07.30.17 | Stories | by Jim Smith
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock held a special event on July 30, 2017 to showcase Shelter Rock’s lush, 100-acre campus and Gold Coast mansion. Approximately 400 people attended music director Stephen Michael Smith’s 11th annual free Summer Orchestra Concert.
This year the Concert was held under a tent, and included an art exhibition, a special reception, and displays in the Veatch House staffed by enthusiastic committee members. “My philosophy,” said membership coordinator Rev. Ben Bortin, “is that with an event like this, we may not reap the fruits of it right away but that we planted a seed that may reach fruition weeks or months from now.”
Parking attendants greeted guests; eleven guides (Richard Bock, Jim Smith, Ben Bortin, Rachel Zampino, Carol and Herb Klitzner, Jeff Shiff, Audrey Murphy, Claire Paccione, Debi Siegel and Giuseppina Iorfino) directed people to their seats and answered questions about Shelter Rock history and beliefs.
Bock, who co-chaired the planning group with Chris Hilke, said the biggest challenge was “the uncertainty of the weather. Having been coordinator of the Homecoming Picnic for 25 years, it is always a nail-biter, but mother nature smiled on us.” It was sunny with a slight breeze.
Smith said the 57-member orchestra sounded magnificent, helped by placement of 48 microphones and a professional sound system. The program was divided into three parts: Aaron Copland’s patriotic “Lincoln Portrait” with narration by Bob Nuxoll; two movements from Manuel De Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” with our pianist Nathaniel LaNasa, and three movements from Argentinian Alberto Ginastera’s gaucho ballet “Estancia.” Smith said of LaNasa, “he’s extraordinary, such a talented man. He’s so connected to the music; it’s organic.”
The non-alcoholic reception afterward included pastries, cheese and crackers and fruit, with tables and umbrellas near the Veatch House terrace. It was a spectacular end to a special day.
Jim Smith, Publicity and Promotions Committee Chair