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Free Memorial Day Concert

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Van Cortlandt Park

Join the Bronx Arts Ensemble on Sunday, May 24 at 2 pm in Van Cortlandt Park near the Ecology Center for a FREE Memorial Day Holiday Concert celebrating the music of Gould, Bernstein, Sousa, Oliver Caplan, Samuel Barber, Stephen Sondheim, Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Papo Vázquez and more!

The concert features the Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra, conductor David Gilbert, soprano Halley Gilbert, trombonist Papo Vázquez, and vocalist Hermán Olivera. The free BAE Memorial Day outdoor tent concert is scheduled rain or shine. Seating will be provided. Pedestrians can enter the park at Broadway and 246th Street. Free parking is also available at the Van Cortlandt Golf House.

Music will include selections from “South Pacific”, “Guys and Dolls”, “West Side Story” and “Gypsy”; Morton Gould’s “American Salute”; Samuel Barber’s, “Knoxville, Summer of 1915”; Oliver Caplan’s, “For Pondering” as well as special arrangements by Papo Vázquez and favorite marches by John Philip Sousa.
David Gilbert is acclaimed for his dynamic performances with orchestras throughout the United States, the Far East and Europe. He was the first American to serve as principal guest conductor of the Beijing Central Philharmonic..Mr. Gilbert is a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music where he has conducted both symphony and opera. His compositions for chamber ensemble, orchestra, and opera include his ''Concerto for Trombone, Brass and Orchestra,'' ''Ballade Concertante for Tuba and Orchestra,'' and ''Phoenix Madrigal'' for flute and strings. Mr. Gilbert is M usic Director and Conductor of the Greenwich Symphony and music director of the Bergen (NJ) Philharmonic and the Senior Concert Orchestra of New York.

Soprano Halley Gilbert graduated from Eastman School of Music last year and has already distinguished herself in many operatic roles with Opera for Humanity, Harrisburg Opera, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Greenwich CT Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, and the Genessee Chamber Orchestra. She has performed as featured soloist with the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Bronx Arts Ensemble, North Jersey Philharmonic, Oswego Opera Theatre's recital series, and Gateway Classical Music Society. She is the winner of many awards including Syracuse Opera Club, and first prize in the Steinway Hall Vocal Competition.

Acclaimed trombonist, composer and arranger Papo Vázquez is the leader of Pirates Troubadours, specializing in Yuba' Jazz, Holande Pirate, Jibaro Waltz, Plena Funk and Mapeye Jazz.  He has been commissioned to compose for the 19-piece Afro-Puerto Rican Jazz Orchestra, and was the first artist to receive a commission to compose for the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, resident band of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Papo's first classical composition was premiered in 2004 with the Bronx Arts Ensemble at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture.  A native of Philadelphia, Papo began performing at 15 with such bands as those of Willie Colon and Eddie Palmieri. In New York he began recording and performing with top names in salsa - The Fania All-Stars, Ray Barretto and Chico O'Farrill. He has toured with the Ray Charles Orchestra and performed also with Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Lewis, Hilton Ruiz and Milton Cardona, touring as a member of Tito Puente's Latin Jazz Ensemble and Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra. He has performed on film soundtracks for "Mo' Better Blues" and "The Mambo Kings". His latest CD is Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirate Orchestra "Marooned/Aislado" on his own independent label, Picaro Records.

Ermán Olivera became the main vocalist with Manny Oquendo’s group, Libre, in 1979 at the age of 20. He has toured the world, performed in numerous music festivals and worked with Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Machito Orchestra as well as The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and The Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Band.

Oliver Caplan, whose piece "For Pondering" will be performed at the Memorial Day Holiday Concert, was raised in the Bronx. He graduated from Dartmouth College with honors in 2004 and received his Masters of Music from Boston University’s composition program in 2006. Compositional interests encompass both concert music and collaboration with artists in other media.  His piece for concert band “Reason for Hope in a Complex World” was premiered by the Columbia University Wind Ensemble in February 2008.  His works have also been presented by the Bronx Arts Ensemble, 11:11 Theatre Company, dance choreographers Mary Chris DeBelina and Susan Graham, members of the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, and the Dartmouth Chamber Orchestra. An avid hiker, he finds inspiration through his time outdoors.

The concert is presented with the support of Bronx Arts Ensemble, William Scribner, Executive/Artistic Director, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, New York City Dept of Parks & Recreation and Music Performance Funds, Local 802.

For more information, call 718-601-7399 or visit www.bronxartsensemble.org.

The Bronx’s premier music performance ensemble serving the borough since 1972, the Bronx Arts Ensemble is a not-for-profit organization enriching the cultural environment of the Bronx with a year-round schedule of concerts, special programs for families and a full music and arts-in-education program for schools.
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