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

Award-Winning Author Hanna Pylväinen to Speak at Concordia on Thursday, March 13 PDF Print Email

Mar. 12, 2014:  Whiting Award-winner Hanna Pylväinen will discuss her debut novel, We Sinners, at Concordia College's Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts on Thursday, March 13, at 7:00 pm.

The Whiting Award, established in 1985 by the Whiting Foundation, supports creative writing by recognizing ten emerging writers of promise and accomplishment each year with individual grants of $50,000. Pylväinen is also a recipient of residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the artists' colony Yaddo, and she received a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

We Sinners is the story of the Rovaniemis, a family of nine struggling with the demands of a conservative Finnish church in modern Michigan. The book is told from the point of view of each family member, each of whom narrates a chapter, and the story reveals how the faith that binds a family together can also tear it apart.

Elizabeth Taylor of the Chicago Tribune proclaimed the novel "a resonant and magical work of imagination."

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Pylväinen received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is working on her second novel.

Concordia's Books & Coffee Series is made possible through the generous support from 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:  Writer Hanna Pylväinen.

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

Concordia Conservatory to Present 'Classical Categories' on March 15 PDF Print Email

Mar. 12, 2014:  The Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art will present Classical Categories on Saturday, March 15, at 11:00 am in the Schoenfeld Campus Center at Concordia College as part of its 2013-14 Musical Adventures Family Series.

With book by Rami Vamos and joined by Nurit Pacht, violin, William Frampton, viola, Tanya Bannister, piano, and Ezra Seltzer, cello, the show will both entertain and educate the young members of its audience and their families.

About the Show

Classical Categories centers on Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry, the only living composer who still travels through time from the Baroque music period to the present, visiting all the delightful "categories" in between.

About the Artists

Rami Vamos shares the stage with other musicians and actors to bring original material to audiences of all ages. His prolific output of children's musicals includes Monsterland, The Amazing Tale of Prince Pickles, and Once Upon a Time Signature.

He 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.

Violinist Nurit Pacht was a top prize winner in international competitions including the Irving Klein International Music Competition in California and the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland. She spent several years touring the world as the soloist in stage director Robert Wilson's Relative Light and in projects with Bill T. Jones and his dance company, performing works for solo violin by J. S. Bach and John Cage. As a Baroque violinist, she has a master's degree from Juilliard's Historical Performance program. One of her live recital recordings with pianist Konstantin Lifschitz from London's Wigmore Hall was released by Nimbus Records.

Violist William Frampton has been praised for his "beautifully executed" performances (the Arts Fuse) and "a glowing amber tone" (Boston Globe). 2013-14 season highlights include performances of Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht with the Johannes Quartet, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Sean Lee and the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, appearances as guest principal violist of the American Symphony Orchestra, and tours of Japan and Myanmar with a string quartet led by Midori Goto. William is the artistic director of music at Bunker Hill, a chamber music series in Southern New Jersey, and he teaches viola and chamber music at Queens College, CUNY.

Cellist Ezra Seltzer, lauded for his "beauty of tone and keenness of musicianship" (Opera Britannia), has performed as guest principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Orchester Wiener Akademie, and the Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra. He has also appeared as a soloist and principal cellist at the Boulder Bach Festival and is the associate principal cellist at the Carmel Bach Festival. A native of New York City, he regularly performs chamber music at Helicon Foundation Symposia, the 4x4 Baroque Music Festival, and at Music Before 1800, and he is a co-founder and principal cellist of the Sebastians.

Pianist Tanya Bannister, lauded by the Washington Post for playing "with intelligence, poetry and proportion," has had recent victories at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, confirming her status among the leading pianists of her generation. Receiving further distinction as an "artist to watch" on the cover of Symphony magazine, Ms. Bannister's career has already brought her to many of the world's great concert halls, with recitals at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Cortot in Paris, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Tokyo's Nikkei Hall, London's Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Bannister holds degrees from the Royal Academy of Music in London, Yale University, where she studied with Claude Frank, and New York's Mannes School of Music, where she received an artist diploma as one of a handful of pianists selected to study with Richard Goode.

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

Pictured here:  Students performing in the musical Don't Know Much about Rock 'n Roll on February 8, 2014.

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

Thirty-Six Bronxville School Students Chosen for All-County Music Ensembles PDF Print Email

Feb. 26, 2014:  Thirty-six Bronxville School students have been selected for All-County music ensembles by the Westchester County School Music Association (WCSMA) for its 2014 Elementary and Intermediate Festival concerts on March 8 and 9 at SUNY Purchase.

The Elementary Festival includes students in grades four through six.

Elementary Orchestra:  Selected for the Elementary Orchestra are fifth graders Henry Lynn (bass) and Elizabeth Murray and Rachel Roberts (violin) and sixth graders Yotaro Moriyasu (viola), Hailey Mullen (violin), Alexandria Paradise (cello), Sofia Ricciarini (violin), and Ellie Russo (bass).

Elementary Band:  Selected for the Elementary Band are sixth graders Finlay Boardman (trombone), Annabel Evison (trumpet), James Ferguson (French horn), and Theodore Sperber (trumpet).

Elementary Chorus:  Named to the Elementary Chorus are sixth graders Gaby Laval-Mullen, Natalia Morato, and Holly Ungvary (soprano) and Max Laval-Mullen, Xavier Layton, Anna Torres, and Luke Watkins (alto).

