How the Presidential Candidates Found Their Faith

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the congregation at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C., on January 13, 2008. Clinton has always been a devout Methodist. Joshua Lott/The New York Times/Redux U.S. U.S. Politics Religion 2016 Presidential Campaign Jeb Bush Scott Walker Marco Rubio Bobby Jindall It was built in the 1920s in the Spanish Mission style, topped by one of those red clay tile roofs so popular in South Florida back then. The Catholics laid their foundation just a short walk from the famed Biltmore Hotel (modeled on the Giralda, the tower of the Seville Cathedral in Spain), and named their church in honor of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, also known as “the Little Flower.” These days, Coral Gables is majority Cuban-American, the Church of the Little Flower’s pastor, the Reverend Michael W. Davis, tells me, which might also explain why he is so comfortably bilingual. Unlike so many Catholic parishes in the U.S., Davis says, his still boasts packed pews and “reflects a vibrant community.” He adds playfully that the church’s lovely setting makes it a “wedding factory.”On a more serious note, Davis explains the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)—the Catholic conversion program. He tells me about it because Little Flower’s most famous parishioner is a convert: Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who’s already touted as the Republican front-runner in the upcoming presidential race, attends Mass frequently with his wife, Columba, and their daughter, Noelle. “[He’ll be] gone all week, and yet he regularly makes the liturgy,” Davis says.Jeb, of course, hails from one of America’s great preppy families, one more strongly associated with J. Press suits and Kennebunkport tennis than a La Santa Misa (a Mass conducted in Spanish). The Bushes are famously of the Episcopal wing of Protestantism, whose origins trace back, in part, to Henry Continue Reading

KC Symphony’s 2018-19 season has an American flourish

Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony have long been champions of American music, and their 2018-19 season, with an American piece on almost every program, is a veritable celebration of native composers. But Stern, being the master programmer that he is, has also selected an abundance of music from all nationalities and eras to satisfy conservative tastes. And there are just the right number of new works to tantalize the adventurous. “We always try to do interesting stuff,” Stern said. “We’re an American orchestra and an American city, and we have a great swath of music by a wide range of American composers. But it doesn’t feel like overloading because everything is integrated into the season.” There are 35 composers represented in 14 concerts, and of those, 13 works are getting their first-ever Kansas City Symphony performance. There are interesting pieces by Americans across the spectrum, from the tried-and-true like Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland to Augusta Read Thomas and Sarah Kirkland Snider. There’s also a work by a local jazz guitarist that should please his many fans. “Pat Metheny is represented in a very interesting piece for percussion and orchestra,” Stern said. “Christopher Deviney, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal percussionist, and Chris McLaurin, our principal percussionist, are the soloists.” With Stern’s wealth of connections in the music world, he’s able to bring a top-notch roster of guest musicians and conductors to add sizzle to the Symphony. Next season, guest conductors include Andrey Boreyko, Ryan McAdams and returning audience favorite Bernard Labadie. The renowned Edo de Waart will conduct what promises to be a standout concert of music by Rossini and Mendelssohn and Barber’s Piano Concerto with Alessio Bax as soloist. Several other great pianists will make appearances as well. George Li is returning, after his debut with the Symphony Continue Reading

When it comes to holiday concerts, Vienna Boys Choir still impresses

The unexpected sound of boys barking and meowing in tune was but one of the many delightful moments during the Vienna Boys Choir’s impressive holiday performance Sunday afternoon at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. Finishing a 10-week U.S. tour, the choir presented a diverse program of works that not only celebrated the storied group’s musical heritage but also showcased how quickly it is evolving. The driving force behind this year’s 31-song celebration, including two onstage additions, and its engaging execution had everything to do with the touring choir’s conductor, Manolo Cagnin. Named to his role in 2008, the Italian-born Cagnin directed in a captivating style emphasizing his singers’ individuality. With his encouragement, each of the 25 choristers introduced himself to the audience, revealing a multitalented ensemble hailing from 16 countries. Decked out in their hallmark sailor suits, the boys sang a Gregorian chant, “Veni creator spiritus,” with perfect ensemble intonation. At the piano, Cagnin kicked off a rousing rendition of “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” complete with two of the boys playing gong and drum. Whether leading from the piano bench or conducting, the energetic Cagnin drew forth the boys’ clarion voices, musicality and technique, notably in Heinz Kratochwil’s “Jubilate Deo,” a modern, a cappella setting of Psalm 100 written in 1976 for the Vienna. Adriano Banchieri’s “Capricciata a tre voci” triggered the choir’s playful side, with the singers mimicking cats and dogs, while an adorable quartet dueled it out with gravelly meows in Rossini’s “Duetto buffo per due gatti.” The choir also excelled in two Johann Strauss pieces and a trio of dance rhythm-inspired songs featuring several members playing instruments. Having sung in 25 states, the choristers were understandably Continue Reading

