Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
Vol. 23                                          ONLINE  ONLINE  ONLINE                                          May 2017
Providing financial support   since 1999 for The Rockbridge Choral Society and The Rockbridge Youth Chorale

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May Birthdays in Music

Irving Berlin 5/11/1888

Richard Wagner        5/22/1813
Bob Dylan            5/24/1941
Our Young Singers Never Disappoint  
      The Rockbridge Youth Chorale joined up with the Rockbridge Youth Strings and guest artists Tim Harrison, S J McDonald, and Brianna Parker on April 18, 2017 to give a super concert to end their perfor-
mance season.  As ever we are grateful to the Lexington Presbyterian Church for the use of their sanctuary for the concert venue.  The audience was entertained with numbers from stage and screen including The Sound 
of Music, Pocahontas, The Wizard of Oz, and
Hamilton.  The Youth Strings, led by their director, Julia Goudimova, performed traditional spiritual and fiddle tunes and accompanied the singers later for their rendition of "Colors of the Wind," from Disney's
      Youth Chorale directors Lacey Lynch and Lori Parker, and their accompanist, Anna Billias, prepared these young singers well.  The Friends of the RCS is proud to support this music education opportunity for the youth of our community.   The donations we receive help to underwrite the stipends for our directors and the Youth Chorale's student intern, Olivia Shaves. If you know a young singer who might want to join the group, please go to our website,, to get more information.  Rehearsals for the coming season start in September, so plan now!   
Update - Art for A Song 
     The board of the Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society met on May 1 for its final quarterly meeting for the 2016/2017 season.  Prior to getting on with the nuts and bolts, we took a moment to present the art pieces to our winners of the first Art for A Song drawing.  We had about 130 entrants to this audience appreciation art give-away, which we launched at the RCS's April presentation of Rachmaninoff's Vespers.  The winners were Bob Lera and Lilli Bradin, both long time concert goers and donors to our endeavors.  Board chairwoman, Merrily Taylor, made the presentations.  Thanks to all who came out to enjoy the music and who entered for a chance to win.  And thanks to our art donors, Lee and Elizabeth Sauder.  If you know an artist who might be interested in making an in-kind gift of art for a future give-away, let us know by going to our website,, and sending us an email.  Stay tuned for the next opportunity, and thanks for your continued support.
One Fun Thing
     Mozart had a starling.  The story goes that he purchased the bird in April, 1784 in a shop where he heard the bird singing the motif from the allegretto of his piano concerto in G, No. 17, which he had just completed.  Mozart went home and compared what he had written with what he had heard the bird singing and found the tunes very similar.  He kept the bird as a pet and composed an el egy when the bird died three years later.  Naturalist and author, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, has written a book, Mozart's Starling, which details the composer's life with his starling and chronicles her own experiences with raising and living with a pet starling, Carmen.  She rescued the bird from the demolition of a building and kept it as 'research' for her book.  Listen to an excerpt here Mozart's Starling.
    Starlings are mimics.  Haupt believes that Mozart's connection to his starling, named Vogelstar, stems from this trait, which he shared with the bird.  Mozart was a great mimic.  He could imitate almost any musical style of his day, and he liked to mimic people, including his emperor.  Mozart was known to be mischievous.  He was both clever and eccentric, much like the starling.

      Need a beach read?  Listen to an interview with the author here Check this out.

Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
Rockbridge Choral Society
PO Box 965
Lexington, VA 24450