Dryden Ensemble Kicks Off Its 24th Anniversary Season With Its Autumn Benefit 'A Journey Through Italy'

Dryden Ensemble Kicks Off Its 24th Anniversary Season With Its Autumn Benefit 'A Journey Through Italy'To kick off its 24th Anniversary Season, Dryden Ensemble presents "A Journey through Italy" its Autumn Benefit on Saturday, September 15. A celebration of ?All Things Italian,' this special event will be held at historic home of President Grover Cleveland, known as Westland Mansion. The evening will spotlight the musical and culinary arts of Italy, with an intimate house concert followed by sumptuous buffet dinner and silent audition. The music begins at 5:00 p.m.

Special guest Jennifer Van Dyck joins the Dryden's chamber musicians, an ensemble of violin, oboe, cello, and lute, performing music of the Italian Baroque combined with dramatic readings from the letters and diaries of early travelers to Italy and the plays of Carlo Goldoni.

Jennifer Van Dyck, who grew up in Princeton, has extensive stage, film and television credits. She is a longtime collaborator with playwright/actor Charles Busch and director Carl Andress. Works include The Confession of Lily Dare, Cleopatra, Judith of Bethulia, The Divine Sister, The Third Story. Broadway: Hedda Gabler, Dancing at Lughnasa Two Shakespearean Actors, The Secret Rapture. Film/TV: Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, Bull, The Blacklist, Royal Pains, Elementary, Person of Interest, Michael Clayton, Across the Universe. Ms. van Dyck's narration work encompasses hundreds of audiobooks in a wide range of genres.

Westland Mansion, was home of Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, from the time of his retirement from the presidency in 1897 until his death in 1908. During the last year of his second term in the White House he decided to retire to Princeton. Mrs. Cleveland apparently selected the house, which had been built in 1854 by Commodore Robert F. Stockton. Cleveland named it Westland in honor of a close friend and professor at Princeton University, Andrew F. West. The elegant stone antebellum mansion was perfect for the active role the Cleveland family played in Princeton society. Although Cleveland never attended college himself, Princeton students frequently marched to the house to serenade him on his birthday or to celebrate victorious football games. Also known as the Grover Cleveland House, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

Tickets: Donors ($150 per person), Patrons ($250 per person), or Benefactors ($500 per person). To purchase tickets online, visit drydenensemble.org; call 609.466.8541; or email drydenesemble@gmail.com. RSVP deadline is Friday, September 7.

The Dryden Ensemble, a professional, non-profit chamber music ensemble, specializes in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries played on period instrument in the stylistic conventions of the time.

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