Eastman School and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians Unite to Benefit Rochester’s Foodlink

September 21, 2015

“If Music Be the Food…”, the concert series benefiting Rochester’s Foodlink, will open  its seventh season on Sunday, Oct. 18,  at  7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd., in Rochester. 

The concert opens with Jean-Marie Leclair’s Sonata for Two Violins, performed by Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra violinists Heidi Brodwin and Lara Sipols. Eastman School of Music Professor of Voice Katherine Ciesinski and Eastman voice students will perform a series of French opera arias with obbligato instruments. The concert will conclude with Antonin Dvořák’s beloved Piano Quartet in E-flat, performed by Eastman faculty members Mikhail Kopelman, Carol Rodland, Steven Doane, and Anna Gourfinkel. 

“If Music Be the Food…” is a grass-roots community project whose mission is to increase awareness and support for the hungry through the sharing of great music.  Eastman faculty and students, members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, other local professional musicians, and distinguished international guest artists donate their time and talents for these concerts so that all proceeds can go to the hungry via Foodlink.   

Audience members are asked to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for Foodlink as the price of admission. Last season’s concerts garnered more than $3,500 and nearly 900 pounds of food for Foodlink.   

“If Music Be the Food…” was launched in 2009 Professor of Viola Carol Rodland at the Eastman School of Music. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Director of Music Dr. Robert Poovey and Third Presbyterian Director of Music Peter DuBois are musical and administrative partners in the series.   

Upcoming concerts in the series are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs St.; and on Monday, May 2, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. For further information please visit http://www.ifmusicbethefood.com/ and “like” “If Music Be the Food…” on Facebook. 

The success of “If Music Be the Food…” has inspired other prominent musicians in the United States to create similar initiatives based in their own communities, including “If Music Be the Food… Tampa”, “If Music Be the Food…Tucson”, and “Music for Food” in Boston.  

Foodlink is a regional food hub and the Feeding America food bank serving Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates Counties.  Foodlink’s operations target the root causes of hunger by distributing food to a network of human service agencies, serving meals through its commercial kitchen, and offering more than 30 food-related programs.   In 2014, Foodlink distributed over 18 million pounds of food—including 3.6 million pounds of produce, offered more than 200 nutrition education courses, and created new access points for healthy foods in underserved communities. Foodlink’s innovative approach directly addresses health disparities related to food insecurity.  More information about Foodlink can be found online at  www.foodlinkny.org .


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