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Nonprofit bringing concert in Forest Hills in celebration of Filipino Heritage Month

Oct. 23, 2023 By Rachel Butler

The nonprofit organization Musica Reginae Productions Ltd will be hosting a concert in celebration of Filipino Heritage Month at The Church-in-the-Gardens in Forest Hills on Saturday, Oct. 28. 

The free concert, titled “Sari-Sari Storybooks with Music,” will be hosted by Dr. Barbara Podgurski, the organization’s executive and artistic director.

The Sari-Sari Storybooks with Music concert will be a unique event featuring live readings of children’s storybooks based in the Philippines with accompanying live music. 

Podgurski is expected to discuss two children’s books written by author Christina Newhard, along with co-author Alyssa Sarmiento, which will be read on the night. The books will be read out loud by actors Bing Magtoto and Patrick Elizalde.

The event is also serving as a world premiere for pianist Melinda Faylor, who was the recipient of grant awards from National, New York City and Queens foundations to create this unique artwork event.

“As the books are being read they will be accompanied by live music composed by Melinda Faylor. Featuring stunning artwork by many Filipino artists, the artwork for each story will also be projected for the audience during the reading,” Podgurski said. “The music for Sari-Sari Storybooks is inspired by the provinces of the Philippines in which all of the stories take place. The instrumentation is piano and electronics, including a variety of samples of Filipino instruments and other sounds inspired by the stories.”

The event is free for anyone who would like to attend.

Podgurski spoke about the importance of having events like these free of charge for the local community.

“Queens has historically been underserved in the arts with music in particular always being the first subject cut from school curriculum when there are budget cuts. We need now more than ever to ensure the cultural and artistic, musical exposure for our young people as they are the future arts lovers and concert goers and musicians,” Podgurski said. “Without them music and art will certainly die within the next century. With so much available to us virtually (online) it is also so important to have these community building musical and cultural events for kids and families to be able to get out and have fun and learn together.”

She added that their organization strives to offer free access to the arts for children and their families.

The event is due to start at 2 p.m. on Oct. 28.

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