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Purchase to Host United Academia Concert

HARRISON, N.Y. - College music students rarely get the opportunity to perform alongside world-class artists as they will be next month in Purchase.

The Purchase College Symphony Orchestra and other students from the School of Arts Conservatory of Music will share the floodlights with internationally acclaimed performers at the United Academia concert on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center.

"This is an exciting and unique opportunity for our students to perform with internationally acclaimed artists," College President Thomas J. Schwarz said. "The concert brings to the attention of the public our highly accomplished students, who will become the next generation of professional musicians to perform around the country and the world."

Purchase students will perform under the baton of guest conductor George Manahan, music director of the American Composers Orchestra and former conductor of the New York City Opera for 14 years. Other guest artists include the celebrated Italian tenor Luciano Lamonarca, jazz musicians Sy Johnson and Mike Richmond, stand-up comedian Regina DeCicco and timpanist Matthew Centanni, a recent Purchase alumnus who was one of last year's winners of the School of the Arts Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition.

The master of ceremonies will be radio personality and producer Valerie Smaldone.

The United Academia concert is a celebration of the first anniversary of the United Nations' Academic Impact global initiative, which aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations to support the highest principles in human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution.

The program includes Brahms' "Academic Festival Overture," Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture" and William Kraft's "Timpani Concerto # 1." In addition Mr. Lamonarca will perform "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha" and "Mamma," a single released by Lamonarca in 2009.

The concert is sponsored by the Puglia Center of America, in collaboration with Purchase College, SUNY, and under the patronage of the Commissione Nazionale Italiana per l'UNESCO; the Commissioner's Office for Culture, Tourism, Peace and the Mediterranean Area of the Region of Puglia; and the Province of Bari.

The evening includes closing remarks by President Schwarz and H.E. Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information at the United Nations.

For more information on the United Academia concert, please call 914-251-6202 or visit www.artscenter.org .

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