Columbia Festival Orchestra

Columbia Festival Orchestra
20th Anniversary Concert
Saturday, July 26 at 6 pm
Sunday, July 27 at 2 pm

Gwen Gould, conductor
Chanel Wood, soprano
David Grunberg, composer
David Anderson, host


Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No. 1 “Classical”


Gavotta: Non troppo allegro
Finale: Molto vivace

Samuel Barber
Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Chanel Wood, soprano, CFO Young Artist 2008

David Grunberg
Prelude to a New Theatre (world premiere)
Performed with student interns from CFO’s new education program “Take a Seat…in the Orchestra”


Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 7

Allegro con brio

The Columbia Festival Orchestra
the Columbia Festival Orchestra is a professional orchestra based in Columbia County, NY. Its mission is to present classical music and other concerts to the highest degree of excellence and to cultivate an appreciation of the art of music in young people and adults. We know that this can not only enhance our quality of life and sense of civic pride, but can serve as an economic stimulus for our community.

Columbia Festival Orchestra
Gwen Gould, founder and artistic director

Violin I
Sheila Reinhold Sacks, Concertmaster
Kevin Bushee
Brian Fox
Stanley Kurtis
Rachel Maria Petite
Nancy Reed

Violin II
Alexander Vselensky, Principal
Claudia Saslow
Miriam Shapiro
Orlando Wells
Marka Young

Ron Gorevic, Principal
Patricia Daly
Peggy McAdams
Susan St. Amour

Lucy Bardo, Principal
Steven Ballou
Erica Pickhardt

Peter Weitzner, Principal
Kageki Nagao

Lucy Goeres, Principal
Karen Bogardus, piccolo

Stephen Hammer, Principal
Sarah Davol, english horn

Michael Sussman, Principal
Lyn Sussman

Stephen Walt, Principal
Andrew Cordle

Frank Hosticka, Principal
James Hamlin

French Horn
R J Kelley, Principal
Janet Lantz

Ben Harms

Lincoln Mayorga

Elizabeth Morse

Personnel Manager
Ben Harms

Karen Bogardus

Take a Seat…in the Orchestra
“Take a Seat…in the Orchestra” is a three-day mentoring program for serious minded music students to intern and perform with the Columbia Festival Orchestra. Each participant is seated with an orchestra member for rehearsals and performances of the world premiere of Overture to a New Theater by Chatham High School alumnus, David Grunberg.

Take a Seat…in the Orchestra
Student Interns 2008

Cathleen Alarcon
Lydia Curran
Trevor DePew
Jeffrey Girton
Deidre Kelly
Elizabeth Moran

Samantha Oakes

Patrick Jones

Oliver Kress
Alexander Toth

Glynnis MacDonald

Angela Mathews
Sterlene Negron

Michael Krajeski

French Horn
Anna Costello
Austin Klein
Bethany Meyers

Raja Pillai

Take a Seat Committee
Cristy Sisk, chair
Sheila Silver
Rain Worthington
Jean Waggoner
Alice Corbin and Norma Edsall

Many, Many Thanks:
To the students involved in today’s performance for contributing their hard work and musicianship to this new program and to the members of the Take a Seat Committee; To Karen Malina for coordinating CFO housing: To Rain Worthington for charging 200 batteries for our stand lights; To housing hosts: Hal and Jean Bogardus, Tom and Nancy Clark, Stan and Carol Finkelstein, Bill and Ingrid Greenfield, Judy Grunberg, Jill Salerno, Kathy and Al Stumpf; To all of the foundations, corporations and individuals who gave generously to make this program possible; especially to Judy Grunberg for her support of the CFO and for her vision for PS21; and to the staff and board of PS21 for providing this wonderful venue for the performing arts in Columbia County.


Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Symphony No. 1 “Classical”

There is a trend in modern music, which Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony helped to begin, called neoclassicism. When a composer is neoclassic, the styles of the past become the material for new composition. In 1917 Prokofiev felt compelled to write a symphony in the style of the eighteenth century, the era of Haydn and Mozart. In his Autobiography he writes: It seemed to me that had Haydn lived to our day he would have retained his own style, while accepting something of the new at the same time. That was the kind of symphony I wanted to write.

The Classical Symphony of Sergei Prokofiev was premiered in 1918 in St. Petersburg, Russia, conducted by the composer.

This music has heaviness and lightness, abruptness and continuity, the charming and the rude. These are all aspects of the classical style established and taken to its height by Haydn. The symphony is scored for a classical orchestra consisting of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings. The symphony has become one of Prokofiev’s most popular and accessible works, and several themes have been used as television background music.

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Knoxville: Summer of 1915

Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 is a lush, richly textured work. Setting excerpts from James Agee’s essay Knoxville to music, Barber paints an idyllic, nostalgic picture of Agee’s native Knoxville, Tennessee. The essay is a simple, dreamlike depiction of an evening in the American South, narrated by a child who seems, at times, to transform into an adult. The composer describes it as a “lyric rhapsody,” sung by a solo soprano.

