“If Music Be the Food…,” a concert series benefiting Rochester’ Foodlink, will continue its fifth season with an exciting program of music on Sunday, January 26, 2014, at 7:30 PM, at Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St., Rochester.
The concert will open with Telemann’s Cantata on Psalm 100, performed by Jan Opalach, bass-baritone, Peter DuBois, organ, James Thompson, trumpet, Jeremy Hill, violin, Melissa Matson, viola, and Joshua DePoint, double bass. The second work on the program will be a selection of Duos by Bela Bartok, performed by Carol Rodland, viola, and IMBTF Tampa’s Artistic Director, Scott Kluksdahl, cello. The concert will conclude with selections for percussion performed by Robyn Schulkowsky, special guest artist from Berlin, Germany, collaborating with Michael Burritt and students from the Eastman Percussion Ensemble.
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 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 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 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, Associate 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. 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…” 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.