Music for the Eyes | A Photo Exhibition by Eric Berlin

Music for the Eyes | A Photo Exhibition by Eric Berlin

The 50 images on display were curated by Nicholas and his staff to show the many facets of this remarkable orchestra. The exhibit features panoramic views of our remarkable venues, still life shots of our instruments (which are works of art themselves), and behind the scenes glimpses into the rehearsal and recording process with composers and soloists.

A musical tribute to the American worker

Labor Day is much more than a long weekend of family BBQ’s, back to school sales, and bonfires. It is a national tribute to the American worker who works day in and day out to provide for their family and their community. It is a day set aside to honor American ingenuity and the spirit of progress. It is a holiday when the nation stops to recognize the important contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our nation. So, this weekend, be sure to tip your hat and raise your glass to you, the American worker.

From Paul Robeson to Haydn and Joan Tower, enjoy our collection of works that embody the spirit of Labor Day.


PAUL ROBESON  |  “JOE HILL”

Paul Robeson, an American baritone and stage and film actor, was widely known for both his artistic accomplishments and political activism. Robeson was the son of an escaped slave who fled to New Jersey to become a Presbyterian minister and was outspoken about racial injustice. Throughout his performance career, Robeson actively supported the Civil Rights Movement and performed benefit concerts for labor organizations. In 1943 he starred in Othello on Broadway at the Schubert Theatre and later “blacklisted” during the paranoia of McCarthyism.


HAYDN  |  FAREWELL SYMPHONY

Turns out Haydn’s beloved Symphony No. 45 has a history of being a “protest song.”

The story began in 1772, while Hayden was royal conductor to Hungry’s Prince Nikolaus Esterházy. After a long season, the Prince ordered the exhausted musicians to stay at his castle to perform a new symphony. Haydn was sympathetic to the musician’s plight and composed a special ending in honor of the musicians.

At the end of the final movement, just before the climax of the finale, Haydn paused the music and replaced the robust ending with a much slower adagio. As each musician completed their part, they snuffled the candle and quietly left the stage. By the end of the piece, only Hayden and two violinists were left.


JULIA WOLFE  |  ANTHRACITE FIELDS

The Gilded Age of America and most of the 20th century was powered by coal and the miners who harvested it from the mines. Anthracite Fields digs deep into American labor history and the stories of the workers who persevered and endured the dangers of coal mines.


JOAN TOWER  |  FANFARE FOR THE UNCOMMON WOMEN &   AARON COPLAND  |  FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN

Without a doubt, Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man is one of America’s most recognizable musical works. Some say its due in part to its name, which Copland took from a speech by Vice President Henry Wallace who proclaimed the 20th century “the century of the common man.” But, for many the title alone is incomplete and does not create a complete musical portrait of American progress. Composer, Joan Tower, completes this musical portrait with a series of 6 inspired fanfares dedicated to uncommon women. Composed between 1987 and 2014, Tower’s Fanfare’s for the Uncommon Woman pays tribute to bold and pioneering “women who take risks and are adventurous.” Tower’s first fanfare quotes Copland’s Fanfare and uses the exact same instrumentation.


LEROY ANDERSON  |  THE TYPEWRITER

Approximately 160 million American’s head to work each day and approximately 68% of workers use a computer on the job. This light and fun composition by Leroy Anderson turns the mundane sound of a clicking keyboard into an entertaining and comical concerto for typewriter and orchestra. Next time you sit down at your desk to write an email, type it like you’re making your debut at Symphony Hall.



DAME ETHEL SMYTH  |  CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN, HORN, AND ORCHESTRA

Dame Ethel Smyth pursued her musical studies and career against her family’s wishes and despite her incredible talent she faced considerable discrimination throughout her entire career. In 1910, Smyth joined the Women’s Social and Political Union and stopped composing in order to support the Suffrage movement. That same year she composed the movements anthem, The March of the Women before she was arrested and imprisoned. Smyth began composing again in 1912 and in 1926 Smyth composed her Concerto for Violin, Horn, and Orchestra, a virtuosic work with a heroic first movement. 

How Sing Out! New York advanced inclusion, strengthened community

By Beth Beshaw, M&T Bank Market President for Albany

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On a beautiful June day, with a gorgeous blue sky above, I had the opportunity to join well over a thousand of our neighbors for the Sing Out! New York concert at Jennings Landing in Albany.

 Together, we enjoyed a tremendous performance of the Albany Symphony that featured a composition inspired by Frederick Douglass. It was part of the annual American Music Festival, which M&T Bank was proud to support.

 This year’s American Music Festival packed two weekends full of innovative, collaborative music that delivered stirring tributes to equality, inclusion and diversity. The Sing Out! New York Tour, which brings the festival to communities across the Capital Region, carried an important theme this year – From Seneca Falls to Stonewall. It celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and the 100th anniversary of the legislative actions that led to the 19th amendment, securing women’s right to vote.

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 As is so often true with artistic expression, the music shared during the tour was about more than entertainment; it was about empowerment. It was art created to deepen our understanding and inspire us to remain vigilant in the advancement of equality for all people.

 At each of the stops during the Sing Out! New York Tour, our community experienced brand-new compositions that were representative of pivotal moments in the fight for equal rights. In total, about 12,000 people attended the concert series.

  • In Schuylerville, Loren Loiacono teamed up with Capital Repertory Theatre to create Petticoats of Steel, a work that brought the suffrage movement to life.

