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Art, Drama, Music and Books
Art, drama, music & books

Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute to Offer Summer Writing Courses in Italy PDF Print Email


By Victoria Hochman, Manager of PR and Strategic Planning, Sarah Lawrence College

Mar. 22, 2017:  What could be more inspiring than Italy's Amalfi Coast in the summer? Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute is offering writers the opportunity to stretch their creative muscles with an exploration into writing and painting in Italy. Writing and painting workshops will be offered July 8 to 15.

The seven-day excursion to Cetara, an hour's drive from Naples, includes writing workshops led by authors Patricia Dunn and Kathy Curto, as well as afternoon painting sessions with artist William Papaleo. The program is for writers. No previous painting experience is needed.

"There is a strong bond between the realms of writing and painting. During this special week, writers will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into the senses to embolden, color, and enliven their own writing acumen," said Patricia Dunn, director of The Writing Institute and assistant dean of graduate and professional studies. "This exploration into the seaside palette and its many textures will unleash feelings and emotions sure to migrate to the pages each of us will write in this Italian coastal haven."

The program was established in honor of Joseph Papaleo, who died in 2004 and was an Italian American novelist and faculty member at Sarah Lawrence from 1960 to 1992.

Instructors Dunn and Curto will hold daily sessions that include writing exercises followed by sessions with William Papaleo.

Patricia Dunn received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where she currently teaches creative writing. Her novel Rebels by Accident was released in December of 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire. She is the former managing editor of Muslim Wakeup!, America's most popular Muslim online magazine, with over 200,000 monthly readers, and her fiction has appeared in Global City Review,, Women's eNews, The Christian Science Monitor, Village Voice, The Nation, and LA Weekly, among other publications.  

Kathy Curto teaches at The Writing Institute, Montclair State University (MSU), and across the metropolitan area, engaging writers of all ages. She was recently chosen to serve as one of the 2016-17 mentors in the MSU Engaged Teaching Fellows Program. Her work has been published in the anthology Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now and in publications including Barrelhouse, Drift, Talking Writing, Junk, The Inquisitive Eater, the Asbury Park Press, Italian Americana, VIA-Voices in Italian Americana, and Lumina.

William Papaleo is an American artist who has lived and worked in Italy for more than 25 years. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe and the United States. He has received various awards in international and juried shows in Italy and America.

Registration for the exploration in Cetara can be completed online. If you have questions, please call us at 914-395-2205 or email CLOAKING .

Pictured here:  Cetara-Tania-Lerro in Italy.

Photo courtesy Victoria Hochman, Manager of PR and Strategic Planning, Sarah Lawrence College

Broadway's Best Descend on Bronxville Monday, March 20, to Benefit Young at Arts PDF Print Email


By Susan Arditi, Media Consultant

Mar. 15, 2017:  On Monday, March 20, Young at Arts (YAA) will host its 12th annual benefit concert at 7:00 pm at Christ Church Bronxville. The benefit concert will pay tribute to renowned composer and Westchester resident Alan Menken.

Over 100 select students from YAA's three campuses will share the stage with Broadway stars Arielle Jacobs (Jasmine in Disney's Australian Company of Aladdin) and Ashley Brown (originated the title role in Broadway productions of Disney's Mary Poppins and Belle in Beauty and the Beast) and more surprise guests to be announced.

The evening will be led by co-musical directors Charles & Annbritt duChateau, from Broadway shows The King & I and Aladdin, respectively. Other musicians for the evening are a combination of YAA faculty members as well as additional Broadway guest artists who have backed up artists from Barbara Streisand to Beyoncé.

Proceeds of the evening allow the students of Young at Arts to gain greater exposure to Broadway, a wide variety of musical and theatrical artists, and vocal and ensemble direction, as well as access to performing arts camps, concerts, and international performance tours.

Founded in 2005 by director Sharyn Pirtle, Young at Arts is a dynamic nonprofit performing arts educational organization dedicated to helping young people expand their horizons and build character through music and drama. By bringing together children of different backgrounds in a collaborative environment, students learn skills that serve them well for the rest of their lives.

Young at Arts serves an area encompassing the Bronx and southern Westchester County where over 50 percent of the children live below the poverty line and where arts education is virtually absent in schools. Children from different backgrounds share a love for the performing arts while developing the values of leadership, discipline, integrity, and community to make them tolerant, global citizens of our world.

To find out more about Young at Arts, please visit its website at

Tickets may be bought online at

Pictured here:  Doors of Christ Church Bronxville.

Photo by A. Warner

OSilas Gallery and Concordia Conservatory to Present 'History of the Present' Art Exhibition Thursday, March 16, and Concert Sunday, March 19 PDF Print Email


By Holly Magnani, Web & Media Relations Manager, OSilas Gallery

Mar. 15, 2017:  OSilas Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of History of the Present, a contemporary art exhibition, on Thursday, March 16, at 7:00 pm in the gallery on the campus of Concordia College.

This exhibition will feature works by five artists and addresses complex narratives and the shapeshifting mappings of time, space, and power.

