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Bloomingdale School of Music's Virtual Community Concert Spring Benefit Raises More Than $50,000

The event can now be accessed online and additional donations are accepted.

Bloomingdale School of Music's Virtual Community Concert Spring Benefit Raises More Than $50,000

Bloomingdale School of Music's second virtual community concert and spring benefit A Symphony of Bloomingdale: In the Key of Hope on April 13, 2021 raised more than $50,000, exceeding their goal by more than 10%. All money raised supports the school's Student Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for students who otherwise would not be able to afford it - and, this year, is more important than ever. The evening was broadcast via Zoom to an audience of hundreds throughout the country. The event can now be accessed online and additional donations are accepted at www.bsmny.org/springbenefit.

A Symphony of Bloomingdale honored Erika S. Floreska, Bloomingdale School of Music Executive Director from 2014-2020, for her achievements in expanding access to arts education, and celebrated the power of hope, music, and their community.

There were several ways to participate, including donating to the benefit, entering the raffle, or attending one of the Bloomingdale spring events.

Each year, Bloomingdale School of Music (BSM) organizes a spring benefit punctuated with inspiring performances by BSM students and faculty. This year, New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and New York Assembly Member Danny O'Donnell provided remarks. The event included songs from Rent and The Wizard of Oz, with performances by Alyssa Fox (Frozen, Wicked), Aisha Jackson (Frozen), as well as Bloomingdale's Broadway Ensemble, Senior Flute Choir, and Van Lier and Arena/D'Eletto Fellows. There was also an appearance by Chondra Profit-Ardrey (The Lion King). The raffle featured an opportunity to win a video message from five-time Emmy Award-nominee Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

The benefit also honors members of society who have shown a commitment to high-quality music access, this year honoring Erika S. Floreska. In her tenure at Bloomingdale, Erika S. Floreska raised over $1M for capital improvements to the 100+ year old brownstone including new air conditioning, upgraded percussion room, 2nd floor, and new pianos in the future. She connected BSM to the external community through new educational partnerships with local schools, head start and retirement communities as well as securing performance opportunities for BSM students throughout NYC. She expanded access through these partnerships, and extensive performance series by BSM's acclaimed faculty provide free of charge to neighbors, family and friends. Her tenure was bookended by the 50th Anniversary concert in her first year where BSM was founded, and TV Makeover of the Concert Hall and backyard in her last year from the NBC show George to the Rescue.

"This year our benefit was an incredible show of the talent and strength of our community, as we came together to celebrate my predecessor Erika S. Floreska for the incredible work she did moving the school forward into its next chapter and creating art access for young people across her career," said Erika Atkins, Executive Director, Bloomingdale School of Music. "The tremendous support received is a testament to the fact that even in this time of great change for New York City, our country, and our world, Bloomingdale will continue to be a safe haven for so many, as it has over the last 56 years."

Program

Somewhere Over the Rainbow performed by Bloomingdale's Senior Flute Choir featuring Alyssa Fox

Seasons of Love performed by Bloomingdale's Broadway Ensemble featuring Aisha Jackson

An appearance by Chondra Profit-Ardrey

Performances by Bloomingdale's Van Lier and Arena/D'Eletto Fellows

Name: Julian Walther

Performance Selection: Beethoven Romance in F Major

Original Artist/Composer: Ludwig V. Beethoven

Name: Aaron Nichols

Performance selection: "Boats against the current"

Original artist/Composer of the selection: Aaron Nichols

Name: Layton (Yang) Zhang

Performance Selection: Gardens in the Rain

Original Artist/Composer: Jardins Sous La Pluie Debussy

Name: Alexa N. Carmona

Performance Selection: A Song Without Words

Original artist/Composer: Felix Mendelssohn

"This spring, after a year of many challenges, our annual gala celebrated Erika S. Floreska, a steadfast supporter and wonderful friend," said Ken Michaels, Board President, Bloomingdale School of Music. "Erika gave so much to our community in her six years as Bloomingdale's Executive Director. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate her tenure and her continued ties to our community while raising much-needed funds to support scholarships for Bloomingdale students."

"This was a tremendous evening showcasing the many reasons why BSM is a special place and provides hope for our students, faculty, families and community throughout the year," said Ms. Floreska. "Music is a powerful force to bring people together when accessible to all - and the performances, comments, and support exceeding the goal - demonstrates that clearly. I am grateful for the award and all the love shown to me - many, many thanks, and am looking forward to BSM's bright future."


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