Archive for April 28th, 2009

• Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The Ithaca Community Orchestra’s 2009 Spring Concert for Families and Children

Sunday, May 3rd at 4:00 pm at the First Baptist Church in Dewitt Park, downtown Ithaca

On Sunday, May 3rd, the Ithaca Community Orchestra (ICO) will be celebrating the arrival of Spring with a children’s concert at 4pm at the First Baptist Church in Dewitt Park, downtown Ithaca. The concert will showcase Raya Lee Then’s “Fiddler Crabs,” a musical story about friendship between two young crabs. Then will narrate her story to Johann Sebastion Bach’s music, including portions of the Concerto for Violin in E Major and Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. The violin soloists, who represent the two crab children, will be local and nationally known violinists Judy Hyman and Laurie Hart. The ICO will also perform Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and selections from Charles Gounod’s Petite Symphonie.

For this event the ICO will be collaborating with the Family Reading Partnership of Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Public Library. Cal Walker, on behalf of the Family Reading Partnership, will kick off the program with his narration of Karla Kuskin’s The Philharmonic Gets Dressed. The story, combined with a power-point presentation of Marc Simnot’s illustrations, creatively details how musicians prepare for a performance . After the concert, The Bright Red Bookshelf will be collecting gently used children’s books to give to families who want them.

Raya Lee Then, the author of “Fiddler Crabs,” has written and narrated musical stories for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s youth concerts, including “The Magic of Mozart,” “Dora’s Dream” and, most recently, “Erie Canal.” A writer and lecturer about music who has a private piano studio, she has been assistant librarian for the Buffalo Philharmonic. Judy Hyman is a founding member of the Ithaca area alternative rock band The Horse Flies and has recorded and toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe with both The Horse Flies and the pop singer Natalie Merchant. She has performed with orchestras and string quartets, composes music for film, and teaches. Classically trained, Laurie Hart is also a fiddler who specializes in Irish, Scandinavian, French, and American dance music. She performs across the U.S. and Canada at contra-dances, concerts, weddings, festivals and dance weekends and has taught at Ashokan Northern Week,
Ithaca College, and Suzuki institutes.

The Family Reading Partnership of Tompkins County is a non-profit community organization made up of caring individuals and groups that have joined forces to “create a culture of literacy” throughout the Ithaca area. The organization strives to publicize the fact that the ability to read, write, and communicate clearly will define a child’s future success in life.

The Ithaca Community Orchestra is a non-professional group which supports community musical education through the rehearsal and performance of orchestral repertoire. Now in its eighth season, the ICO is committed to presenting concerts for the general public, which include appearances at community events and festivals, as well as performances at local residential institutions.

The ICO’s music director, Cayenna Ponchione, will lead the Orchestra with help from Bryan Lilley, assistant Conductor. The concert is made possible with a generous donation from The Sorel Organization, as well as with grant support from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. As always, this ICO event is free and open to the public, but donations will be very gratefully accepted. For more information, please call 607-592-8374 or email

You know Laurie Hart and Judy Hyman as northern and southern fiddlers, respectively. Now you can hear them together playing a tradition they have in common from way back when: baroque violin music, with a fun twist.

On Apr 29, May 3, May 6, you have three chances to hear the show:

Ithaca Community Orchestra Spring Children’s Concert, all ages welcome.
Featuring author/narrator Raya Lee Then, violinists Judy Hyman and Laurie Hart, and music director Cayenna Ponchione

The Fiddler Crabs, a charming story entwined with exerpts of J.S. Bach’s E major concerto, E major partita, and D minor double concerto,
PLUS a little fiddling surprise by Laurie and Judy, as well as Gounod’s Petite Symphonie and Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice (yep, the one from Fantasia).

Sunday, May 3, 4:00 p.m., First Baptist Church, Dewitt Park, Ithaca NY, reception to follow.

Wednesday, May 6, 6:00 pm, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca NY

Also there is an open rehearsal at Lakeside Nursing home on Rt. 96 in Ithaca on Weds. April 29 at 7:30pm if you can’t make the other performances.

Definitely May 3 will be the most exciting, with some extra personnel including the dynamic harpsichordist Dorian Bandy. We did some coaching in baroque performance practice with Cornell emeritus professor Sonya Monosoff, and between that and our fiddle backgrounds, you may be surprised by our approach!

Hope to see you there.

Newsflash: Judy and Laurie will play the entire Bach Double Concerto (without the story) at the Grassroots Festival Sunday morning July 19 with GrassRoots Orchestra as well!


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