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Veterans and Broadway Stars Perform at 17th Annual Music Conservatory of Westchester Benefit

Music Conservatory of Westchester Raises Funds at 17th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic

Veterans and Broadway Stars Perform to Raise Funds at Music Conservatory of Westchester Benefit

Dreams do come true! The Music Conservatory of Westchester raised more than $313,000 in gross proceeds from the White Plains nonprofit’s 17th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic at the Brae Burn Country Club! Monday, June 25 was a beautiful day for golf and tennis, and an incredible evening to honor Tony Award winners Roger Bart and Randy Graff, and celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Conservatory’s Healing Our Heroes music therapy program for military veterans.

Conservatory Executive Director and Edgemont resident, Jean Newton said, “It was truly thrilling to see so many generous individuals, and Broadway stars, come out to support our mission of providing the extraordinary benefits of music to everyone in the community. Healing Our Heroes is just one example of how the power of music changes lives. These programs are the heart and soul of the Conservatory.”


The dinner program began with a warm welcome by Executive Director Jean Newton and Board President, Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale in the country club’s grand ballroom. During this address, all veterans, active duty soldiers, and veteran families were asked to stand as they were thanked for their service. Subsequently, the Healing Our Heroes veterans band was introduced for their soaring performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and an original song, “Pride of America.” Guests were moved by the veterans’ music and a standing ovation honored their performances.

Emcee and host of Sirius XM Radio’s On Broadway station Christine Pedi kept the evening moving seamlessly with hilarious and shockingly accurate-sounding celebrity voice impersonations. She introduced entertaining musical performances by Broadway stars Christopher Sieber and Kevin Chamberlin in the voices of Joan Rivers and Liza Minnelli, respectively. Chamberlin presented long-time friend Roger Bart with the Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, followed by a dynamic duet of “Henchmen Are Forgotten” from the musical Triumph of Love.

“It was a magical evening,” said Ms. Randy Graff, who was honored with the award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre at the benefit event.

At the end of the evening, Conservatory Dean of Students and Faculty, Dr. Douglas Bish introduced honoree Ms. Graff with a sincere speech about the power of music education, and his love of Broadway music. With a true finale, Ms. Graff performed a brilliant rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables, which ended the evening perfectly.

Nearly 300 guests came together to support the Conservatory’s signature mission-based programs – Scholarships for financially deserving students, Music Therapy for children and adults with disabilities, and Healing Our Heroes.

The Music Conservatory of Westchester was founded in 1929 by a group of community members and renowned artists. Today, the Conservatory provides the extraordinary benefits of music to all in our community, from absolute beginners to advanced artists, with one-on-one instruction, performing ensembles, music theory, composition, early childhood classes, lifelong learning for adults, and free community performances, serving 2,900 students each year from 4 months to over 80 years old. As a not-for-profit organization, the Conservatory is dedicated to serving the community and reaching out to those who would not otherwise have access. Our Scholarship Program provides tuition assistance for financially deserving students. The Music Therapy Institute brings music into the lives of 1,900 children and adults with disabilities each year through on-site and outreach programs. Healing Our Heroes offers military veterans a specialized music therapy program to help with recovery after their service. The Conservatory has inspired generations of students, and contributed to a vibrant musical life in the county, the region, and beyond. www.musicconservatory.org