  •  In Albany, Andre Myers joined the Albany High School Chamber Choir to create Studies in Hope: Frederick Douglass, a hip hop-influenced composition driven by Douglass’s words and relentless pursuit of equality.

  • In Schenectady, Clarice Assad worked alongside Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region to develop Ain’t I A Woman, a composition inspired by Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech of the same name.

  • In Hudson, Viet Cuong partnered with choreographer Adam Weinert and the Hudson Dance Collective to craft Transfigured, a work inspired by the Stonewall uprising and the LGBT movement.

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 Our team at M&T was eager to support the Albany Symphony and sponsor this important series of events. Beyond fulfilling our commitment to expanding access to the arts, Sing Out! New York invited a wide range of voices and artists to be heard by our community, promoting diversity and inclusion. 

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 The event’s economic impact is significant, too. The festival generated an estimated $445,000 in audience spending in the community, and the total impact, when the full scope of the series is factored in, is far greater. Investing in our creative economy contributes to our community’s vibrancy, enhances our quality of life and helps attract visitors and new residents.

 Congratulations to the Albany Symphony, its team and all of the artists who worked so hard on the American Music Festival and the Sing Out! New York Tour.

 It was a memorable, unique experience that brought people together to celebrate music and created connections that will strengthen our community.

If you’re interested in being a part of next year’s American Music Festival, contact the Albany Symphony to learn how you can get involved.

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Ms. Beth Beshaw is the Market President for Albany, NY at M&T Bank. She is active in the community as past chair of Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region and a valued member of the Albany Symphony’s Board of Directors.

From Bluegrass to Bebop, Albany Symphony Releases Two Uniquely American Recordings

GRAMMY Award-winning conductor, David Alan Miller and the “intrepid” musicians of the Albany Symphony (The New York Times) are no strangers to delivering cutting-edge performances that bend and blend genres into thrilling concert experiences. Many of these cutting edge performances are given a voice beyond the concert and are recorded and released for the world to discover.

CHECK OUT THE NEWEST RELEASES FROM THE ALBANY SYMPHONY!

MICHAEL TORKE | SKY

TITLE: SKY | COMPOSER: MICHAEL TORKE | RELEASE THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2020

RECORDED AT THE TROY SAVINGS BANK MUSIC HALL, TROY, NY

On August 1, the Albany Symphony released SKY, its third full-length album with composer Michael Torke and its first recording with violinist, Tessa Lark. The album includes four new concertos, for violin, bassoon, clarinet, and oboe. SKY, the title piece on the album, was co-commissioned and premiered by the Albany Symphony on January 5, 2019 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The work imposes a bluegrass vernacular onto classical forms, like the sounds of a slow Irish reel, banjo picking, and fiddle licks in triple time. Its a perfect piece for acclaimed concert violinist and fiddle virtuoso, Tessa Lark. The album also includes three concertinos (miniature concertos) for bassoon (West) featuring bassoonist, Peter Kolkay, oboe (South) with Ryan Roberts, and East, a concertino composed for Albany Symphony Principal Clarinetist, Weixiong Wang.


TITLE: MIGRATIONS | DEREK BERMEL | RELEASED FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 2020

RECORDED AT EMPAC DURING THE 2015 AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL AT EMPAC AND THE TROY SAVINGS BANK MUSIC HALL, TROY, NY.

Migrations is a Naxos world premiere recording inspired by three “artistic journeys - painter Jacob Lawrence’s vivid depiction of African-American migration from South to North; Portuguese poet Eugenio de Andrade’s journeys across the ocean and the soul; and Hungarian composer Bela Bartok’s emigration to my home of New York City.
— Derek Bermel

Migrations is a stunning example of what Naxos desribes as Derek Bermel’s, “superb craftsmanship and eclectic style. At the center of the album is Migration Series (2006), a work commissioned by Wynton Marsalis for his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra.

The jazz-tinged concerto for orchestra and Jazz band is composed in five movements and weaves through classical and jazz forms with touches of American folk music and hip hop to create a unique soundscape.  The work captures the shapes, colors, moods and atmospheres of the paintings by Jacob Lawrence, while touching on the complexities of the migrant experience, including larger themes of determination, mystery, joy, despair, prejudice, rejection, violence, and poverty.


TAKE A LISTEN AND TELL US WHAT YOU THINK USING #LISTENADVENTUROUSLY

Digital albums are available on Amazon, iTunes or wherever you purchase your music. If you prefer CDs, visit the Albany Symphony Box Office or call 518-694.3300 to purchase your personal copy signed by David Alan Miller.

Follow the This Is Albany Symphony SPOTIFY playlist. Enjoy your favorite Albany Symphony recordings and the essential tracks, all in one playlist.

Visit the Albany Symphony’s SPOTIFY page and listen to the growing catalog of over 30 commercially release albums with over 253,000 streams.


#REWIND | American Music Festival, SING OUT! NEW YORK: ALBANY

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The Albany Symphony continued its American Music Festival, Sing Out! New York Concert Tour last Friday, June 7 at Jennings Landing in Albany’s Corning Preserve. David Alan Miller and guest composer, Andre Meyers were welcomed by over 1500 eager listeners looking forward to hearing Meyer’s hip-hop tinged commission that was inspired by the words and wisdom of Frederick Douglass.

Drawing of the Albany Basin, 1857, unknown.

