American and Russian music “From Times Square to Red Square” will fill the First Presbyterian Church of Albion at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. The concert, part of this season’s Eastman at Albion Courthouse Square concert series, will feature flutist Sophia Gibbs Kim and pianist Irina Lupines, faculty members at the Eastman Community Music School, as well as student musicians from Albion. Kim and Lupines will also discuss the differences in music and musical training between the two countries.
Presented by the Albion community in partnership with the Eastman Community Music School, the series was launched in the spring of 2010 to promote performing arts while highlighting the town’s historic structures. Concerts are presented in the architecturally significant churches which rim the square in front of the landmark Orleans County Courthouse. The buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
While faculty members from the music school have been featured in the concerts, the collaboration has also given Eastman and Albion student musicians opportunities to work together. Last year, the Oracle Brass Ensemble, composed of soon-to-graduate Eastman School of Music students, gave individual coaching sessions and workshops in the Albion elementary, middle, and high school. In December, the Eastman Community Chamber Singers were joined in concert by choirs and a clarinet ensemble from Albion schools.
“George Eastman believed that culture and education benefit and improve the quality of life for the community. Thus he not only created the Eastman School of Music to prepare tomorrow’s music professionals, but also created the Eastman Community Music School for the enrichment of the residents of Western New York,” said Howard Potter, Associate Dean for Community and Continuing Education. “The Eastman/Albion initiative is yet one more concrete manifestation of Mr. Eastman’s vision.”
“This is an ideal partnership,” said Diane Palmer, an Albion resident and a founder and organizer of the series. “The Eastman Community Music School and the Eastman School of Music give our rural community access to world-class musicians, while the Albion community offers the musicians the opportunity to perform in historic churches filled with a very receptive and appreciative audience of listeners.”
This year’s series kicked off on March 13 with a recital of Irish music performed by Striking Strings, a hammered dulcimer ensemble directed by Mitzie Collins, and the Albion High School Saxophone Ensemble. The May 8 event will be a “Progressive Organ Concert,” featuring recitals by Eastman School of Music organ students in three different churches. Trumpeter Roy Smith, a 2001 graduate of Albion High School, will join them in performance.
The first season of concerts in 2010 featured jazz guitarist Bob Sneider and his Quintet, classical guitarist Petar Kodzas and soprano Pamela Kurau, and the chamber music group Quartsemble (now named Gibbs & Main).
Tickets to concerts in the Eastman at Albion Courthouse Square Series are $10 general admission and $5 for students, with proceeds benefiting Albion Alumni Foundation Scholarships.
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