Ars Choralis’ concert, Catskill Echoes, celebrates the rich Hudson Valley cultural heritage through words and music. The concert echoes 19th-century shape-note songs of Lewis Edson of Shady, NY, Native American prayer and music, music inspired by historic events such as the Underground Railroad and the flooding of the reservoirs, folk music of Camp Woodland, trumpet music from the Saugerties Band Camp, and compositions of celebrated musicians and performers who made their homes in the Catskill Mountains. The eclectic musical elements are tied together through the words of John Burroughs, Alf Evers, T. Morris Longstreth, Lewis Edson, Jr. and Evan Pritchard.
The concert, created by Ars Choralis conductor Barbara Pickhardt, took place at the Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock. The chorus was supported by pianists Kristen Tuttman and Harvey Boyer, flutist Lynn Peck, cellist Erica Pickhardt, guitarist Greg Dinger and banjo player Mike Haller.
Special guests Randi Parker, Phil Parker and Ron Westervelt played Bolero, a trumpet trio composed by Ernest Williams, the creator of the Saugerties Band Camp. Folksinger/guitarist Pat Lamanna and narrator Sue Rosenberg shared their experience at Camp Woodland. The chorus paid tribute in song to the people who lost their land and homes during the flooding of the reservoirs in the early 20th century, as recounted by special guest Eleanor Arold, and to the slaves who followed the Underground Railroad seeking freedom in the mid-19th century. Native Americans were acknowledged and honored by Dennis Yerry (Saturday) and Evan Pritchard (Sunday). The chorus performed music of Peter Schickele, Elliot Levine, Alexander Semmler, Frank Grapel, Robert Starer, Pete Seeger, Aaron Copland, Herbert Haufrecht and Greg Dinger, among others. Gilles Malkine narrated the program.
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For information about previous Ars Choralis concerts, see Past Concerts.