Drawing of the Albany Basin, 1857, unknown.

Located along the Hudson River, in the shadows of the State Capitol, Jennings Landing and the Corning Preserve has a history all to itself as the gateway to the Erie Canal and a “grand junction of eastern and western travel” (Frederick Douglass). In 1823, Jennings Landing was a 32-acre harbor that held 1,000 canal boats and connected the Hudson River to the Erie Canal. These canal boats carried more than goods, they carried people and ideas. The canal system would become a “network of freedom” that helped to fuel the suffrage and abolitionist movements.

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New friends and old friends alike got out of work early, grabbed their blankets and lawn chairs, and made their way to Jennings Landing for yet another performance with near perfect weather. By 7:30PM, the entire amphitheater was full and patrons found comfortable seats on the nearby hillsides.

David Alan Miller, students from Albany High School, musicians of the Albany Symphony and composer Andre Meyers spent a couple hours rehearsing, while audio engineers from LIVE Sound! and Classical Recording Service worked hard to make sure that the sound was balanced and performance ready. Rehearsal ended just in time for everyone to enjoy the Sing Out! New York Craft Beer & Food Trail. Albany Symphony musicians seemed to love Wagon Train BBQ’s famous pulled pork sliders and some classic Kettle corn from Adirondack Kettle Korn. Did you try the Sing Out! New York signature beer from Back Barn Brewing Company? If not, the 19th Amendment brew is still available at their taproom on Route 20 in Duanesburg, NY.

Nothing says summer in upstate New York like ice cream and face painting. Credit: N. Miller

Nothing says summer in upstate New York like ice cream and face painting. Credit: N. Miller

It’s always great to see young people at the Albany Symphony. #SymphonyKids

It’s always great to see young people at the Albany Symphony. #SymphonyKids

Before the the Albany Symphony took the stage to perform Beethoven’s revolutionary Fifth Symphony, members of the  Empire State Youth Orchestra’s  Brass Quintet took to the stage to perform a variety of “classical hits.”

Before the the Albany Symphony took the stage to perform Beethoven’s revolutionary Fifth Symphony, members of the Empire State Youth Orchestra’s Brass Quintet took to the stage to perform a variety of “classical hits.”

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Assembly member Patricia Fahy (109) took time out of her busy legislative schedule to attend the performance. Sing Out! New York would not be possible without New York State funding through Market NY/Empire State Development, New York State Council on the Arts and the Regional Economic Development Councils.

Before the concert, GRAMMY Award-winning conductor, David Alan Miller stood backstage looking out at the growing audience, while members of the Albany High School Chamber Choir sat in the audience welcoming their friends, family, and classmates to the concert.

Frederick Douglass: Studies in Hope by Andre Meyers bridged together two divergent music styles and traditions that aren’t always seen as compatible. On one hand you have an orchestra playing brilliantly translated 70’s funk rhythm’s and harmonies and on the other you have an accomplished composer and two young emcee’s rhythmically speaking Douglass’s prose with a flow and style reminiscent of The Last Poet’s and similar to the Broadway Musical sensation, Hamilton.

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Thank you to our sponsors:

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#REWIND | American Music Festival, Sing Out! New York: Schuylerville

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Last night, audiences came from all over Saratoga, Washington Counties, and beyond to experience the first night of the Sing Out! New York Concert Tour at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville, NY. David Alan Miller and the musicians of the Albany Symphony were warmly welcomed by park volunteers and the entire community.

Located between the Hudson River and Champlain Canal, the park has a storied past and a natural beauty that can only be found in Upstate New York.

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After a rainy and overcast morning, the skies opened up, clouds parted, and the sun came out just in time for rehearsals. Sunny and 75 is perfect weather for an outdoor concert.

Did you know? Heat and direct sunlight can damage most orchestral instruments. Violins and even some woodwind instruments are made from delicate woods that can expand and contract in extreme temperatures. Our backstage staff set up some pop-up tents on stage to keep our musicians and their instruments cool and safe from the noontime sun. While the orchestra rehearsed, volunteers from AYCO, Goldman Sachs helped the “front-of-house” team set up and welcome guests and vendors as they arrived at the park.

Local folk singer,  Bob Warren  stopped by and performed some old time folk favorites.

Local folk singer, Bob Warren stopped by and performed some old time folk favorites.

World music artist  Taina Asili  entertained the audience with her Afro-Latin rhythms and soulful melodies.

World music artist Taina Asili entertained the audience with her Afro-Latin rhythms and soulful melodies.

Sing Out! New York was fun for the entire family! Everybody — children from nine to ninety — enjoyed some family-fun. Rural Soul Music Studio led the community in an interactive drum circle. Rebel Wood Soap Works brought the most adorable (and cuddly) goats, while Back Barn Brewing Company served up 19th Amendment, our signature Sing Out! New York Festival beer. Hudson Crossing Park also features over two miles of walking trails along both the Champlain Canal and Hudson River. A group of hikers from the New York State Canalway Trail and Empire State Trail stumbled upon our concert and fell in love with Beethoven’s Fifth.

BUCKET LIST ALERT: Do you walk, bike, or Kayak? Start at Schuylerville’s Canalway Trail or at Lock 5 and take the I Love NY Canalway Challenge.

