Dr. Bradley Fuster, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Keuka College, will be the moderator during an event titled “Transformative Generosity: How Donated Instruments and Music Change Lives,” Saturday, March 16.
The event, which includes a special screening of Joe’s Violin, a 2017 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary (short subject), begins at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, N.Y.
The film’s inspirational story offers perspectives on music, generosity, and transcending loss. Joe’s Violin demonstrates how a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship between 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Bronx schoolgirl Brianna Perez. It shows how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times, and how a small act can have a great impact.
Following the film, there will be a panel discussion and dessert reception. Panelists include Yuki Numata Resnick, artistic director and co-founder of Buffalo String Works; Nay Blue Myint, student musician of Buffalo String Works; Jaman E. Dunn, assistant conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; and Mike Wrona, owner of Wrona’s House of Violins.
“When my longtime friend and colleague Dr. Sharon Cramer [SUNY Distinguished Service Professor at Buffalo State College] invited me to moderate this very distinguished panel of musicians and music educators, I was humbled and flattered,” says Dr. Fuster. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the film and digging into the panelist’s reactions, thoughts, and ideas. This promises to be an enjoyable evening of rich discussion and I am honored to be a part of it.”
“We are thrilled that he accepted our invitation, and know he will bring wisdom and insights to his role as panel moderator,” says Dr. Cramer.
The event will also feature a musical performance by students of Buffalo String Works, a creative, grassroots program serving refugee students in Buffalo inspired by the international El Sistema model, which cultivates students to be agents of social change.
“Students who are members of Buffalo String Works are young, first through eighth grade, many of whom do not speak English,” says Dr. Cramer. “However, they all learn to speak through music. Their stories dovetail beautifully with the message of the extraordinary film. We know people attending will leave uplifted—by the stories, music, and power of generosity.”
In addition, a sale of relevant books for both children and adults will be held during the reception. Books are provided by Talking Leaves…Books.
Prior to his position at Keuka College, Dr. Fuster served as assistant professor of music at Montana State University, as well as SUNY Buffalo State College, where he served as professor and the founding music department chair.
In addition to his academic credentials, Dr. Fuster is a percussionist who has toured and recorded with professional orchestras throughout the world, including as a percussionist and timpanist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He holds degrees in percussion performance from SUNY Geneseo, Yale University, and the University of Southern California.
Tickets for the event are $18 for the general public or $10 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here or call Katie Wzontek at (716) 204-2084.