Westchester County Business Journal • ARTSWNEWS
A5 Arts Awards 2012 Community Award Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra Artists
THE ARTISTS, PROFILED by Terri Prettyman Bowles
If the “best things in life are free,” then Yonkers Philharmonic is certainly one of them! Besides their four annual free concerts catering to a large senior citizen audience, this talented group of 75 musi- cians brings live performances into the community for young and old alike. In the ethnically diverse Yonkers Public Schools, they capture young minds playing from jazz to classical. For students, this may be the first time they have ever experienced a live orchestra or interacted with musicians. The contri- butions of the Yonkers Philharmonic offers oppor- tunities for people of all ages to enjoy high quality music which is available, accessible and affordable, especially in this economic environment.
Education Steffi Nossen School of Dance Jerry Pinkney
Prolific jazz musician Dennis Bell has spent much of his career merging different cultures and musical genres to enlighten and entertain. A music educator for more than 40 years, White Plains resident, Bell has instructed students in various New York metro area schools. He is an award- winning pianist, songwriter, arranger, producer and conductor. The range of musical artists with whom he has worked encompasses rock, R&B and particularly jazz and includes renowned musicians such as U2, Celia Cruz, Lee Rittenauer, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Billy Preston, Lenny Kravitz, Doug E. Fresh and Marcus Miller among many others. A Bronx native, Bell spent 18 years as the musical director of the Bronx Borough-Wide Chorus and is currently an instructor of music theory at Mercy College in White Plains. He is the founder and CEO of City Slicker Productions, Mark of Aries Music (BMI) and the record label GuavaJamm Entertainment.
Seventy-five years is an extraordinary milestone for any organization! And The Steffi Nossen School of Dance has achieved great things since it was founded in 1937 on the belief that dance is a unique form of education: developing the body, mind, spirit, and character. In its long history, this remarkable organi- zation has embraced “hip hop,” modern jazz, ballet and tap, reaching out to a broad and diverse segment of the population. Even students with special needs are integrated into dance classes called “Moving Wheels & Heels” for wheelchair-bound or those with other limitations. Pre-schoolers to professionals have found a home at Steffi Nossen and after 75 years there is no doubt that dance is king in Westchester! For more intormation on Steffi Nossen, see page A7.
The Grammy Committee recently recognized Bell with a pre-nomination for his production work on the jazz album Kaleidoscope, performed by the accomplished New York jazz singer—and Bell’s sister-in-law—Lynette Washington. He and Washington have performed together at several Westchester venues in Yonkers, Mount Vernon and White Plains.
Internationally celebrated illustrator and narrative artist Jerry Pinkney, of Croton, has been awarded dozens of awards and honors for his expansive body of work, which includes children’s literature, museum exhibitions, commissions, professorships, television appearances and more.
Renowned for his richly detailed watercolor paintings, Pinkney, a native of Philadelphia, has illustrated (and often authored) more than one hundred children’s titles and has been the recipient of the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honor Medals. Many of his books illuminate the African- American experience through folklore and fables; other works are adaptations of classic stories and multicultural folktales. Some of his best-known books include: John Henry (written by Julius Lester), Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Lion & the Mouse. A highlight among his numerous high-profile projects is the Black Heritage postage stamp series Pinkney designed for the U.S. Postal Service.
A community leader who serves the Westchester community with local school visits, lectures and exhibitions, Pinkney is a treasure to Westchester art patrons and educators, students and aspiring artists. In 2011, Pinkney, a trustee of the Katonah Museum of Art, was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.
Tickets, table sponsorships and journal ads are still available by calling (914) 428-4220 x 326 or www.Artsw.Org/artsaward
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