May 8, 2017
By Neal Tepel
Brooklyn, NY – On May 1st Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined the MET Orchestra—the world-renowned musicians of the Metropolitan Opera—in honoring U.S. military veterans at a concert by the ensemble at the Veterans Affairs NY Harbor Healthcare System Brooklyn Campus.
This performance, given in partnership with the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM, marked the latest event in the MET Orchestra Musicians Community Performance Series, which will bring performances by the best musicians in the world to communities throughout New York City and highlight issues central to New York’s arts community, including the importance of cultural education, continued funding for the arts, access to live music and increased diversity in the arts. The group also performed at the Veterans Affairs NY Harbor Health Care System Manhattan Campus on April 25. These concerts were funded through the nonprofit by a grant from the Achelis and Bodman Foundation.
This May 1st performance began following two short chamber music programs in the hospital’s inpatient wings. MET Orchestra Timpanist Jason Haaheim and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams introduced the 42 musicians, along with star soprano Susanna Phillips and esteemed conductor Marco Armiliato, who went on to perform a 70-minute orchestra concert of pops favorites and cherished opera arias in honor of our veterans. The program, which featured selections from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, Puccini’s La Boheme, Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate and Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as the Armed Forces Salute and the Stars and Stripes Forever. The concert was open to the general public as well as veterans and those currently serving in the US armed forces and their families.
“We are excited to be bringing our music to the VA’s Brooklyn campus for the first time! As musicians, we were all inspired by music at a very young age, and we want to bring joy and comfort to people who have given so much,” said MET Orchestra clarinetist Jessica Phillips. “Through our community performances, we hope to inspire New Yorkers young and old—especially those who have not had the opportunity to hear classical music and opera.”
“I’m proud to be part of an event that honors our veterans for their incredible service and sacrifice to our country,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Music has the power to inspire and bring people together, and I commend the MET Orchestra Musicians for seeking innovative ways to share their artistry and talent in service for the greater good of all Brooklynites. This kind of community spirit is what One Brooklyn is all about!”
*** Local 802, AFM is one of the largest local unions of professional musicians in the world.