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On the Bright Side

May 13, 2014

Pantry sets 'Ode to Joy' as tone for fundraiser

A film about a Beethoven masterwork will be the focal point of a fundraiser for the Cooperstown Food Pantry on Sunday night, when organizers also will present a performance of “Ode to Joy.”

The film, concert and audience participation event will be at Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., at 6:30 p.m. The program will start with a regional premiere of the film “Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony.” A performance of “Ode to Joy” will follow and then Greg Mitchell, the film’s co-producer, will speak at a question-and-answer session.

“We are looking for lots of people to show up,” Sydney Waller, chairwoman of the steering committee for the event, said Monday.

The film was premiered at Lincoln Center last fall and has since been screened in communities across the nation.

“Following the Ninth” takes viewers on a cinematic journey across five continents to explore the symphony’s impact as an anthem of hope and solidarity, from Tiananmen Square to Pinochet’s Chile to the fall of the Berlin Wall, according to a media release. Today, the Ninth Symphony is regarded as a monumental work of art, a celebration of human potential to break down boundaries and create connections among all people, the release said.

“I’ve written my entire career about politics and I’m interested and inspired by the message of the Ninth Symphony,” Mitchell said in the release. With the film’s director Kerry Candaele, Mitchell co-wrote a book titled “Journeys with Beethoven: Following the Ninth and Beyond.”

Kate Roth Knull, an Emmy-award winning documentary producer who volunteers at the Cooperstown Food Pantry, said when she learned that Mitchell, a college classmate, co-produced the Beethoven film, she approached him about a benefit. “Following the Ninth” shows how people are able to find hope and connection, she said.

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