Wow! It’s been a busy late summer and early fall! We have put on several events, beginning with Pizza Palooza! on September 17, a lecture on October 14, a choral concert on October 21, and the Ukrainian fundraiser on October 23. Wow, indeed!
About 1,000 folks gathered in Market Square on September 17 for Pizza Palooza!, our annual event where local pizzerias sell their slices for $1 and compete for the crowd’s vote for favorite. This year, we served pizzas from Papa John’s, Domino’s, and Mellow Mushroom, which earned the top vote. In addition, our friend Candice Jennings, from Italian Station, served up gelato, a new addition for the past two events. Dozens of volunteers showed up to set up in the afternoon, man the booths during the event, and stayed to clean up Market Square.
The work on this big pizza party begins in June, and many hours were invested by Chair Deb Newman, board member and our web master; Chip Willis, and Bob and Barbara Antozzi and Claire Simpson. We are grateful for the many sponsors who contributed to the event; their names and logos were on banners all over the Market Square steps!
Special thanks to the Silver Companies, our major donor, whose senior active living complex, Jubilee!, was the big banner that was center front at the bandstand.
Thank you to Our 2022 Pizza Venue Sponsors
Once more, Acoustic Onion gave us Beatles tunes and other rock n’ roll classics, and the wee ones jumped up to twirl and run. The sweet at the end: we netted $7400 from the evening!
To view all the photos of Pizza Palooza 2022 CLICK HERE.
Lecture: The Idea of Italy in Musical History
On October 14, Dr. Brooks Kuykendall, chair of UMW’s Music Department, offered a program about the far reach of Italian composers, whose influence can be identified across centuries and many countries.
Dr. Kuykendall talked about Italian musical phrasing that influenced composers throughout Europe, and helpfully played short snippets of various compositions as evidence of Italy’s long impact through the ages, even into the twentieth century.
Concert: A Musical Journey to Italy
The following Friday, October 21, over 100 came to St. George’s for the William P. Carter Memorial Italian Composers Concert. This year, once again, The Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg performed; the program was a mix of international choral works, many of which were the works of Italian composers. The Chorale’s new conductor, Joe Eveler, and new accompanist, Brittany James, expressed how happy the Chorale were to be asked to perform, and for the opportunity to sing at St. George’s, whose acoustics contribute to an excellent program.
Kudos to board member Bob Bevilaqua, who has expertly managed the partnership between our sister city and the Chorale. It literally takes months to put this event together. Funds from our fundraisers and support of the membership make this annual concert possible. Because of those funds, we are able to offer this concert free, as an Italian gift to the City.
On Sunday, October 23, we joined with three other sister cities, Fredericksburg-Schwetzengen (SchwetzBurg), Fredericksburg Sister City Association (Frejus), and Fredericksburg-Nepal Association (Kathmandu), to produce a fundraiser for Ukraine: FXBG4Ukraine. This idea came about when local artists Wendy Atwell-Vasey and Betsy Glassie expressed a desire to sell art and give the proceeds to Ukrainian humanitarian efforts. The Chair was Craig Vasey (Frejus); the committee members were: Doris Mullis (Schewetzengen), Lisa Durham (Este), Ernie Ackermann (Frejus, Este), Colette Caprara (Kathmandu), Robert Meunier and Mats Jerndal (OddBox Studio) and Chip and Kathryn Willis (Este).
The event featured live music, lots of food donated by each sister city (THANK YOU, ESTE MEMBERS!), and wine by the glass. But the big event was the art auction. Over 30 works were donated by local artists, and six works by Ukrainian artists were spotlighted in the live auction; John Nichols, a well-known auctioneer, conducted the auction as his donation to the event.
Phase one of the fundraiser was the week-long online auction, managed by Ernie Ackermann, which spotlighted each of the donated works. Final bids were entered at the event itself. The set-up and décor was managed by Lisa Durham, aided by Doris Mullis; Colette Caprara worked with Cathy Dyson for the feature article in the FreeLance-Star, and wrote a feature article in Front Porch. Robert Meunier and Mats Jerndal managed the sound and lighting. Deb Newman designed and maintained the website; Kathryn Willis managed the online presence and created the PowerPoint. Chip Willis managed the accounting for the event. Brenda Martin served as liaison with the Mayor’s office; Wendy Atwell-Vasey and Betsy Glassie managed the art donations; and Craig Vasey chaired the fundraiser.
The proceeds from the fundraiser will be equally divided among three humanitarian charities with established service in Ukraine: Doctors without Borders, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen. Not all the expenses are in, but as this newsletter is being issued, the net proceeds are $23,700. Good for all of us! And thank you to everyone who helped and contributed. A job well done.
We are planning events through Spring 2023, including our Annual Meeting. Many of our current board members are rolling off, as their terms are expiring. If you would like to nominate someone to serve on our board, please let us know. Fredeste2015@gmail.com
We will send out another newsletter when plans are finalized.