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“Adirondack Sketches” Ready for Public Reading on February 23rd!

"Adirondack Sketches" Logo by Stacey Frasier Darling

After a year of research, consultation with musicians, and composition time, it is with great pleasure that I can finally announce that I have finished my new piece, Adirondack Sketches: Five Mountain Dances. This piece began as an idea to compose a chamber piece that not only was based on ideas found in Adirondack traditional music, but also utilized traditional instruments in a chamber music context; a kind of double musical cross-over, if you will. I was not sure what would eventually come from this idea, but I am pleased with the music that has come out of it. I can’t wait for you to join me in hearing this come together in a live musical setting with a stellar ensemble of musicians from the region.

So... be sure to save the afternoon of Saturday, February 23rd for the premiere presentation. The concert and a follow-up feedback session will be held at the Mayfield Presbyterian Church located at 22 North Main Street in Mayfield (NY). It will begin at 2:00 pm.

Adirondack Sketches is a piece requiring performers who are both excellent “traditional” players and somewhat comfortable reading music in standard notation in a concert, or “classical,” music setting. I am excited to have five such musicians who are eager to launch this piece. The ensemble is:

I am especially excited as they have all expressed their enthusiasm about premiering this piece!

In this composition's first presentation, I will introduce Adirondack Sketches: Five Mountain Dances by talking about how it came together including a little about some of the musicians I interviewed in my research. This opening talk will be followed by a reading of the piece itself, which is—in essence—a suite of five dances bringing together elements rooted in the Adirondack oral tradition and others coming from the Western classical style. Thus, we have:

Adirondack Sketches: Five Mountain Dances

I. Reel

II. Lonesome Song

III. Jig

IV. Waltz

V. Hornpipe

We’ll conclude with a “Q&A” type, roundtable conversation between the players, encouraging questions and observations from the audience. I am very interested in feedback from players and audience alike. A reception full of Adirondack-themed treats, coordinated by my incredibly creative wife Maria, will follow.

Again, I am truly thrilled to have the opportunity to share with you what we have learned about everything it takes to put together a unique musical project such as this and for you to enjoy and join this fun, new musical adventure.

Due to some scheduling challenges, we’re a little behind in getting the word about this out, so... please spread the word! (I’m told there is an “Event Listing” out on Facebook that can be shared) Admission is free, and free-will donations will be graciously accepted.

In the meantime, stay tuned for another blog or two about the project. I hope to see you in Mayfield on the afternoon of February 23rd!


Saratoga Arts made this project possible with an Artist Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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