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

OSilas Art Studio Welcomes Lisa Rao as New Art Program Director and Opens Fall Class Registration PDF Print Email


By Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director, OSilas Gallery & Art Studio

Sep. 12, 2018:  OSilas Gallery & Art Studio at Concordia College is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Rao as art program director of OSilas Art Studio effective August 22, 2018. Lisa succeeds Liz Levine, who retired in June after having served as the studio’s art program director for nearly eight years. 

Lisa brings a wealth of arts management and administration experience to her new position as well as a deep commitment to the community and OSilas Gallery & Art Studio. She has a long relationship with OSilas Gallery & Art Studio, having served on the OSilas Gallery board of advisors and its membership and benefit committees since 2014.

She also has been a parent of an OSilas Art Studio student for the past several years and is well acquainted with the quality and breadth of the studio’s art instruction. Lisa is an active member of the community and has been on the board of and has chaired a number of prominent local not-for-profit organizations. Lisa graduated from Trinity College with a BA in theatre and dance and has 20 years’ experience as company manager for several major Broadway shows. 

“I am thrilled to be officially joining the Art Studio as the new program director.  It has always provided such impressive and quality art instruction in our community.”  As new program director, Lisa said it is her goal to “maintain the high standards of the program, raise awareness of the art studio in the community, and continue to offer classes to all ages that meet the community’s needs.” 

OSilas Art Studio offers art instruction to aspiring artists from ages 3 to 99, and classes are taught in its professional art studio on Concordia College’s Bronxville campus by a dedicated faculty of artists and art educators. The fall class catalogue is now available to view online at Registration for the fall term is now open.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Lisa Rao at  CLOAKING  or 914-339-9300, ext. 2433.

Pictured here: Lisa Rao.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director, OSilas Gallery & Art Studio

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Annual Speeder Art Show for Men and Women Ages 55+ September 23 to October 27 PDF Print Email


Sep. 5, 2018:  This popular annual Speeder Art Show for men and women ages 55+ who come from around the Bronxville community, will run from September 23 to October 27. The event is sponsored by the Bronxville Adult School, the Bronxville Public Library, Bronxville Senior Citizens, and Gramatan Village.

The show will be held in the Yeager Room of the Bronxville Public Library. The deadline for entries is Thursday, September 13. Only one entry per artist is allowed. 

Submissions may include paintings, sketches/drawings, collages, photography, and needlework. All submissions are to be framed (not to exceed 24" x 36"), with wire for hanging attached. The name of artist, phone number, and title of artwork must be on the back side.

All submissions must be delivered to the Yeager Room at the library on Saturday, September 22, from 10:00 am to noon. All artwork must be picked up from the library at the end of the show on Saturday, October 27, from 10:00 am to noon.

Entry forms are available at the library, The Reformed Church of Bronxville, and Bronxville Village Hall or may be downloaded from There is no entry fee.

New this year will be the First Annual Mary B Turino Art Lecture and reception for the opening of the show, Sunday, September 23, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The first lecturer of the annual event will be Charles T. Little, curator emeritus of medieval art and the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This event is open to the general public.

Pictured here:  The Bronxville Public Library

Photo by A. Warner

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Concordia College's September Community Events to Bring Literature, Film, Art, and Music to the Community PDF Print Email


By Rebecca Portnoy, Communications Associate, Concordia College

Sep. 5, 2018: Concordia College’s full slate of community events offers something for everyone this fall, including the opportunity to explore the college’s 2018-19 Borders and Boundaries theme. All events listed here are open to the public and free of charge.  