The featured artists are Rose DeSiano, Shanti Grumbine, Valerie Hegarty, James Raczkowski, and Melissa VandenbergHistory of the Present is curated by Sarah Rowe and Rachel Sydlowski. The curators state, "The works in this exhibition elicit a discourse about permanence, impermanence, history, and memory."

In conjunction with the exhibition, Concordia Conservatory presents History of the Present: Old & New as part of the Concerts at the OSilas Series on Sunday, March 19, at 3:00 pm in OSilas Gallery. The art exhibition of works by up-and-coming artists will be explored in a musical program of works by younger composers in diverse styles, juxtaposed with some classic pieces. The concert will feature music by KapustinNegrón, and Concordia Conservatory faculty member Van Brink, and the performers will be Evelyn Wadkins, cello, and Keith Kreindler, bassoon, saxophone, and clarinet.

The opening reception on Thursday, March 16, is free and open to the public. Tickets to the History of the Present: Old & New concert are $20 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. To purchase tickets, please call 914-395-4507 or go to

The History of the Present exhibition runs from March 16 through April 22. Please see for more information about exhibitions, special events, and programs.

Bronxville Graduate John Devlin Conducts the National Symphony Orchestra PDF Print Email


By Staff 

Mar. 8, 2017:  On February 8, 2017, John Devlin, BHS '04, led the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in a concert program that featured soloist Joshua Bell, one of today's most celebrated violinists. Devlin conducted works by Manuel Ponce, Eric Nathan, Ottorino Respighi, Nigel Hess, Johannes Brahms, and Maurice Ravel. Eric Nathan, Mamaroneck HS ’02, is Devlin’s friend and fellow alumnus of the Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale.

The event, which took place in Ronald Reagan Hall in Washington, D.C., included a five-course meal by celebrity chef Mike Isabella. It was curated by Gourmet Symphony, an organization co-founded by Devlin two years ago to encourage audiences to enjoy classical music in a new way:  by pairing it with creative cuisine and custom cocktails.

Over 250 guests delighted in what The Washington Post's Anne Midgette called "the highest-end dinner music anyone could experience," led by Devlin "with flair," while dining on tuna tartare and foie gras with pomegranate gel, roast duck, and a five-item dessert plate that included passion fruit curd and black sesame cake, each course accompanied by a carefully paired cocktail or wine.

Devlin, cover conductor of the NSO, will accompany the orchestra on its March 2017 tour of Russia, where it will participate in the eighth annual festival honoring Mstislav Rostropovich, NSO director for seventeen seasons. Artistic director of Gourmet Symphony, Devlin also serves as assistant conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and as assistant director of orchestral studies at the University of Maryland School of Music, where in 2015 he earned a doctor of musical arts degree in orchestral conducting. His undergraduate degree is from Emory University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a double major in music and Latin.

Pictured here:  Violinist Joshua Bell and conductor John Devlin.

Photography by Scott Suchman/courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Alisa Weilerstein to Perform at The Reformed Church on Friday, March 17 PDF Print Email


By Sándor Szabó, Minister of Music and Organist, The Reformed Church of Bronxville

Mar. 8, 2017:  The Reformed Church of Bronxville will host the world-renowned 
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with internationally acclaimed cellist Alisa Weilerstein on Friday, March 17, in the church's sanctuary.

The performance is free to all. General admission seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:30.

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Emily McKnight Corry, a passionate lover of classical music, who was a member of The Reformed Church for 51 years until her death on May 21, 2016, and taught eighth grade church school.

We are grateful for the legacy of Emily, as well as her husband, John A. Corry (also a longtime church member, who died on December 26, 2016), both of whom were great supporters of the arts.

"We are delighted to host the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra," said Dr. Sándor Szabó, minister of music at The Reformed Church. "It is one of the premier chamber ensembles in the world, and its mission of providing the highest caliber of music to the public fits with our own dedication to serving the community with almost a dozen concerts each year—all free to the community."

A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world's foremost chamber orchestras. It was founded in 1972 by a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble with the richness of an orchestra.

With 71 albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, and 43 commissioned and premiered original works, Orpheus rotates musical leadership roles and strives to perform diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue.

Performing without a conductor, Orpheus presents an annual series at Carnegie Hall and tours extensively to major national and international venues.

The concert will feature Felix Mendelssohn's Nocturno for Winds; Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 5; Anton Webern's Five Movements for Strings; and Robert Schumann's exuberant Cello Concerto, performed with the extraordinary American cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

Weilerstein, who recently recorded her fifth album on Decca Classics, made her major orchestral debut in 1995 at age 13 with the Cleveland Orchestra and a year later made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony. Since then, she has appeared with every major orchestra in the United States and Europe and has appeared at festivals ranging from Aspen and Edinburgh to Salzburg and Tanglewood. In 2011, she was awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant.

No reservations will be accepted, so patrons should arrive early; the sanctuary holds approximately 600.

For more information, visit www.reformed or call The Reformed Church office at 914-337-6776. 

Pictured here:  Acclaimed cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

Photo courtesy Sándor Szabó, Minister of Music and Organist, The Reformed Church of Bronxville

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