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Column: Concert to showcase scholarship recipients
by Sally F. White
November 06, 2013 06:22 PM | 3359 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist

The formal annual Keyboard Classic musical-themed dinner party Sunday at 103 West on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead will benefit the Atlanta Steinway Society’s scholarship program.

Entertainment focus of the evening will be performances by the three winners of the C. Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Award and a string quartet from Kennesaw State University. Featured young pianists are Laura Street and Laura Zhang, both winners of the 2013 award, and Yannie Tan, who won the 2010 honor.

The three recipients of the 2013 college scholarships will also be announced: Bethany Michelle Sewall, Georgia State University; Beth Anne Ake, Kennesaw State; and Mary Jackson, the University of North Georgia.

April Conaway is the society president.

The organization was established in 1960, when the revered Steinway name representing classic virtuoso performers inspired Northsider Barbara Kirby and 16 like-minded piano aficionados to fund annual awards programs recognizing outstanding students studying piano at Georgia colleges and universities.

The society presents public concerts and works with college music directors to select student candidates for three annual $1,000 scholarships. It also administers the annual Calhoun award for young pianists under 15 and has endowed a special music scholarship at Kennesaw State.

Tickets and information: (770) 803-9597 or

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The Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta will host a two-artist afternoon concert Sunday at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church on Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs.

Two talented brothers, both internationally recognized keyboard artists, will be featured at the free concert open to members and the public.

Organist Brink Bush is a leading interpreter of German romantic organ music and has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has edited a book about performance technique, lectured at major universities and serves as organist and director of music for St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms, Mass.

Distinguished pianist Frank Mitchell Bush will also be featured on the program. He studied at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and has won many national awards. His most recent performances include concerts in Paris, London and the Washington National Cathedral. He resides in Allegany County, N.Y., and is an active performer and teacher.

A meet-the-artists reception will follow the dual performances.

The nonprofit society was founded in 1964 by 12 of Atlanta’s leading musical supporters under the leadership of Nellie Bunzl, wife of Austrian Consul Gen. Robert M. Bunzl. Three years later, Salzburg and Atlanta were proclaimed “sister cities” through the influence of Nellie Bunzl. In 1974 she was awarded the Silver Mozart Medal of the International Foundation of Mozarteum in recognition of her services. She died in Vienna in 1980.

Today, the society’s mission is to foster classical music education and interest in the musical works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other composers through the presentation of local musical events and to nurture and develop the talents of young musicians. It is proud to have sponsored 40 students at the Mozarteum throughout its 49-year history.

Information: (404) 667-4700 or visit

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Brian Steel Wills, Ph.D., director of the Civil War Center and professor of history at Kennesaw State University, will be the featured speaker Tuesday at the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta’s monthly dinner meeting at Capital City Club on John Portman Boulevard downtown.

Wills will be given the annual Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award for his best-of-the-year nonfiction book on the American Civil War entitled “George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel.” Thomas, a Union general, is known as the “Rock of Chickamauga” for his defense in the north Georgia battle.

The award honors the late Richard B. Harwell, a nationally recognized librarian, bibliographer and historian and the round table’s first president. The honor is given annually for the best book on a Civil War subject published in the preceding year and includes an engraved plaque and a $4,000 stipend.

The round table was organized in 1949 with the purpose to further the serious discussion and study of the American Civil War. Members meet the second Tuesday of every month except July and August. The dinner events at the Capital City Club start with a social hour and include programs featuring a who’s who of Civil War authorities and academics.

Art Carey is the round table’s current president.

Reservations and information: (770) 473-1390 or

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A morning musicale hosted by the Atlanta Music Club Nov.13 at the picturesque Log Cabin Church in Smyrna will extend their free public performance series into the holiday season.

Featured musicians will be clarinetist Greg Collins and pianist Hugh Waddy, a longtime club member.

Collins is both a teacher and performer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in clarinet performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Collins has performed with the Atlanta Symphony and Atlanta Ballet orchestras and is principal clarinetist with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.

After the 10:30 a.m. performance, guests will meet the artists for coffee in the historic log cabin adjacent to the church.

Beginning in 1915, the venerable nonprofit club has had an illustrious history of identifying and supporting musical talent and interest in greater Atlanta. Achievements include: the founding of the All-Star Concert Series with music celebrities, establishing the Choral Guild of Atlanta and the Atlanta Youth Orchestra, music performance scholarship programs for high school, undergraduate and graduate levels, and providing monthly morning musicales in public venues. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was a direct outgrowth of the Atlanta Youth Orchestra in 1944.

