Director of Broadcast Operations for SUNY College at Brockport.
Collins, a versatile musician who teaches hammered dulcimer and music history, will be joined by a group of performers for a selection of traditional New York State tunes on the hammered dulcimer. “I always find it exciting to put together this world music program because I can draw upon such a wealth of talent from many countries,” Collins said.
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Sunday, July 18
Mitzie Collins and Friends: World Music
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Admission: Tickets $10 general public; $7 faculty staff; $5 students. Available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Avenue; by phone: 585-454-2100; or online at www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts