Rosendale, NY—On Sunday, July 17, 2016, more than 180 people joined over 25 musicians and volunteers to fill the Woodstock Music Lab for a highly spirited concert celebrating in song the lives of Woodstock Elders. SageArts, an intergenerational arts project that encourages social inclusion and dignity for elders in the Hudson Valley, hosted the concert. The mission of SageArts is to honor our elders by bringing together songwriters and elders to collaboratively write an original song about the elder’s life and to bring the whole community together to celebrate their contributions.
Songwriters/Performers Elizabeth Clark, Sarah Kramer-Harrison, Kelleigh McKenzie, Bonnie Meadow, Sarah Perrotta, Jude Roberts and Robert Burke Warren performed original songs about the lives of Woodstock Elders Jerome Taub, Pete Denehey, Virginia Snyder, Nita Chandler, Lois Linet, Jocelyn Sarto Annie Tucker and Stewart Maurer. Julie Last was the Concert Director. The songwriters were accompanied by musicians Guy “Fooch” Fischetti on peddle steel guitar and fiddle, Lou Pappas on bass, Rusty Boris, Annie Roland & Henry Lowengard of Mamalama, Christina Gardner, Soloist, James Fitzwilliam, Pianist, and a chorale group assembled by Bonnie Meadow which included members of Ars Choralis.
Will Nixon, Woodstock resident and author who attended the concert, said, “You’ve really done something special here! It was clear that the musicians and the elders had developed real friendships.” The author Beverly Donofrio added, “I couldn’t imagine a more moving and inspiring experience. I loved every minute of it.” Lois Linet, an elder in the project who is planning to join the SageArts board, said “I’m looking forward to future magical performances and life affirming projects.”
According to Colette Ruoff, founder of SageArts, the concert ‘was a triumph of the human spirit and a true celebration of life itself. The songs were beautiful, the performance was professional and the whole experience was very moving for everyone present.’ We are grateful to the Music Lab for making their space available to host our concert.
The Concert was sponsored by Markertec, and local businesses Nekos-Dedricks Pharmacy, Woodstock Chimes, Mother Earth, and Catskill Art Supply. In addition, many local retail shops in Woodstock contributed raffle items to the event. For information about future SageArts events, go to www.sagearts.org.