July 4, 2022

Middletown String Program Benefit Concert

Neely Bruce, a well known composer and professor at Wesleyan University

There will be a benefit concert on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Middletown High School in Middletown for The Elizabeth Swaim/Middletown Schools String Program.Performers at the concert will include Neely Bruce, a well known composer and professor at Wesleyan University; Cyrus Stevens, a violinist from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and well known performer of contemporary music. As well as membership in Boston and New York contemporary music organizations, Cyrus has performed the Berg Violin Concerto numerous times for the New York City Ballet.

Mark S. Holland, a composer from New York City will premiere a composition of his with Cyrus Stevens. Carolyn Halsted, a well known pianist in Middletown and beyond will accompany Stacey Grimaldi who will be performing several Spanish Songs. Stacey is known statewide for her solo soprano work with Concora.  Elena Roussanova, from Boston will accompany Stacey as she performs Elena’s songs. Ms. Roussanova, a composer/pianist, is originally from Moscow where she attended the Moscow Conservatory and was the recipient of the composition and piano prizes. Christopher Montgomery, a composer and a retired music librarian of Wesleyan University will have a composition premiered as well.  Christopher’s composition, Two Cities, has been recorded in Prague with the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra and released on the Albany Records Label.  Santo Fragilio, a long time teacher and violinist in Middletown will perform. Pinar Gosterilsli, Colleen Weiner, Danny Solerno, Melissa Morgan, and Lauren Chambers all teachers in the program will take part as well as some of the students of the program.

The String program began several years ago with a generous bequest from Elizabeth Swaim, a Rare Books Librarian at Wesleyan University. Her donation to the Middlesex County Community Foundation created the Arts Enhancement Fund which was the impetus for the string program and many others. The String Program started as an after-school program for elementary school students and has grown into a cooperative program with the Middletown School System. A string teacher was hired by the Middletown Board of Education to instruct the students as they entered Middle School and beyond. From the inception, the Middletown Board has provided venues and bussing for the after-school program. This cooperation between the Foundation and the Middletown Public Schools has served the students of town so well that there are now approximately 250 students studying strings in the Middletown Schools and the first real Orchestral Program in Middletown is a reality.  For the first time in the history of The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s cooperative outreach program with Middletown High School, string players who are now freshmen and sophomores at Middletown High School will perform side by side with their Hartford Symphony counterparts in a 2011 concert at the Bushnell.

A Sunday afternoon snow date for the same venue has been set for 3:00 p.m..  Tickets are $10.00 on line ($15.00 at the door). Tickets can be purchased at www.MiddlesexCountyCF.org