“If Music Be the Food . . . ”, the concert series benefiting Rochester’s Foodlink, will launch its eighth season on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Westminster Rd., in Rochester.
The concert will open with Gabriel Pierne’s “Variations Libres et Finale” featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal harpist, Grace Wong; Eastman School of Music faculty members Bonita Boyd, flute, Renée Jolles, violin, and Carol Rodland, viola; and special guest artist Mihai Tetel, cello. Rochester’s own Amenda Quartet will play Beethoven’s beloved String Quartet Opus 74, “The Harp.” The concert will conclude with Eastman students Kimberly Merrill, soprano, and Isaac Assor, baritone, singing the final scene from Tchaikovsky’s epic opera Eugene Onegin, as curated by Eastman Professor of Voice Katherine Ciesinski. They will be accompanied by Jeong-Eun Lee, pianist.
“If Music Be the Food . . . ” is a grassroots volunteer 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 guests 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 $3,000 and nearly 1,000 pounds of food for Foodlink.
“If Music Be the Food . . . ” was created in 2009 by Carol Rodland, professor of viola at the Eastman School of Music. A passionate and long-time supporter of food banks, Rodland joined the Eastman faculty in 2008. Rochester’s high poverty rate and the accompanying problem of food insecurity for so many of the city’s residents inspired her to create the concert series. Peter DuBois, Director of Music at Third Presbyterian Church, and Robert Poovey, Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, are musical and administrative partners in the series. For further information, please visit www.ifmusicbethefood.com/a>.
“If Music Be the Food . . . ” in Rochester has inspired other prominent musicians in the United States to create initiatives based on this concept in their own communities, including “If Music Be the Food . . . ” in Tampa, Tucson, Baltimore, and Gettysburg.
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.
# # #