Film and Music: Film about Revolution through Song on September 6. The Sluberski Film Series opens its season on September 6 at 7:00 pm in the Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts with The Singing Revolution. The film details the uplifting story of how Estonia’s strategically non-violent revolution was accomplished through song. After the screening, Concordia professor of history Kathryn Galchutt will interview Mari-Ann Kelam, a former member of the Estonian Parliament, who appears in the film.
Art:  OSilas Gallery Exhibition about Human Rights Opening September 13. Kicking off with an opening reception on September 13, OSilas Gallery will mount a major photography exhibition in collaboration with the European Press Agency and the United Nations Human Rights Office: Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always: Celebrating Human Rights Through the Camera Lens.
Literature: Author John Leland on September 17. Concordia’s long-running Books & Coffee series gives literature lovers the chance to meet the authors of bestselling books they’re reading now. On September 17 at 7:00 pm in the Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts, John Leland will discuss his insightful book Happiness is a Choice You Make.
Literature and Music: Edgar Allen Poe Impersonator and Music Performed by Concordia Conservatory Faculty on September 27. On September 27 at 7:00 pm in the Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts, Concordia debuts a new series, Living Legends, a partnership with the Eastchester Historical Society. The series’ inaugural event welcomes Edgar Allan Poe (embodied by a historical interpreter) to read from his work, accompanied by period music from Concordia Conservatory faculty.
Find the full schedule of events, with times and locations, at

Pictured here: Flyer for the film The Singing Revolution.

Photo courtesy Concordia College

Photo by A. Warner

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

A Labor of Love for Conductor and Musicians: Bronxville Pops Concert Band Plays 44th Season of Concerts for the Community PDF Print Email


By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Jul. 25, 2018:  Founded by Al Mingrone in 1974 after several village residents expressed interest in a community concert band, the Bronxville Pops Concert Band has enjoyed 44 summer seasons of bringing live music to the community.

The band will play a concert tonight at 8:00 pm on the front lawn of The Bronxville School. In case of inclement weather, the performance will take place in the school auditorium.

"I did everything when we started," Mingrone said. "I hired the players, got the music together, and came up with the programs for six concerts every year. It was a lot of work but, of course, I was younger then." To start the band, Mingrone added, he recruited some students and hired a few professionals to play. With time and a successful door-to-door fundraising effort in the downtown business district, the band grew into an ensemble "big enough to make a respectable sound" and made up of avocational players as well as professionals.

Initial funding was not easy to come by, Mingrone noted, but several seasons of funding from the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce allowed the group to become so successful that professional musicians from Westchester County wanted to join. Adding a few more professionals enabled the band to present more varied and interesting programs. Trumpet player Ron LoPinto noted that several of the Bronxville Pops musicians come from a concert band and orchestra background.

LoPinto, a graduate of the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and New York University, joined the band in 1980 and hasn't missed a season since. A lifelong trumpet player and big band musician who also studied arranging, he played professionally until, as he said, "I got married and had to earn a living." That hasn't deterred him from playing whenever he can. Ron enjoys traveling to Florida, where he meets up with other musicians who have settled there, and playing almost every night of the week.

Several musicians in the band, Mingrone included, come from a career in music education. He was teaching elementary, middle, and high school students when he started the Bronxville Pops Concert Band. Mingrone taught at The Bronxville School from 1960 until he retired in 1989.

Sharon Slote, Bronxville Elementary School music teacher, began playing trumpet in elementary school because, she said, "I wanted to be better at it than my big brother." Primarily a brass player, she had learned to play clarinet and saxophone by the time she finished middle school. Slote joined the Bronxville Pops Concert Band when she was twelve years old. She studied music education and performance at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, part of the State University of New York system. She earned her master's degree in performance and conducting.

Slote stood in for Al Mingrone and conducted the band's July 18 concert. "I like being able to help out," she said. "I play any instrument they need that week." In addition to trumpet, she has played the French horn and baritone saxophone in concerts. She also plays in the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Clarinetist Janet Corvini has played in the Bronxville Pops Concert Band for three seasons. She began her musical studies as a child in the Yonkers Public Schools. "My cousin played clarinet in the fourth grade, and I pretty much did everything she did," Corvini said. "When I got to fourth grade, that's what I wanted to do also." She played throughout middle school and high school, then continued her studies at Manhattanville College, where she majored in clarinet performance and music education. She earned her master's degree in clarinet performance at Lehman College of The City of New York University. She has played in several ensembles, including a chamber ensemble at the Turtle Bay Music School in New York City, Hunter College Wind Ensemble, Yonkers Pops Band, as well as bands in Mount Vernon and Mamaroneck. Corvini taught elementary school music in The Bronxville School from 2001 until 2016, when she retired.

