Arturo O'Farrill, Jimmy Heath, Jane Monheit, Ted Rosenthal at Usdan Festival Concerts


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Usdan Center For the Creative and Performing Arts, now entering its 43nd season and once again declared a “Best Of" class or camp for 2010 by TimeOutNY/Kids, will open its series of Festival Concerts, private on-site educational performances for its students, on Monday June 28 at the Center's 200-acre woodland campus. In addition to these concerts, special workshops and master classes will be offered by visiting guest artists throughout the summer.

The Center's 2010 season runs from June 28 to August 13. Usdan is located at 185 Colonial Springs Road, in Wheatley Heights (Huntington) Long Island.

Usdan's daily concerts are presented every weekday at the Center's 1,000-seat McKinley Amphitheater. Concerts are presented at 12:00 Noon, and again at 12:30 PM. The artist concerts expose Usdan students to the best of music, dance and theatre while they are pursuing their studies in these fields. After several weeks of attending these artist performances, students take over and perform onstage themselves. In addition, there are on-site exhibits displaying the work of visual arts students.

This year's schedule of Festival Concerts opens Monday June 28 Young Artist Award, and performers include the world-renowned jazz singer and Usdan alumna Jane Monheit (recipient of a Usdan Distinguished Young Artist award), legendary jazz stars Arturo O'Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; Jimmy Heath, winner of a Usdan Lifetime Achievement Award;and jazz pianist Ted Rosenthal, a Thelonius Monk Competition- winner, with his Quartet.

Many of the artists will follow their performances with workshops with students.


Monday, June 28: Rachel Lee
Tuesday, June 29: QNG - Quartet New Generation
Wednesday, June 30: Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Thursday, July 1: Monica Yunus
Friday, July 2: Dance Me A Song, Choreography of Maurice Brandon Curry (featuring Ashley Tuttle and Colt Prattes)

Tuesday, July 6: The Chameleons
Wednesday, July 7: Alphorn Quartet
Thursday, July 8: Voices of Broadway
Friday, July 9: Jane Monheit

Monday, July 12: Copland House
Tuesday, July 13: Mark Stuart Dance Company
Wednesday, July 14: Jimmy Heath
Monday, July 19: Ted Rosenthal Quartet

Usdan Center has introduced the arts to more than 50,000 Tri-State Area children since its founding in 1968. The Center is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. No audition is needed for most programs - rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,500 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan's students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers. Alumni include singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey, actresses Natalie Portman and Lisa Gay Hamilton, and members of major music, theater, and dance ensembles such as the Boston Pops and the New York City Ballet.

In addition to its regular programs, Usdan offers special opportunities for advanced high school-age performing and visual artists. These include Music Staff Internships, a Summer Ballet Intensive, and a year-round program of immersion in the visual arts for selected high school students, the Usdan Honors Art Intensive. For more information, contact Usdan Center at [email protected], (631) 643-7900. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York.

This story appears courtesy of Reva Cooper.
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