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Rye Couple to be Honored at The Performing Arts Center

Rye Couple to be Honored at The Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College (SUNY)
 to celebrate



The PAC’s 2014 Gala Featuring


Saturday, May 3, 2014


Purchase NY   A Rye NY couple, Hannah and Walter Shmerler, will be celebrated at the most stylish, flamboyant and swankiest party of the year when The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College (SUNY) presents SNAZZY BASH, its 2013 Gala Fundraiser.

Starring the king of cabaret, Michael Feinstein and honoring long-time Performing Arts Center supporters and patrons of the arts, Hannah and Walter Shmerler, SNAZZY  BASH will take place on Saturday, May 3 at The Performing Arts Center.

“We at The Performing Arts Center are truly honored to be able to celebrate Hannah and Walter Shmerler,” said Harry McFadden, Director of The PAC.  “It’s an opportunity to sing about unsung heroes.  Their more than three decade commitment to what we do here on our stages and in the College’s Conservatories, is virtually unparalleled.  Their support has touched countless lives among our audiences and among student on campus and throughout Westchester County.”

“Walter and I are so touched and grateful to be honored,” said Hannah Shmerler.  “Our involvement with The Performing Arts Center and the Conservatories has provided us with so much personal pleasure and satisfaction that we are more than compensated.  Our involvement has been a singular joy and privilege.”

Snazzy Bash

The designed-to-be-glamorous evening begins with cocktails and dinner at 5:00pm in the Repertory Theatre at The PAC, designed by Emmy Award-winner David Grill and students from Purchase College’s Theatre Arts Conservatory as a 1920s-inspired speakeasy.  Cocktail hour will swing with the music of members of the Purchase College Jazz Orchestra.

The party continues onstage with Mr. Feinstein and his orchestra performing The Gershwins and Me, an evening of classics by the legendary songwriting brothers and their contemporaries, in the Concert Hall at 8:00pm. 

SNAZZY BASH continues back in the speakeasy (Repertory Theatre) with an after party inviting attendees to savor specialty cocktails and desserts and to dance the night away with the Purchase College Jazz Orchestra.  Black and red or 1920s-themed attire is encouraged.

Hannah and Walter Shmerler

Hannah and Walter Shmerler, the evening’s honorees, are long-time residents of Rye, NY and have been involved with The Performing Arts Center for 34 years.  Mrs. Shmerler, who serves on the Board of The Performing Arts Center Foundation, began her involvement with The PAC as a volunteer in 1980.  Over the years she has been involved in the Arts-in-Education outreach program for school children, has chaired various committees and has been president of The Prompters, The Performing Arts Center’s volunteer organization.  She is also co-chair of the College’s Friends of Music, an organization of the Conservatory of Music.  Among their proudest accomplishments, Mr. and Mrs. Shmerler have endowed Master Classes for Music and Dance Conservatory students in collaboration with The Performing Arts Center.  They were recently honored by ArtsWestchester with the 2014 Arts Award for Arts Patrons.

Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein is a multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer who has been called “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook.” His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.  More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

Michael Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”  The PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook was the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award. The series returned in 2013 for a third season, which is now available on DVD. For his nationally syndicated public radio program Song Travels, Feinstein interviews and performs alongside music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, and more.

David Grill

David Grill, Purchase College alumnus (Class of ’86) and currently Assistant Professor of Theatre Design/Technology at Purchase College’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, has designed lighting for theater, dance, opera, television, architectural projects, and industrials taking him from the Great Wall of China to the great stage of Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Grill was nominated for a Chicago Midwest Emmy Award for Milwaukee Ballet's Romeo & Juliet, a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for the Opening Ceremonies of the Pan American Games Rio 2007 and received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lighting Direction for the Opening Ceremony of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.  More recently he has designed lighting for Super Bowl halftime shows, including lighting such stars as Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.  He also personally provided the lighting for First Lady Michelle Obama’s taped appearance on the Academy Awards.


Gala Tickets and Information

Gala tickets at the $1,000 level ($10,000 for a table of 10) include cocktails and dinner, an exclusive meet and greet with Michael Feinstein, prime seating at Mr. Feinstein’s performance, and admission to the after party as well as a full page tribute in the event’s E-Journal.

Tickets at the $500 level ($5,000 for a table of 8) include cocktails, dinner, prime seating at Mr. Feinstein’s performance, and admission to the after party and a half-page tribute in the E-Journal.

New this year is a $175 ticket that includes preferred seating at the performance, admission to the after party, and the opportunity to win an exclusive meet and greet with Michael Feinstein.

Catering for the gala is by Sonnier & Castle, one of New York City’s leading event caterers.

For further information on tables and tickets please call Sarah Recca at 914.251.6189.


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