Friday, April 22, 2016



Bell 6408Joshua Bell high res portrait by Lisa Marie MazzuccoAnnual Gift of Music Gala Benefit
Featuring Renowned Violinist Joshua Bell

WHEN: Monday, May 2, 2016, 7 PM
Bergen Performing Arts Center, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood
TICKETS: start at $25 for students, $50 for adults, and $90 for premier seating. VIP seating of $250, includes premier seating and pre and post-concert meet-the-artist receptions.
For more information on this special concert and the featured artist, as well as for journal and sponsorship opportunities, visit

Bax AlessioThe JCC Thurnauer School of Music is celebrating 32 years of magnificent music education on Monday, May 2, 7:00 pm,  with its annual Gift of Music Gala Benefit. The concert will feature world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell joined by pianist Alessio Bax (left) and violinist Sharon Roffman (below, left) plus Thurnauer’s outstanding student ensembles in an evening of spellbinding musical entertainment.

This year’s event will also honor Thurnauer’s founding director, Dorothy Kaplan Roffman, on her 75th birthday. Through Dorothy’s vision, wisdom, leadership and generosity, the school has provided thousands of individuals – from Roffman, Sharon (1)infants to adults – with the highest quality music education. Through her guidance and musicianship, Thurnauer has grown to serve nearly 6,000 individuals annually, transforming the lives of its students, families and concertgoers through a rich tapestry of lessons, ensembles, classes, concerts, performance opportunities and master classes with top professional artists.

“The goal of our gala each year is to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our students, while raising critical scholarship funds for children in our community who wish to study music, but whose families lack the financial resources,” says Ms. Roffman.

Since the school’s inception, it has awarded more than $2.6 million in need-based scholarships. Currently, nearly 25% of its student body receives financial assistance. The school has also sustained an 18-year “Music Discovery Partnership” with the Englewood Public School District, providing a high-quality, after-school music education to underserved children.

The Gift of Music was established by Drs. Joan and Alan Handler to bring the joys of music-making to a broad student population in a nurturing and supportive environment. This year’s concert marks its 26th Anniversary.

Joshua Bell is known worldwide for technical skill and versatility in both classical and pop music, making him one of the most successful contemporary violinists. He made his orchestral debut at age 14 with the Philadelphia Orchestra—becoming the orchestra's youngest-ever soloist—and made his first recording at age 18.  Since then, Bell has recorded more than 40 works, garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards in the process, along with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize. Bell has enjoyed television appearances ranging from The Tonight Show to CBS Sunday Morning to 60 Minutes. He has appeared six times on Live From Lincoln Center and is the subject of an HBO documentary. He has numerous film credits as well, including performing the soundtrack for The Red Violin, appearing in the documentary Orchestra of Exiles and acting in episodes of Amazon’s original series Mozart in the Jungle. Convinced of the value of music as an educational tool, Bell has devoted himself to several charitable causes, including Education Through Music, which places instruments in the hands of thousands of kids in America’s inner cities. Bell serves on the Artist Committee of the Kennedy Center and the Board of Directors of the New York Philharmonic and Education Through Music. He performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin.

Roffman, Dorothy (6)As Founding Director of the Thurnauer School of Music in 1984, Dorothy Kaplan Roffman (right) has always been passionate about the positive influence that an outstanding music school can have on its community. She studied with Christine Dethier, Raphael Bronstein and Ivan Galamian and has more than fifty years of expertise teaching young violinists. Dorothy holds a BA from the University of Rochester and the Eastman School of Music and an MA in Musicology from Columbia. She was a member of the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski and a member of the Music Department faculty at SUNY Stony Brook. Mrs. Roffman studied Suzuki pedagogy with Shinichi Suzuki in the United States and Japan and developed Suzuki programs at the Harlem School of the Arts, the Lighthouse School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music, where she was a faculty member for over thirty years. She received an award for Distinguished Service from the New Jersey chapter of the American String Teachers Association. In 2013, she was a recipient of a Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Her students have performed at Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and have made TV appearances on Sesame Street and in Itzhak Perlman’s Fiddling for the Future, as seen on PBS. Many of her students have gone on to teach and perform as soloists and in orchestras worldwide, spreading their love of music to people around the globe.

About the JCC Thurnauer School of Music

The JCC Thurnauer School of Music has been named a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Serving over 500 students from infancy through adulthood, it offers a comprehensive program similar to the finest pre-college conservatories. The Thurnauer experience includes instrumental lessons, ensembles, and classes, master classes with world-renowned artists; a chamber music series; faculty recitals; and frequent student performances. It is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and received an award for “excellence and high standards” from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.