“If Music Be the Food…”, the concert series benefiting Rochester’s Foodlink, will continue its sixth season of music programs on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St.
The concert will both open and conclude with vocal music by Johannes Brahms, performed by Kathryn Cowdrick and Robert Swenson, both Professors of Voice at the Eastman School of Music, and two of their students, Michaela Swan and Aaron Bigeleisen. Third Presbyterian Church’s Director of Music, Peter DuBois, will join them at the piano. The program will also include selections of piano music by Frederick Chopin performed by Professor of Piano Natalia Antonova, as well as Dvořák’s Terzetto for Two Violins and Viola, performed by Professor of Violin Federico Agostini, his wife Eri Noda, and Professor of Viola Carol Rodland.
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 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.
The first concert of Season Six, held in October, garnered $1000 and 266 pounds of food for Foodlink. “If Music Be the Food…” was created in 2009 by Rodland. A passionate and long-time supporter of food banks, Rodland 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. DuBois and Dr. Robert Poovey, Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal 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 based on this concept 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 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.
“If Music Be the Food…” will conclude its sixth season with a concert on May 8 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. This final concert will feature special guest artist Kim Kashkashian, as well as the Ying Quartet, Bonita Boyd, Renée Jolles, and Robert Poovey. Further information is available at www.ifmusicbethefood.com .
# # #
Sunday, Jan. 25
“If Music be the Food” benefit concert for Foodlink. Music by Brahms, Chopin, and Dvorak; performed by Kathryn Cowdrick and Michael Swan, mezzo soprano; Robert Swenson, tenor; Aaron Bigeleisen, baritone; Peter DuBois, piano; Natalia Antonova, piano; Federico Agostini and Eri Noda,violin; Carol Rodland, viola; all of the Eastman School of Music.
Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St.
Admission: audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for Foodlink as the price of admission.