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

Martha Silver to Hold Art Exhibit at Bronxville Women’s Club September 22-24; All Proceeds to Go to Shelter Pet Alliance PDF Print Email

August 24, 2011:  The Bronxville Women's Club will hold a reception to mark the opening of an art exhibit of works by artist Martha Silver on Thursday, September 22, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Martha Silver will be donating all the proceeds of the sale of her art to The Shelter Pet Alliance for the animals of the Yonkers Animal Shelter.

The exhibit will also be open on Friday, September 23, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday, September 24, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Martha Silver is an accomplished watercolor artist who loves to paint.   Her techniques vary with each painting and her paintings cover a wide variety of subjects.

Martha takes full advantage of surrounding beauty for her subjects.  Her paintings are also a product of her imagination and her inspiration.  Elements from the many different places she has lived or visited can be found in her art.  Subjects are often given an individual artistic interpretation with abstract nuances.

Martha continues to be inspired by her love of the sea and of sailing as well as her love of animals and the natural environment, both along the Bronx River and the coast of Maine.  Many of her paintings also reflect her travels to, and her love of, Africa and the Bahamas.

Martha also draws her inspiration from her husband and their puppy, Rebel, who was adopted from the Yonkers Animal Shelter.  They adopted a dog named Jake in 1997, also from the Yonkers Animal Shelter.  Jake died in 2009 of kidney disease at age 14 1/2 years.  Later that year Rebel arrived at the shelter and they knew immediately that they had to adopt him, as he looked just like Jake!

Martha has retired from teaching special education at the Bronxville Middle School.  She has a masters degree in elementary and special education, as well as a masters degree in instructional technology.  She continues to use her teaching skills to volunteer to read with first-grade students in Maine.  She also volunteers in Maine at the Phippsburg Museum and Phippsburg Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

For more information, please contact The Bronxville Women's Club at 914-337-3252 or visit its website at

Pictured here:  Watercolor by artist Martha Silver.


'Taylor' Your Writing: Ending a Sentence with a Preposition Is Something to Think About PDF Print Email

July 27, 2011:   Finish your vegetables.  Wait twenty minutes after eating before you go swimming.   Don't end a sentence with a preposition.  My parents' admonitions still ring in my ears.

It's easy in casual writing to find that a sentence has ended with a preposition:

"That is the door we went through."
"He's the one I'm disappointed in."
"Have you thought about the friend you are going with?"
"Those customs we disapprove of."
"Getting up early is something we are not accustomed to."

Then there is the quick editorial scramble to rewrite:

"That is the door through which we went."
"He is the one in whom I am disappointed."
"Have you thought about the friend with whom you are going?"
"Those are customs of which we disapprove."
"Getting up early is something to which we are not accustomed."

Rewriting in this manner often ends up sounding like a page from Shakespeare, and the poor reader is left without CliffsNotes.

Then I found it.  Shakespeare himself yielded to the occasional preposition sentence-ender:

My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all:
And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
--Henry VI, Part III (I.4.35-8)

Blissfully, the editors at the grammar bible, The Chicago Manual of Style, have deemed that "The traditional caveat of yesteryear against ending sentences with prepositions is, for most writers, an unnecessary and pedantic restriction."  CMS, para. 5.176 (16th ed. 2010).  Authors Strunk and White counsel that "not only is the preposition acceptable at the end, sometimes it is more effective in that spot than anywhere else." The Elements of Style (4th ed. 2000), 77.

In A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, author H.W. Fowler explains that this rule was an attempt by writers to follow the rules of Latin grammar, but he then lists numerous writers from Chaucer to Kipling who have employed a sentence-ending preposition.  Fowler's advice is, "Follow no arbitrary rule" but, instead, make a conscious choice based upon the feeling the writing will elicit in the reader.  A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, H.W. Fowler, ed. Sir Ernest Gowers (Oxford Univ. Press, 2d ed. 1965), 473-75.

(I will spare the reader the more technical discussion by Fowler about never separating an adverbial particle from its phrasal verb, but he shows the awkwardness of trying to remedy "which I will not put up with" by changing it to "up with which I will not put," a remedy whose denunciation is commonly attributed to Winston Churchill, who is alleged to have quipped that an editor's rearranging of his words to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition is "arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.")

Happily, then, this is one rule that we can disregard in favor of creative writing and common sense.  I might just eat my dessert before dinner.  And skip the broccoli alongside.


John Paul Redmond, 12-Year-Old Concordia Conservatory Composition Student, Wins Two National Music Awards PDF Print Email


July 20, 2011:  Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art announced that two national awards have been bestowed upon conservatory student John Paul ("JP") Redmond for his talent as a composer.

