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

Concordia Conservatory to Present 'Schmutzinberry Has Writer's Block' Saturday, March 14 PDF Print Email

Written by Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art


Mar. 11, 2015: Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art will present Schmutzinberry Has Writer's Block by Rami Vamos on Saturday, March 14, at 11:00 am in the Schoenfeld Campus Center at Concordia College as part of the conservatory's Musical Adventures Family Series.

With the book written by Rami Vamos, the show features the piano trio of Nurit Pacht, violin, Annette Espada, cello, and Jon Klibonoff, piano, with Rami Vamos as Schmutzinberry. Music featured in the show includes new works by JP Redmond of Yonkers and Nick Politi of Scarsdale, along with works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Bach.

About the Show: This one-act musical-education comedy centers on Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry. He has writer's block. He has been commissioned to write a very important piece for an important occasion but cannot come up with a single note! He comes to the conservatory and finds inspiration from art and then can write his music.

About Rami Vamos. Rami Vamos shares the stage with other musicians and actors to bring original material to audiences of all ages. His prolific compositions of children's musicals include Monsterland, The Amazing Tale of Prince Pickles, Once Upon a Time Signature, Introducing: Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry, Egbert the Scaredy Cat, and Marsha the Martian.

Mr. Vamos has also written music for theatrical productions, setting his own compositions to masterpieces from many periods, and he has composed several solo and chamber compositions over the past few years, including a collaborative composition with guitarist Randall Avers called 12 Silly Songs for 12 Silly Strings.

In the fall of 2006, Vamos was commissioned to write a musical titled The 12 Days of Christmas. The commission was through a grant from The New York State Music Fund. The musical was the subject of a three-segment documentary featured on Kids Teen News.

He is on the faculty of the Hutchinson and Siwanoy Schools in Pelham, as well as Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art, where he is chair of the string department and is on the guitar faculty. He holds a BM from Oberlin College Conservatory and an MM from Yale University and has completed a New York City teaching fellowship that earned him an MEd from Queens College. He is also a teaching artist with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children and seniors. To purchase tickets, please call 914-395-4507 or visit

Pictured here: Schmutzinberry, who has a writer's block.

Photo courtesy Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Author Charli Devnet to Speak about 'The Snow Queen's Daughter: My Life with Aspergers' at Concordia College Thursday, March 12 PDF Print Email

Written by Ellen de Saint Phalle, Director of Community Relations, Concordia College

Mar. 4, 2015: Author Charli Devnet will share her memoir, The Snow Queen's Daughter: My Life with Aspergers, a Tale from the Lost Generation, at Concordia College's next Books & Coffee program on Thursday, March 12, at 7:00 pm.

This free program, presented in conjunction with Concordia College's Teacher Education Program, will be held in the Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts on the Concordia campus.

The Snow Queen's Daughter describes growing up in the 1960s with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome. In a time when few understood Asperger's or even knew it existed, Devnet struggled with feelings of isolation and emotional instability. Without a proper diagnosis, she failed to receive the individualized care and attention she so desperately needed.

Told with courage, honesty, and humor, Devnet shares the disappointments and triumphs she experienced along the way to becoming a student of history, politics, and law, a tour guide at Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and most recently, a published author.

A reception with book sales and signing will follow Ms. Devnet's presentation. For more information, contact the director of community relations at Concordia College, Ellen de Saint Phalle, at 914-337-9300, ext. 2159.

Pictured here: Cover of  The Snow Queen's Daughter: My Life with Aspergers, a Tale from the Lost Generation.

Photo courtesy Ellen de Saint Phalle, Director of Community Relations, Concordia College

James Lettiere: Two Exceptional Art Exhibitions at The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC PDF Print Email

Written by James Lettiere, Art Specialist

Feb. 25, 2015: Two terrific exhibitions are now showing at The Rubin Museum of Art--one of my favorite museums. Below are the details. 

I. The All-Knowing Buddha: A Secret Guide

Until April 13, 2015

The Rubin Museum describes this exhibition on its website as "an exceptional set of paintings in the intimate format of album leaves from 18th-century China that illustrate the meditation practice of Sarvavid Vairochana, a primordial Buddha central to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The album is one of only two of its kind in existence to depict visually a secret esoteric practice."

"The 54 richly detailed paintings provide step-by-step guidance to visualization of the Buddha Sarvavid Vairochana and offer unique insight into the meditation and rituals of Tibetan Buddhism. . . .

"On loan to the Rubin from the Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp, Belgium, the album was first brought to the West in 1923 by a Christian missionary who acquired it from a Buddhist monastery in Jehol, Inner Mongolia."

II. Witness at a Crossroads: Photographer Marc Riboud in Asia

Until March 23, 2015

The Rubin Museum says on its website that this exhibition "chronicles French photographer Marc Riboud's journeys across Asia during the mid-1950s and 60s, a period of great cultural and political transition in the region. More than one hundred arresting black-and-white photographs offer glimpses into everyday life in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, and Japan."