Barber’s choice to compose in a form less constricted parallels Agee’s own choice in developing his work. Both represent the fruits of a spontaneous improvisation, fueled by a moving nostalgia.. Samuel Barber’s music, masterfully crafted and built on romantic structures and sensibilities, is at once lyrical, rhythmically complex, and harmonically rich, set here for a sparcely-scored classical orchestra.

The work was premiered by Eleanor Steber in 1948, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitsky.

The summer of 1915 was a significant year for James Agee: it was not long before his father died in 1916. When Barber was writing his own Knoxville, his father, Roy Barber, was losing his health and rapidly approaching death. Barber dedicates the work with the inscription “In memory of my Father,” Barber was touched by the familiarity of Agee’s childhood memories and the fact that both he and Agee were five years old in 1915. (Agee was buried in the Columbia County town of Hillsdale)

David Grunberg (1963 – )
Overture to a New Theatre

An eclectic, colorful, often bold and riveting work inspired by the new theater grounds at PS/21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century) in Chatham, NY, celebrating town and citizen. The work is both a retrospective and prospective view of “theatre,” meaning the things that take place in and around it, its artistic challenges and successes.

In this work, the composer, currently residing in New York City but having grown up in Chatham, draws from a range of musical inspiration and tips his hat to favorite great composers from Bach to Stravinsky and Gershwin, anticipating many great things to come at the new theatre.

The composer writes: I would like to thank the directors of PS/21, my family, and especially Gwen Gould for her encouragement and for generously offering to include the work (well before its completion!) in the Columbia Festival Orchestra’s summer program. I would also like to thank pianist/composer Lincoln Mayorga, for whom I wrote the piano part.

Ludwig von Beethoven
Symphony No. 7

During the summer of 1811, Beethoven was suffering difficult times. His music was popular, but his health was declining, and his growing deafness seemed irreversible. In hopes of relief, Beethoven traveled to the northern Bohemian spa city of Teplitz, where he remained for much of the summer. It was here that he began concentrated work on his Symphony No. 7 in A major (Op. 92). The composer himself conducted the premiere in 1813 at a Viennese concert to benefit Austrian and Bavarian soldiers who had been wounded at the battle of Hanau in the Napoleonic Wars.

After a slow introduction the first movement is in sonata form and is dominated by lively dance-like rhythms. The second movement, in A minor, is “slow”, although the tempo marking is Allegretto (“a little quickly”), making it slow only in comparison to the other three movements. This movement was encored at the premiere and has remained popular since. Based on a style of metered poetry from ancient Greece, the ostinato (repeated rhythmic figure) of a quarter note, two eighth notes and two quarter notes is heard repeatedly. The third movement is a scherzo and trio. Here, the trio, which is based on an Austrian Pilgrims’ hymn, is another example of taking a poetic style and setting it to music. The last movement is in sonata form. Donald Francis Tovey, writing in his Essays in Musical Analysis, spoke of this movement as “Bacchic fury.”

To sum it up, Richard Wagner’s poetic account is well known: “All tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart, become here the blissful insolence of joy…” Beethoven himself spoke of his 7th Symphony fondly as “one of my best works”. Who are we to argue?

The Columbia Festival Orchestra would like to thank the following
contributors who made this concert possible:
(list in preparation)

Berkshire Taconic Fund for Columbia County
Hudson River Bank and Trust Company Foundation
Metz Wood Harder Insurance Company
David G. Whitcomb Foundation

Alice Corbin and Norma Edsall
Old Chatham Sheepherding Company

Concert Master
Arcon Constuction Company
Joan and Robert Arnow
Howard and Melanie Brandston
Gwen Gould and Ed Grossman
David Grunberg
Ed Herrington, Inc.
Jean Hamilton and Richard McCarthy
JSL Computer Services
The Marilyn and Bob Laurie Fund
Lavelle and Finn
Mario’s True Value Home Center
Michael and Barbara Polemis
Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation
Union Bank of Kinderhook

Jane Beaven
Mary Gail Biebel
Jeffrey and Joan Bloomberg
Joan K. Davidson
Marty Davidson and Virginia Martin
Sheldon Evans and Martha McMaster
Stan and Carol Finkelstein
Bill Fisher
Kristen and Charles Flood
Francis Greenburger Charitable Fund
Ingrid and Bill Greenfield
Marion and Irwin Kaplan
Susan Kargman and Robert Siegel
Cecele and Jerry Kraus
Seth Lachterman
Lael Locke
Karen Malina and David Levow
Arthur and Marilyn Margon
Sara and Barry McWilliams
Victor and Flo Meyers
Melanie and Norman Mintz
Robert and Margot Potrzeba
Roberta Reynes and Chet Stark
Trudi Roth and Larry Saltzman
Jill Salerno
Lucente and Justine Souquet
Alice Timothy
Amy K. White
Robert and Barbara Willner
Grace and Warren Wilner

