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Music Marathon Fundraiser to Benefit People's Music School May 1-2

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April 13, 2009 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Student Advisory Board of Northwestern University's Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will present a 26-hour music marathon May 1 to 2 on the Evanston campus to raise funds to support The People's Music School, a tuition-free community music school located in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. All proceeds will go directly towards private lessons for more than 250 students.

The Music Marathon will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, May 1 and continue through 7 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in Regenstein Recital Hall, 60 Arts Circle Drive. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, the marathon will continue at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, with a ticketed concert by the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra.

Performances by Northwestern students, faculty and alumni, and guest artists from the Chicago area, will feature an eclectic array of music ranging from Rachmaninoff to Radiohead. They will be streamed live on the Internet on Pick-Staiger Concert Hall's Web site at http://www.pickstaiger.com.

The Northwestern chamber ensemble Gentlemen of NUCO will open the 2009 Music Marathon at 8 p.m. Friday, May 1 at Regenstein Recital Hall with an hourlong set of popular music arranged for strings and percussion. Grammy Award-winning harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, a founding member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and Naumburg Award-winning classical and jazz pianist Anthony Molinaro will also be featured during the opening night lineup.

Faculty performers will include clarinetist and saxophonist Victor Goines, director of the Bienen School of Music's jazz studies program, as well as saxophonist Frederick Hemke, cellist Hans Jensen, violinist Gerardo Ribeiro and pianists Elizabeth Buccheri and Sylvia Wang.

Donations will be accepted during the marathon's culminating event -- the 7:30 p.m. May 2 concert by the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Robert G. Hasty will conduct the chamber orchestra in a program featuring Bernhard Romberg's Flute Concerto and Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 ("Romantic") featuring solo flutist Ellen Huntington. Concert tickets are $7 for the general public; $4 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $4 for students will valid IDs.

The People's Music School is the only tuition-free community music school of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1976, the School was set up to offer private music instruction to anyone, regardless of their financial resources. Today, the School offers free instruction in 13 instruments as well as voice and theory classes to more than 250 students each year and presents dozens of free concert performances. For more information, visit http://www.peoplesmusicschool.org/.

Artists who wish to participate in the May Music Marathon benefit must raise $100 to "purchase" a 15-minute time slot in the performance schedule. The marathon is open to the public; admission is $5 for the opening night, and then by donation beginning at midnight. All proceeds will benefit The People's Music School.

The Bienen School's Student Advisory Board estimates that the proceeds of the marathon will fund more than 1,000 music lessons for low-income inner-city youth.

"We are pleased to have such support and enthusiasm from students, faculty and alumni," said Russell Rolen, a member of the Bienen School Student Advisory Board and chairperson of the event. "Our mission in planning this fund-raising event was to bring together our musical community around an important cause. Our goal is to reach out and help youngsters get exposure to music lessons, especially in these difficult economic times."

For a schedule of performers and updated information on the Music Marathon, or to link to the live webcast, visit http://www.musicmarathonconcert.org/. Donations may also be made online.