The Intermediate Festival includes students in grades seven through nine.

Intermediate Orchestra:  Selected for the Intermediate Orchestra are ninth grader Ali Gokhan (viola) and eighth grader Nate Moore (bass).

Intermediate Band:  Selected for the Intermediate Band are seventh graders Timothy Cushman (baritone saxophone) and Paul Magaud (flute) and ninth grader Michael Landy (named principal oboe).

Intermediate Chorus:  Named to the Intermediate Chorus are seventh grader Vance Wood (soprano), eighth graders Evelyn Kluemper (soprano), Hadley Barr and Nicole Torres (alto), Roberto Gandara, Griffin Garbarini, Quintin George, Ned McCann, Colin McCloskey, and Sam Powell (baritone), and ninth graders Jason Cushman and Niko Goutakolis (baritone).

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: Gaby Laval-Mullen, Anna Torres, Holly Ungvary, and Natalia Morato; middle row: Colin McCloskey, Quintin George, Roberto Gandara, Ned McCann, Max Laval-Mullen, Nicole Torres, and Vance Wood; back row: Sam Powell, Griffin Garbarini, Jason Cushman, Niko Goutakolis, Hadley Barr, and Evelyn Kluemper. Missing: Xavier Layton and Luke Watkins. Bronxville School All-County instrumentalists (L to R): Alexandria Paradise, Henry Lynn, Ali Gokhan, Theodore Sperber, Hailey Mullen, Michael Landy, Sofia Ricciarini, Nate Moore, Annabel Evison, Timothy Cushman, Elizabeth Murray, Finlay Boardman, Ellie Russo, James Ferguson, Rachel Roberts, Yotaro Moriyasu, and Paul Magaud.

Photos courtesy Donna Devlin, Volunteer, Bronxville High School Music Department

Gala Benefit to Be Held March 1 at OSilas Gallery at Concordia College PDF Print Email

Feb. 26, 2014: A gala evening to benefit the OSilas Gallery at Concordia College will be held on Saturday, March 1, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the OSilas Gallery at Concordia College.

The benefit will feature a conversation with art collector Thomas Davies and music by the Concordia Camerata Strings. There will also be a silent auction. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served in the gallery beforehand.

Tickets start at $125.

For more information, contact Kathi Jahnke at 914-337-9300, ext. 2173.

Members of the honorary benefit committee are Vicki and Si Ford, co-chairs, Jean Hanson, Madeline Eckett Oden, Lisa Rao, Sarah Underhill, Sarah Vorbach, and Jayne Warman.

Members of the OSilas Gallery Advisory Board are Bart Bland, Hondi Brasco, Arnold Davis, Mike Fix, Judy Foley*, Vicki and Si Ford, Randy Frost, Chuck Little, Kathy Markel, Maggie Marrone*, Barnett Miller, Patti O'Shaugnessy*, Elena Patterson, Tina Staudt*, Elizabeth Vranka*, and Lisa Yokana. (Asterisks indicate members of benefit committee.)

The director of the OSilas Gallery is Kathi Jahnke. Shanley Hanlon is the manager of the gallery.

Bronxville Library Launches New Website: Learn Advantages PDF Print Email

Feb. 12, 2014:  It has been nearly a year in the making, but "well worth the wait," according to an early explorer. The trustees of the Bronxville Public Library are very pleased to present a new "visual identity" and website. The new logo and motto express the character of the library, with a strong sense of history and a fresh, clean look.

A shelf of books and the apple as a symbol of learning are time-honored emblems of libraries and education. For the Bronxville Public Library, these elements have been combined by talented designer Lis Herbert in an elegant, classic logo that acknowledges these traditions and associations and gives them contemporary appeal. The new motto, "Raise Your Mind," is adapted from the Richard Armour verse about libraries: "Here is where people, one frequently finds, lower their voices, and raise their minds."

Sarah Underhill, president of the library's board, explained: "We know that, increasingly, our patrons are not only entering the library through the doors of our beautiful Georgian brick building at the corner of Pondfield and Midland. You are also connecting to us from home and from your mobile devices."

She added, "Our new website will make those connections for you and will give you many options for exploring what's new in the world of books in general and our library in particular. We hope it will inspire you to visit the library for our array of programs and cultural events, to take advantage of the expertise of our librarians, or to settle in the reading room with a good book."

The new site is packed with information and inspiration. You can find out how to download books and music to your devices; navigate the Westchester Library System site; discover the research tools available to you; and get ideas for your next book from descriptions of the latest releases, award-winning titles, and staff picks. You can mark your calendar with the many outstanding programs sponsored by the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library and those created by staff for children and teens.

Library director Gabriella Radujko reported:  "The staff is excited about the many ways the new website can help us serve our patrons. The site is a window into all that BPL has to offer." 

Sarah Underhill continued:  "We were so fortunate to have Lis Herbert as our designer. Having grown up in Bronxville (Lis is Jayne Warman's daughter), she understands and appreciates the unique qualities of our village and library. The trustees feel she has captured the essence of the library with her graceful, clean design."

Explore the site, Bookmark it to your favorites. Check in frequently, as there will always be new recommendations, programs, and things you can learn about books and libraries.

And then head over to the corner of Pondfield and Midland!

Pictured here:  The new logo for the Bronxville Public Library.

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