Pianist, Marilyn Crispell, with her audience at the Young People's Concert series at Maverick Concerts
It was a hundred years ago when a few men went into the woods just outside the town of Woodstock to make a clearing and hand build, from the fallen trees, a concert hall. The father of the Maverick artists’ colony (which held bacchanal music and arts festivals every year, leading to the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 that laid claim to the Woodstock legacy), Hervey White and friends had decided that the painters, writers, actors, and dancers of the Maverick needed some music. So began the seasonal Sunday concerts at the music chapel in the woods.
When, fifteen years ago, the Maverick Concerts began programming for children, it was because the current all-volunteer board (the same people who take tickets, usher, write the newsletter, and hand out snacks) felt they had a duty to help parents with their children’s musical education. The musicians are often the same Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Orchestra professionals who are there to perform for adults on Saturday nights and Sundays. And they're thrilled to be there performing for children. “People learn about music when they’re young. And they learn to love it,” says David Segal, Chairman of the Maverick Concerts board. “Because a lot of public schools don’t offer music anymore, it’s kind of a public service. And it’s way to introduce people to something so valuable and wonderful.”
Designed for school-aged children, it’s a special introduction to live music. The small hall is in a park setting where the sound of wind and crickets gently mix with the music. Families can sit in the hall seats or picnic just outside in the woods while enjoying the concerts. There’s also a mosh pit of cushions right in front of the stage, where children can relax on their own and learn to love to listen.
Celebrating its 100th summer season this year, Maverick Concerts offered a re-creation of the original first 1916 concert on Sunday, June 28th, at its classic 4p Sunday concert. And opened its Young People’s Concert series on Saturday, June 27th, with the master percussion ensemble, NEXUS. Next up is the locally-based (and beyond-locally-loved) Elizabeth Mitchell & Family on July 4th. Mitchell was the first new children‘s music artist signed to Smithsonian Folkways in the 21st century. Following on July 18th is the Bari Koral Family Band, an interactive program with catchy, friendly tunes and creative movement. The series culminates on August 8th with the Miro Quartet, which performs worldwide on the most important chamber music series and on the most prestigious concert stages, including at Carnegie Hall. The lineup this year proves, yet again, that the Young People’s Concert series at Maverick Concerts is a unique gem and special treat for Hudson Valley families.
Young People’s Concert series at Maverick Concerts
: 120 Maverick Road in Woodstock, NY; Saturdays, July 4th & 18th, and August 8th; All concerts begin at 11a; Free for children under the age of 16, $5 for adults. No advance ticketing or reserved seats. Arrive early to claim your spot. You can bring your own food and drink, and free snacks are also provided. Bug spray is always a good idea at any woodsy venue in Woodstock. Find out more on their website