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

Emma Oxford, Former Director of Concordia Books & Coffee Series, Returns as Featured Author Thursday, February 6 PDF Print Email

Feb. 5, 2014: Emma Oxford, former director of community relations and Concordia's Books & Coffee Program, returns to discuss her first book, At Least We Lived: The Unlikely Adventures of an English Couple in World War II China, on Thursday, February 6, at 7:00 pm in the Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts on the campus of Concordia College.

Inspired by her parents' extraordinary collection of letters and journals, Oxford began the book when she lived recently in Hong Kong, supplementing her parents' eyewitness accounts with her own extensive research on life in Asia during World War II.

Commenting on the book, Philip Snow, author of The Fall of Hong Kong: Britain, China, and the Japanese Occupation, said, "Emma Oxford has painted a vivid picture of the now distant world of two generations ago. Her story of an English couple in wartime China and Hong Kong is beautifully written, and her description of life in Chungking in particular lingers on in the mind."

Oxford is a founding member of HERO (the Hong Kong Escape Reenactment Organization) and a fellow of the British American Project, a transatlantic fellowship of over 1,000 leaders from a broad spectrum of occupations, backgrounds, and political views that celebrates and encourages the transatlantic relationship. A graduate of Oxford University, Oxford grew up in Malaysia and England. Her career has spanned the UK and the US, including time as chief of staff to two of Margaret Thatcher's ministers.

In 2011, Oxford moved to Washington, DC, with her husband, Michael Elliot, CEO of the ONE campaign, and spent time on her own writing, and she published At Least We Lived in August of 2013.

Concordia's Books & Coffee series is made possible through the generous support of Friends of Concordia. Admission is free, and no reservations are required. For questions, please contact CLOAKING or call Ellen de Saint Phalle at 914-337-9300, ext. 2159.

Pictured here:  Emma Oxford, author of At Least We Lived: The Unlikely Adventures of an English Couple in World War II China.

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

An Evening of Opera Classics to Be Sung at Reformed Church Saturday, February 15 PDF Print Email

Feb. 5, 2014:  On Saturday, February 15, at 7:30 pm, a sextet of the chancel choir's professional section leaders at The Reformed Church of Bronxville will present an evening of opera classics titled "A Night at the Opera."

Vocalists Laura Green (alto), Christopher Lucier (tenor), Timothy O'Conner (tenor), Jenny Ribeiro (soprano), Robert Mobsby (baritone), and Kyle Oliver (tenor) will fill the Edwards Room in the church with some of their favorite opera arias.

Highlights include:  Lensky's aria from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin; Sam's aria from Carlisle Floyd's Susannah; "Una voce poco" from Rossini's The Barber of Seville; and "Quel guardo il cavalieri" from Donizetti's Don Pasquale.

Dr. Sandor Szabo, minister of music for The Reformed Church, will be the accompanist. Admission is free.

Pictured here:  The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

Photo by A. Warner

Joyce Balint to Perform 'A Mostly Italian Afternoon' Concert Sunday, February 9 PDF Print Email

Feb. 5, 2014:  On Sunday, February 9, at 3:00 pm in the second concert on the Midland Music Series, Joyce Rasmussen Balint, mandolin, and Oxana Mikhailoff, piano, will present an afternoon of music for the mandolin at The Bronxville Women's Club. Both Ms. Balint and Ms. Mikhailoff are members of the club. The title of the concert is "A Mostly Italian Afternoon."

Joyce Balint is the mandolin soloist with the Metropolitan Opera and has performed as a recitalist and with orchestras both as a member and as a soloist throughout the United States and in Europe and Japan. The New York Times said that her playing "came close to the ideal," and a review in the Gannett Newspapers in Westchester said, "The mandolin . . . can be a delightful concert instrument in the right hands. Mandolinist Joyce Rasmussen Balint proved that." Ms. Balint teaches both the violin and the mandolin at the Mozartina Musical Arts Conservatory in Tarrytown and in her private studio.

Oxana Mikhailoff is a concert pianist who also maintains an active teaching schedule. This Russian-born American pianist has won many awards at piano competitions, including the Martha Argerich International Piano Competition. She teaches at the Crestwood Music School in Eastchester. Of her playing, Vladimir Feltsman said that she "is a mature and accomplished musician. . . . Her playing has character, imagination, and is poetic. She has a strong personality and stage presence."

Ticket donations are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $5 for students (college students must show ID). Tickets may be reserved by calling the club at 914-337-3252 and may also be purchased at the door. There will be a reception immediately following the concert

The final concert on the series will be Friday evening, April 25, at 8:00 pm. Performing will be the Bardekova Ensemble, which includes flute, oboe, viola, and double bass.

Pictured here:  Joyce Rasmussen Balint.

Photo by A. Warner

Concordia Conservatory to Present 'Don't Know Much about Rock 'n Roll' Saturday, February 8 PDF Print Email

Feb. 5, 2014:  Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art will present Don’t Know Much About Rock 'n Roll on Saturday, February 8, at 11:00 am in the Schoenfeld Campus Center on the campus of Concordia College.

