The benefit concert series “If Music Be the Food…” will conclude its third season with an exciting program of chamber music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Road (at East Avenue) in Rochester, on Friday evening, May 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM.
“If Music Be the Food…” was created and launched in 2009 by Eastman School of Music Associate Professor of Viola, Carol Rodland. Rodland, a passionate and long-time supporter of food banks, joined the Eastman faculty in 2008 at the height of the economic downturn. Reports in the news of increased need for food aid in the community inspired her to create the series.
The mission of “If Music Be the Food…” is to increase awareness and support for the hungry in our community through chamber music performances of the highest caliber. Members of the Eastman faculty, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, other local professional musicians, distinguished international guests, and Eastman students join together and donate their services for these concerts. No money exchanges hands; 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. For the first two seasons, Rochester’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, with the tireless assistance of its Director of Music Robert Poovey, hosted the concerts. The first concert of Season 3 was hosted by Third Presbyterian Church of Rochester and the remainder of the concerts will take place at St. Paul’s. These two churches generously host these concerts free of charge. The success of “If Music Be the Food…” is inspiring other prominent musical institutions in the United States to implement initiatives based on this concept in their own communities. There are now similar series underway in Boston, New Haven, and Tampa.
This final concert of Season Three will include a performance of selections for multiple violas by the Eastman School of Music Viola Choir, a group formed especially for the 40th International Viola Congress, which is coming to Rochester at the end of May; ESM Assistant Professor of Voice, Jan Opalach and Dr. Robert Poovey, organist, will perform works of Max Reger and Franz Lachner for bass-baritone and organ, featuring the historic and recently renovated St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Skinner Organ; and the Ying Quartet, joined by Carol Rodland, viola, and Keiko Ying, cello, will perform the stunning String Sextet in B-flat Major of Johannes Brahms.
Rather than pay an admission price, attendees are asked to bring canned goods and non-perishable food items to help stock the Foodlink shelves. Cash donations will also be accepted.
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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