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Column: Atlanta Baroque Orchestra celebrates anniversary
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
January 15, 2014 04:11 PM | 3177 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra turned 16 this year and celebrated its anniversary with two “Collaborations from Within” concerts Jan. 11 at Peachtree Christian Church in Midtown and Jan. 12 at Roswell Presbyterian Church.

The nonprofit of professional musicians from around the U.S. came together in Atlanta in 1998 to perform on period instruments and re-create the stylistic music of Baroque Period composers. Today they are the Southeast’s first and longest-running professional Baroque orchestra, offering public concerts in metro Atlanta featuring period music by composures such as George Frideric Handel, George Philipp Teleman and Antonio Vivaldi.

 “It’s exciting that these Sweet 16 anniversary concerts featured many musicians who have been performing with ABO since its first performance,” Artistic Director Julie Andrijeski said. “It was fun to re-introduce music from our inaugural year, as well as introduce a new work ‘Jubel!’ by Martha Bishop as a testament to the orchestra. Over the years our musicians have developed strong artistic bonds that keep them returning — in many cases from long distances — for the pleasure of collaborating to bring alive a great repertoire for music lovers of Atlanta.”

The January concerts included 17 performers playing 18th-century versions of violins, violas, cellos, double bass, flutes, oboes and harpsichord. Initially the musicians are trained on modern versions, and then trained on historic instruments from London, Boston and New York.

Ticket charges for the concerts defray production costs. The nonprofit orchestra relies on general donations from Baroque enthusiasts in the Atlanta area.

The final concerts for the 2013-14 season will be in collaboration with the Georgia Boy Choir March 22 and 23 and feature a salute to Johann Sebastian Bach’s masterworks.

Tickets and information: (850) 264-9293 or

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The colorful British characters in Exploration of Palestine will be the subject of the English Speaking Union of the United States’ Atlanta branch’s first-of-year brunch Sunday at the Ansley Golf Club in Ansley Park.

Speaker Maxwell Miller, Ph.D., has a comprehensive background in ancient history, archaeology and Biblical studies. He retired from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology as professor emeritus in 1999. Since then he has served on staff, led educational travel programs and acted as the local curator for ancient world exhibitions at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in DeKalb County.

Miller is best known for his books and articles on ancient Israelite history and directing an archaeological-Biblical survey of the region of ancient Moab, present-day Jordan. His presentation will expand on British exploration and influence in the Middle East by such colorful characters as T.E. Lawrence and Ludwig Bruckhardt.

Founded in 1920 and headquartered in New York, the union is a nonprofit, nonpolitical charitable corporation. Its mission is to celebrate English as a shared language and to foster global understanding and goodwill by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members.

The Atlanta regional branch is one of 70 throughout the U.S. with committed volunteers dedicated to undertaking “educational and fellowship functions to nurture and enhance our nation’s linguistics heritage through local outreach programs.”

Invitations and information: (404) 355-1945 or

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The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum will present the second in its three-part Molly Blank Jewish Concert Series Sunday celebrating Jewish contribution to music in the museum’s intimate auditorium on Spring Street in Midtown.

Partnering with the Atlanta Opera, the museum’s concerts feature world-class musicians under highly acclaimed Atlanta Opera Musical Director Arthur Fagen.

This concert will provide a 100-year journey through music with: German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic Period Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847); Romantic Austrian composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) and American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), who was among the first conductors born and educated in America to receive worldwide acclaim. The performance will include a singer and pianist from the Atlanta area and a string quartet made up of Atlanta Opera Orchestra musicians.

The concert series is made possible through a sponsorship grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and is named after Arthur Blank’s mother, Molly Blank, a lifetime lover of music. Additional support is provided by the Schwob Family Foundation and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

Seating is limited and ticket funds will go toward the music performances.

The final concert of the series is set for March 9 and will highlight “The Best of Broadway” musical theatre stars Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Berlin and Stephen Sondheim.

The origins of the museum come from a 1983 exhibit organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and titled: “Jews and Georgians: A Meeting of Cultures, 1733-1983.” When the exhibit was dismantled, the Jewish community saw a need for a permanent space dedicated to the interpretation and preservation of that culture’s experience.

The present nonprofit museum became a reality in 1992 when Atlanta philanthropist William Breman gave the lead gift. Opening in 1996 at The Selig Center on Spring Street, the museum today includes exhibitions about the Holocaust, Jewish culture and Southern Jewish history along with archives, an auditorium and the Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education.

Concert tickets and information: (678) 222-3700 or

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The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Boy Choir, now in its 56th year under the direction of founder Fletcher Wolfe, has just concluded its 2013 international concert tours and sold-out Atlanta holiday performances and is recruiting new young voices to carry on the tradition — “They Sing and the World Listens!”

Auditions for male youngsters 6 to 13 with pleasant unchanged voices and a desire to sing will be Wednesday evenings in January and February by appointment at the choir’s campus on South Ponce de Leon Avenue in DeKalb County.

The nonprofit choir, formed under Wolfe’s direction, was incorporated in 1959. The choir has grown and developed into one of Atlanta’s premier arts organizations and has sung around the world in many prestigious concert halls, cathedrals and other impressive venues including international music festivals. Last year it was heard in concert in Vienna and St. Petersburg and is invited to sing in Poland this June to honor Pope John Paul II becoming a saint.