In the Junior Composers Contest of the National Federation of Music Clubs, JP was the Northeast Region and Incentive Award winner at the national level.  JP also won a competition sponsored by the new-music organization Composers Concordance in New York for composers age 20 or under.  His piece Clock and Bird's Peaceful Talk was performed by the ensemble Circadia for Composers Concordance's "Generations" concert on May 31 in New York City, which featured winners of two competitions, one for applicants age 20 or younger, and the other for applicants age 70 or older.

JP Redmond was born in 1999 in Newport Beach, California.  He moved to New York with his family in 2003 and is a resident of Hastings-on-Hudson.  He studies piano with Dr. Marija Ilic and composition and theory with Dr. Matt Van Brink at Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art.

JP has been an active participant in chamber music and musical theatre programs at the conservatory since 2008, having performed in three musical productions and three chamber music festivals.  He received marks of First Class Honors with Distinction in Piano Performance and Music Theory from the National Music Certificate Program.

JP performed at the Tri-State Certificate of Excellence Recital and Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in February 2011.  JP's hobbies include hiking, bicycling, cooking, model cars and trains, reading, and watching good movies.

Pictured here:  JP Redmond playing in a recital at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall.

Womrath Bookshop Keeps Mystery Author Featured in Expensive Ad a Secret PDF Print Email


July 13, 2011:  Writers are celebrated in Bronxville--reviews, signing in bookstores, lectures, and places in the local author section of the library.  Recently, for example, a former Wall Street figure who resides here, Norb Vonnegut, has written two acclaimed novels.

But one Bronxville author will not be celebrated by name.  His (or her) name is missing from the title page of a book that is featured in Womrath Bookshop.  The bookstore declines to identify the person.  The mystery author is hardly shy.  An expensive ($8,800) two-thirds-page ad touting the book ran in a recent issue of the prestigious New York Review of Books.

The ad singled out Womrath in Bronxville as the bookstore selling The Voluntary State, a "handsome collector's edition," for $25.

The book presents a "new political concept which stops man from being forced to pay taxes.  If taxes were voluntary, only those who elected to pay would decide how the tax money could be used.  Such an historic change would be the ultimate revolution for man, giving him dominion over his own life."

The book's libertarian theme is carried through such chapters as "Socialism and Central Banking," "The Federal Reserve," "The Gold Standard," and "International Free Trade."  A heavy 124-page volume of coffee-table dimensions, it is printed in large, widely spaced type.

A possible clue to the author's identity may be an entry in the international library reference source Worldcat.  It lists the author as a McMillan Adams, but McMillan Adams is the name given on the title page as the publisher, along with a Manhattan address.  No company by the name is currently listed there.  Nor is any person or company by that name listed in Westchester or New York directories.

Published in 1998, the book is available in six libraries throughout the country, but none in New York, public or private.


'Taylor' Your Writing: Embrace Creative Punctuation PDF Print Email


July 6, 2011:  It's the end of the month, my article is due, and I'm traveling with seniors.  Lots of talk about digestion and ... colons!  Perfect.

Before working up to the colon, let's consider the basic uses of some of the other familiar types of punctuation:  commas, semicolons, dashes, and ellipses, each of which is used to express a pause of varying degree.

The comma, the most frequently used, separates a clause from a sentence and prevents a run-on sentence: "When I go to the park, I will watch the children play soccer."  The dependent clause, "When I go to the park," precedes the independent clause, "I will watch the children play soccer."  If the order is reversed, no comma is necessary:  "I will watch the children play soccer when I go to the park."  Commas are also used to separate independent clauses joined by a conjunction:  "I will watch the children play soccer, and I will go to the beach."  In lists, commas separate the enumerated items:  "The children play soccer, Frisbee, and baseball."  Note that the comma before "and" is known as a "serial comma" and is optional, depending upon the writer's preferred style.

The wonderful semicolon can link together thoughts that are connected but would be broken if written in two separate sentences:  "She wanted to go to the park to watch the children play soccer; instead, she went to the beach."  It can also be used in lists that have internal divisions marked by commas to show equal categories:  "She walked to the park; sipped a soda, ate some pretzels, and enjoyed ice cream; and then watched the movie."

The dash:  For a longer pause and more drama, use a dash:  "I will watch the children play soccer---but only if you bring along a radio."  Remember that a dash (called an "em dash" because it was the width of an "M") is different from a hyphen, which is shorter than an em dash and merely connects words, and an en dash, which is longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash and is often used to show a number range ("The final score was 22--0.").

The ellipsis:  Next, on to the ellipsis, a wonderful invention to mark a trailing-off thought, very useful if the conversation turns to colons ...

The colon:  Which brings me to my travels. The colon, that wonderful pause of pauses, indicates the main point or the example is yet to follow: "The park was beautiful, but the soccer-playing children wondered about the stranger: Was she there to observe or referee?"

A colon can also indicate that there are multiple examples to follow:  "The children wondered about the stranger: Was she there to observe? Or was she there to referee? Maybe she was a parent?"

So venture forth, embrace creative punctuation, and don't spare the colon.

Photo by N. Bower



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