The club’s final 2013 public concert is set for Dec. 14.

Information: (404) 872-9670 or

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Dedicated community activist Earl Smith will be honored at An Evening with The Rockettes Nov. 14 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre near Vinings for his significant role in the center’s development.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the center’s foundation and its offshoot ArtsBridge, an arts education initiative designed to engage the next generation of artists and arts supporters.

Beginning with a reception in the Kessel D. Stelling Jr. Ballroom and photo opportunities with the legendary Rockettes, guests will have the best seats in the house to see a performance of their “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” in the John A. Williams Theatre.

Smith, founder and now board chairman of E. Smith Heating and Air Conditioning, has been a driving force in the business, government and civic communities. He helped develop the center and served on the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority for 12 years. He also has served as chairman of both the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, and continues to energize and support the wider Marietta-Atlanta communities.

The foundation is a nonprofit charged with securing financial resources for community and education outreach activities, including ArtsBridge.

Since its inception in 2007, ArtsBridge has served more than 200,000 students and educators from 27 public school districts, private schools and home school programs in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, in partnership with the Atlanta Opera, the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Kennesaw State University College of the Arts.

Tickets and information: (770) 916-2801 or

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The annual holiday Elegant Elf Marketplace will open Nov. 16 and 17 at Lake Forest Elementary School on Sandy Springs Circle in Sandy Springs with a wide array of stylish and festive gifts for everyone.

This marks the third year for the Sandy Spring Society to gather selected vendors to offer beautiful artistic creations, exceptional hand-crafted items, along with fine art from established and emerging local artists to the latest gourmet delights — all perfect for gift-giving, home enhancement or personal enjoyment.

The volunteer ladies will add raffle prizes and hearty refreshments at the Polar Express Café to give shoppers two weekend days of elegant gift discoveries with proceeds going to the society’s five mission areas.

An added good deed for this year is the new location. Principal Harvey Oaxaca and Fulton County Schools have allowed the marketplace to locate at one of seven public elementary schools in the city of Sandy Springs. Lake Forest will be in the well-deserved spotlight to promote community support for local public education.

Substantial monies from the collaboration of the school and the society will help fund student field trips during the 2013-14 academic year.

Co-chairs for this year’s sale are Kathy Shapiro and Laurie Gilbert.

The society is a women’s nonprofit volunteer organization and the largest single philanthropic agency in Sandy Springs. Since 1988 members have raised and given away more than $2.5 million through grants to secular nonprofit groups whose work improves the quality of life in the areas of education, arts, environment, heritage preservation and social services. Also, the society has contributed to greenspace for the 11 Sandy Springs parks and developed the Entertainment Lawn at Heritage Green.

Get your gift list up-to-date and be first in line to shop with the Elegant Elf ladies.

Tickets and information: (770) 552-1665 or

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Back to Broadway IV, “A Dressy Affair,” concert-and-dinner benefit Nov. 16 will celebrate the vocal talents of the Atlanta Boy Choir alumni. The Alumni Men’s Choir is comprised of men of all ages who have sung as boys with Maestro Fletcher Wolfe’s celebrated youth choir.

The black-tie optional affair will be presented at the Frankie Rollins Auditorium on the Atlanta Boy Choir campus headquarters on South Ponce De Leon Avenue in DeKalb County.

Featuring 50 gentleman decked out in white ties and tails, the concert will entertain guests with beloved Broadway hits and spotlight the choir’s own “Three Tenors” in a setting reminiscent of old New York. Wolfe and Donna Angel will also reminisce with the audience as they repeat one of their long-ago performances.

After the star-studded program and sumptuous buffet provided by the Alumni Mothers Association, with wine and Hilie King’s fabulous dessert, there will be a fine art and antique auction to add monetary substance to the fundraiser.

The choir was formed under Wolfe’s direction in 1957 and has grown into one of Atlanta’s premier arts organizations that inspires and develops the vocal talents of boys 6 to 14 and presents them in professional-quality public concerts worldwide.

Over the years the choir has become renowned as a world-class chorus performing in prestigious venues before esteemed audiences from the White House to the Vatican, grand theatres, cathedrals and historic venues. Alumni, many of whom still keep close ties with their musical beginnings, have progressed into the professional ranks from Grammy and Tony awards, “American Idol” winners and even Metropolitan Opera fame.

Donations and ticket funds give financial aid to talented youngsters who might otherwise not participate.

Reservations and information: (404) 378-0064 or

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The longest running holiday benefit in Atlanta, the Atlanta Speech School’s Language and Literacy Gala will light up the Capital City Club in Brookhaven Nov. 17.

