October 25, 2012 | Queens College
— All Proceeds from Concert at Newly Renovated LeFrak Hall Will Benefit College’s
Marvin Hamlisch Scholarship Endowment —
FLUSHING, NY, October 19, 2012 – Like one of the memorable songs from his Tony- and Pulitzer-Prize-winning Broadway musical, A Chorus Line, legendary stage and screen composer/conductor Marvin F. Hamlisch was “one singular sensation.” A child prodigy in music, Hamlisch was one of only two artists in the U.S. (the other being Richard Rogers) to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, as well as a Pulitzer Prize. His list of accomplishments reads like a Who’s Who in Show Business.
Hamlisch, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Queens College in 1967, died on August 6. On Sunday, November 4 at 3 pm in the newly renovated LeFrak Concert Hall at QC, Hamlisch will be honored with a special memorial concert by the QC Orchestra led by Aaron Copland School of Music Professor Maurice Peress. Several distinguished alumni and four veteran Broadway stars — J. Mark McVey, Christy Tarr, Valerie Lemon, and Anne Runolfsson – will be donating their talents.
“The music community is deeply saddened by the loss of Marvin Hamlisch, a wonderful composer and a dear friend,” says Edward Smaldone, ACSM director. “We are honored to proceed with this concert in celebration of his memory, his brilliant repertoire, and his love of the college.” Hamlisch was to have conducted this concert; less than a month before he died, he had been in touch with Smaldone to review the program.
According to Smaldone, Hamlisch was very supportive of his alma mater. In 2009, he performed in a fund-raising event for the college at the Steinway factory in Astoria to promote the cause of “All Steinway School” status for ACSM. In 2004 QC President James Muyskens presented him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. A decade earlier, the college had established the Marvin Hamlisch endowment that provides annual scholarships to talented student composers. All proceeds from the November 4 concert will benefit that fund. Hamlisch was also awarded an honorary doctorate in 1987, the college’s 50th anniversary. This year the college is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Tenor J. Mark McVey had a very close working friendship with Hamlisch. In addition to making his first public appearance at Carnegie Hall with the composer, McVey performed with him and some of the best symphonic orchestras in the world. McVey debuted on Broadway as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, after having won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor while on tour. He reprised this role in London’s West End and in the 25th anniversary tour of the play.
Christy Tarr’s first appearance on Broadway and national tour was as Mrs. Walker in The Who’s Tommy. Other Broadway credits include Annie – the 20th Anniversary Tour and Jekyll and Hyde. She has also done live and recorded work for major corporations such as Mattel, Allstate, MasterCard, Pfizer, Kraft, Magnavision and Comcast. Tarr also recently starred with her husband, Mark McVey, in the concert version of Amazing Grace: The Musical.
Valerie Lemon performed with Hamlisch for 12 years, an association which resulted in a solo corporate showcase he wrote for her that has been performed around the world. Her cabaret shows and conservatory engagements have included tributes to Hamlisch. On October 11, 2009, she played to an SRO audience at Feinstein’s in N.Y., where Hamlisch joined her on stage as her special guest.
A rare artist whose distinguished career includes theater, recordings, cabaret and concert performances throughout the world, Anne Runolfsson recently returned from London where she appeared at the O2 Arena with Julie Andrews. In 2007 she completed a two-year run on Broadway as the diva Carlotta Giudacelli in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, the longest running show in Broadway history. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include: Les Miserables, Cyrano-The Musical, James Joyce’s The Dead, The Secret Garden and Aspects of Love.
Tickets for the November 4 concert are $25 (general admission) and $75 (VIP reserved seating) at the Kupferberg Center Box Office, 718-793-8080 or visit www.kupferbergcenter.org in advance. Tickets will also be sold at the door one hour prior to the performance.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 170 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. This year Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges ranked the college fourth in the nation for “Lots of Race/Class Interaction.” The college opened its first residence hall in August 2009. More info on Queens College at www.qc.cuny.edu. The Aaron Copland School of Music was established in 1981, and today over 550 music students are enrolled in seven undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Assistant Director of News Services