Klezmer & Jazz Cabaret Benefit


Join us for a benefit cabaret, Klezmer and Jazz, on Saturday, June 10 from 6-8pm. The sounds of klezmer and jazz resounding in the magnificent main room of the Hudson Area Library will debut the library’s Music in the Stacks programming, a series being developed with Arts Chair Gwen Gould. The program will be performed by the musical group Two Worlds: Paul Green, clarinet; Ben Kohn, keyboard; and Richard Syracuse, string bass.

Tickets are $40 each and can be reserved via the button below or by calling 518-828-1792 x101. Wine and appetizers supplied by Ca’Mea will be provided following the performance and attendees will have an opportunity to meet the artists.


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English Songs by French Composers, a salon concert to benefit the Hudson Area Library

We are pleased to invite you to a salon concert, English Songs by French Composers to benefit the library, on Saturday, May 20 at 5pm at a private home in Hudson, NY.

English Songs by French Composers will feature a selection of songs by Saint-Saens, Gounod, Milhaud, Ravel, Poulenc, Roussel and Lee, set to the poetry of Longfellow, Joyce, Tennyson, Shakespeare, and others. The performers are Tyler Duncan, baritone, and Erika Switzer, pianist.

We are honored to offer this program, which is a preview of a recording that Duncan and Switzer will be making in Passavant, France in June of this year.

Only 4 tickets left! Tickets are $40 each and can be reserved by calling 518-828-1792. Location of benefit concert will be given upon reservation. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Olde Hudson will be provided following the performance when attendees will have an opportunity to meet the artists.

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From the Beginning Until Opening Night

There is more to a Broadway musical than just songs and dances. It’s the story that drives the production. Here, writer Brian Hill reviews a rehearsal. Photo courtesy of the Goodman Theatre.

There is more to a Broadway musical than just songs and dances. It’s the story that drives the production. Here, writer Brian Hill reviews a rehearsal. Photo courtesy of the Goodman Theatre.

Writer Brian Hill and his partner, composer and lyricist Neil Bartram, stick with a Broadway show from its conception (often in Brian’s brain) until the curtains part on opening night. “We’re at the top of the food chain,” Hill says. “We sit in on casting. We work with the set designers, the costumers.” We stay with the process from the beginning until the end.”

And they have stories about all the in-betweens. Sometimes, for example, the collaborators are approached by a producer who has an idea – but it’s just wrong for them. “I can’t do anything with rap,” said Bartram. “Even though I often include different song styling in my compositions, I just wouldn’t know how to do rap. It’s not the world I live in.” Ditto an adaptation of the film, Dancing with Wolves. Said Hill, “We were asked to work on a Broadway show based on the movie. But we couldn’t come up with a concept that worked. Someone else might  think immediately of fifteen ways to put the storyline on stage. But for us, it was not inspirational.”

The pair will be sharing backstage stories with the audience along with tunes that ended up in Broadway shows (and some that didn’t) on Sunday, October 9 at 6pm in the library’s Community Room. Tickets to the performance are $35.00 each and can be purchased by clicking here. A dinner with the composer and writer will be held following the performance in a beautiful private home in Hudson. Tickets for the dinner are $100.00 per person and must be purchased in advance.

“This evening is a wonderful way for us to recount some of our experiences,” said Bartram. “It’s kind of interesting to layout the thought process of which words work the best and fit the characters. All these details really shape the final production.” The two also will show video clips from rehearsals and performances to give the audience a sense of how a concept grows from the keyboard to the stage.

Hill and Bartram each were nominated for Drama Desk Awards for their work on The Story of My Life. Hill’s resume includes work as an associate director of Disney’s The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. He is currently working on an adaptation of the Universal film, October Sky. With Hill, composer Bartram currently is working on Gene Roddenberry’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks and a one-woman musical called You are Here. Together, they are in early talks to co-produce with a group in China.

Making Musicals – A Concert with Conversation is a benefit for the Hudson Area Library. The concert begins at 6pm on Sunday, October 9,  Columbus Day Weekend at the Library. Reserve your ticket today!

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Chopin & Chardonnay a Hit!

Library supporters listened attentively to well-loved classics played by pianist Morey Hall.

Library supporters listened attentively to well-loved classics played by pianist Morey Hall.


Our thanks to all those who joined us at the classical music concert given by pianist Morey Hall last Saturday evening, March 22nd. Our first fund raiser of the season was a huge success. “We had a full house,” said Trustee Mark Orton, “and we raised more than $7,000.00. It’s great to have such support from the community.”

The event paired well-known classical music selections from the Romantic Period with wines reflecting the same era. Hudson Wine Merchants’ Michael Albin and staff poured and described his choices to an enthusiastic audience of 70 plus supporters.