With a book by Rami Vamos, the show features Concordia Conservatory band Critical Point with Abby Carter, Will Cioffi, Tashi, Doma, Jim Grant, Luke Gray, and Matthew Pytosh and a cast including Ally Bruno, Olivia Damasco, Clare DeGennaro, Chris Landy, Michael Landy, Michael McMahon, Carmel Pact-Coblence, Matthew Pytosh, Zac Shearon, Katie Suss, and Renz Toledo. The show, directed by Greg Suss, is designed to truly engage the audience and enhance learning.  

Rock 'n roll has become so popular in Strumsville that it has taken over the economy. Most of the population goes to "rock factories" where they jam from nine to five. Harvey is a rebel who does not want to take the safe route and follow in his parents' hard rock path. Though Harvey is forced to study music in college and seems doomed to a life of heavy metal, he forms a band that sings only about the stock market, taxes, and financial topics. The result is a new style of music--one that everyone loves.

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, and 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 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. Concordia Conservatory received a grant from the New York State Music Fund to commission this work. The musical was the subject of a three-segment documentary featured on Teen Kids News.

Mr. Vamos is on the faculty of the Hutchinson and Siwanoy Schools in Pelham, as well as Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art, where he is string department chair 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. 

High School Musical, 'Crazy for You,' to Be Performed February 6, 7, 8 in Bronxville School Auditorium PDF Print Email

Jan. 29, 2014:  The Bronxville High School Drama Department will present the musical Crazy for You on Thursday, February 6, at 5:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday, February 7 and 8, at 7:00 pm. There will be a free open dress rehearsal for senior citizens on Wednesday, February 5, at 5:00 pm.

The romantic comedy is the Tony Award–winning 1992 adaptation by Ken Ludwig of the 1930 musical comedy Girl Crazy, by George and Ira Gershwin. Set in sleepy Deadrock, Nevada, the show follows Polly Baker (Caroline Schetlick) as she attempts to save her father's Gaiety Theater from foreclosure (her father is Everett Baker, played by Thomas Neville).

When East Coast banker Bobby Child (Spencer Borwick) leaves New York and his mother, Mrs. Child (Katie Toal), and fiancée, Irene Roth (Becca Blanco), and sets out to foreclose on the small-town theater, he doesn't anticipate falling in love with Polly or becoming the theater's main champion. But he does both and stages a show with himself in the lead to try to save the theater, impersonating the famous theater director Bela Zangler (Jim Grant) of New York's Zangler Follies, who previously rejected Bobby's attempts to enter theater back East.

Bobby recruits the guys in the local saloon (Perkins, Frankie Gallo; Moose, Matthias Ribka; Mingo, Kenny Xue; and Sam, Alex Szor; plus saloon "guys" Harry, Christina Weiler; Wyatt, Chase Judkins; Billie, Caroline Dent; Junior, Maddie Coyne; Custus, Natalie Arenzon; Jimmy, Alexis Petnuch; and Pete, Nicolette Petnuch; and cowboys Emily Kowalski, Kylie Regan, and Emma Verscaj), and prepares a performance that the town will never forget.

Lank Hawkins (Will Tague), the owner of the saloon, wants to marry Polly and save the theater. While Bobby, disguised as Zangler, also falls in love with Polly, who detests him, Bobby's fiancée shows up in Deadrock and threatens to expose Bobby. Polly falls for Zangler as impersonated by Bobby, and the web tightens.

Chaos ensues when the real Zangler appears at the Gaiety Theater in pursuit of his dance director, Tess (Jamie Carroll), whom he is in love with and who has followed Child to Deadrock together with the Follies girls from the Zangler Theater (Rachel Bothwell, Grayson Elder, Yasmeen Fahr, Lauren Gray, Emma MacKinnon, Ally Minoli, Hiroko Mitsui, Michelle Moriarty, Natascha Puri, Dryden Quigley, Sonora Rivera-Heinz, Olivia Samios, Alexa Shephard, and Grace Winant).

Meanwhile, the town has pulled together, and opening night arrives with its promise of reviving the Gaity Theater, although when the train unloads its passengers, the only two who disembark are the British pair, the Fodors (Ariana Sher and Morgan Taylor), who, as their name suggests, are in town to write a guidebook about the West and Deadrock's saloon.

But the plot is secondary to the all-American foot-stompin', toe-tappin', hand-clappin', sing-along hoedown. With songs such as "Someone to Watch Over Me," "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You," and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and several large-cast tap dance numbers, the show will have you laughing, singing, and tapping to the music long after you leave the performance.

Peter Royal is the director, with choreography by Helen Coope and musical direction by Pamela Simpson.

Bring the whole family to see Bronxville's finest performers in the final show in the school's auditorium before renovations commence!

Pictured here: Bronxville students rehearsing for Crazy for You.

Photo courtesy Nancy Adams-Taylor

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