Just as the sun was beginning to set over the treetops, WAMC’s Joe Donahue (a hometown hero) took to the stage and welcomed over 1,500 people to the Albany Symphony’s debut performance and the first-ever concert in Hudson Crossing Park. Once David Alan Miller took the stage, the audience was greeted with a lively performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony followed by Petticoats of Steel, a brand new Sing Out! New York commission by Loren Loiacono and Capital Repertory Theater Director, Maggie Cahill. The work was inspired by the foremothers of the 19th Amendment and was a reimagining of three suffragist songs.

Did you know? Suffragist leader Susan B. Anthony grew up 4 miles from Hudson Crossing Park in Battenkill, NY.

A FITTING FINALE

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FREE Concert TODAY | Sing Out! Music in the Square

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The first weekend of the American Music Festival culminates today at 11am with Music in the Square featuring composer/performer Molly Joyce, Angelica Negron, IAM IAM IAM, and the gypsy Jazz band, Hot Tuesday.  

 History comes alive at 11am with a special welcome from iconic Suffragist, Susan B. Anthony. Then, visit the Arts Center of the Capital Region for family-friendly art-making.   Make-your-own suffragist sash or campaign button and learn about how art inspired women to speak out for the vote. 

Lastly, enjoy brunch in historic Downtown Troy at the first annual Veg Out! Food Festival or at your favorite Downtown restaurant.  

 Complete Schedule of Events:

 11:00am- Suffragette welcome by Susan B. Anthony

12:00pm – 12:30pm – Molly Joyce performance

1pm-1:30pm - Angelica Negron performance

2:00 – 2:30 pm – IAM IAM IAM performance

2:45 – 3:15pm – Hot Tuesday performance

 

Sing Out! NY is a FREE signature event of the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival and presented in collaboration with the Capital Region Vegan Food Festival, Downtown Troy Business Improvement District, and the City of Troy. Funding provided by I Love NY, the New York State Council of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Celine and Daniel Kredentser, M&T Bank, Price Chopper/Market32, Fairgame for the Theatre Arts, and the Howard & Bush Foundation.

 Sing Out! Music in the Square is a rain or shine event. Rain location: The Arts Center of the Capital Region. 

Exclusive Dinner and Preview Screening with John Corigliano

Experience an Exclusive Dinner and
Meet-and-Greet with John Corigliano! 

Friday, May 31, 2019 | EMPAC Mezzanine

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Enjoy a delicious dinner with John Corigliano before the special screening of Gerry Herman's
new, powerful documentary: "Of Rage and Remembrance: A Portrait of John Corigliano."

This documentary by filmmaker and Capital Region native, Gerry Herman, provides an intimate portrait of Pulitzer, Oscar, and four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning composer John Corigliano, as he tells the story of the creation of his Symphony No. 1. Through this film, Corigliano shares his story of love and loss and the creation of his Symphony No. 1 to commemorate “my friends – those I had lost and the one I was losing” to the AIDS epidemic. This film juxtaposes Corigliano’s deeply moving narrative with dramatic performance-footage of the symphony, featuring the Albany Symphony and conductor David Alan Miller.

Tickets to the dinner are $100,
with complimentary access to the screening.

For more information, please call the Albany Symphony at 518.465.4755, ext. 145.


JOHN CORIGLIANO BIO

John Corigliano continues to add to one of the richest, most unusual, and most widely celebrated bodies of work any composer has created over the last forty years. Corigliano's scores, now numbering over one hundred, have won him the Pulitzer Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, four Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award (“Oscar”) and have been performed and recorded by many of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world.

Recent scores include Conjurer (2008), for percussion and string orchestra, commissioned for and introduced by Dame Evelyn Glennie; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: The Red Violin (2005), developed from the themes of the score to the François Girard’s film of the same name, which won Corigliano the Oscar in 1999; Mr. Tambourine

Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (2000) for orchestra and amplified soprano, the recording which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition in 2008; Symphony No. 3: Circus Maximus (2004), scored simultaneously for wind orchestra and a multitude of wind ensembles; and Symphony No. 2 (2001: Pulitzer Prize in Music.)

Other important scores include String Quartet (1995: Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Composition); Symphony No. 1 (1991: Grawemeyer and Grammy Awards); the opera The Ghosts of Versailles (Metropolitan Opera commission, 1991, International Classical Music Award 1992); and the Clarinet Concerto (1977.)

One of the few living composers to have a string quartet named for him, Corigliano serves on the composition faculty at the Juilliard School of Music and holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at Lehman College, City University of New York, which has established a scholarship in his name; for the past fourteen years he and his partner, the composer-librettist Mark Adamo, have divided their time between Manhattan and Kent Cliffs, New York.

Conductor's Notebook | It Happened In New York: How Seneca Falls Inspired the American Music Festival

Conductor's Notebook | It Happened In New York: How Seneca Falls Inspired the American Music Festival

A few months ago, having announced our “American Music Festival-Sing Out, New York,” which celebrates New York State’s leading role in social justice movements “from Seneca Falls to Stonewall, and beyond” as I (Buzz Lightyear-like) like to put it, I began to feel ashamed of never having properly visited Seneca Falls during the day.  After all, this is the place where America’s suffrage movement began.

Behind the American Music Festival: The Stonewall Uprising

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It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience.
— Stormé DeLarverie

BEFORE THE STONEWALL UPRISING
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and before, it was illegal for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to live openly and freely. The FBI saved records of people known to be gay, along with the places they frequented and their friends and family. The United States Post Office kept tabs on gay citizens’ mail, gay bars and clubs were shut down, patrons of these establishments were arrested and exposed, it became illegal to wear clothes of the opposite gender, and university professors were fired if suspected to be gay.

