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About

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Pro Musica is a non-for profit organization (501 c 3). Pro Musica was founded in 2000 by Georgette Ionesco as a cultural outreach organization whose mission is to promote enjoyment and understanding of classical music among adults and children. It fulfills this mission through its informal concerts and demonstrations, the purpose of which is to entertain, de-mystify the art form, and encourage a new wave of potential classical music fans.

History

In accordance with its mission, Pro Musica performs for a broad and diverse New York area audience, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, socio-economic status, or physical or mental limitations.

In 2000, 2001, and 2002, Pro Musica performed principally as a traveling group, responding to invitations to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, parks, and public library branches throughout Staten Island. It presented an average of six concerts each year.

In March 2003, Pro Musica launched Musica per Tutti (music for all) to expand its mission and increase its planning capabilities relating to repertoire and selection of concert sites. The first season’s series, billed as a “musical trip through time,” debuted with “The Origins of Music,” which was a demonstration of aboriginal instruments from the private collection of a prominent ethnomusicologist. It incorporated audience participation and showed how the roots of contemporary music can be traced back to the sounds of man’s earliest instruments. “Music and Musicians of the Elizabethan Age” featured compositions played on authentic 16th-century instruments, and included a short talk on the evolution of various instruments and the role of music in Renaissance society. The series continued through 2004 with “The Life and Music of Georg Friedrich Handel, “The Titans of Classical Music,” and “All That Jazz,” featuring music by George Gershwin and Cole Porter. Pro Musica continues to produce conventional, “stand-alone” concerts outside the Musica per Tutti format. “Honoring the Heroes” was presented in 2001 to benefit families of firefighters lost in the September 11 attack. In 2002, “Around the World in Ninety Minutes” celebrated music from different countries, and included performances by dancers, singers, and poets. In 2003, “Young Talent of Staten Island” featured classical favorites performed by gifted musicians age 11-17. It has provided at least one concert each year for the “Sundays in the Park” program at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. All concerts have been free to the public, with the exception of the 2001 benefit.

Pro Musica occupies a special niche in the Staten Island arts community, by presenting concerts that are performed exclusively by world-class professional musicians. It also has a special role as an arts outreach organization because of its unusual commitment and mission to present concerts intended for everyone, not just for those already familiar or comfortable with classical music. This inclusiveness modus operandi is extended to performers, as Pro Musica welcomes guest musicians from other cultural organizations and artists from other fine arts disciplines--including dancers, singers, poets, and visual artists—to contribute to its concerts whenever appropriate. In short, Pro Musica programs complement, rather than duplicate, other local music organizations, with the aim of encouraging overall attention to classical music and increased enjoyment of the arts in general. Pro Musica anticipates that its continued artistic excellence presented in an audience-friendly manner will solidify its role in the Staten Island community, and affirm the philosophy that classical music can be enjoyed by everyone. Since its inception, it has been Pro Musica’s mission to offer live classical, folk and jazz musical performances to the Staten Island community for free. We have strived to present these concerts with emphasis on its educational value. Some performances offer slideshows, speakers, dancers and lighting effects along with the professional musicians who are performing. We aim for an audience of all ages. Some concerts are especially produced for a younger audience. Also, we try to employ local musicians as much as possible.