Marilyn and Gene Barry
Joan and Jeff Bloomberg
Susan and Barry Biederman
Cynthia Budick
The Cascades
Jim and Meg Cashen
Mr. & Mrs. Debye-Saxinger
Dr. Lena Furgeri
Julie Gardinier and Eric Martin
Jennifer Houston and Lawrence Perl, MD
Karen and George Jahn
Evangelin LeFever
Vesna Marincek and Heinz Grossjohann
Tom Mabley and Gerri Adams
Alan Nisselson and Trudy Whitman
Fred Pajerski
James and Ann Raimes
Neil and Susan Roberts
Rose and Albert Ross
Beverly and Roald Schopp
Carolyn and Bill Schroth
Fred and Elane Seltzer
Sheila Silver and John Feldman
John and Judy Staber
Joan and Burt Weitzner
Susan Willerman and Edgar Weinstock

About the Artists

Gwen Gould, Artistic Director
Gwen Gould has enjoyed a diverse career in music as a recitalist, music director, conductor, and entrepreneur. In 1971, Ms. Gould founded the West Village Chorale, a community chorus she conducted for 27 years in New York City’s Greenwich Village at the historic Church of St. Luke in the Fields. In 1988, she founded the Columbia Festival Orchestra, based in Hudson, NY. Under her direction, the CFO has developed into a first-rate regional orchestra presenting diverse programming for the residents of Columbia County and its environs. She is also co-founder and former music director (2004-2007) of Diamond Opera Theater, based in Hudson, NY.

Ms. Gould received a Bachelor of Music from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and a Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music in New York City. She developed a career as an organist and director of music in New York City at St. Bartholomew’s Church, The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, Immanuel Lutheran Church, and the Church of Our Savior and held teaching posts at Stuart Hall in Staunton, VA, and at St. Luke’s School, NYC.

She currently lives in Columbia County with her husband Ed Grossman and serves on the Advisory Boards of the Hudson Opera House and PS21.

Chanel Wood, soprano
Chanel Wood’s “gleaming soprano” (The New Yorker) has been heard in an increasingly diverse repertory. Miss Wood’s orchestral credits include appearances with the Boston Pops in both their Holiday Concerts and A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim. In 2007, she made her Carnegie debut singing “Sun, Moon and Star,” a world premiere commissioned in conjunction with the Weill Music Institute’s Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Professional Training Workshop. On the opera stage, Miss Wood has been heard as Die Erste Gespielen in Bard Summerscape’s production of Der Zwerg, as Helene in Hindemith’s There and Back (at the Tanglewood Music Center) and as Die Schleppträgerin in a concert version of Elektra, conducted by Maestro James Levine. While studying at Bard College she has given two solo recitals—in Texas and Massachusetts—and collaborated on several chamber pieces, including Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5, Chansons madécasses, and The Wanderer And His Shadow, a new composition by Lawrence Kramer. in the Spring of 2008, she performed Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein. At Bard, she recently performed in the world premiere of David Bruce’s opera A Bird In Your Ear (singing the role of the Nightingale). After graduation, Miss Wood will join Utah Opera and Symphony as an Apprentice Artist for their 2008-2009 season. Chanel is a native Texan and a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

David Grunberg, composer
David Grunberg grew up in Chatham, NY and currently leads a diverse life as violinist, conductor, composer and software developer in New York City. He studied music theory and composition at the Berklee College of Music and Cornell University, and his compositions have been performed by the New England Composers Collective, the Boston Chamber Ensemble and in solo recitals.

As conductor, David founded and directed Spectrum Symphony in New York City, with which he commissioned and premiered Peter Alexander’s Concerto for Electric Violin and Chamber Orchestra, and performed for a 9-11 memorial with the Lutheran Disaster Response. Other conducting engagements include the Orchestra of the 92nd St. Y, the New England Philharmonic and others. He was Music Director of the Cape and Islands Youth Symphony Orchestra (MA), “renowned for their expertise and voracity,” from 1998 to 2001. He was Assistant Conductor of the New England Philharmonic, awarded the ASCAP prize for adventuresome programming, under directors Jeffrey Rink and Richard Pittman from 1994 to 1998 in Boston. David feels honored to have performed in the great hall at Esterhazy, Austria, Bach sonatas in the Baroque church in Andermatt, Switzerland and conducted arias in the beautiful opera house in Cortona, Italy.

David serves on the board of New Paths in Music, an organization dedicated to performing new music in New York City.

David Anderson, host
David Anderson is co-founder and executive artistic director of Walking the dog Theater (, a professional theater company at home in Hudson at Basilica Industria. The Independent picked their co-production of Hamlet as Best Overall Stage Production of 2007 and David’s performance as Hamlet as Best Actor of 2007. Earlier this month he played Felix in The Owl and the Pussycat and he is currently directing Under Milk Wood, which will open at PS21 next month. He has published poetry and written two plays.