globalFEST 2012: The world’s music revealed  in a single show at Webster Hall

It's the cheapest international travel you can buy: 12 countries for a single ticket. That’s the efficiency and economy of globalFEST, the world-spanning music event that, once a year, overtakes New York. For the ninth time, this fest will bring regions like southern Italy, northern China, urban Haiti and rural Cape Verde to a single venue: this time Webster Hall. The event on Sunday has two purposes: to expose a planet’s worth of sounds and styles to a growing number of fans, and to serve as a shopping mall for arts curators in town for a parallel business confab (the Arts Presenters Conference). At that event, attendees find those far-flung artists worth booking at U.S. venues in the coming year. One word of warning: You may want to take a tranquilizer before you go. The place is a madhouse, with fans roaming the hall’s three floors so wildly and often, it sometimes seems to mimic the great migrations of the world’s peoples. (In future, they really should get a bigger space. May I suggest the many splendored stages of BAM?) In the meantime, these musical alchemists and crossbreeders are set to rock your world this weekend.   BelO: In the video for his song “Lakou Trankil,” Haitian musician BelO performs with the expansive gestures of someone who is either explaining, arguing or educating. Sitting before an older man fixed in his ways, a younger man armed with a gun and a room full of amused school children, BelO sings over and over in French about “le changement,” the changes. It’s a representative moment for one of Haiti’s most committed political stars. Born Jean Belony Murat, 32 years ago in Port-au-Prince, BelO has taken up the mantle of socially aware reggae, favoring that beat over his own country’s more common compas. Though he counts Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton as his hero, BelO’s gruff voice has more in common with Bob Marley (in timbre) and Bono Continue Reading

City Island mixes bohemian cool, NYC quirkiness and seafaring charm

Just 1.5 miles long between Eastchester Bay and the Long Island Sound, City Island is as mystical, friendly, charming and quirky as any New York neighborhood. A little “rough around the edges,” as one local called it, the island in the north Bronx mixes doses of old-time bohemian cool with historic seafaring legend and a dash of high and low society.Last Friday, the Island’s first-ever gay Jewish wedding took place between Ken Binder and Steve Roth at their Bay St. 1911-built home. As they exchanged vows, the sun set over the water, dogs barked, guitars played and the Empire State Building stood as a sliver in the  distance while a female rabbi chanted love hymns. More than 250 people showed up, which comes to roughly 5% of the island’s 4,500 population. Ken Binder, left, and Steve Roth's wedding on City Island (Victor Chu for News)The home, once owned by nudists who sunbathed on a balcony off the master bedroom), has Spanish tile shingles and a long boat dock built 100 years ago. Inside, crystal balls and original Art Deco line drawings are everywhere the eye can see. It has a grand piano, an original 1934 kitchen with metal cabinets and, flanking the front door, stone sculptures of children riding sea horses. MORE PHOTOS: City island is mystical, friendly and charming Binder, an interior designer, and Roth, an architect and long-time City Islander who won a sailing gold medal for the United States in the 1992 Gay Olympics, bought the home seven years ago for north of seven figures. The wedding service led by Rabbi Shohama Wiener of City Island’s Temple Beth El, overwhelmed the couple. For anyone who thinks City Island is full of Pat Buchanan-loving conservatives, the joyous and packed reception proved that’s bunk.“For someone who has been gay since he was a little kid, picked on, lost jobs, had trouble coming out and has been through health issues, the fact that I was able to look the man I love in the eye and Continue Reading

Ice dancing Olympics 2010: Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win gold, U.S. gets silver

