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Column: Pro-Mozart Society to host annual Holiday Noel Gala
by Sally F. White
Neighbor Newspapers Columnist
December 04, 2013 04:31 PM | 2998 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Members of the venerable Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta are hosting the annual Holiday Noel Gala benefit Saturday in a private club to support their annual scholarship fund.

Classical music aficionados are invited to join the dedicated group to sustain the Mozarteum scholarship fund.

Guests will enjoy a formal holiday dinner and entertainment by the Georgia Boy Choir and meet special guests Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center; and WABE radio show host Lois Reitzes. Kevin Pritchett is the society’s current president.

Fifty years ago Nellie Bunzl, wife of the Austrian Consul Gen. Robert Bunzl, motivated the society to provide classical music concerts in intimate settings and to promote formal music education. Through her influence Atlanta and Salzburg, Austria, became “sister cities” in 1967 to found a competitive scholarship for American musicians to attend the renowned Summer Academy of Mozarteum Institute in Salzburg.

Today the nonprofit society continues to foster the appreciation of classical music with free community concerts, and it sponsors an annual competition for aspiring Georgia musicians to receive a $4,000 scholarship to the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace.

Mozart (1756-91) was a prolific and influential Austrian composer of the classical era and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto and chamber music as well as string ensembles and the keyboard sonata, religious music, dances, serenades and other forms of light entertainment.

The academy was the inspiration of world-renowned opera singer Lilli Lehmann in 1916 and has expanded its artistic reach to include master classes for voice, instrumental performance, composition, music analysis and conducting. The Pro-Mozart scholarship is designed to cover tuition, room and board for July and August and a portion of transportation costs.

Applicants for the scholarship program must be 18 or older, a resident of Georgia and attending a Georgia college or university.

Invitation and information: (404) 667-4700 or

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The Jingle Bell Run/Walk Saturday at Turner Field in downtown Atlanta will raise funds to fight and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Wear a holiday-themed costume, tie jingle bells to your shoelaces and race to celebrate the season by giving.

The annual holiday event hosted by the Arthritis Foundation’s Southeast region will bring families together for outdoor fun. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5-kilometer race starts at 9 a.m. The foundation expects more than 1,200 to take part in the Atlanta race.

Rebecca Collins, a 16-year-old high school student from Augusta who was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis when she was just 11, is serving as the event’s 2013 honoree.

“Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not an old person’s disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that affect people of all ages,” said Meagan Fulmer, the foundation’s chief development officer. “Two thirds of people with arthritis in the U.S. are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.”

As part of the nation’s largest holiday race series, the foundation’s Atlanta run/walk offers a 5K timed fun run and a 1-mile walk plus other activities to energize the whole family.

Funds from the race are committed to raising awareness and reducing the impact of this serious, painful disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest. The nonprofit foundation sponsors life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades, fights for health care policies that improve lives of millions who live with arthritis and partners with families to provide empowering programs and information.

Registration and information: (678) 237-4458 or

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The renowned 20-piece 8th Regiment Band of Georgia Volunteer Infantry will be the resounding centerpiece for Tuesday’s Civil War Round Table of Atlanta cocktail and dinner meeting at the Capital City Club on John Portman Boulevard in downtown Atlanta.

History will be brought to life by the present-day volunteer musicians who make up the 8th Regiment Band. 1st Lt. John Carruth, conductor of the Rome Symphony Orchestra, was instrumental in the re-formation of “The Modern 8th” in 1986 and will be at the meeting.

“The Original 8th” was the largest Georgia band and first to be a part of the Army of Northern Virginia. Historically the musicians served from Manassas in 1861 to Appomattox in 1865. The Georgia Volunteer Infantry was comprised of three companies and the band’s first chief musician was G.G. Merck, who volunteered at Rome.

Today’s music scores are arranged from original period pieces and some of the volunteer musicians play authentic instruments from the Civil War period.

The “Modern 8th” (as it is frequently called) is regularly featured at Civil War re-enactments including Gettysburg, Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Resaca. During re-enactments the group may represent either the Confederacy or Union bands. In addition, it performs at other types of military balls, concerts and memorial services and was the only band at the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

It was also the only band to perform at the internment of the CSS Hunley crew in Charleston, S.C. Volunteers have produced several music CDs and have been featured in movies and on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and National Public Radio.

The nonprofit round table was organized in 1949 with the purpose to further serious discussion and study of the American Civil War. Art Carey is the president.

Emphasis for public monthly meetings is on guest speakers from the who’s who of Civil War experts, academics who share their knowledge to enlighten the public and on weekend field trips to wartime sites.

Reservations and information: (770) 473-1390 or

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Members of Rabun Gap-Nachoochee Atlanta Guild, a group promoting the eponymous school and raising funds for it, are planning their annual Christmas Coffee scholarship benefit Dec. 11 at the historic home of Ginny and Guy Millner in Buckhead.

Ginny Millner is an honorary member of the guild and is hosting the event to spotlight the connection of her historic house, Windcroft, to the development of the school. The beautiful home was built in the 1930s and the original owner was Robert W. Woodruff, former chairman of the Coca-Cola Co., who became a major benefactor of the school in its early stages. Over the years his family continued to support the growth of the remote school serving underprivileged students in the North Georgia mountains into today’s outstanding grade five through 12 college-preparatory day and boarding school offering small class sizes and a solid academic foundation.

Guests at the morning coffee will be entertained by pianist Susan Marie and the lively Sentimental Journey male singing group.

Lucy Ullmann is serving as chairwoman of the benefit with the help of host committee members Louise McCann, Diana Bradley, Gale Mabe, Jackie Engelhart, Carol C. Sharkey, Pat Harmon and Rubye Reid. Linda Wickham is the guild president.

The guild was formed in 1932 to build Atlanta-area support for the special school. Over the years it has raised major funds for annual scholarships and maintained the roots of the school’s Christian principles by donating Bibles to graduating seniors.

Tickets and information:(404) 261-1123.

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