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CNR Performers Lend Their Talent to ArtsFest 2018

October 26, 2018

On Sunday, October 21, Holy Family Chapel was filled with music of genres from classical, to gospel, to new age, performed by CNR faculty, staff and students and local community performers as part of New Rochelle’s annual ArtsFest.

Organized by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, ArtsFest highlights the variety of arts at venues in New Rochelle, including art exhibits, programs, and concerts that provide a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural and artistic diversity. This year, CNR invited the community to an exhibit of the photographs of Gordon and Toni Parks in the Castle Gallery, and, for the first time, to “Classical and Beyond” – a concert of vibrant and inspiring music featuring CNR faculty, staff, students and local community performers.

Artists from CNR included Director of Music Ensembles and Campus Ministry Xheni Rroji, who co-coordinated “Classical and Beyond.” An accomplished classical pianist who has appeared on stage in Europe, Latin America and across the U.S., Rroji joined Dr. Michael Quinn, associate professor of Media Arts for a “four-hands, one-piano” performance that included Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” Dvorak’s “Three Slavonic Dances,” and selections from the opera Carmen by Bizet.

In a solo performance, Quinn, who began playing piano as a child, studying later under Walter Schoeder, then the conductor of the North Jersey Philharmonic, played “Etude op. 39, no. 2 and no. 5” by Rachmaninoff.

Rosa Parks Campus Director Andrew Baker, a skilled guitarist, singer and songwriter, played several of his own compositions, including "Colony Collapse Part I,” “Testimony of Pilot,” and “Colony Collapse Part II.”Andy Baker on Guitar

The CNR Singers (formerly known as the Holy Family Chapel Choir) lifted their voices in song, as they have done countless times in the Chapel and at College events, performing a variety of numbers that spanned classical to pop, including Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus”, Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, and Elton John’s “Your Song.”

CNR Trustee and Alumnae/i Board President Marlene Tutera was one of nearly 80 music enthusiasts gathered to hear the concert. “It was an inspirational afternoon of music and talent. Our CNR students, faculty and staff were simply amazing.”

Joining CNR performers to round out the afternoon were musical groups Angels in the Chamber, and IMPetus, professional musicians who shared a unique blend of rock, pop, classical, and new world with the enthusiastic audience.

“I hope this is only the beginning of such successful collaborations between our students, staff and New Rochelle-based musicians,” said Rroji. “I look forward to doing this again.”