Organizations were formed to advocate for gay men and lesbians and provide them with opportunities to socialize safely and live in a society that did not accept them. Formed by Harry Hay in Los Angeles in 1951, the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), formed by Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin in San Francisco in 1955, were two of the first national LGBTQ organizations that paved the way for future activist groups, such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance. In 1953, One, Inc., an organization that was born from a Mattachine Society meeting, published its first monthly magazine, One, the first U.S. pro-gay publication.

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THE STONEWALL INN
Gay bars and clubs were some of the few places that LGBTQ people could feel comfortable about expressing themselves. Although these bars and clubs provided people with a place of refuge relatively safe from public harassment, many of them were frequented by police harassment and raids. In 1966, the New York State Liquor Authority overturned their penalties for bars and clubs that served the LGBTQ community, but “gay behavior” was still illegal. As a result, police harassment continued and many bars continued to operate without a liquor license — one of those bars was The Stonewall Inn, which was also owned by the Mafia.

The Genovese family bribed the NYPD’s Sixth Precinct to ignore what was happening inside Stonewall so, without police oversight, they were able to cut costs on fire safety regulations, running water, clean bathrooms, and “palatable drinks.” In spite of these terrible conditions, Stonewall became one of New York’s most popular bars where gays, lesbians, drag queens, and runaways/homeless gay youths, alike, felt accepted.

Although the Mafia paid off the police, bar raids still occurred but oftentimes corrupt cops would warn them, allowing time to hide the illegal alcohol — sometimes in a secret wall behind the bar or in a car down the street. Even though there had been a Stonewall raid just a few days earlier, everyone was surprised when the police came storming in at 1:20am on June 28, 1969. After being roughed up, arrested, and violated, angry Stonewall patrons and local residents who felt they could no longer tolerate the constant social discrimination and police oppression waited outside and became increasingly agitated as the events of that early morning unfolded. The crowd continued to grow as more and more people joined the masses and the frustration and rage was bubbling to the surface.

When the crowd discovered that people still inside Stonewall were being beaten and violated by the police, pennies, beer bottles, and bricks started flying through the air aimed at the police and their paddy wagons. As the police were escorting a woman (who many believe was Stormé DeLarverie) out of Stonewall, she repeatedly tried to fight them off and was complaining that her handcuffs were too tight when one of the policemen hit her on the head with his baton. It was then that the woman yelled, “Why don’t you do something?” and the crowd finally erupted in anger and began fighting against the police.

Within minutes, there were hundreds of people fighting against the police. They tried to push over the police wagons, slashed the tires, and attempted to set the bar on fire. That night, the police and riot squad were able to subdue and disperse the crowed. However, in the days that followed, the uprising continued on Christopher Street and the surrounding area with thousands of people protesting in the streets. The Stonewall Uprising was not, by any definition, the start of the LGBTQ rights movement. However, it was a catalyst that awakened a new era in the fight for equal rights.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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DEL TREDICI MEET UP AND POP-CONCERT AT STONEWALL

SATURDAY, MAY 11 AT 2PM | FREE
STONEWALL NATIONAL MONUMENT IN CHRISTOPHER PARK
TO LEARN MORE, CLICK HERE!

We will begin the day at the Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park, enjoy a command performance of David Del Tredici’s Felix Variations for bass trombone featuring David’s nephew, legendary bass trombone virtuoso, Felix Del Tredici, and hear David’s reminiscences about his early life as a gay composer living and working in New York City during  the 1960s.


DOGS OF DESIRE CONCERT
Featuring five new works, including Viet Cuong’s Transfiguration

SATURDAY, JUNE 1 AT 7:30PM | EMPAC CONCERT HALL
TROY, NY

Viet Cuong Program Note for Transfigured:
When something is “transfigured,” it is transformed for the better. And while there is certainly work to be done in the fight for true equality, the progress that has been made in the last five decades since the Stonewall Uprising is remarkable. In writing this piece, I watched interviews with regulars at the Stonewall Inn in the late 60s, and what struck me most was how they would use humor to deal with the horrible injustices they were facing at the time. I think everyone can relate to this in one way or another — there are times where we feel that all we can do is laugh — but coping with humor only goes so far. Eventually things erupt, just as they did in 1969 in the village.

The music begins in a playful (albeit dark and disjointed) state, as if it’s shrugging off something more important at hand. It gets increasingly agitated and distorted, eventually reaching a climax where things are forced to come together and the piece is urged to reflect on itself. As you will see through Adam Weinert’s incredible choreography and visuals, togetherness is another theme of the work. In any fight for social rights, there will be differing ideas on how something should be accomplished, and it bears repeating that we’re stronger together than we are divided. 

The Norman Vale House - History & Harmony at the 2019 Vanguard Designer Showhouse

The Norman Vale House - History & Harmony at the 2019 Vanguard Designer Showhouse

Upstate New York is home to a number of beautiful historic homes dating back centuries to the Revolutionary War. Some , like the Schuyler Mansion in Albany and the Hart-Cluett House in Downtown Troy have been beautifully restored to their original luster as museums, while others have sat vacant and in disrepair. But, scattered throughout the Capital Region are historic homes, like the Norman Vale House, which have been lived in and loved by those who call it home.

