Monday, September 25, 2017

Mindy Kaufman

Michael McHale

Anthony McGill

The JCC Thurnauer School of Music is celebrating 33 years of magnificent music making on Wednesday, May 10, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood with its annual Gift of Music Gala Benefit. The concert features world-renowned Anthony McGill, principal clarinet, New York Philharmonic; Mindy Kaufman, piccolo and flute, New York Philharmonic; and Michael McHale, international piano soloist; plus Thurnauer’s outstanding student ensembles in an evening of spellbinding musical entertainment.

This year’s gala celebrates Thurnauer’s success in bringing a world-class conservatory education to the community at large and recognizes how a specialized education of this kind can inspire and shape lives. The guest artists featured at the concert are living examples of what this means, as they all began their music educations in community music schools like Thurnauer.

The gala will also honor two local families who have generously helped make community music making possible by dedicating their time and efforts to Thurnauer for years: Karen and Michael Neus and Heidi Chen Lauring and Brett Lauring, who share the belief that music should be an integral part of every child’s education and have supported the school to ensure that all children in the community can receive the same quality education as their children.

“Most major conservatories don’t take young beginner students, but a child interested in studying music needs to start somewhere, and with the best possible music education,” explains Thurnauer Director Dorothy Kaplan Roffman. “Thurnauer prides itself on providing this ‘best-start’ education and this is what really sets us apart. The music school introduces young children to the incredible world of music, excites them about all the possibilities and provides them with an education where they can get it right from the beginning. Our honorees know this firsthand. Between them, they have eight children who all studied with us and credit our school for enriching their lives. They have been dedicated partners in their children’s musical education; they watched them perform year after year and celebrated their growth. And now they are helping us create musical legacies for others. I can’t think of something more special to celebrate.”

The annual Gift of Music Benefit Concert serves as the school’s major fundraising event and primary source of scholarship assistance for those who cannot afford the cost of tuition. The concert also provides great inspiration to the students and music school community, as world-renowned artists have generously participated and donated their time and talent to this cause. It was established by Drs. Joan and Alan Handler to bring the joys of music making to a broad student population in a nurturing and supportive environment. This year’s concert marks its 27th Anniversary.

Tickets are $25 for students, $50 for adults, $90 for premiere seating and $250 for VIP tickets (VIP includes premiere seating and pre- and post-concert meet-the-artists receptions).

For more information on this special concert and the featured artists, as well as for journal and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.jccotp.org/gom or contact Nina Bachrach at [email protected], or call 201-408-1406.