VANCOUVER - Canada finally beat the U.S. at something Monday night in the Olympics, but it involved simultaneous twizzles instead of power play goals. The gold in ice dancing didn't exactly make up for the Canadians' loss on Sunday to the Americans in the hockey rink. Still, the hosts took considerable comfort in this victory by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, which came at the expense of two U.S. couples - Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who took silver, and Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, the fourth-place finishers. This is a very subjective event competed in a very small world. The Canadian winners and the American runners-up are training mates and close friends, coached by the same Russian-born Canadian, Marina Zueva, in a Detroit area rink. It was going to be tough for Davis and White to overcome the hometown edge here, and the signs from the start yesterday were ominous when White banged his head into a sink and raised a welt. "I dropped my contact lens case into it and reached down and hit my head," White said. "It looks worse than it is, though." Davis and White skated first in the last group, and their performance to "Phantom of the Opera" was physically challenging, fast-paced and relatively clean. Davis and White were timed at one second too long on a six-second lift. This is a very subjective event, however, and there is no real accounting for the standards or tastes of judges. The Americans' score of 107.19 in the free skate represented a season best for a total of 215.74 points. "We skated as well as we could," White said. Two couples later, Virtue and Moir skated to Mahler before a nervous, supportive home crowd. The Canadians went with a more elegant look and program, slower and more fluid than the Americans. They performed one particularly tricky lift, in which Virtue stood with blade on Moir's right thigh, hands raised to the rafters. Virtue and Moir were rewarded with a standing ovation, a chant of "Ca-na-da," then with a score of 110.42 Continue Reading

Immigration advocates push for bilingual prescription labels

Immigrant advocates are pushing for the enforcement of laws that require drugstores to translate prescription labels for non-English-speakers, saying lax adherence is putting lives at risk. Advocates filed a civil-rights complaint with state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo last week against stores across the city - including eight in Queens - for allegedly failing to provide translation options. "New York's pharmacies are putting lives in danger by not providing the service they are required to do by law," said Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the advocacy group Make the Road New York. "If a patient cannot understand how to take the medicine she is taking home, the consequences can be devastating," Archila said Wednesday at a rally outside a Woodside pharmacy. About 100 demonstrators marched outside the Roosevelt Ave. drugstore, some holding up signs and chanting in Spanish, "Si, se puede" (Yes, we can). "No one should be denied proper health care based on their country of origin or the language they speak. This is a huge problem, especially in such a diverse area as Queens," said City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), who joined the rally. "Thousands of lives are needlessly at risk because translation assistance is not being provided," Gioia said. "We need to make sure that all people know how to use the medications they are putting in their body, and what the risks are." Sixteen pharmacies citywide were named in the complaint. Among the eight Queens drugstores named in the complaint were Eckerd in Woodside, Rite Aid in Jamaica and Duane Reade in Ridgewood. A spokesman for Rite Aid told the Daily News all the company's locations are equipped with prescription translation software available to all customers. "We have the ability to translate a label in twelve languages including Spanish, French, Arabic, Korean and Hindi," the spokesman said. But protestors said getting a prescription at some drug stores can be like playing Continue Reading

Pope plays rock star to 25,000 screaming young people at St. Joseph’s

Pope Benedict addressed the next generation of the nation's Catholic Church Saturday, proclaiming the importance of faith to 25,000 young worshipers at a rally outside a Yonkers seminary.Throngs of teenagers waited hours to hear from the Pope, some waving T-shirts and chanting "Viva Papa!" as he finally took to the stage outside St. Joseph's Seminary.Recalling the oppression of his early years in Nazi Germany, the Pope urged the audience to enjoy their freedom but not let their dreams be "shattered" by drug abuse, violence and other ills."As young Americans, you are offered many opportunities for personal development, and you are brought up with a sense of generosity, service and fairness," he said. "Yet you do not need me to tell you that there are also difficulties."His 40-minute speech capped a day of boisterous celebration, as festival-goers listened to "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson and danced to Christian rock bands as they awaited the arrival of the Popemobile."This doesn't come around very often. It's nice to come together as a group of people," said Kristin Diaz, 18, of Yonkers. "And Kelly Clarkson is here!"The scene was far more subdued inside the seminary, where the Pope blessed 50 youngsters with disabilities and watched a performance by the Archdiocesan Deaf Choir.During the emotional ceremony, the Pope accepted a painting from several handicapped children and walked through the rows of children twice, blessing them individually."He realizes that these kids are such special people," said Angela Manno, 43, of Staten Island, whose daughter Caitlin, 7, has cerebral palsy. "He made sure he spent time with every single one of them."The service moved Milagros Nieves of the Bronx, whose 4-year-old daughter, Emily Rodriguez, has spina bifida. "For children like this, it means so much that somebody so important cares about them," she said.The Pope then took center stage at the rally in a program that began with children presenting gifts of bread representing the Continue Reading