Behind the American Music Festival: Sing Out! New York

SING OUT! NEW YORK

MAY 30 - JUNE 2 | TOUR: JUNE 6 - JUNE 9

If you’ve been to the American Music Festival, you know that it is a unique adventure into the music of our time. The Festival is the culmination of our season and highlights the composers, guest artists, and collaborators — and audience members — who are daring to reshape America’s musical landscape. The world premieres and recently composed works might sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before, but what does feel familiar is how the story behind the music connects to our lives, our shared history, and our sense of place.

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But wait! Does music always have to be about something? Can’t music just BE music? Well, this is an age-old debate that cannot be settled in one blog post and perhaps there isn’t only one answer. But, you don’t have to be a musicologist to uncover the connection between life and art. In fact, many of the most timeless masterpieces have subtle connections to their time and place. Creating music has given composers the opportunity to imagine, to experiment, and to challenge or celebrate what is happening in the world. It is nearly impossible for a composer to be completely withdrawn from their experiences and their history. So, it seems that music is always about something. In composing a piece of music, there must be an inspiration. That inspiration doesn’t need to be complex, but it should tell its own story. What the bold composers from yesterday and today have shown us is that the greatest music tells the most compelling stories.

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom & philosophy.
― Ludwig van Beethoven
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Take Beethoven’s Fifth as an example: Most people believe that the opening four notes represent “fate knocking at the door.” But, if you dig deeper into Beethoven’s life and political musings, you begin to see a slightly different perspective. Beethoven was, in many ways, a student of the enlightenment era with a strong revolutionary spirit. It is believed that his passionate belief in liberté, égalité, fraternité served as an inspiration for his Fifth Symphony and the iconic opening.

Like Beethoven, the American Music Festival, Sing Out! New York embodies a “revolutionary spirit.” This Festival celebrates and explores key American milestones — the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a definitive moment in the LGBTQ rights movement. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony will also be featured during our Sing Out! New York Tour: June 6 – June 9.

Come face to face with innovative music that will bring you on a musical journey to explore our time, our place, and our shared history. Hear 55 new or recent works by 38 American composers, including 27 world premieres, performed by the Albany Symphony, the genre-bending Dogs of Desire, Argus Quartet & more. The Festival runs from May 30-June 2, 2019 in Troy, NY.

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Then, follow the orchestra as we take four new major works on tour with FREE concerts in Schuylerville, Albany, Schenectady, and Hudson. In addition to one of these new works being featured on each concert, all four programs will include Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, summertime favorites such as Stars and Stripes Forever, and sing-alongs. Each concert will conclude with fireworks! The Sing Out! New York Tour starts in Schuylerville on Thursday, June 6.

Come See These 4 Unique Events at the American Music Festival!

Come See These 4 Unique Events at the American Music Festival!

After the powerful Dogs of Desire Concert, grab a drink and stay for the Late Night Lounge Session with Molly Joyce. Composer/performer Molly Joyce takes to the late night stage for a set of musical works for voice, vintage toy organ, and electronics. Joyce aims to engages and challenge her impaired left hand physically and artistically in an act of “breaking and entering” the human body to a realm beyond ability.

Plan Your Weekend Getaway to the American Music Festival

Sing Out! New York

Sing Out! New York

Downtown Troy | A Unique Cultural Destination and the perfect backdrop for the American Music Festival.

Downtown Troy | A Unique Cultural Destination and the perfect backdrop for the American Music Festival.

Experience orchestral music like never before at the American Music Festival. Whether you’re a music aficionado, a casual listener, or simply culturally curious, the American Music Festival in Troy, NY is a perfect weekend getaway for you to explore and enjoy. It’s a bold escape into the music of our time. It’s innovative. It’s uniquely spirited. Not to mention, Troy is an easy drive from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Montreal.

MUST SEE PERFORMANCES! | MAY 30- JUNE 2, 2019

In addition to the Dogs of Desire, Argus Quartet, and the Albany Symphony, you can hear 55 new or recent works by 38 composers, including 27 world premieres. Plus, FREE concerts, under the stars on June 6-9, 2019.

WHILE YOU’RE IN TOWN

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Set on the edge of urban revival, Troy is home to 120 unique boutiques, art studios, cafes, breweries, and restaurants and is the perfect backdrop for the American Music Festival.

Take a stroll along the Hudson River in Troy Riverfront Park and explore the official “Home of Uncle Sam” on a guided history tour with the Rensselaer County Historical Society. Grab a cup of coffee (or a New York Craft Beer) and challenge your friend to a game of Clue (or 1 of the 599 other games) at Bard & Baker, Troy’s first board game cafe. Don’t forget to visit the gallery at the Arts Center of the Capital Region on River Street.

PLACES TO EAT

If you’re a “foodie” with an appetite for local fare, Troy is home to some amazing restaurants. Start your day with breakfast and mimosa’s at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, then pair your Festival experience with a fine glass of wine and small plates at Lucas Confectionery. If seafood is more your palette, Plumb Oyster Bar’s Happy Hour is a sure bet. Can you say $1 East Coast Oysters? If Beer and BBQ is more your style, Browns Brewing Co. and Dinosaur BBQ are local favorites. Not to mention, their waterfront patios are amazing.