In addition to providing musicians and leadership for the Bronxville Pops Concert Band, Ron LoPinto credits The Bronxville School with being most generous in allowing the group to use its band room, copier, and auditorium. "The school is one of the best resources we have," he said.

As with many arts organizations, funding for the band has been uncertain at times. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, the group depends solely on support from the public and local businesses through a mail campaign. Anyone wishing to support the band can send a donation to the Bronxville Pops Concert Band, P.O. Box 284, Bronxville, NY 10708.

"My heartfelt thanks to people who contribute," Al Mingrone said. "I enjoy conducting a nice group of musicians and having people come out and enjoy the music." 

Click here for photographs from the opening concert of the season.

Pictured here:  Founder and conductor Al Mingrone.

Photo by A. Warner

Editor's note: A member of the staff of MyhometownBronxville and her son are members of the Bronxville Pops Concert Band.

Looking for a Great Summer Read? Here Are Over 40 Books PDF Print Email


By Sarah Thornton Clifford, Publisher

Jul. 18, 2018: Whether you’re at the beach, the lake, or the mountains or you are traveling or relaxing at home, summer can provide just enough downtime to pick up a good book. 

Below are over 40 books that my friends and family are enjoying this summer. The books are in alphabetical order and quotations are from those who submitted the titles.    

The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn.  

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou. "About the Theranos scandal. Couldn’t put it down." 

The Banker's Wife, by Christina Ager. "Wealth, society, Swiss banks, financial titans. Has all the intrigue for a good mystery." 

Beartown, by Fredrik Backman.  

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World, by Joshua Freeman. “Fascinating history of big factories.” 

Bobby Kennedy, by Chris Matthews. “Great read of Bobby's life … focuses on campaigns with JFK through his own presidential bid. Well-done tribute to his years of public service.”  

Breakfast with Buddha; Lunch with Buddha; Dinner with Buddha, a trilogy by Roland Merullo. 

The Confidence Code For Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self, by Katty Kay and Clair Shipman. “Has some good insights and is written in a very user-friendly, positive tone. I like both authors as journalists and found their insights into the need for confidence and perspective for our young girls (and boys) valuable.”  

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan. “Beach read page-turner!” 

The Cutting Edge, by Jeffery Deaver.  

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a Presidentby Candice Millard. 

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover. 

The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early Americaby Scott Weidensaul.  

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. This book was recommended by five different people.  

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Societyby Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  

The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne. 

The High Season, by Judy Blundell. 

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, by Dani Shapiro. 

The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin.  

Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson.  

Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan. “Historical novel which takes place during WWll and is set at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. … Good historical context with a well-done family saga and NY mystery.” 

The Masterpieceby Fiona Davis.  

My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.   

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee.

The Piano Teacher, by Janice Y. K. Lee.

The Power of Oneby Bryce Courtenay. 

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser. “It's about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the early 1880s settlement of the Nebraska and Northwest territory. It was ranked by the NY Times as one of the 10 best books of the year in 2017.”  

Providence, by Caroline Kepnes.

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice, by Bill Browder.  

The Red Sparrow Trilogy, series by Jason Matthews. 

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard.  

The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman.  

Saints for all Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan. “Novel based on two sisters and their story of immigration from Ireland and the different lives they choose. … Similar to the popular Brooklyn.

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook, by Niall Ferguson. 

Strength in Stillness, by Bob Roth.

Temporary People, by Deepak Unnikrishnan. “This is a bit dated--March 2017--and its magical realism is odd, but I loved it. Really well-written short stories about migrant workers in the Persian Gulf." 

A Theory of Love, by Margaret Bradham Thornton. “Love story between a financier and a journalist set in London, St. Tropez, Tangier, and other beautiful places. Couldn’t put it down.” 

The Ticket, by Fred Shackelford. “Channing Booker is down on his luck and wins the Mega Millions lottery but there are some unexpected twists. I have given this to all my friends.” 

When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger. “Fun summer read by author of The Devil Wears Prada. ... As you can imagine, it’s a page-turner set in LA-NY-Greenwich. Society and glamor with Hollywood and politics mixed all equal a good summer read! I have started it and it is hard to put down when work gets in the way!” 

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, by David Reich. 

Photo by N. Bower 

Editor's note:  This list includes a book by a relative of the author.

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