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FestivalOrchestraHoff-Barthelson Music School’s Festival Orchestra. Photographed by Steven Schnur.Students in grades 9 through 12 are invited to be a part of one of the finest high school orchestras in the United States. Auditions for Hoff-Barthelson Music School’s Festival Orchestra will be held at the School on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm; Wednesday, May 15, 2019, from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm; and Wednesday, May 22, 2019, from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

Hoff-Barthelson Music School’s Festival Orchestra is a full symphonic orchestra for high school students at the highest level of technical ability and musical artistry. Under the direction of conductor Jun Nakabayashi, the Festival Orchestra performs three concerts annually; two are with guest artists of international stature in full-length concerto performances. The final concert of the season is held at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. The Orchestra meets on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 - 9:30 pm. Members of the Orchestra participate in sectional coachings with members of the New York Philharmonic at the School. Auditions are open to the public. Students not yet in high school, but who demonstrate exceptional ability and maturity, may also audition.

Audition Information:
Interested students or parents may contact the Orchestra’s Manager, Mark Kushnir at festivalorchestra@hbms.org.

Applicants must perform a 2 minute section from a piece written for their instrument that is comparable to a NYSSMA Level 6 piece; scales; and prepared excerpts. Timpani applicants must perform a demonstration of rolls; a rudimentary solo of choice; and prepared excerpts. Excerpts can be downloaded at http://hbms.org/festival-orchestra.php

Repertoire for the 2019-2020 season includes:
• Bach: The Art of the Fugue, orchestrated by Jun Nakabayashi
• Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 4, and Symphony No.7
• Handel: Hallelujah Chorus (Mozart version)
• Haydn: Symphony No. 104 London
• Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, Overtures to Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro
(Repertoire subject to change.)

2018-2019 Concert Dates:
• December 14, 2019
• March 14, 2020
• June 6, 2020

About Hoff-Barthelson Music School:

Hoff-Barthelson Music School has achieved national recognition as a premier community music school for its unsurpassed leadership in education, performance and community service. With a faculty drawn from the region’s most talented teachers and performers, the School has long been one of Westchester County’s most cherished cultural resources. Whatever a student’s age or level of musical interest, HBMS’ diverse offerings provide the highest quality musical education, personally tailored to his or her specific passions and goals in a supportive and vibrant community.

ClaudetteColvinCongregation Kol Ami, of White Plains, New York will honor Claudette Colvin, the “young woman before Rosa Parks,” as part of a special program to be presented on Sunday, April 28, 2019 (2:00-3:00 P.M.). Ms. Colvin’s brave and dramatic protest in 1955 against bus segregation laws in Montgomery, Alabama ushered in an era of civil rights activism.

Not a week goes by without the tragic news of a school shooting, wrongful incarceration, or personal scandal. The news is often so overwhelming that it leaves us numb, exhausted and frustrated. But for Claudette Colvin, she hopes such injustices make us so angry that we stop standing on the sidelines and take the action needed to drive progress -- just as she did on March 2, 1955.

Only 15 years old at the time, Ms. Colvin, refused to accede to a bus driver’s demands that she move to the back of a public bus. “Pride in black history and the many heroes that I had studied about in school, simply glued me to the seat,” she said. For her defiance, the police hauled her off the bus, arrested her, and threw her in jail. The courageous Ms. Colvin acted without the help of others, and did so 9 months before Rosa Parks. Colvin’s act of rebellion helped spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott and a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama bus segregation laws. Ms. Colvin went on to become one of five plaintiffs in a State and then Supreme Court case that sought to end segregated bus system practices in the south. They won, but the battle was tough, and on many levels continues today.
Ms. Colvin will present her story of bravery and share what motivated her to stay put in her seat that fateful day. She hopes that her tale will continue propelling young people to standup for what they know in their hearts to be true.

The Calvary Baptist Church choir will honor Ms. Colvin in song, and a group of young people, led by Kol Ami congregant George Guidall, the preeminent audiobook reader in the United States, will read excerpts from the biography, “Claudette Colvin, Twice Towards Justice.”

Ms. Colvin will be honored on April 28, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM at Congregation Kol Ami located at 252 Soundview Avenue, White Plains.

The program is open to the public free of charge and geared for all ages. A reception and question and answer period will follow this important program.

Claudette Colvin Flyer

laramieThe Scarsdale High School Drama Club will present, their spring play, The Laramie Project on Friday March 29 and Saturday March 30 at 7:30 pm.

The Laramie Project is a documentary-style play that analyzes the death of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student who was brutally murdered because of his sexual identity. The play was created by playwright/director Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project.

The theater group traveled from New York to the town of Laramie, Wyoming - just four weeks after the death of Shepard. Once there, they interviewed dozens of townspeople, collecting a wide array of different perspectives. The dialogue and monologues which comprise The Laramie Project are taken from interviews, news reports, courtroom transcripts, and journal entries.

The interviews delve into the reactions of people who knew Matthew, people who knew his murderers, and other citizens of Laramie who perhaps did not personally know Matthew or his murderers personally, but can still speak about the reactions of the town as a whole.