WHERE TO STAY

Are you looking for a Downtown Hotel? Or is an historic Bed & Breakfast more your style? Troy is home to small family owned B&B’s and luxurious contemporary hotels. Book the Courtyard Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Downtown Troy, the cities newest hotel and receive a special discount with your Festival Pass. We will even have your concert tickets, festival passes, and program books waiting for you on your pillow. Call the Courtyard Marriott (518) 240-1000 and reserve your room today.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Troy, stay in Downtown Albany — only a 15 minute drive away!

HOW TO GET TO THE AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL

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15 minute drive from the Albany-Rensselaer Train Station with daily arrivals from NYC, Boston, Montreal & beyond.

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15 minute drive from the Albany International Airport with 54 daily arrivals from major U.S. cities and airports.

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At the intersection of I-90, I-87, and I-88, Troy is within an easy drive from cities in Canada, PA, MA, and NJ.

15% discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare on Amtrak within New York State on selected service routes.

15% discount off the regular (full) adult rail fare on Amtrak within New York State on selected service routes.

I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.

I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.

2019 American Music Festival Special Previews

FROM SENECA FALLS TO STONEWALL

The Albany Symphony’s 2019 American Music Festival, Sing Out! New York frames two anniversaries: the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a turning point for LGBTQ rights. Sing Out! New York draws inspiration from these events to tell the stories of the heroic figures, milestone events, and great passions behind New York’s leading role in championing equal rights.

While the main events of the Festival will take place here in the Capital Region, these two special previews will connect Sing Out! New York to the historic sites central to the women’s rights movement and the LGBTQ rights movement and their fight for equality and justice for all people.

We hope to see you at these inspiring and exciting previews!

DEL TREDICI MEET UP AT STONEWALL
SATURDAY, MAY 11 | 2:00PM

The iconic June 28, 1969 Stonewall Uprising was a catalyst for the LGBTQ rights movement, awakening a new era in LGBTQ political activism. In 2016, the Stonewall National Monument, which comprises the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the streets where the events of the Uprising occurred, was designated as the 412th national park and the first to commemorate LGBTQ rights and history.

We will begin the day at the Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park, enjoy a command performance of David Del Tredici’s Felix Variations for bass trombone featuring David’s nephew, legendary bass trombone virtuoso, Felix Del Tredici, and hear David’s reminiscences about his early life as a gay composer living and working in New York City in the 1960s.


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SENECA FALLS DAY TRIP & CONCERt | SATURDAY, MAY 18

It was at Seneca Falls, at the Conference on Women’s Rights, on July 19-20, 1848, that Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and others met for the first time in American history to formally affirm the audacious idea that women deserve the same rights as men.  

We will relive that glorious moment in New York State’s history: touring the National Historic Site and legendary Wesleyan Chapel with the Park’s rangers; having a talk with a brilliant Harvard professor and human rights scholar, Kathryn Sikkink; exploring the town, including the Women’s Hall of Fame; and enjoying an unforgettable, suffrage-themed performance by the four brilliant young singers of the IAMIAMIAM collective from the Bard College Vocal Arts Program in the Wesleyan Chapel, the very room in which the original Conference of 1848 took place.

Learn more about the 2019 American Music Festival here and stay tuned for more details!

MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH® FINALE

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THE ALBANY SYMPHONY THIS MARCH TO CELEBRATE MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH®!

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Here you can check out all of our posts throughout March!

#MondayMusic

March 4: Music In Our Schools Kick-off!

March 11: “Music Can Alter Your Child’s Brain” | Time Magazine

March 18: Monday Music for Schools Concert: Symphonic Superheroes

March 25: "Why Field Trips And Arts Education Aren't Just Frills" | Forbes


#TuesdayTrivia / #TuesdayTeaching

March 5: How much do you know about the orchestra? Take our quiz and test your knowledge!

March 12: Angélica Negrón, Literacy-Through-Songwriting, First Visit to Giffen Memorial and New Scotland Elementary Schools

March 19: Angélica Negrón, Literacy-Through-Songwriting, Making Balloonchords

March 26: Angélica Negrón, Literacy-Through-Songwriting, Field Trip to Tech Valley Center of Gravity


#WednesdayWisdom

March 6: “How playing an instrument benefits your brain” | Anita Collins

March 13: “What if every child had access to music education from birth?” | Anita Collins

March 20: “Social change through music education” | Patricia Abdelnour

March 27: “A different way to visualize rhythm” | John Varney


#ThursdayThoughts

March 7: The Benefits of Music Lessons For Kids

March 14: 6 Reasons To Learn A Musical Instrument At School

March 21: “This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music.” | NPR

March 28: “Using Arts Education to Help Other Lessons Stick” | New York Times


#FridayFinale / #SaturdaySongwriting

March 8: March Is Music In Our Schools® Month!

March 15: Angélica Negrón: Composer-Educator-In-Residence

March 23: Clarice Assad: Composer, Pianist, Vocalist, Educator

Albany Symphony and Music Director David Alan Miller Announce 2019 American Music Festival & Tour, Sing Out! New York, May 30 - June 9, 2019

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TROY, NY (March 26, 2019)- The Albany Symphony today announced the 2019 American Music Festival, Sing Out! New York, a bold two-weekend national festival and regional tour of musical performances and new art happenings, taking place in renowned concert venues in Troy and in public parks throughout New York State’s Capital Region.  Sing Out! New York kicks off on Thursday, May 30 with First Draughts Reading Session & Beer Tasting and runs through Sunday, June 2 in Troy, then embarks on a four-concert tour of the greater Capital Region on Thursday, June 6,2019.

