Washington, D.C. – Singer Mary Millben’s personal take on the 5/28 Performance at The National Museum of Women in The Arts and Her tribute to Composer Marvin Hamlisch.
“Ms. Terre Blair Hamlisch & Team Marvin Hamlisch,
I Hope that you are all well and enjoying your summer! Just wanted to thank you for your overwhelming support for the Marvin Hamlisch Tribute concert on May 28th, 2014 at the National Museum for Women In the Arts. Truly grateful for Team Hamlisch and all the publicity provided through your network for the concert. Ms. Hamlisch, thank you for your very kind and thoughtful note. I was deeply touched to receive via social media.
The concert was a tremendous success, with a sold-out audience, and a beautiful tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch, (The band was led by composer David Alan Bunn and included Chris Parker (drums), Brandon Jamal Felder (keyboards), Skip Pruitt (sax), John Blount (trumpet), Greg Boyer (trombone), Michael Bowie (bass) and a feature from award-winning gospel artist Tamba Giles.)
Not only were all educated by the concert, but really touched through revisiting the life and legacy of Marvin Hamlisch. I was delighted to welcome dear friend U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, DC socialites Nash and Aniko Gaal Schott, DC socialites Steven and Keiko Kaplan, Ambassador and Mrs. Walter Cutler, John Nash Jr., formally with PBS/WETA, and his lovely wife Joy Nash, NMWA board members and staff, members of Alfred Street Baptist Church and many more. It was a wonderful audience full of supporters, Hamlisch lovers and now new Hamlisch lovers. The concert was supported by generous gifts from Earl & Amanda Stafford and The Stafford Foundation, The Agora Culture and Dan Fisher & Ian Brown. My dear friend Dr. Eric Motley, Vice-President and Executive Director of National Programs at the Aspen Institute, served as the master of ceremonies.
I was very grateful to have the support of Donald Thoms, VP for PBS, Julie Starks at American Masters, and the wonderful Dori Berinstein, filmmaker for the PBS documentary “What He Did For Love,” specifically for approving and providing the clips for viewing at the concert. I was so glad so many were able to see the documentary and learn more about Mr. Hamlisch. I was grateful that the music and documentary clips have now garnered new Hamlisch fans.
Overall, I am grateful a moment in time and space was shared to pay tribute to Mr. Hamlisch and his legacy. Mr. Hamlisch had a profound impact on my life and career as a new artist in the business and continues to in new seasons of my career. His passion, kindness and artistry stays with me in every stage experience I have. Furthermore, thanks to Mr. Hamlisch and his devotion to arts education, I am now dedicating efforts to be an ambassador for arts education in my efforts across the world. I too believe the education of our great classic composers and their music, now with Mr. Hamlisch included, must be taught in our schools and never die. Arts education was a lifeline for me, among my struggles of growing up with limited means; without it and God’s grace I would not be performing on stages across the world.
Again, thank you for your tremendous support and your kind note, Ms. Hamlisch. I hope this is the first of many times we have to celebrate Mr. Hamlisch. Rest assured, I will always have you and Mr. Hamlisch in my conversations and efforts on and offstage.