LaVeck is a concert series designed and intended for everyone and anyone. Our goal is to make classical music accessible by removing barriers to the concert-going experience. LaVeck concerts are always free and informal, and all are always welcome. Bring your kids. Come in jeans. Stay a while. And, most importantly, have a good time.
About the Concert
Pulaski Congregational Church sanctuary dates back to 1857—a notable year in classical music. 1857 saw the great Franz Liszt write his Dante Symphony, as well as his beloved Piano Concerto in Eb Major. 1857 was the year of Edward Elgar’s birth, known best for his “Pomp and Circumstance,” played at graduation ceremonies. The great opera composer Richard Wagner was 44, Johannes Brahms, typically pictured as an old man, was a vigorous 24, and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a teenager. Since that time, the sanctuary has hosted many events: plays, meetings, and most notably, a recent concert for student-age children featuring the renowned MIRO Quartet.
The concert series is designed to honor the memory of Rhea LaVeck. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, Rhea devoted her entire career to teaching music in the Pulaski public schools. She was also a church musician at local Methodist, Baptist and Congregational churches. Rhea had a love of music, and believed that music was integral to children’s growth; she felt that music allowed people to examine a wide range of emotions. Rhea was fiercely loyal to the Eastern Star, a community organization involved and committed to the local community.
Rhea was funny—she was renowned for her “Irish humor,” and was a great storyteller as well. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was the development
of long-lasting relationships with students, former and current.
The Kawai Grand Piano
Around the time of Rhea’s passing, the church decided that a grand piano would be the most fitting memorial to her life. The piano arrived at Pulaski Congregational Church on December 8th, 2008, and it was made possible through a fund created by the community in her honor where members were invited to “buy a key.” The piano fits beautifully in the sanctuary, as though it was always intended to be there!
The Rhea LaVeck Memorial Concert Series
The purchase of the new instrument soon led to the advent of an Artist Series in Rhea’s honor. While the congregation uses the piano for services and events, we felt that Rhea’s involvement in the community could be best memorialized by establishing a community concert series. The series is designed to bring world-class music to Pulaski and surrounding towns—a mission we feel that Rhea would approve of!
From the Artistic Director
Welcome to this 2017 season of the Rhea LaVeck Memorial Concert Series! Designed to celebrate the memory of longtime Pulaski, New York, musician Rhea LaVeck, this series aims to bring world-class musical performances to the people of Pulaski and the surrounding areas.
Guest artists have been selected not only for their high level of musicianship, but also for their warmth and commitment to sharing their gifts with the audience. You can expect concerts to celebrate the highest echelons of musical attainment—but in a relaxed, welcoming, friendly environment. Come as you are! Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts.
We particularly welcome you if you have never (yet) experienced classical music. Artists will introduce works from the stage, and will be accessible
to the audience at post-concert receptions.
We would love to see as many students and young people in our audience as possible. If you are reading this as a music educator, please be in contact with us to see how we can set up an artist visit to your school or organization.
Thanks for attending, and we hope to see you at the post-concert reception!
~ Robert Auler