Two milestone anniversaries frame the festival: the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Sing Out! New York draws inspiration from both these events, and celebrates New York’s leading role in championing equal rights, through innovative concerts, close encounters with today’s most adventurous artists and composers, interactive workshops, collaborative community events, film screenings, and artistic happenings. Curated by GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor and Albany Symphony Music Director, David Alan Miller, the festival will turn downtown Troy into a national hub and incubator for new American concert music, featuring 50 new or recent works by 38 composers, including 26 world premiere performances.

Albany Symphony at EMPAC in Troy. Photo Credit: Gary Gold

Albany Symphony at EMPAC in Troy. Photo Credit: Gary Gold

The Festival’s programs include world premieres by Clarice Assad, Viet Cuong, Molly Joyce, Alexis Lamb, Loren Loiacono, Danika Lorén, Evan Mack, Beata Moon, Andre Myers, Rachel Peters, Tanner Porter, Jorge Sosa, Bora Yoon, as well as recent works by John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, Melissa Dunphy, Stacy Garrop, Gilda Lyons, Missy Mazzoli, Frances Pollock, Juri Seo, and Christopher Theofanidis. Joining the Albany Symphony and Music Director David Alan Miller are artistic collaborators including the Argus Quartet, Clarice Assad, the Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire with vocalists Lucy Dhegrae and Lucy Fitz Gibbon, pianist Phillip Fisher, IAMIAMIAM Vocal Collective, Patrick Jones, Angelica Negron, and choreographer Adam Weinert. The Festival also includes works by acclaimed composer-activist David Del Tredici, and four-time GRAMMY® and Academy Award-winning composer, John Corigliano, as well as performances by composer/performer Molly Joyce, and soprano Hila Plitmann.

When asked about the significance of Sing Out! New York, Music Director David Alan Miller said, “The Albany Symphony is committed to telling the stories of our time, place, and history through the creation of compelling new music and collaborations between composers and fellow artists. The fight for women’s equality in the 19th and early 20th century, and for LGBTQ rights beginning in 1969, are great New York stories. To tell them, we drafted a broad team of artists, including a number of emerging composers who represent our richly diverse community, and partnered them with other creative artists and community organizations from myriad disciplines. We paired these news works with established ones by composers who have told related New York stories, and have designed immersive events that celebrate the things that bring us together as New Yorkers and human beings.”

Albany Symphony will also record both  Pop-Pourri  and the Piano Concerto for commercial release. Photo Credit: Eric Berlin

Albany Symphony will also record both Pop-Pourri and the Piano Concerto for commercial release. Photo Credit: Eric Berlin

The American Music Festival Sing Out! New York includes more than 22 concerts and related events over two weekends starting on Thursday, May 30 and again on Thursday, June 6.  On Friday, May 31, the orchestra’s new music chamber orchestra, Dogs of Desire will premiere five new works on subjects ranging from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention to Frederick Douglass’ participation in the abolitionist and suffragist movements, from the aftermath of the Stonewall Rebellion to, Alice Duer Miller’s Women are People and Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech. On Saturday, June 1, the full orchestra will premiere a suffragist-inspired piece by composer/performer Tanner Porter alongside Pop-Pourri with soprano Hila Plitmann, David Del Tredici’s first work based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from 1968, and John Corigliano’s Piano Concerto, with pianist Phillip Fisher.   Committed to giving new music life beyond the concert hall, the Albany Symphony will also record both Pop-Pourri and the Piano Concerto for commercial release.

Other festival highlights include: a screening of the powerful new documentary film, “Of Rage and Remembrance” in which composer John Corigliano tells the story of his Symphony No. 1, commemorating the friends he lost to AIDS; Del Tredici’s Bullycide, performed by the Argus Quartet in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, one of the only fully integrated Tiffany interiors in the world; Late Night Lounge performances on Friday and Saturday night; and a free family-friendly concert and suffragist themed street fair in Monument Square with performances by Molly Joyce, IAMIAMIAM, and local jazz/folk bands on Sunday. On Saturday afternoon at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, David Alan Miller and a 14-member chamber orchestra will premiere four newly commissioned melodrams by Evan Mack, Jorge Sosa, Molly Joyce, and Bora Yoon. The following weekend, the Festival will break out of the concert hall with free outdoor concerts at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville (June 6), Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady (June 7), Albany’s Jennings Landing (June 8), and Basilica Hudson in Hudson (June 9), NY.   

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According to Executive Director Anna Kuwabara, “The American Music Festival is the annual blossoming of the Albany Symphony’s commitment to the music of our time, giving voice to the stories, aesthetics, thoughts, and emotions of our society right here and now. The Festival is a hub for new music, and it is our opportunity to celebrate and unite our community, to transform lives and be transformed through the power of music.  The four free Sing Out! New York Tour events are our joy and honor to present. The program in each community includes Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, sing-alongs, and summertime favorites.  The centerpiece of each is one of the newly commissioned works from the Dogs of Desire concerts earlier in the Festival.  Along with great music, we look forward to bringing attention and business to each site with family activities, food trucks, fireworks, and other festivities.” 

The American Music Festival and Tour is made possible with New York State funding through Market NY/Empire State Development, New York State Council on the Arts and the Regional Economic Development Councils, as well as funding from the National Endowment of the Arts.