Come Celebrate Joel Mandelbaum & Friends at PeaceSmiths

On Sun., Nov. 12, 2006 at 3PM PeaceSmiths, The Elie Siegmeister Society, and The Professor Edgar H. Lehrman Memorial Foundation for Ethics, Religion, Science and the Arts, Inc. proudly present A Concert of Music by Joel Mandelbaum & Friends, launching the celebration of his 75th year, with Helene Williams, soprano; Antoinette Blaikie, oboist; and composers Jay Anthony Gach, Leonard Lehrman, & Joel Mandelbaum, the latter two at the piano, at First United Methodist Church, at 25 Broadway (Route 110 – “the last church on the left,” going south), in Amityville, NY. Info: 631-798-0778. A donation of $8 is suggested.

Two pieces will receive their world premieres at this concert: Elie Siegmeister’s “Outside My Window,” on a text by poet Kim Rich, who will also be present; and Mandelbaum’s setting of his own (June 10, 2005) “Letter to Jewish Week,” composed for the occasion. On Mon., Nov. 6 at 1pm, Lehrman will be interviewed on WUSB, 90.1 FM, discussing his own letter which appeared in the Oct. 29, 2006 NY Times Book Review, and reading Mandelbaum’s letter, which takes issue with a columnist’s assertion that “God Is A Republican.”

The program also includes 4 songs by Jay Anthony Gach and 5 by Leonard Lehrman, among them settings of texts by Langston Hughes, Kim Rich and William Jay Smith, along with “Let’s Change the Woild!” “Threescore Years Ago,” and “Where Do I Belong?” from E.G.: A Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman – coming to PeaceSmiths Mar. 16, 2007. As a special encore, Susan Blake will premiere a new, updated version of Mandelbaum’s “The Causes Are Waiting For You” from his 1983 musical, “As You Dislike It.”

Other Mandelbaum works to be performed include his settings of Millay and Shakespeare, Prelude for Piano, Song for Oboe & Piano, and 2 Songs with Oboe & Piano on texts by Susan Fox, including “The Great Bell of Cuzco” in which the composer will play the chimes. He will also improvise on themes from the audience. Following will be a reception – with birthday cake!

The concert will be recorded and aired on public television as part of PeaceSmiths’ regular weekly cable access programs. This program represents an expansion of the usual PeaceSmiths offering, to include the works of composers of serious concert music, much of it on social themes, but written in an idiom designed to expand the rhythmic and harmonic palate of the repertoire most often heard at PeaceSmiths coffeehouse and forum programs. PeaceSmiths is a nonprofit community organization doing educational, activist, cultural, and mutual help projects for peace and justice.