Music Without Borders Thank You
On behalf of Tamara Poddubnaya, Artistic Director of Music without Borders – 6th International Piano Festival at Gould Academy, and the Festival students, I want to thank so many in Bethel for their warm “welcome back” and enthusiastic support during the three weeks of the students’ intensive study and public performances, July 1-21.
Professor Poddubnaya’s decision to bring her festival to the Gould campus in July 2007 has been affirmed – now, six times over – by the reception given by Bethel residents and summer visitors, alike, and by their respectful attendance at so many recitals by her students, some of the most promising members of the new generation of classical pianists from the United States and Europe.
The Festival’s success stems from the hard work of its participants AND the many favors and kindnesses of members of the Bethel community, whose legendary Maine hospitality has grown with each successive season. All participants have fallen in love with the campus, the town, and the people. At the risk of overlooking someone, I mention the assistance of these generous residents:
Scott Davis and his Sudbury Inn staff and Dick and Gretchen Rasor and the Bethel Inn staff welcomed the pianists for lobster dinners, breakfasts, and cooling swims in the Bethel Inn pool. Dick and Brad Jerome arranged for students to play the Steinway in the Main Dining Room during the Saturday supper hour, and Festival pianists played at Sunday services at the West Parish Congregational Church.
Deb Costello again offered us extraordinary campus administrative support, and we renewed acquaintances with Gould’s very patient and understanding night watchmen. Our thanks go to Brian Scheidegger and the Ordway Dining Center staff, for lunches and many wonderful dinners, as well as the ice-cold lemonade served up during recital intermissions.
Sally and Dick Taylor welcomed us for the first recital, on July 3, with vases of flowers from their garden for our stage. Many fans helped distribute the poster that Kevin McCarthy’s company so beautifully designed and printed. Tineke and Marvin Ouwinga and Lynne and Bud Kulik worked their magic on all sorts of things, including a dinner in their homes and tours of the Bethel area, not to mention jaunts in Bud’s 1947 Chrysler – a real “hit” with the students. Tineke coordinated home hospitality: delicious meals and good conversation at the homes of Jan Stowell (with Ginny Gamble’s able assistance), Mike and Lorrie Hoeh, Carlie Casey and Charleen Chase, and Dutch and Elaine Dresser. Tineke, Lynne, and Mary Haberman graciously provided lodging for students when we outgrew the bounds of Vogt House.
Once again, Tineke and Lynne served as our unofficial ushers for the sixteen public recitals given during the three-week Festival, offering programs to old friends and making the many newcomers feel right at home. After the final recital, Stan Howe again invited Tamara and the students to his Broad Street home for a tour and late-evening desserts. Many people generously donated funds to support expenses, including the considerable costs of piano tuning and maintenance. Gould’s pianos withstood hours of daily practice and evening performances, along with the stresses posed by July’s heat and humidity, and Mel Fletcher, our master piano technician, and his son, Jamin, provided technical support “far beyond the call.”
This July, large and enthusiastic audiences enjoyed many magical evenings of great music and community spirit in the auditorium of McLaughlin Science Center. Festival participants hailed from three states and four countries and spoke a total of ten languages at home: English, Georgian, Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, French, Farsi, Dutch, Chinese, and German. Thanks to Tucker Kimball and Greg Gilman of Gould’s Communications Office, the July 17 program was video-streamed “live” to the World, allowing participants’ family and friends, from Richmond, British Columbia to Buzuluk, Russia, to sample what Bethel audiences enjoyed several times each week. (Readers may go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/gouldacademy to view the two-part archive of broadcasts of that recital.)
MWB6 fans will be happy 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 email@example.com) and also appear in The Citizen and on the Gould Academy website.
Meanwhile, interested readers can check out the MWB6 website (www.musicwoborders.com), maintained by our festival’s computer guru, Veselin “Vesko” Ninov, where clicking on the “photos” tab will allow one to view snapshots from past and present seasons.
Tamara Poddubnaya, the Festival students, and I send our thanks to everyone who helped make this 6th season of Music without Borders enjoyable for all and a resounding success.
Donald Christie, Jr.
Spirited Volunteer on Behalf of Music without Borders