“If Music Be the Food…”, the concert series benefiting Rochester’s Foodlink, will open its sixth season with an exciting program of music celebrating the 150th birthday of composer Richard Strauss on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd.
The concert will open with the String Sextet Overture to Strauss’s final opera, Capriccio, performed by Oleh Krysa and Ji-Yeon Lee, violins, Carol Rodland and Alexander Trygstad, violas, and Rosemary Elliot and Mark Yee, cellos. David Ying and Elinor Freer will perform his Sonata in F for Cello and Piano, opus 6. The concert will also include “Happy Endings”, opera scenes directed by Katherine Ciesinski, including the final duet from Arabella and the final scene from Der Rosenkavalier. The casts will include Anthony Baron, Candice Chung, Hannah Kurth, Kimberly Merrill, and Athene Tsz Wai Mok. Chiao-Wen Cheng will provide the orchestral reduction on the piano.
The mission of “If Music Be the Food…” is to increase awareness and support for the hungry, to share beautiful music with the community, and to teach music students the importance of utilizing their art for service in their communities. Members of the Eastman faculty, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, other local professional musicians, distinguished international guests, and Eastman students join together and donate their time and talents 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.
“If Music Be the Food…” was created in 2009 by Carol Rodland, 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 musical and administrative partners in this endeavor.
The success of “If Music Be the Food…” has inspired other prominent musical institutions in the United States to create initiatives in their own communities, including “If Music Be the Food…” Tampa, “If Music Be the Food…” Brockport, “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 regions 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.
The sixth season of “If Music Be the Food…” will continue with concerts on Jan. 25, 2015, at Third Presbyterian Church and on May 8, 2015, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Performers at these upcoming concerts will include special guest artist Kim Kashkashian, viola, as well as the Ying Quartet, Natalia Antonova, piano; Federico Agostini, violin; Bonita Boyd, flute; Renée Jolles, violin; Kathryn Cowdrick, mezzo soprano; Robert Swenson, tenor; Peter DuBois, and Robert Poovey.
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Sunday, October 19
If Music Be the Food . . . Benefit concert for Foodlink. Music of Richard Strauss performed by Oleh Krysa and Ji-Yeon Lee, violin; Carol Rodland and Alexander Trygstad, viola; Rosemary Elliot, Mark Yee, David Ying, cello; Elinor Freer and Chiao-Wen Cheng, piano; opera selections performed by Anthony Baron, Candice Chung, Hannah Kurth, Kimberly Merrill, and Athene Tsz Wai Mok.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd.
Audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for Foodlink as the price of admission