One notable example is the Musical Society of Kingston. Don’t bother trying to find its website; there isn’t one. The group isn’t listed in the phone book, either. What you will find in a Google search are clips from the Kingston Daily Freeman from the 1940s and ‘50s announcing programs hosted in the homes of various ladies of the day who were active in the Musical Society. Sometimes the offerings were recitals by Society members or their children or visiting artists; just as often they were educational presentations: lecture/demonstrations on subjects like a particular family of instruments, or readings from the latest book on music theory or history.
This may all sound like a flashback to a bygone day when most middle-class women didn’t have to work outside the home; but the truth is that the Musical Society of Kingston is still very much alive, populated by some of the County’s best classical musicians and about to celebrate its 80th season. One of the group’s ongoing concerns is providing scholarships to musically promising Kingston High School seniors, and a public recital to benefit that scholarship fund will be presented on Sunday, April 10 at Holy Cross Church in Kingston.
Member musicians from Kingston and surrounding communities will perform on piano, violin, cello, trombone and voice. The program will include works by Beethoven, Chopin, Scott Joplin and others. But don’t expect music for old fogeys: Active Society member Jane Barsumian, who sings, plays piano and violin in a number of regional ensembles and is also organist-in-residence at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, has studied with a number of notable contemporary composers, including Joan Tower. Barsumian’s own composition Bass Fishing Expedition Using a Cello and Two Violas for Bait will be a highlight of next Sunday’s performance.
“An Afternoon of Music with the Musical Society of Kingston” starts at 3 p.m. Admission is free, although voluntary donations toward the 2011 Kingston High School music scholarship will be solicited. Holy Cross Church, a highly regarded local venue for classical music performance, is located at 30 Pine Grove Avenue in Kingston. For more information about the concert or the Society, contact Natalie Robohm at (845) 758-92 or e-mail email@example.com.