Performances will be in the Scarsdale High School auditorium on Friday, March 29th and Saturday, March 30th at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at scarsdalelaramie.eventbrite.com or at the door.

jewishencounterCantors, a Broadway star and members of the WRT Adult Choir will host an evening of opera at Westchester Reform Temple on Sunday April 7 at 4 pm featuring Cantor Jill Abramson, Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Cantor Amanda Kleinman, Kelly McCormick, Danny Mendelson, Rabbi Dan Sklar, Cantor Shirah Sklar, and Pianist Lachlan Glen. This annual concert is held in memory of Cantor Stephen Merkel z”l.

This talented company of singers made up will join together to offer music that expresses the connection between Jewish life and the opera stage. Pianist Lachlan Glen, an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, will share his operatic expertise. Enjoy the natural acoustics of the beautiful Westchester Reform Temple sanctuary as you experience the simplicity and grandeur of the human voice.

A Jewish Encounter with Opera is the brainchild of Cantor Jill Abramson, who is fascinated with the nexus of Jewish culture and the operatic repertoire. For more information, see Cantor Abramson’s piece,

There will be a wine and cheese reception following the program. A suggested contribution of $15 supports continued programs for the community.

Here is the program:

“Zion’s Walls” (Copland): Adult Choir and Soloists

“Olympia’s Aria” (the Doll Song) from Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach) - Kelly

“Dudele” (Dan & Shirah)

“King David” Herbert Howells (Amanda)

"Laurie's Song" from Aaron Copland's The Tenderland (Shirah)

“Un Moto di Gioia” (Mozart) from Marriage of Figaro (Jill)
Mozart’s librettist was Jewish and Stephen Merkel loved Mozart: he had a huge painting of him in his office.

“Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen” (From the opera Shulamis by A. Goldfaden)
Audience sing-along

Ching-a-Ring-Chaw (Copland) - (Dan)

Tombe degli avi miei (Donizetti) from Lucia di Lammermor (Danny M)
“Va Pensiero” or Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco (Verdi): Soloists

“A “ Simple Song,” Bernstein (Jon)

Note: Leonard Bernstein’s centennial last year, and note the irony that, following his overtly Jewishly-themed Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”) (1963) and Chichester Psalms (1965), Bernstein chose the Roman Catholic Mass as the subject of the work he composed for the inauguration of the Kennedy Center. “Mass” (1971) is a massively scaled, eclectic pastiche of classical, pop, Broadway, jazz, and blues elements; but “A Simple Song” belies all of that, and the Christian liturgical conventions of the Catholic Mass, by declaring a universal devotion to God with lyrics drawn from Psalms (co-written with Stephen Schwartz of Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked fame).

“See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes” (Judas Maccabeus): Adult Choir and Soloists

Encore: “Chad Gad Yah” (DM solo) Moishe Oysher, arr. Jacobson: Adult Choir and Soloists – as Passover is coming up.

Westchester Reform Temple is located at 255 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale, New York. For directions or information, call 914-723-7727, email to office@wrtemple.org or visit the website at www.wrtemple.org.

For more information about this program, please contact Cantor Jill Abramson at Westchester Reform Temple, 914-723-7727.

BronxRiverThe Scarsdale Historical Society is proud to announce a new documentary film, A River Returns, a History of the Bronx River. The event will be held at the Little Theater at Scarsdale High School on Sunday, March 24th at 3pm. This screening is sponsored by the Scarsdale Historical Society, The Scarsdale Forum, The Scarsdale Public Library and the League of Women Voters Scarsdale.

The beloved Bronx River has played a significant role in the rise of towns and modern suburbs in Westchester and the Bronx. Our film tells the story of the river’s remarkable history, sorrowful decline and the unique efforts to reclaim the river by the communities it flows through.

The Bronx River travels from Valhalla in Northern Westchester for 16 miles through towns in Westchester and for 8 miles in the Bronx before it flows into Manhattan’s East River. Once teeming with fish and wildlife, the Bronx River Valley was the hunting grounds for Native Americans and the fur traders. The river powered the mills of the first colonists and factories. However, by the 1890's the Bronx River had become a toxic brew of industrial and human waste.

The first efforts to protect the river resulted in the construction of the Bronx River Parkway and a greenbelt of parks in the early 1900's that transformed towns in Westchester. The second major clean up began in the 1970's when local activists from blighted neighborhoods in the South Bronx and river advocates joined forces to restore the river.

Today, the Bronx River continues to be cared for through an alliance of private and government groups and by the efforts of volunteers, students, educators and environmentalists. Those efforts have become a model for the restoration of urban rivers across the nation.

Join us for the inspired story of the return of the Bronx River and a Q&A with the filmmakers and the historians interviewed in the film.

This is the third film produced by the Scarsdale Historical Society with the combined teamwork of Barbara Shay MacDonald, the Society's Historian, and Lesley Topping, a New York based filmmaker, who grew up in Scarsdale. The two previous films include A Tour of the Cudner-Hyatt House and Scarsdale in the 18th and 19th Century: From Hardscrabble Farms to Gracious Estates. They can be watched on the Scarsdale Historical Society’s website: www.scarsdalehistoricalsociety.org.

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