What It Means to be An Artist Now

“What it means to be an artist today — where do we start on that one?” (more of this article from the Los Angeles Times)

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Arts memories: 2009

Yes, this has been a particularly rough year for Greater Binghamton, and more than one of you will be saying “Good riddance!” as you raise your champagne flute Thursday in the waning moments of 2009. But art has always had the power to salvage the darkest day. What bright memories of artistic endeavour — visual or performance — will you carry with you from this year?

Spirit of Christmas

The following is re-printed from the BCAC Weekly Newsletter: Friday, December 24, 2009 —
There was a moment a couple weeks ago when I felt the “Christmas Spirit” stir inside me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bronzissimo! rings true

Last Sunday, nearly 200 people filled Memorial Park Baptist Church (also now home to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church) in Vestal to hear the Bronzissimo! Community Handbell Choir’s winter concert. The program offered familiar carols and Christmas favorites from the French, English, Ukrainian and American traditions. The bells were joined at times by flute, wind chime, drum and keyboard. 

Bronzissimo! is a select group of the best ringers from several local handbell choirs. This concert featured 14 ringers playing five octaves.  For more details, click here. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you celebrating the holidays through the arts?

How have you been celebrating the seasons  through the arts? Did you brave the snow for First Night? How about for the first First Friday of 2010? Tell us what you’ve seen and where you’ve been?

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Do you know this Grammy nominee?

“Eternal Interlude,” a CD by Binghamton native John Hollenbeck and his group, has been nominated for a Grammy for “best large jazz ensemble album.” The category is for large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds; albums must contain 51 percent or more instrumental tracks. Hollenbeck also is featured in an article on the future of jazz in this week’s “Newsweek.” (FYI: The Grammy ceremony is Jan. 31.)
If you have memories of Hollenbeck’s Binghamton days, please share.
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Harpist Ted Davenport plays holiday favorites

We first heard harpist Ted Davenport a couple of years ago. Entering La Vita e Bella restaurant in Vestal for Mother’s Day dinner, we were greeted by Davenport’s music in the lobby. The gentle tones carried throughout the dining room, adding a lovely ambiance.

This past Thursday Dec 10, we visited the Broome West Senior Center in Endwell to hear Davenport play a program of holiday music. For nearly 45 minutes, he offered smoothly flowing holiday songs, carols, and medleys. At times, center visitors lightly sang the words along.

Endwell was just one of four stops Davenport was making that day, with 40 gigs scheduled between Dec 10 and Dec 24. To learn more about the harpist and his harp, click here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did you have an art-full weekend?

Once again we’re looking for your comments and opinions on the artistic fare of the past week and weekend. Please share with us.

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Vienna Boys Choir charms at The Forum

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

It’s been a very good week, musically speaking, starting with the Nowell Sing We Clear concert Dec. 6 at Binghamton’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation (a Cranberry Coffeehouse event) and the Vienna Boys Choir Dec. 9 at The Forum. If you missed the sadly under-attended Nowell concert by these four talented troubadours, kick yourself. Make a note on your calendar for December 2010 to get tickets, if we’re lucky enough to have them in Binghamton again!

Angels we have heard on high – the Vienna Boys Choir gives a whole new meaning to the phrase. The choir – a band of 23 little boys with angelic voices — and their devilishly handsome conductor, Manolo Cagnin, charmed the nearly full house at The Forum. The concert was a special event in the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra season. Read the rest of this entry »

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Young pianist dazzles at Phelps Mansion

Anastasia Rizikov, a 10-year-old Canadian-born pianist, raised more than one pair of eyebrows last weekend at her second appearance in Binghamton. Presented by the organization “Classical Pianists of the Future,” this phenomenon of nature left her audience dazzled. Child prodigies are always exciting to hear, and Rizikov delivered the goods. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you gotten into the holiday swing?

The annual smorgasbord of holiday entertainment has begun: “Hansel and Gretel,” “A Christmas Story,” “The Russian Nutcracker,” concerts by Irish entertainers and theater organists, … I’m only touching the surface here and only talking about this week’s fare (starting Dec. 4). Please share your impressions of these performances. And, as always, we’d love to know what you saw and did at First Friday and First Saturday.

Madrigal Choir “Lessons and Carols” is more than a concert

The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton just offered its 32d season of  “Lessons and Carols for Christmas.” This is both a concert and a worship service, the sacred and secular readings and classical and contemporary anthems and familiar Christmas carols recounting the story of the coming of Messiah.

Sitting in the choir looking out over the audience, one can see family, friends and neighbors. Some have come for the enjoyment of the music, others as an act of seasonal devotion, from within this parish or some other across town. For still others, this is the closest they will ever come to being churchgoers. For all these groups, and particularly the last described, Artistic Director Anne Boyer Cotten says it’s not just about how well we sing the music but about how well we tell the story.

For a singer’s perspective, click on “read the rest of the story.” Read the rest of this entry »

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