N.Y. IMMIGRANTS RALLY FOR RIGHTS. ‘We’re not criminals,’ is cry

IT WAS A DAY WITHOUT MEXICANS - and Jamaicans, Chinese and Irish, too - as tens of thousands of undocumented New Yorkers skipped work, boycotted stores and pulled their kids out of school yesterday as they marched in a massive show of strength. The huddled masses who toil in kitchens, clean offices, remove asbestos, work in car washes - many living in fear of deportation - took to the streets on May Day to show the city what life would be like without them. "I walked over the border from Tijuana all alone with no documents and I want my kids to see the power of solidarity," said Teodoro Lucero, 39, of Brooklyn, as he proudly marched down Broadway with his three young sons. "When they get older, they will be able to say they were part of this. " After massing in immigrant neighborhoods around the city, marchers waving the flags of their homelands and the U. S., converged in Union Square for a rally that overtook the area, then slowly made their way downtown to Foley Square. Similar demonstrations were staged all over the country, drawing millions. But the most-poignant voices of protest belonged to the kids who have one foot in the U. S., the other in their homelands. Brooklyn-born Yeslie Maldonado said her Mexican parents wanted her to stay in school yesterday. "I had to put up a fight with my parents to come, but they realized that this is important," said Yeslie, 14. "Immigrants are the heart of New York. " Education Department reported that 79% of students citywide showed up for school, down from 86% last Monday. And attendance was even lower in high schools, where 68% of kids were in class. Plans for a nationwide "Day Without Immigrants" protest began germinating on Dec. 16 after the House passed a bill that would turn more than 11 million illegal immigrants into felons. In New York, at exactly 12:16 p. m., thousands linked hands across all five boroughs and peacefully vented their anger. "We're only coming here to cook and Continue Reading

ROCKING THEIR WORLD! City soccer fans go wild

THE SPIRIT of World Cup anointed the young and old patrons of Galapagos, a tiny Ecuadoran restaurant, with euphoria, patriotism and a 2-0 shutout victory against Poland. Just 24 minutes into their country's spectacular opening World Cup match, their striker, Carlos Tenoria, scored and the 24-table joint in Jackson Heights, Queens - packed with one large screen television and two smaller ones - began to vibrate as the people stomped their feet. "Arriba, arriba, arriba - es mi bandera (Go, go, go - that's my flag)," the room of dancing Ecuadoran natives and their American-born children chanted. "Ecuador! Ecuador! Ecuador!" Then the cellular phones started ringing. "Yes, I'm watching! Yes, I see!" screamed Jose Tello, 40, a nurse technician speaking to his sister, Maria, calling from Detroit. "I'm so happy, I'm so proud." Nelson Galindo, 22, called his father, Nelson Galindo Sr., who couldn't close his carpet shop in Jersey City. "He's screaming on the phone," said Galindo, a Hunter College student. "This is so exciting for us." For the city's Ecuadoran immigrants, World Cup fever got off to a joyful start. As the planet's biggest sporting event kicked off yesterday with two matches, people like accountant Jose Puno of Jackson Heights, suddenly became ill. "I had to call in sick," said Puno, who left Ecuador 10 years ago. "I couldn't go to work - it is Ecuador and it is very important that I watch because in my country, nothing is open, the country has stopped." Patricio Castillo, 63, became a teary-eyed child, his eyes piercing the television screen in disbelief, counting the last remaining minute of the match. "I am very, very happy for my country," said the former Queens resident, clutching his heart. Castillo moved to Miami several years ago, but came back to New York to watch the game with his old friends at Galapagos, a 10-year-old restaurant at 91-17 37th Ave., which also sponsors a local soccer club that plays at the Flushing Meadows Park. Continue Reading