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If Music be the Food; Recital for food pantry

The upcoming solo faculty recital by Kelsey K. Rogers is more than an evening of classical music -- it’s an opportunity to support Dickinson’s  AMEN Food Pantry.

The recital is the fourth in an ongoing series of recitals  titled “If Music Be the Food -- Dickinson” and is a satellite of the original series begun by Carol Rodland.

Rogers, adjunct professor of voice at Dickinson State University, will perform with her husband, Dr. Brent Rogers, DSU’s director of choral activities, on piano.

The performance is 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall on DSU campus.

Admission is free. Those who are able are encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable foods, garden vegetables or cash donations for the food pantry.

As stated in a press release, the program will include well-loved solo pieces from the classical repertoire, including “Pie Jesu” from Faure’s “Requiem” and “Je vex vivre” from Gounod’s ”Roméo et Juliette.” Lesser known are early and modern gems like “Sweeter than Roses” by Henry Purcell and the first three movements of “Try Me, Good King” by Libby Larsen, a contemporary setting of the last words of the wives of Henry the VIII.

As a special treat, Brent Rogers has an original arrangement of a hymn.

“Part of the recital series is sometimes musical theater, but this one only is classically oriented,”  she said.

“If Music Be the Food -- Dickinson” is a satellite of the benefit series started by Carol Rodland, a faculty member at Eastman School of Music. The original series began in 2009 in Rochester, N.Y., and in addition to Dickinson, there are satellite series in Tampa, Tucson, New York and New Jersey.

The Dickinson series presents recitals every winter and summer during times when the food pantry tends to run low. Past recitals have taken in more than 600 pounds of food and more than $500 in cash donations.

“We hope to continue increasing those figures at this recital with the help of our generous community,” Kelsey Rogers said.

“If Music Be the Food” is a benefit that’s near and dear to Kelsey.

“I grew up in Las Vegas where there lots of transient people and a lot of people suffering from homelessness, so I always would see people on the side of the road,” she said.

“From the time I was about 10 years old, it started tugging on my heart strings, and I ask my mom if we could go and take food to a family I saw on the corner. We made them lunches because there were kids -- it broke my heart,” she said.

Taking her compassion into adulthood, Kelsey said she and her husband have been foster parents.

“And so that brings you in contact with more poverty and you really get to see those who struggle with poverty -- they are real people,”she continued. “We’re not rich by any means, but what we have we give freely.”

The recital is sponsored in part by Dickinson State University with arrangements by Joel Walters, instructor of music and piano.

“It’s an opportunity to come together to support the arts and a worthwhile cause -- what better way to enjoy music while contributing to the food pantry in Dickinson,” he said.

For more information or contact Kelsey K. Rogers at or