Apropos of the musical nature of the evening, Orton announced the gift to the Library of a 1999 Yamaha GP1 Grand Piano. “Doctor Barbara Weiser and her husband Dr. Harold Burger, friends of our performer, were moving to California and downsizing at the same time,” said Mr. Orton. “Fortunately, they learned that we were moving to a larger facility that would include a good sized Community Room. It’s so generous of them to have given not only the piano, but the cost of moving it into the new building as soon as it’s ready.”

Much appreciation goes to all who helped make this a wonderful event – especially the team at Hudson Opera House.

Wines sampled were selected to reflect the romanticism evoked by the music.

Wines sampled were selected to reflect the romanticism evoked by the music.

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“Chopin & Chardonnay” – Fundraiser Benefits Hudson Area Library

chopin and chard logo

In 1831, the reviews for pianist and composer Frederic Chopin were pretty good.  

  • “Here is a young man [with] an abundance of original ideas of a kind to be found nowhere else.” 
  • “Hats off, gentlemen! A genius.” 

And there were plenty more where those came from.  Chopin had the ability, previously unexplored, to combine the folk music of his native Poland with the classical sounds he admired from Bach, Mozart and Schubert. The results were innovations in style, musical form and harmony – a blending that seemed particularly apt for the blossoming romantic period in Europe.

Morey HallOn Saturday, March 22nd, beginning at 6 pm, pianist, instructor and composer Morey Hall will be performing the music of Chopin at the first of a series of fund-raising events on behalf of the Capital Campaign for the Hudson Area Library. 

“Chopin was emotional and expressive,” says Hall.  “His work speaks to me in a personal way that is inspiring.  I’m hopeful that the pieces I’ve selected will move the audience, too.”

The Greenport resident, who grew up in North Greenbush, began playing the piano at the age of 5.  “But I didn’t really commit to it seriously until I was a teenager,” he says.  What happened then?  He saw the piano virtuoso Van Cliburn at SPAC and was hooked.  “He was playing Rachmaninoff and my seat was in the third row,” he says with a smile.  “I was moved by the music, but also by his performance.” 

So much so, that the teenager headed back stage in search of an autograph.  Hall’s third row seat got him to the performer ahead of anyone else.  But unfortunately, he’d forgotten to bring anything to write with.  “In a stroke of real serendipity,” the pianist explained, “the conductor James Levine was nearby (just beginning his career).  He volunteered to help out.”  The winner of Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Piano Competition signed Hall’s program and with the stroke of a pen, sealed his career path.  

The piano concert, being performed at the Hudson Opera House, will include Chopin’s Nocturne in B-flat minor and a group of 4 Etudes, with additional works from Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Debussy and Beethoven.  Chopin’s contemporary, Franz Liszt will also be represented.

“All the musical pieces were influenced by the Romantic Movement,” says Michael Albin, owner of Hudson Wine Merchants.  “So the wines we will be pouring and telling concert-goers about will be paired to match.”  Four examples of light, sparkling and somewhat ethereal wines will be served during the concert intermission.  

In keeping with the Library theme, Mr. Hall has selected two books (available at the Hudson Area Library) that should be of interest to concert goers.  The first is Chopin’s Funeral by Benita Eisler.  This book details the featured composer in exile, his explosive love affair and final days in the arms of George Sand’s daughter.   And Beethoven’s Hair – by Russell Martin, a modern day DNA analysis of hair strands collected in 1827 that lead to a conclusion about the cause of the composer’s deafness. 

The evening is a benefit to help convert the Fifth Street Armory into the new quarters for the Hudson Area Library.  With groundbreaking scheduled for this spring, the need for the Library’s Capital Campaign to raise the balance of the 2 million dollars required is sure to become more visible.  An overview of the Library’s new quarters as well as donor information can be found at http://armory.hudsonarealibrary.org/.  

The concert begins at 6pm on the evening of Saturday, March 22nd at the Hudson Opera House, 327 Warren Street, Hudson.  Tickets for this fund raiser are $75.00 each.  Sponsor tickets include a listing in the event program and are $150.00 each. All donations are tax deductible.   Purchases must be made in advance by check or credit card.  There will be no sales at the door and seating is limited.  Tickets are available by contacting Cayla Consaga at the Library. 518.828.1792 or e-mail cconsaga@hudsonarealibrary.org.  Purchases must be made by Monday, March 17th.

The Capital Campaign of the Hudson Area Library is supported in part by gifts and pledges from Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation, T. Backer Fund, The Alexander and Marjorie Hoover Foundation, Raymond C. Kennedy Foundation, Inc. and many generous individuals and corporate sponsors.

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