Tuesday, March 29, 2011

49th Music Kitchen Performance: 'Bridgett Kibbey-harp and Claire Chase-flute' Dec. 11, 2010

[49th Music Kitchen Performance: Kelly Hall-Tompkins with children at shelter; “Bridgett Kibbey-harp and Claire Chase-flute” Dec. 11, 2010]

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Founder and President of Music Kitchen: Food for the Soul sends AfriClassical word of the 49th Music Kitchen Performance, which took place on Dec. 11, 2010:

“Bridgett Kibbey-harp and Claire Chase-flute
**First Performance of Concert Artist Guild Partnership**
Women in Need- the Jennie Clark Residence December 11, 2010

“This evening's Music Kitchen was a great example not only of how unforeseen circumstances can be a blessing in disguise, but how caring people can mobilize and come together quickly to make great things happen to help others. I am very excited that tonight's concert was the first in the partnership with Concert Artists Guild to present the artists currently on their roster. Playing this evening was an amazing duo with Bridget Kibbey, harpist and Claire Chase, flutist. These two artists have a very full schedule of concertizing and nailing down a date proved challenging and required a few shifts, the last of which would not work for the shelter I had in mind or any of the other shelters I serve. I thought, 'why cancel when there is bound to be another underserved audience in New York that would really appreciate this performance?'

“Fortunately while I myself was performing at the Garth Newel Music Center in Virginia over Thanksgiving week, Hannah Riley, daughter of the Executive Director, told me how much she appreciated reading about my work with Music Kitchen and recommended that I contact a shelter in New York where she volunteers. I'm so happy that she spoke to me that day and that I kept her suggestion in mind. Because when I contacted her with such short amount of time before the date where I had wonderful artists scheduled and no place to present them, she and the shelter both leapt into action to be able to take advantage of this opportunity for their clients. Many thanks to Mary Beth Gonzalez, Shawna Martin and Hannah Riley for their fast facilitation efforts. But that's not all!

I recently met Penny Wigglesworth by phone. When she heard about Music Kitchen, she offered to donate something from her nonprofit - beautiful hand-made Teddy Bears. Women in Need is a family shelter for women and their children, a first for Music Kitchen concerts - so I thought it would be perfect to offer these to the children. But again, with the date fast approaching, Penny leapt into action, sending the bears overnight so that they would arrive in time! And they did. So, finally tonight all of these wonderful people put their time and talents together for a splendid performance for both the mothers and their children.

“Bridget and Claire performed a diverse program of works by Bach, Debussy and Piazzolla. They perform regularly as a duo, and their well-crafted performance was at once moving, spirited and virtuosic. The younger children in the room were boisterous at times, but both the children and their mothers were drawn in, as if magnetized by the music. As Bridget pointed out, their mood was a direct reflection of the music being played: The lively allegros made many joyfully bounce with the music. One boy handed me his card where he wrote one simple word – 'Happy.'

"The slow movement of the Bach Sonata brought a sublime peace to the listeners. Music and the arts in general, to quote a recent speech by President Obama, 'enriches our lives and inspires us to greatness.' so it was once again very gratifying to bring that gift of music here to the clients at the Jennie Clark Residence. But it was also a rare treat for me to hand out 24 Teddy bears to children at a homeless shelter, each child seemed to embrace the plushy adorable bears with a sense of relief, release and like being united with a trusted friend.

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