Morning Musical Club Holds ‘Bach to Bernstein’ Celebration

On Sunday, April 15 the Morning Music Club (MMC) hosted an enthusiastic audience gathered to hear musical selections from “Bach to Bernstein” at the Rockland Conservatory of Music on South Main Street in Pearl River. 

MMC President Evelyn Beckerle welcomed the attendees and began her remarks with a brief overview of the club’s history.  Evelyn pointed out that the club was established in 1924, and after 94 years is still going strong as Rockland County’s oldest musical organization.

Before introducing the three artists Evelyn thanked the members and friends for their generous donations and the Rockland County Legislature for its annual grant of $1,100, which helps to make MMC’s programs possible. She also recognized two members of MMC for their outstanding contributions to the club, namely Bernice Rice Gerstein, treasurer and Jean Rohrs, chair of publicity.

President Beckerle said, “Bernice and Jean symbolize professionalism at its best and are amazing examples of being in service.”

The program featured three international artists – Sherry Sylar, associate principal oboe player of the New York Philharmonic; Korliss Uecker, soprano, formerly of the New York Metropolitan Opera; and James Rensink, piano, composer and conductor, who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

The program – which began with “Ave Marie,” included Bernsteins “Dream With Me” and ended with the “Laughing Song” from Die Fledermaus – was interspersed with personal recollections by the three performers.

Uecker gave wonderful descriptions of the background behind each of the main pieces particularly Dvoraks “Hymn To The Moon,” Schuberts “The Shepherd on the Rock” and Strausss “Laughing Song.”

 
Rensink provided several amusing insights from his experience in working under Bernstein and hearing one artist, who was not happy with the tempo with which one piece was to be performed, telling Bernstein that although he wrote the piece, he did not know how it goes!
 
Sylar described the highly emotional experience of playing at the Berlin Wall Concert in 1989 with Bernstein conducting Beethovens “Ninth Symphony.”

At the conclusion of the recital, the artists intermingled with the attendees at a champagne reception.

The next Morning Music Club Event will be the May 22 Scholarship Recital featuring MMC’s high school scholarship awardees. It will be held at the Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, 51 Sickletown Road, Pearl River beginning at 7:30 p.m.

In 2018 MMC was able to provide seven scholarships to musically talented Rockland County students for a total value of $12,000.

For more information about the Music Club visit: www.morningmusicofrockland.org.