Since its beginning, some 8,000 boys have gone through the choir’s ranks.

Many of these boys, now men, are on the world’s musical scene in Broadway performances, television and movie productions.

Many of these young and not-so-young alumni comprise the outstanding Atlanta Boy Choir Alumni Men’s Choir. This brotherhood of singers includes every race, ethnic and social strata. Not only do they perform magnificently, but they also lend their efforts in the development of the Atlanta Boy Choir. Often, these men appear in concert and on tour with the boys in major masterworks and have been heard in such venues as St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Francis of Assisi Basilica and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Audition information: (404) 378-0064 or

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The Simply Sterling gala Jan. 25 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre near Vinings will celebrate 25 years of a shining example of community service by the Sandy Springs Society.

The volunteer nonprofit society is the leading philanthropic organization focused on fundraising and supporting the arts, heritage, education, the environment and social services that improve the quality of life for the residents of Sandy Springs.

With blue hydrangea décor and “sterling” entertainment produced by Courtenay Collins-Eckardt and Jan Collins, the festivities will include fine food, wine, fun and reminiscing of 25 years of volunteer service. Live and silent auctions will raise funds for the coming yearly grants.

Founded in 1988 by 16 dynamic local women, the society has burgeoned to more than 300 members who maintain a spirit of dedication to serving the philanthropic needs of the Sandy Springs community.

Since its inception the group has granted more than $2.77 million to a variety of community organizations. President Kate Dalba said 18 grant recipients were chosen for 2013.

Chairing the silver anniversary event is past President Joan Plunkett.

“While continuing to raise funds for the nonprofit agencies in Sandy Springs, the underlying goal of the founders is to gather dynamic and creative women in our community to join us and become leaders to mold the future of Sandy Springs,” Plunkett said.

Founding members will serve as honorary co-chairs. Coordinating co-chairs are Betsy Harrington and Pam Betz.

Information and tickets: (404) 218-8140 or

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This will mark the 43rd year for the Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead to host its annual Antiques Show and Tour of Homes.

The 2014 show, set for Jan. 26 through Feb. 2, is a community presentation staffed by more than 600 volunteers supported by the church with the help of dealers from across the country, sponsors and patrons. More than two dozen carefully selected dealers of period furniture, jewelry, art and accessories ranging from 17th-century antiques to iconic, mid-century modern pieces will display and sell their wares during the extended dates.

Additional events will expand the eight-day public sale and include a preview party Jan. 29, tours of homes Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, a party evening Jan. 31 and a series of learning lectures and a book signing Jan. 30.

Another new facet added this year will be floral design with five flower guilds from area churches displaying their talents. Noted British floral authority Joseph Massie, a five-time gold medalist from the Chelsea Flower Show in London, will lecture Jan. 31.

The two home tours will be divided with an early kickoff Jan. 26 featuring six houses in a neighborhood spotlighting young professionals’ homes. The Feb. 2 traditional tour will showcase five never-before-shown Atlanta private residences representing the best in interior design, architecture and the art of living.

Northsiders leading the volunteers this year are Co-Chairs Marion Williams and Katherine Hill. Honorary co-chairs are Roland and Tish Radford, Buckhead residents and longtime active members of the cathedral.

The Cathedral of St. Philip receives no funding for the annual show. Net proceeds go to a designated charity. This year’s beneficiary is the nonprofit Cross Roads Community Ministries. Its programs focus on ending homelessness in metro Atlanta through a range of services empowering people to progress toward economic and personal self-sufficiency.

There are run-of-the-show admission tickets to the show. Additional tickets for home tours, lectures and parties are individually priced. Both sets of tickets can be purchased at the cathedral bookstore or online.

Tickets and information: (404) 365-1107 or

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For 24 years the annual Torch Gala dinner-dance lit the way for generous philanthropists to help prevent and find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The Georgia chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America will host this year’s elegant benefit and recognize four exceptional supporters Jan. 25 at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead.

The honorees have carried the torch of commitment and service to find a cure while alleviating the disease through research and improving the quality of life of those affected. Sidney and Phyllis Rodbell, pillars in the Atlanta philanthropic community for 45 years, will receive the citizens of the year award. Michael E. Fegley, who formerly served on the Georgia chapter board and has been a strong supporter of the foundation since 2004, will get the volunteer of the year award. Dr. Subra Kugathasan, professor of pediatrics and human genetics at Emory University and scientific director at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will receive the premier physician award.

 “The commitment of our honorees to the community and CCFA makes it our privilege to recognize these individuals for their extraordinary efforts. CCFA is proud to honor the Rodbells, Mike Fegley and Dr. Subra Kugathasan as pacesetters for philanthropy and leaders in supporting CCFA goals,” said Steve Goodman, the foundation’s national board member and a Georgia chapter past president.

A silent auction and all event proceeds will benefit the foundation’s Georgia chapter.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, founded in 1967, is the only nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two very painful, lifelong digestive diseases. About 1.5 million Americans, both children and adults, are living with these diseases which have no known cure and can cause life-threatening complications.

Tickets and information: (404) 982-0616 or

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