Last week, 31 students from the Millbrook High School Concert Choir sang with their older colleagues in a two-day “Adopt a Choir” choral workshop with Dr. Rebecca Reames at SUNY Potsdam. Millbrook High School Concert Choir director Alexis Clements said that students were fortunate to work closely with Reames, who has guest-conducted and adjudicated festival ensembles in more than a dozen states and in Canada.


When two artists merge their efforts into a joint project and when those artists are of both of great sensitivity and possess great talent, it is likely that something great will emerge.  Those who heard Peter Wiley and Anna Polonsky play together at Bard last weekend were in agreement that they had heard music of the highest caliber, achieving greatness.  The project was the complete works by Beethoven for piano and cello, played over two days, Saturday and Sunday. That is not an enormous body of work, but I thought, as I left the Sunday concert at Olin Hall, that if Beethoven had heard these two players as we had heard them, he would have increased his repertoire for these instruments, perhaps doubling it.  The program started with Beethoven’s seven variations on Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen (“In men, who feel love”), from Mozart’s Dei Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), which sounded more Mozartian than Beethoven-like—light, lilting, and full of song. Beethoven, clearly enthralled by Mozart, was inspired to write these variations on the fetching aria of Papageno.  

What can you get for $100? Paintings, sculpture, ceramics, woodcuts, drawings and mixed media. The Barrett Art center put on their annual 100 for 100 raffle Sunday night. The event was held at Locust Grove on the Samuel Morse estate, a fitting spot for the event.

It is not mere coincidence that Locust Grove’s walls were lined with an exhibition of Barbara Masterson’s oils. Rather the appreciation for the arts that the Samuel Morse estate displays naturally goes back to their perpetrator. The wall-hangings and event itself pays homage the once professional artist that Morse was. Prior to inventing the telegraph system, Morse painted for a living, including a portrait of John Adams; Locust Grove still exhibits some of his work.

A Night on the Town  at the Millbrook Library drew a crowd Friday night as people scurried inside to avoid the brisk February air.  They were greeted by a display of refreshments supplied by Coach’s Wine & Spirits, including wines and eats.

The evening’s festivities began with a brief talk by photographer Bill Wiegelman whose works are on display.

Wiegelman’s traced his love of photography to a class he took in college. While that may have initially inspired him, he said his family encouraged him, sitting patiently while he flipped through film prints.  His wife, children, parents and in-laws awere there in the audience, ratifying   their support of his photographic endeavors.  In his day job Weigelman is a fireman in Eastchester, where he lives.

The Bard Music Conservatory faculty concert last Saturday afternoon might be described as an intimate concert. Marka Gustavsson, accompanied by Frank Corliss on piano, played four sonatas for viola and piano. While each sonata was very different, they made for a coherent afternoon of music making.

This article was published in the February 15 2012 edition of the paper


Contemporary music had an airing last Thursday at Merkin Hall when the Ecstatic Music Festival took the stage in a program of new music, hosted by John Schaefer of WNYC. 

Classical music is being redefined as players and composers incorporate ideas, sounds and techniques from other traditions into music played, for the most part, on traditional orchestral instruments.  Last Thursday we heard a group called YMusic, composed of six classically trained musicians playing violin, viola, cello, clarinet, flute/bassoon and trumpet.  They were joined by composers playing bass and piano, and later two guitars and synthesizer.

This article appeared in the February 15 edition of the paper.

Vassar College’s MODFEST concluded with the Mahogonny Ensemble’s open rehearsal Saturday February 4. Mahogany is a student-led, extracurricular musical group that purposes to write, play and appreciate modern music; the ensemble includes strings, percussion and woodwinds. Senior William Healy directed the ensemble.

 This year marks the third time that the ensemble has opened up one of its rehearsals during Modfest. Allowing an open rehearsal achieves one of the main goals of MODFEST, to give students an opportunity to appreciate each other’s work and allow the space and time for their creativity to be recognized.

Nestled away on Front Street between Marona’s and the Fire Department, a discerning visitor might notice the Neubauer Gallery. The gallery is home to John (Jack) Neubauer’s realist paintings, one of five galleries that displays his work.

Neubauer has been published by the American Artist magazine and was the 2011 featured painter for the Millbrook Paint Off. He grew up in Hopewell Junction and has spent the last 32 years painting. He studied at the Art Students League of Manhattan, spent a couple months in Tuscany, studying the famous Italian light, building a career as a modern plein-air artist.  


50 Burgundy BArns


Tucked away in the chaotic maze of Vassar’s college center is the Teen Vision 2012 exhibition, part of Vassar’s 10th annual MODFEST, which celebrates the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Teen Vision displays the work of high school students in the area who are involved with the Mill Street Loft, a not-for-profit, multi-arts educational center in Poughkeepsie. Their Art Institute seeks to assist students in developing a pre-college portfolio, enhancing artistic techniques using a variety of materials. 

While MODFEST has a 10-year history, Vassar’s partnership with the Mill Street Loft is only several years old. 

In conjunction with MODFEST 2012, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center opened up Marco Maggi’s Lentissimo exhibition on January 20. Born in 1957 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Maggi’s style evokes elements of the Dada era.  He works with ordinary, mass-produced materials to create mixed media  installations, wall-hangings and sculpture-like displays. Maggi does much of his work in New York and designed the exhibition (displayed until April 1) specifically for his Vassar show. 

Lentissimo, is Italian for ‘slow’; it also references a musical tempo. This title is apt: the whole show uses size, scale, space and color to create depth, movement and contrast. 

Lentissimo occupies three rooms, a yellow, blue and red room.  There is also an upstairs display. Each room includes a yellow, blue and red installation of stacks of paper laid in a grid format. These 84x84 installations grab your eye, enticing you to observe each piece from all angles. 

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