Sunday, March 6, 2016, RUACH assembled internationally acclaimed musicians for the concert, “Woodwind Voices – Recorder, Rhythms, and Beyond”. The concert featured internationally renowned performer and educator Nina Stern on recorder, joined by world famous percussionist and multiple Grammy winner, Glen Velez. Fellow Grammy winner, Todd Levy, Principal Clarinet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, performed with prominent Milwaukee pianist, Jeannie Yu.
The concert, attended by approximately 100 people, opened with works for clarinet and piano performed by Levy and Yu, including pieces by Bernstein, Ravel, and Bartok. Stern and Velez followed, introducing the audience to the worldly and diverse sounds of the recorder and percussion. They performed selected works from 14th and 16th century composers, traditional Sephardic music, and an original percussion piece by Velez. The concert concluded with all four artists collaborating on stage to offer the audience a traditional Ladino piece, “Quando El Rey Nimrod.”
The concert celebrates the newly developed recorder curriculum developed by RUACH. On Monday morning, March 7th, RUACH invited four Milwaukee schools to attend a “sister” concert featuring the same musicians, performing an educational program for the students. The schools in attendance included some of the schools who will hopefully start the recorder curriculum in Fall 2016. The students greatly benefited from the performance and enjoyed the opportunity to have a question and answer session with the artists.
Funding for the concerts was provided by Heart of Canal Street of Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, the National Endowment for the Arts, the United Performing Arts Fund, and CAMPAC.