Music without Borders thanks Bethel community
Music Without Borders Thanks the Bethel Community
To the Editor:
On behalf of Tamara Poddubnaya, artistic director of Music without Borders - Fourth International Piano Festival at Gould Academy, I reciprocate the warm sentiments and kind comments expressed in Stan Howe’s letter and Lorrie Hoeh’s “West Bethel” column published in last week’s Citizen.
Professor Poddubnaya’s decision to bring Music without Borders to the Gould campus in 2007 was soon affirmed by the enthusiastic reception by Bethel residents and summer visitors, alike, and their respectful attendance at so many recitals by her students, who include some of the most promising members of the new generation of classical pianists.
Our legendary Maine hospitality has grown with each successive season, and Festival participants have fallen in love with the campus, the town, and the people. At the risk of overlooking someone, I mention these generous citizens:
Scott Davis and his staff at the Sudbury Inn and Dick and Gretchen Rasor and the Bethel Inn staff helped us reduce costs by generously providing all breakfasts and many dinners to festival participants. Given July’s record-breaking heat and humidity, the pianists were delighted to cool off in the Bethel Inn pool each evening, before they returned to practice back on campus! Scott and Dick also asked several of our pianists to play in their dining rooms during the early supper hour, and festival pianists played at Sunday services at the West Parish Congregational Church.
We appreciated the campus administrative support of Peter Rackliffe and Kelly Scotti and our renewed acquaintances with Gould’s very patient and understanding night watchmen.
Sally and Dick Taylor welcomed us for the first recital, on July 2, with vases of flowers from their garden for our stage. Many fans helped distribute our poster. Marvin and Tineke Ouwinga worked their usual magic on all sorts of things, including a dinner at their house, early morning swims at Songo Pond, a constant supply of fresh-baked cookies, and coordination of home hospitality: delicious meals and good conversation at the homes of Bob and Lida Iles, Mary Haberman, Jan Stowell (with Ginny Gamble’s able assistance), and Dick and Lorrie Hoeh. Our thanks, too, go to Brian Scheiddeger and his Ordway Dining Center staff, for lunches and many wonderful dinners.
Carlie Casey showed up at Vogt House one evening with home-baked apple pies and ice cream. Tineke Ouwinga and Steve Chandler became our unofficial ushers, handing out programs to familiar faces and welcoming newcomers as if they had always been around. Stan Howe not only invited Tamara and the students to his Broad Street home for a tour and late-evening desserts, he gave a commemorative town medallion and a personally-inscribed copy of his “Bethel, Maine: A Brief History” to each participant and invited them to return to choose piano scores from the vast music library of the late Edward (Ned) Hastings. Lynne Kulik graciously provided a ride to the Portland airport for Festival veteran Robert Poortinga, who returned to the Netherlands at the end of the second week. A good number of “fans” generously donated funds to support expenses, including the considerable costs of piano tuning and maintenance. Given the “workout” the pianos received from hours of daily practice and evening performances, as well as the stresses posed by July’s prolonged heat and humidity, master piano technician Mel Fletcher and his sons, Jamin and Jeff, provided technical support “above and beyond the call.”
This year, 12 regular student recitals and seven special concerts, including two faculty recitals by Prof. Poddubnaya, were offered at no charge to the community. On the final night, July 21, undeterred by the summer’s worst storm sweeping through town, a SRO audience participated in a magical evening of great music and community spirit in the auditorium of McLaughlin Science Center. The members in this year’s festival represented several countries and speak a total of eleven languages at home: English, Georgian, Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, French, Farsi, Dutch, Frisian (a dialect of coastal Netherlands), Chinese, and German. Truly, in this age of “going global,” Music without Borders brings the World – “live” – to Gould Academy and Bethel.
While so many have told us they were already anticipating next year’s Festival, fans will be pleased to recall that Professor Poddubnaya typically returns to campus to present Steinway Series recitals with one or two of her students during the regular school year. Notices of these special events will go out to our expanding e-mail list (Request to be on this list at firstname.lastname@example.org) and also appear in the Citizen and on the Gould Academy website.
With many thanks to all who helped make this fourth season of Music without Borders a resounding success.
Donald Christie, Jr.
Spirited Volunteer, Music without Borders