Launched by the Atlanta Speech School Guild in 1973 as a communitywide supporter of the school’s goal to not turn away any child due to financial limitations, the festive evening of dinner and dancing will bring together hundreds of Atlantans who share the commitment to promote language and literacy in Georgia.

The centerpiece of this year’s major money-making live and silent auctions will be original children’s artwork, along with paintings from renowned local artists, trips to exciting locales and a golden retriever puppy, among other special items and services.

Gala co-chairs are Liza Jancik and Mary Anne Massie. Yancey McCollum is the 2013-14 guild president, and Katie Nalley served as the patron party chair in October.

Established in 1938, the school is the nation’s most comprehensive language center for children and adults. Located on Northside Parkway in Buckhead, the campus includes: four schools, five clinics, a summer program and professional development center, all focused on helping each individual develop his or her full potential through language and literacy. Each year the school impacts the lives of about 1,400 children and adults and 13,000 students.

This year it will award more than $2 million in financial aid. No child in need of the school’s services has ever been turned away due to financial limitations and the annual gala helps maintain that important legacy.

Invitations and information: (404) 695-5131 or

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A nostalgic, historic exhibition of a “Return to Rich’s — The Story Behind the Store” will open Nov. 17 and run through May 27 at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum on Spring Street in Midtown.

The iconic retail store was a part of Atlanta and Georgia life for generations, and the Breman has captured a look back in time with interactive displays of actual artifacts, merchandise, photographs, records, papers and memorabilia.

Audio and written quotes from customers, employees, officers and families make it meaningful to everyone who enjoyed the Rich’s experience. Remember the beloved Pink Pig ride, Fashionata, the Magnolia Room, coconut cupcakes and the legendary customer service?

“We are excited to tell the story of one of Atlanta’s favorite stores,” museum Executive Director Aaron Berger said. “Rich’s was a part of our city and the South for nearly 138 years. Most customers and employees didn’t think of it as a Jewish company, but an Atlanta institution that shaped their lives. However, there is an important Jewish story, and the Breman is proud to open Rich’s doors once again.”

The exhibit is open to the public for general admission ($12 for adults and $8 for seniors 62 and older, $6 for students and teachers, $4 for children 3 to 6 and free for children under 3) and free to members.

Mounted by Timothy Frilingos, curator of the Breman, with assistance from guest curator Catherine M. Lewis, Ph.D., of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books, the exhibition draws on collections from the Atlanta History Center, Coca-Cola, Georgia State University, the Rich Foundation, longtime customers and faithful employees.

Founded in 1867 with a $500 investment by Jewish immigrant Morris Rich, Rich’s Department Store grew into one of most influential and beloved institutions in Atlanta before being absorbed into the Macy’s group in 2005. The visionary leadership, commitment to its customers and a keen sense of civic duty inextricably linked Rich’s to the commercial, social, cultural and architectural development of Atlanta.

Tickets and information: (678) 222-3700 or

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Nov. 17, the Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington will host its fifth annual 32C (Three to See) tour of three private collections of fine art assembled by noted Atlanta art connoisseurs. The tour, set for 2 to 5 p.m., will concentrate on three homes in Ansley Park.

As the nonprofit’s flagship fundraiser, the tour benefits important committee programs including: the Acquisitions Project, a program which sequentially places major works by Georgia women artists into the museum’s permanent collection and the organization’s participation in the museum’s Women to Watch, a biennial exhibition program developed specifically for the museum’s national and international outreach committees.

The committee’s chair for 2013 is Lisa Cannon Taylor, and she is planning a special members’ preview evening and reception Nov. 16 at the home of one of the collectors. Among the committee members involved in this year’s benefit tour are: Marianne Lambert, Sara Steinfeld, Susan Ker-Seymer, Belinda Massafra, Mary Heisel, Susan Tucker, Barbara Guillaume, Debbie Neese, Elizabeth Morgan Spiegel and Suzy Wasserman.

The museum is the first and only one dedicated solely to celebrating the diverse artistic achievements of women. Founded by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, it was established to reform traditional histories of art. Its mission not only assures the place of women in contemporary art, but also restores to public recognition female artists of past centuries who, though highly accomplished and recognized during their own time, had disappeared from the annals of art history.

Although the museum’s primary focus is on the visual arts, its reach includes the fields of music, drama, dance, poetry, literature and design with educational and outreach programs in 32 U.S. and international auxiliary bodies called state committees. The Georgia Committee is one of these bodies.

Invitation and information: (404) 351-0081 or

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