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

Kyle Swanson, Bronxville High School Senior, Named to All-State Band PDF Print Email

Nov. 27, 2013:  Flutist and piccolo player Kyle Swanson, a Bronxville High School senior, has been named to the 2013 All-State Symphonic Band. The announcement came from the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), which sponsors the All-State Conference each year for high school juniors and seniors. The 2013 conference will take place December 5-8 in Rochester, New York, with concerts in the Eastman Theatre.

Swanson has been a student of Joseph Piscitelli's at Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale since he began recorder lessons as a kindergartener, switching to flute in third grade and adding piccolo in seventh grade. At Bronxville High School, he plays in the band, orchestra, and pit orchestra for the high school musicals. At Hoff-Barthelson, he plays in the elite Festival Orchestra and in a chamber ensemble during the school year and works as a teaching assistant during the summers. This year, he is also taking an advanced music theory course there with Edmund Niemann, with whom he has studied music history and completed the Advanced Placement Music Theory course, earning the highest possible score on all components.

Sharon Slote, director of the Bronxville middle and high school bands, said that Swanson "plays both the flute and piccolo with astounding technical prowess. His preparations for performances and auditions alike are far beyond those of a typical high school student. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Kyle for the last six-plus years, and I will miss him and all he has to offer musically when he attends college next year."

Over 6,500 sophomores and juniors throughout the state auditioned for All-State at their local NYSSMA solo festivals last spring, performing solos and sight-reading before adjudicators. Approximately 900 students were chosen to perform in one of eight vocal and instrumental ensembles at the conference.

The last two Bronxville High School band members selected for All-State honors were flutist Holly Rudd in 2008 and clarinetist John Devlin in 2002. Rudd is now a first-year graduate student in flute performance at the New England Conservatory; Devlin is a doctoral student in orchestral conducting at the University of Maryland School of Music.

Pictured here:  Kyle Swanson.

Photo by Donna Devlin

Randy Frost Among Exhibitors at Manhattan Quilters Guild's Show at Bronxville Library November 15 to December 31 PDF Print Email


Nov. 13, 2013:  The Bronxville Public Library will present Material Witnesses, an exhibition of contemporary fine-art quilts by the Manhattan Quilters Guild. Local quilting artist Randy Frost will be among the exhibitors.

The exhibition will run from November 15 to December 31.  A reception will be held on November 17 from 3:00 pm to 4:45 pm. The community is invited.

For the theme of its fifth national traveling exhibit, the Manhattan Quilters Guild chose Material Witnesses, with its multilayered references to the processes and medium of the fiber artist. The title plays with the legal concept of a material witness--someone whom the government feels has information about a crime significant enough to affect the outcome of a trial. Further, to bear witness suggests a direct connection to events. It can be a way of honoring by one's presence.

Each of the 21 pieces in the exhibition indeed embodies these concepts, providing richly textured evidence of a deeply personal vision of the theme. Members have produced work that is their own unique testimony about their perception and experience of life in New York and beyond.

Each witnesses New York City and the world in his or her own way--addressing jury duty, subway construction, technology, legal injustice, crime scene investigation, natural disaster, or abstract images of the buildings and skyline--and interprets that experience in fiber, using a wide range of materials and techniques, including cloth, acrylic, oil, thread, photo transfer, and found objects.

Quilters presenting their work include Ludmila Aristova, Teresa Barkley, Benedicte Caneill, Beth Carney, Randy Frost, Iris Gowen, Luke Haynes, Tatiana Ivina, Katherine Knauer, Emiko Toda Loeb, Ruth Marchese, Paula Nadelstern, Elizabeth Poole, Jeri Riggs, Diana Goulston Robinson, Robin Schwalb, ArleSklar-Weinstein, Daphne Taylor, Ludmilla Uspenskaya, Erin Wilson, and Adrienne Yorinks.

For additional information, please go to the following library website:!.html

Pictured here (rotating):  Some of the quilts to be shown at the Material Witnesses exhibition.

Photos courtesy Randy Frost  

Anne Collins: Book Review of 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' by Rachel Joyce PDF Print Email

Nov. 13, 2013: Harold was a quiet, self-effacing man. He took care not to be a burden to others. He knew he was a burden to others, because his mother had left him when he was little, and when he was 16, his father, a raging alcoholic, had given him an old, worn overcoat and sent him out the door.

He found joy in his life when he fell in love with Maureen. They married and had a son. David was a brilliant, remote child. He went to Cambridge, where he became an alcoholic like the grandfather he had never met. He hanged himself in his parents' garden shed at the age of 20, where Harold found him and took down his body. Maureen blamed Harold for not having been an "involved" father. Harold blamed himself, because his own life experiences had taught him never to be anything but marginally involved.

The marriage became a wall of silence.

When Harold retired from his job at the local brewery where he had worked for many years, he began living at home in what seemed almost like an empty house.

