Hosts and Musicians Sought

For several years, the New Rochelle Sister City Initiative, led by former City Manager Peter Korn, has reinvigorated our relationship with La Rochelle, France. The Sister City Initiative is now seeking public support and involvement in two ways.

Hosts Needed for France Youth Exchange

Volunteer families are needed to host high school students from La Rochelle for two to three weeks this summer. The program involves a direct family-to-family exchange whereby a high school student from selected schools in La Rochelle France will live with a New Rochelle family and experience life in and around New Rochelle, including trips to New York City. Families hosting a French student would be able to arrange a stay with a French family on a reciprocal basis in La Rochelle. The ideal families would have a high school student of similar age to the La Rochelle students and an interest in intercultural exchanges. It is not necessary that anyone in the family speak French. The program anticipates organizing several joint events, such as visits to New York City, Connecticut and local and New Rochelle landmarks such as the Thomas Paine Cottage, Huguenot-related historical sites and a meeting at City Hall for the participants. Families interested in serving as hosts should call Vivian Ponslet at New Rochelle High School at 914-576-4500 or Jim Kaplan at 212-471-8546 or e-mail

Musical Competition for La Rochelle Jazz Festival

The Sister City Committee is holding a competition to select a New Rochelle musician to play at the La Rochelle “New Orleans Jazz Festival,” expected to take place from April 30 to May 7, 2010. The musician will play with groups during the festival. The Initiative will cover the musician’s transportation expenses to and from La Rochelle. With the Festival sponsors and La Rochelle Rotary serving as hosts. At the Festival’s request, preference will be given to clarinet, trumpet or trombone, although others playing jazz may be considered by the Audition Committee. Those interested in auditioning should have familiarity with New Orleans-style jazz and an interest in language and culture, befitting an “ambassador” of New Rochelle. Knowledge of the French language, although helpful, is not required. Students and adults are welcome to apply, but must be available during all the concert dates. Interested musicians should immediately file a brief letter of interest and bio-sketch indicating their general background, education and musical experience and talents. A number of musicians will be called to either audition or, if out-of-town at an educational institution and unavailable for live audition, submit a CD or video-stream with samples of their jazz proficiency. Instructions for auditions will follow review of the letters of interest and selection of candidates. Interested persons should send the application letter, bio-sketch and telephone/e-mail contact information to or Sister City Committee, c/o Mayor’s Office, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle 10801.