Students from Cranston’s Arlington Elementary School performed as the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School paid tribute to this year’s recipients of the RIPO John Hazen White Sr. Leadership in the Arts Awards breakfast at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet last Friday.
The employees at Cranston’s TACO were honored for their support of over 300 Rhode Island non-profit organizations and their contributions to the TACO/White Family Foundation’s efforts.
Honorary chairs of the event were Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judith Lundsten, both of whom spoke appreciatively about the Philharmonic’s Children’s Education Program. The Philharmonic’s Music Director for the past 17 years, Larry Rachleff, praised the leadership of John Hazen White Sr., “whose philanthropy to the Rhode Island community, particularly the RI Philharmonic, was legendary.” Rachleff introduced John Hazen White Jr., noting that his father’s generosity has been perpetuated by his son and the employees of TACO.
The Arlington students, along with thousands of students from Cranston, Warwick, other Rhode Island cities towns and nearby Massachusetts, have benefited from the Children’s Education Concerts, founded by a dedicated group of women who were represented at the ceremony by Martha Sherman. She was serenaded by the Arlington students.
The children’s concerts began in 1946, a year after the Philharmonic was founded, with the mission that every child had a right to hear the great music of our civilization played by their own professional orchestra, a concept carried on over the years, and one praised by maestro Rachleff.
Also honored was Barbara J. Dryer, a trustee of the Philharmonic since 1985. It was only fitting that the ceremony was held the day before the Philharmonic’s final concert of the season, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, performed to perfection by the orchestra and the Providence Singers.