When Harold hears that Queenie Hennessey, an old friend who had worked with him at the brewery 20 years previously, is dying of cancer, he decides to walk the length of England to Berwick-on-Tweed to see her. He is obsessed with guilt over a favor she did for him many years before. He had intended to simply write her a note, but on the way to the post box, he changes his mind. If he walks, she will stay well. He departs from Kingsbridge, in Devon, wearing only the clothes he has on.

The walk becomes a pilgrimage.

Having now the chance to be on his own, Harold begins to reflect on the events in his life and try to understand the meaning of it all. As he travels, he becomes less remote, more in touch with the everyday world. He becomes stronger, more confident, more fit. He begins to open up to the people he comes into contact with every day and interact.

When he arrives in Bath, he does not recognize his reflection in the shop windows. "The man staring back at him was so upright and appeared to be so sure-footed, he had to look twice to check it really was himself." At this point, Harold believed his journey was truly beginning: "Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before. . . . The real business of walking was happening only now."

Eventually, he is joined by so many other walkers, all with their own agendas, that the journey loses all meaning for him. There is constant quarreling and arguing among the fellow travelers. Ultimately, the others, becoming impatient, will outstrip him in his journey and he will be able to proceed on his own again.

After he has been away from home for some while, Maureen becomes concerned and sets out to find him. They meet and she asks him to come home, but he wishes to continue to Queenie's side. Later he regrets his decision, but Maureen at this point realizes how important the pilgrimage is to him and urges him on.

He manages to reach Queenie in time to say goodbye but leaves unsaid his apologies for allowing her to take the blame for his trashing of their bosses' office after David died.

Through his pilgrimage, Harold has learned that it is more meaningful, if also more difficult, to be involved in the world. Maureen joins him at the hospice. He tells her about Queenie's condition and they both, knowing that there will be difficult times ahead, confront the truth that when it comes to the human condition, everyone is on the same journey, everyone is the same. The book ends with the two of them recalling the evening they first met, many years before, and laughing together about the silly things they said to each other that night.

(Respectfully, this story would make a terrific opera.)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce, was published by Random House in 2012.

Editor's Note: Writer Anne Collins lives is Bronxville and, now retired, was a librarian at the Purchase Free Library.

Pictured here: Anne Collins.

Photo by N. Bower

Joshua Kosowsky, MD, to Discuss Innovative Approach to Health Care Reform at Concordia Books & Coffee Thursday, November 14 PDF Print Email

Nov. 13, 2013: Doctor Joshua Kosowsky, co-author of When Doctors Don't Listen: How To Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests, will discuss patient advocacy at Concordia's Books & Coffee series on November 14 at 7:00 pm in the Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts. He is vice chairman and clinical director of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Using real stories of diagnoses gone wrong, When Doctors Don't Listen presents a step-by-step approach to how patients can be proactive in asking questions, describing symptoms, and voicing concerns to their doctors in order to receive the best possible care. The book combines the insight of how doctors think with the medical narrative every patient tells in order to empower health care consumers to become active participants and partners with their doctors in their health care.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee declared Kosowsky's book "a well-written book on an innovative approach to healthcare reform: it challenges patients to take charge of their health and every medical encounter with their doctor."

Dr. Kosowsky and his team at Brigham and Women's have been nationally recognized for their pioneering work in redesigning the delivery of emergency medicine services. He leads a national course on emergency department design for health care and professionals sponsored jointly by Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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 Ellen de Saint Phalle at CLOAKING or 914-337-9300, ext. 2159.

Pictured here:  Book cover of When Doctors Don't Listen, by Joshua Kosowsky and Leana Wen.

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

Dr. Sándor Szabó to Conduct 30-Voice Reformed Church Chancel Choir in Works by Bach and Mozart Sunday, November 17 PDF Print Email

Nov. 13, 2013:  On Sunday, November 17, at 3:00 pm The Reformed Church of Bronxville will present a trio of sublime works by J. S. Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in its annual fall choir concert.  The concert will be held in the main chancel of the church and is free and open to all.

Minister of Music Dr. Sándor Szabó conducts the 30-voice Chancel Choir and a chamber orchestra in Bach’s lively Cantata No. 140 ("Sleepers Awake!") and "Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf" ("The Spirit Helps Our Infirmities"), along with Mozart's Great Credo Mass.

The hour-long concert, followed by a free reception, provides a warm time-out from a chilly autumn afternoon. It will include angelic voices, soaring strings, a pulsing organ, and a hypnotic harpsichord.

About Dr. Szabó:  Dr. Sándor Szabó has been called "the busiest musician in New Jersey" and "one of the leading organists in the state." Actively engaged as a conductor, harpsichordist, organist, and pianist throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States, Dr. Szabó has performed in major concert halls and cathedrals throughout Europe and North America. Currently, he is the minister of music/organist at The Reformed Church of Bronxville, music director/organist at The Church of Point O’Woods on Fire Island, and music director/conductor of The Oratorio Society of New Jersey.

For more information, call 914-337-6776 or e-mail CLOAKING .

Pictured here:  Dr. Sándor Szabó, minister of music and organist at The Reformed Church of Bronxville.

Photo courtesy Samuel Clover, Communications Director and Ministry Assistant, The Reformed Church of Bronxville

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