Musicians unite to benefit Rochester’s Foodlink

October 8, 2012

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

(Rochester, New York) –If Music Be the Food…” , a concert series benefiting Rochester’ Foodlink, will open its fourth season with an exciting program of music for organ, strings, brass, and percussion at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Road (at East Avenue) in Rochester, on Sunday evening, October 21, 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.  Reports in the news of increased need for food aid in the community due to the economic downturn inspired her to create the series.

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.  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. 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.

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  “Music For Food” in Boston and “If Music Be the Food…” Tampa, which begins its first season this fall at the Carrollwood Cultural Center in Tampa , Florida.

The October 21st concert will feature organists Robert Poovey, Director of Music at St. Paul’s, and Catherine Rodland, Artist-in-Residence at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in works of American composers, including Howard Hanson, Craig Phillips, and Samuel Barber. They will be joined by Berlin-based conductor Richard Anderson, Eastman faculty and students, members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and other local musicians.

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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