May 8, 2007 — A New York-based string quartet will usher in a new era this Saturday evening at Antilles School, where opening ceremonies will be held for the school's Prior-Jolleck Hall — a new facility that will function as a concert hall, theater and auditorium.
According to Cornelius Prior, one of the facility's primary financial contributors, the hall has been in the works for the past five to six years — one of three major improvement projects introduced as part of the school's capital campaign.
"Building a gym, library and auditorium/theater were the three big projects we had," Prior said when contacted Tuesday. "And we were able to raise a total of $7 million for everything. Finally, I made a pledge and contribution of $1 million for the completion of the theater, and with that came the naming rights."
Prior added that he and his wife, Trudie, named the hall after their fathers, Cornelius Prior and Solomon Jolleck.
"I always admired Trudie's father, who was a Holocaust survivor, and I have always admired my father, who was the only one is his family to go to college," Prior said. "And I thought it would be neat to honor the fathers that brought us together."
Prior was also instrumental in booking the iO Quartet — currently the Billy Joel Graduate String Quartet-in-residence at SUNY Purchase College in New York — to perform during Saturday's opening ceremony.
Prior explained that the group is affiliated with Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School in Maine, where Prior is a director. "It's really a nice thing to get them to come down and perform for the opening," he said.
The iO Quartet features Christopher Gross (cello), Christina McGann (violin), Wayne Lee (violin) and Beth Weisser (viola).
The concert features work by Joseph Haydn, Debussy, Gyorgy Ligeti — best known for his work in the movies 2001, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut — and Salvatore Sciarrino, a contemporary composer.
Tickets for the event, which begins at 8 p.m., are $35 and can be purchased at Dockside Bookshop, the Reichold Center for the Arts, Interiors at Fort Mylner Shopping Plaza and Home Again in Red Hook.
Other major financial contributors for the Prior-Jolleck Hall are:
Ricardo and Josefina Charaf
Peter and Patricia Gruber
Bob Schmidt and Kim Holdsworth
Kevin and Michele Cogan
Bart Kavanaugh and Betty Saks
Margate Management, LP
Neil and Annie Weiss
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