School of Music student to hold Hurricane Sandy Relief concert Friday

03/19/2013

Contributed by Jenny Stockdale

Show your support for alumna Elizabeth Altbacker ('94), a music educator on Long Island raising funds to rebuild her classroom after the devastating storm this past fall. A benefit concert, coordinated by School of Music senior Jamie Ocheske and the music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon, will take place Friday.

Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert
Friday, March 22
6:00 p.m.
Hockett Family Recital Hall

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Article by Conor Harrington ('13)

When senior Jamie Ocheske heard an IC music school alumna needed a helping hand after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, she knew she had to get involved.

Ocheske, a clarinet player and music education major, organized a benefit concert for Elizabeth Altbacker’s music education program at Long Beach Middle School on Long Island, NY. Altbacker ('94) graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in music education.

The concert will be Friday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. in Hockett Family Recital Hall in the Whalen Center at Ithaca College. The concert will be an hour and a half long with 12 student performances and a variety of instruments.

Ocheske is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a music fraternity at IC that will be represented at the concert.

Altbacker stays in touch with many of her former professors at IC. She reached out to Dr. Mark Fonder, professor and chair of the music education department, when she was at a loss for how to put the music program back together after the hurricane.

She said, “Dr. Fonder gave me the single best piece of advice, it has become my mantra while rebuilding. He said, ‘Liz, it doesn't matter what's in the room, it matters who is in the room.’”

It’s with that advice and a positive attitude that Altbacker has rebuilt her school’s music program, with help from major music companies like Fender and from non-profit organizations like Mr. Holland’s Opus, GS Gives and Music Rising.

The majority of the proceeds from the concert will go towards replacing the Wenger Locker system for Altbacker’s classroom instruments.

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