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Musical Club of Westfield Scholarship to Travel "Around the World in 80 Minutes"

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The Biennial Scholarship Concert of the Musical Club of Westfield, to be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 20, 2011, at the First Baptist Church, 170 Elm Street, Westfield, will take its audience on a trip “Around the World in 80 Minutes”.

The journey will begin in India with classical music of Southern India, featuring the Carnatic Musicians’ Family of New Jersey, singing and performing on the veena (a plucked stringed instrument, the venu (a bamboo flute), and the mridangam (double-headed drum).  Comprised of parents Dr. Bhavani Prakash and Prakash Rao, and their sons, 17-year-old Ananth Rao and 12-year-old Skanda Rao, this award-winning ensemble has been referred to as the “Von Trapp Family” of Carnatic music in New Jersey.

From India, travelers will be whisked away to the France, to hear organist Marie-Danièle Mercier perform Sonata No. 4 in D Minor by French composer Alexandre Guilmant.  French-born, and educated in the musical conservatoires of France, Mercier has specialized throughout her career in performing organ works of French composers both in France and in the U.S.

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Australia is the next destination.  Bass-baritone Glen Crane, a frequent soloist on Crescent Concerts, will perform songs by Australian-born composers Percy Grainger and Malcolm Williamson.  Pianist Mary Beth McFall will be his accompanist.

Russian-born pianist Yuly Verbitsky will guide the audience through Europe, with music by Russian composers Mily Balakirev and Sergei Rachmaninoff, Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, and Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.

The Monmouth Winds woodwind quintet takes the program to South America, performing a set of three tangos by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, who is credited with elevating the tango from the dance hall to the concert stage.

Soprano Ellen Entriken, accompanied by Dr. William Entriken, next brings travelers home to the U.S., presenting music by three American composers:  Robert Lowry, who spent the end of his life in New Jersey, “Father of American Music” Stephen Foster, and contemporary American composer Douglas Stuart Moore.

For the final segment of the program, travelers return to the Far East with a performance of Chinese and Taiwanese music by the Chinese American Music Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Shuang Guo.   Formed in 1994, the ensemble seeks to promote the exchange of Chinese and American culture.
Following the performance, there will be a reception at which audience members may meet the performers.  Refreshments, provided by the club’s Hospitality Committee, will be served.

The Musical Club of Westfield invites the public to this exciting concert.  The suggested donation is $10, and tickets may be purchased from any Musical Club member or purchased at the door.  Proceeds benefit the club’s Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to promising young musicians.  Currently the club supports seven such students, who are studying music at The Juilliard School of Music, Princeton University, the University of Delaware, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Michigan, and Montclair State University.

For more information, please visit http://westfieldnj.com/mcw/, or call Jenny Cline at 908-789-9353.

 

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