40 Year-Old Music Series Touches FDU

By Emily Weikl, Staff Writer

There was silence as the strings of the cello were first drawn upon in the basement of the Teaneck Public Library on April 2 at 3 p.m. The room was almost full with about 50 senior citizens, who listened with careful attention as the music of Percy Grainger slowly filled the room.

The makers of this music were cellist E. Zoe Hassman and pianist Jean Strickholm, two members of a quartet called the All Seasons Chamber Players. A pianist in the group, Jaqueline Schiller-Audi, performed in the next two sections of the program. She has been performing professionally for 25 years, and said that music builds  bridges.

“I like connecting with an audience, I like playing all this beautiful music, I like especially playing with other people more so than solo playing,” Schiller-Audi said. “I just like bringing joy to people.”

The “Music on a Sunday Afternoon” concerts have been ongoing for 40 years at the Teaneck Public Library. This series is sponsored by the Friends of the Teaneck Public Library and runs from October to April each year. The ASCP perform in mixed ensembles with instruments including cello, flute, violin, harpsichord, and piano. The group includes Juilliard graduates and a founding member of the trio Palisades Virtuosi.

Sandi Silverberg, the events coordinator with the Friends of the Teaneck Public Library, wishes that members of the Fairleigh Dickinson community would come to these kinds of events.

“I hope that people at Fairleigh Dickinson will think of the Teaneck Library as a place that they can come to,” Silverberg said, “a place to study, a place to partake in events, to be part of the greater community.”

One piece by movie star Charlie Chaplin,  “Coffee and Cakes,” was particularly lively with the strings of the cello plucked near its close.

The second piece featured a trio comprised of flutist Lisa Hansen, violinist Robert Lawrence, and Schiller-Audi. Lawrence introduced the composer of the section, Nino Rota, as the person who composed the score of the first two movies in The Godfather series.

Hanson has similar sentiments to Schiller-Audi in regards to performing live.

“I like connecting with an audience,” Hanson said. “The interaction is so interesting; it’s always different every time you play.”

After a brief intermission, Hassman and Lawrence were joined by Schiller-Audi for a performance of music by 19th century composer Franz Shubert. By its end, the audience was clapping and a few were on their feet as the musicians took their final bows. A reception followed the performance.

“I can’t actually imagine my life without the arts,” flutist Lisa Hansen said. “I feel like what makes us really special as human beings is that we can express ourselves through art, and it’s something very unique. It’s different for each person who does it and it connects us together. I hope young people will carry that on and find that in themselves.”

The “Music on a Sunday Afternoon” series continues this summer with pianist Misuzu Tanaka on July 9 and pianist Fan Yang on Aug. 6. The ASCP will be performing “Rome, Vienna and Beyond” once again at the Mahwah Public Library on April 30 and “Classical Favorites” at the Nyack Public Library in New York on May 7.  For more information go to allseasons chamberplayers.org and teaneck.org.