Music For Montauk Spring Concert 🎶

Sami Merdinian, violin; Katie Hyun, violin; Louis Levitt, bass; Laura Metcalf, cello; Angela Pickett, viola

by Patria Baradi-Pacis

On Saturday, May 11, Music For Montauk (M4M), spearheaded by President Lilah Gosman, soprano and Vice President Miloš Repicky, pianist-conductor, was eagerly welcomed by classical music aficionados. Celebrating M4M’s fifth year in Montauk, the dynamic husband and wife team opened the spring concert by thanking the attendees for coming, the fifth graders for the colorful posters that adorned the stage and Principal Jack Perna, for the use of the school’s gymnasium.

Ms. Gosman presented “Endeavor” with a repertoire of seven pieces and introduced the Sybarite 5: Sami Merdinian, violin, Katie Hyun, violin, Louis Levitt, bass, Laura Metcalf, cello and Angela Pickett, viola to a packed auditorium. The string quintet, also known as The Millennial Kronos is known for creating new works and bringing unique musical combinations to the audience.

This reporter expected the familiar, chamber music, but to my surprise, it was not. The group performed several numbers vigorously by plucking, strumming and drumming their instruments. Some stomped on the floor. I was exhausted just watching. All I could think was how much weight I could lose if I joined the group and wondered how often they replaced their bows and strings.

Inspired by his hang-glider friend from Hawaii, composer Shawn Conley’s “Yann’s Flight” was soothing. I could picture the glider jumping off the cliffs of Honolulu, circling around and landing smoothly on the ground.

I was especially moved by composer Pete Seeger’s American folk song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (1955) arranged by Steve Metcalf, after learning that Mr. Seeger passed away five years ago at the age of 94. This song brought me back to my freshman year at Barnard listening to Peter, Paul and Mary’s hits when the country was in turmoil during the Vietnam war. So soothing and yet so sad. I didn’t realized what the flowers really stood for.

Armenian folk songs “The Red Shawl” and “Oh Nazan” by Komitas, “Fuga y Mistero” and “Milonga Del Angel” by Piazzola, “Groove Machine” by Marc Mellits, “Weird Fishes” by Radiohead arranged by Paul Santos, “My Desert, Rose” by Alexandra Vrebalos were supperbly performed, with an encore bonus called “Muerte Del Angel” by Piazzola.

A reception was held at Gosman’s Restaurant with cocktails, a delicious buffet dinner and desert. It felt good to meet the musicians on a one-to-one basis. I personally thanked Mr. Merdinian for jotting down all the pieces that the Sybarite5 played to add to my note-taking. I remembered Ruth Widder who brought M4M to Montauk for 21 years until her sudden passing in the fall of 2013. Kudos to Lilah and Miloš and the M4M’s 1983 founder Bill Akin, its volunteers and sponsors for keeping high caliber music alive in Montauk and for making the concert a great success.

M4M is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and all donations will be acknowledge with a tax receipt, in printed programs and also on the website, unless an anonymous donation is specified. Please donate at “Ways to Give” or mail checks payable to Music for Montauk, P.O. Box 846 Montauk, NY 11954 so that future concerts can be enjoyed by all in Montauk and for FREE! The next concert series will take place from August 15 to August 24 at the Third House (Montauk County Park) and at the Montauk Point Lighthouse. For more info kindly e-mail or contact 646 342 0157.