The Musical Club of Westfield is proud to announce its biennial Scholarship Benefit Concert A Feast of American Music. This red, white and blue musical event, produced by Kay Macrae, will give thanks for the many cultures and talented people that have made American music unique. From colonial days to the present time, from the north, south, east and west, comes the music made in America and shared throughout the world. American quilts and bunting will decorate the scene; historical Americans will appear among the artists.
Please join us early at the First Baptist Church, 170 Elm Street, Westfield. Starting at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 24, Eric Deutchman and Debra Biderman will entertain the early arrivals with American favorites on accordion and fiddle. At 3:00, patriotic music with Westfield High School's Robert Strauss and Rachel Markowitz, piccolos, and David Criscuolo, percussion, signals the beginning of the concert. Michael Rosin on the harpsichord will take us back to George Washington's time with “The Battle of Trenton.” John Wargacki intones the poetry of Walt Whitman's “I Hear America Singing.” Alto Kim Gorman and pianist Joe Elefante continue with “Oh! Susanna,” “Wayfaring Stranger” and Simple Gifts.” Hoe-down music brings forward dancers for the Virginia Reel as called by Mistress of Ceremonies Elsa Hahn.
Next the spiritual heart of American music features pianist Helen Ryba performing the nineteenth century spirituals captured in the Andante movement from Florence's Price's piano sonata. The Sanctuary Choir of the First Seventh-day Adventist Church of Newark offers “Cast your cares,” “I am His Child” and “Stop by, Lord.”
After intermission, the Florian Schantz Jazz Combo will offer a Sousa march and Dixieland jazz, followed by Benny Goodman's “Don't be that way” and Duke Ellington's “Duke's Place” with clarinetist Chris Dellarso and pianist Mary Beth McFall. Chris also provides the clarinet introduction to Rhapsody in Blue played by pianist Carolle-Ann Mochernuk. Chris and Mary Beth join soprano Cynthia Sacco to interpret Gershwin's Summertime. Joe Elefante returns to deliver a piano medley from Broadway musicals including Oklahoma!. Mezzo-soprano and bass-baritone Drude and Glen Crane join the entire ensemble in the finale This Land is Your Land.
As always, the after-concert reception to meet the artists will be a highlight of the afternoon. The reception, designed and coordinated by Magaly Docabo and Maryann Dolling, assisted by Gloria Rodriguez, captures the spirit of an historic country harvest. Everyone is invited to sample the all-American fare.
The concert ticket donation of $10 supports the Musical Club's college scholarships for talented Union County students majoring in music performance, composition, education, theater and therapy. The concert is made possible in part by a 2019 HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
For information about the concert or the Musical Club, please consult the website musicalclubofwestfield.org or westfieldnj.com/mcw, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 908-654-1036 or 571-262-9113.