Posted 17 June 2019
On May 9, 2019, Pro Musicis hosted its annual Gala Award Dinner at the Consulate of France in New York City. In his welcoming address Eric Bayer, Deputy Consul General said, “I am happy to see that Father Merlet’s vision lives on through Pro Musicis, both here in the US and in France.” Photographs by Annie Watt.
Gilbert Kalish, chair of the audition jury, presented the Awards. Australian flutist Catherine Gregory received both the International Award based on her high level of performance, and a Father Merlet Award for her project entitled “Just Breathe” for cancer patients.
Soprano Karol Bennett, a Pro Musicis alum, received a Father Merlet Award for her work with the non-profit Musiqa in Houston, Texas. In the past 15 years she has made over 400 visits to public schools teaching over 60,000 students to confidently sing.
Guests enjoyed the music of Debussy and Dutilleux performed by Catherine, pianist David Kaplan, and Karol. Feast and Fêtes served a most delicious dinner created by Jean Christophe Le Picart. A guest’s review captures the spirit of the Gala: “Our French hosts were the epitome of graciousness. The cuisine was out of this world. The music exquisite! What a delight to be part of the Pro Musicis family.”