The transitional nature of culture and politics plays out in the "tension between tradition and post-war modernity" depicted in many of the photographs. One can also see the shift from a traditional rural existence to a more urban environment.

The Rubin Museum of Art
150 West 17th Street
New York, NY 10011

Museum Hours

Monday: 11:00 am–5:00 pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 11:00 am–9:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am–5:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am–10:00 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 11:00 am–6:00 pm

Twenty-Three Bronxville School Students Selected for All-County Ensembles PDF Print Email

Written by Donna Devlin, Volunteer, Bronxville School Music Department


Feb. 18, 2015: Twenty-three Bronxville School students have been selected for All-County music ensembles by the Westchester County School Music Association (WCSMA) for its 2015 Elementary and Intermediate Festival concerts on March 14 and 15 at SUNY Purchase.

The Elementary Festival includes students in grades four through six. Selected for the Elementary Orchestra are fourth-grade violinists Keala Schubert and Eugene Yoo, fifth-grade violist Tyler Tanaka-Wong, and sixth graders Lydia Burkee (cello), Elaina Poulos (viola), Rachel Roberts (violin), and Eve Sullivan (viola).

Named to the Elementary Chorus are fifth-grade sopranos Amelia Bornmann, Caroline Empey, Maggie Lockwood, and Cate Spitz; fifth-grade altos Sabrina Latham, Sophie Pingel, Stella Shah, and Fiona Vail; sixth-grade sopranos Caroline Palermo and Izaak Thoms; and sixth-grade altos Safiya Patel and Alanna Thompson.

The Intermediate Festival includes students in grades seven through nine. Selected for the Intermediate Orchestra is seventh-grade trombonist Finlay Boardman. Selected for the Intermediate Band is seventh-grade French horn player James Ferguson. Named to the Intermediate Chorus are seventh-grade alto Emma Geer and eighth-grade soprano Lily Vorbach.

The instrumentalists were chosen by WCSMA on the basis of auditions at last spring's NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Solo Festival, where they were required to perform a solo piece, sight-read, and play scales. The singers were chosen by their school choral director on the basis of skills and interest.

Pictured here (rotating): Bronxville School All-County Singers (L to R), front row: Sabrina Latham, Catherine Spitz, Caroline Empey, Sophie Pingel, Maggie Lockwood, Amelia Bornmann, and Fiona Vail; back row: Stella Shah, Izaak Thoms, Caroline Palermo, Lily Vorbach, Emma Geer, Safiya Patel, and Alanna Thompson. Bronxville School All-County Instrumentalists (L to R), front row: Eugene Yoo, Lydia Burkee, Eve Sullivan, and Keala Schubert; back row: Tyler Tanaka-Wong, James Ferguson, Elaina Poulos, and Rachel Roberts. Missing: Finlay Boardman.

Photos by Donna Devlin, Volunteer, Bronxville School Music Department

James Lettiere: Two Art Exhibitions Now on Show in New York City PDF Print Email

Written by James Lettiere, Art Specialist

Feb. 18, 2015: Two art exhibitions well worth seeing are currently on show in New York City. Below are the details.

I. Signs/Words Exhibition
Until April 11, 2015

Sperone Westwater gallery inaugurated a new Foster + Partners-designed building at 257 Bowery in New York in September of 2010. It is an eight-story stand-alone building a couple of blocks from the New Museum. The gallery exhibits an international roster of prominent artists working in a wide variety of media.

The Signs/Words exhibition at Sperone Westwater contains works by impressive artists. The list of all fourteen of the artists in the exhibition includes well-known and well-regarded individuals. Among others: Alighiero Boetti, Richard Long, William Wegman, Tom Sachs, Andy Warhol, and Bruce Nauman.

Various types of media and photography are put to use. Not all of the results are as effective as some of the best. However, observing all of these works together at one time adds to the impact of any one particular work. It makes sense to show them as a group. The artists use unique practices that demonstrate the wide variety of contemporary art.

Sperone Westwater
257 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Tel.: 212-999-7337; fax: 212-999-7338; CLOAKING

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

II. Mid-Century Vintage Photographs by Dutch Artists
Until March 14, 2015 

This is the first exhibition dedicated to Dutch photography after World War II presented in New York City. The show includes 52 pictures by 13 photographers, all originally in the collection of Norman Hall, the picture editor of the British Journal of Photography Annual and the Photography Annual.

The Dutch practiced many kinds of photography, from the staged studio pictures to street views and reportage made abroad for magazines. The current exhibition presents both the pictures produced for magazine layout as well as personal works.

I learned that there was a great deal of experimentation with other art forms and philosophies by this group of photographers. They were influenced by international contemporary practices whether the pictures were for purposes of reporting an event or participating in the Dutch avant-gardes.

Examples of the work of some of the artists were shown in European photograph exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in 1953 and 1955.

Keith de Lellis Gallery
1045 Madison Avenue, #3 (between 79th & 80th Streets), New York, NY 10075
Tel.: 212-327-1482; fax: 212-327-1492;

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; Saturday, 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.

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