Thank you to everyone who came out for the first public reading session of Adirondack Sketches: Five Mountain Dances on Feb. 23rd. This was truly a labor of love, and I am so grateful for all the support. We had a great crowd - a full house - which is extraordinary for a Saturday afternoon in late February! I am overwhelmed by the success of this event, and hope to be able to build on this success and bring this music to wider audiences in the future.
I want to reiterate here my heartfelt thanks to those I mentioned publicly during my pre-reading talk at the event. First, I’d like to thank Saratoga Arts who made this 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 (special thanks to Sharon Wait). I’d like to thank Rick Hasenauer and the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network for their support of this performance. Thank you to Mayfield Presbyterian Church for hosting us, especially Mary Lou Bryan for all her help and the Pastor, Rev. Bonnie Orth. I’d like to thank my manager, Liz Friedman of Greenroom Artist Development for all of her hard work in helping put this together. Thanks also to Stacey Frasier Darling for designing the beautiful logo for Adirondack Sketches. I also want to thank my St. Peter’s Church family in Saratoga Springs for always being so supportive, especially Fr. Tom Chevalier, my fellow church staff, my choristers, Cantors, and other music ministers. Thanks to my family and friends, especially my parents, John and Barbara, my three beautiful children, and most especially my lovely wife Maria, for all of her help, love, and support.
Thanks to our performers: John Kirk (fiddle), Werner John (Native American flute), Dan Duggan (hammered dulcimer), Scott Hopkins (banjo), and Kara Pitkin (piano). These were truly wonderful people to spend the day with, rehearsing, performing, participating in our roundtable discussion with the audience after the reading session, and just enjoying one another's company. I had a great day with these folks! Thanks also to the Northampton Diner for a delicious lunch between our rehearsal and performance!
And, as I mentioned at the performance, a posthumous thanks to my piano teacher, Anne Miller, in whose memory I have dedicated the piece. Anne was a huge inspiration and guiding force in my life, and in the lives of so many of her music and art students that she taught privately at her Commonground Gallery in Northville. Anne was an amazing pianist, guitarist, violinist, painter, sculptor, and teacher of all things music and art; a genuinely warm person with a great sense of humor. Anne practically had Adirondack art and music coursing through her veins, and I have felt her presence throughout my work on this project. I know that she was there in spirit, with that big smile that I always waited to see at my piano lessons as a child.
I know also that there were many of you who would have liked to attend this presentation but were unable to. The performers and I are in talks to put together a studio recording of the piece, so hopefully you will have the opportunity to hear it in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned!
Photos by Maria Spaeth
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.