July 24, 2016
CAROGA -It all started one summer when cellist Kyle Price of Ohio asked his grandma, Joyce Barrett, if she would house him and his musician friends for their upcoming concert.
From these small beginnings, the Caroga Lake Music Festival has grown and is becoming increasingly well-known, drawing 200 to 400 people at its many concerts and bringing in performance artists from the Northeast, as well as other states and countries.
Caroga Arts Collective Inc., which runs the festival, has gotten a big boost this year with the donation of 10.5 acres from brothers Bruce and Richard Veghte, 50-year summer residents of Canada Lake.
The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff
Top, the carriage house on the 10.5 acres of the former Schine property in Caroga donated to the Caroga Arts Collective by brothers Bruce and Richard Veghte of Canada Lake.
The brothers some time ago bought 220 acres of Schine family property, called “Myhil” after owners Myer and Hildegard Schine, because the Veghtes wanted waterfront property next to theirs. The Schines were known for owning the Schine Building in Gloversville, as well as theaters around the country.
The Veghtes demolished the decaying main structures on the land, just northeast of the intersection of Route 29A and County Highway 112, which were a home, theater and pool. Remaining is a tennis court and a carriage house with chauffeur’s quarters upstairs. All that is left of the main structures are a circular area of dirt, concrete and a wooden fence.
“The festival has had a fantastic fours years of growth,” said Bruce Veghte, who is also treasurer of the collective. “It was so impressive.”
“My brother and I decided to give them a home. We’re very excited about the future of the Caroga Lake Music Festival.”
The Veghtes are natives of Gloversville and graduates of Gloversville High School.
The free festival is running from July 18 through Aug. 14 this year, with its full schedule at carogalakemusicfestival.org.
Price, founder and artistic director, said plans for fundraising will first include cleanup and landscaping the heavily wooded property and then converting the carriage house to office and rehearsal space and using the tennis court for concerts, as it was Saturday with a classical quartet.
The larger vision is to build cabins “to create a year-round interdisciplinary artistic community” including such creative work as writing, visual arts, cooking and dance and, in some cases, blending art forms, he said. Price believes the festival community will be an economic, cultural and educational boon to the area.
Rick Ruby of Ruby & Quiri furniture store in Johnstown is president of the collective’s board and heavily involved in cleaning up the property.
The concerts include a lot of string instruments and piano and have a mix of music from classical to jazz and bluegrass. It has concerts in Caroga, Canajoharie, Gloversville. Johnstown, Mayfield and locales in the Capital Region and well beyond. Some 45 musicians and vocalists are performing this summer.
Questions about the festival and project can be directed to Price at email@example.com.
The fifth season of the Caroga Lake Music Festival commenced this week, and runs from July 18th through August 14, 2016. The Festival, based in Caroga Lake, New York, is a series of performances and community outreaches in the Adirondacks, the Mohawk Valley, the Hudson Valley, New York City and beyond. Attracting audiences locally and nationwide and showcasing top professional instrumental and vocal artists from the United States and abroad, the Festival presents educational opportunities and free concerts designed to provide access to classical and contemporary music. This year, the Caroga Lake Music Festival is now a part of Caroga Arts Collective, Inc. an umbrella corporation created to develop and coordinate community and outreach programs, such as the previously proposed Sherman’s Center for Collaborative Arts and Education. The Caroga Arts Collective, Inc. is a registered New York State not-for-profit corporation, with confirmation of federal non-profit status pending.
Each year, the Festival has depended upon contributions from the Caroga community for housing, meals, and supplies. This year, thanks to the generosity of two local residents, the Caroga Lake Music Festival is acquiring a permanent home. Brothers Bruce and Richard Veghte, who are natives of Gloversville and graduates of Gloversville High School and who have been summer residents of Canada Lake, New York for over fifty years, are donating 10 1/2 acres of land known locally as “the Schine Property” to the Caroga Arts Collective. It is anticipated that the property will be the site of administrative offices and housing and facilities for the musicians. and artists. The acquisition of this beautiful and historically significant site will allow the Caroga Arts Collective to proceed with the first phase of fulfilling its stated mission of having a positive economic and an inspiring artistic impact on Caroga Lake and on the Southern Adirondack region. Fundraising for development and construction expenses commences this summer.
On Saturday, July 23, 2016, the Schine property (formerly known as “MyHill”) will be open from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Members of the community and the public are invited to come to the property to tour the location of the Caroga Arts Collective’s permanent home. The property is located just northeast of the intersection of Route 29A and County Road 112 in the Town of Caroga. After the kick-off event, join CLMF for a concert on the Canada Lake Marina Barge at 6:00pm.
The Caroga Lake Music Festival’s concert schedule can be found under the Events tab.
Caroga Lake Music Festival’s Artistic Director, Kyle Price, was recently featured on the homepage of University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School.
The article tells the story of how Caroga Lake Music Festival started and the success of the festival that lead him to his proposal for the Sherman’s Center for Collaborative Arts and Education.
Read the article below or on the UW-Madison School of Music website here.
A Summer lark that led to something bigger:
Meet UW Madison cellist Kyle Price
By Katherine Esposito
It all started with an idea for summer fun, in the midst of a verdant paradise, at a family home he’d visited every year since he was a wee toddler. Now he was a 19-year-old cellist who wanted his college friends to hang out and play music at his grandma’s lake house. They could play string quartets practically in their sleep. Why not invite a few neighbors to hear them?
Paradise was tiny Caroga Lake, New York, a 54-square mile town in the lower Adirondacks that is home to 1,200 permanent residents and booms to 4,000 every summer. In 2012, the cellist, Kyle Price, asked a group of friends from undergrad at the Cleveland Institute of Music to join him, and they wound up performing Bach and Mendelssohn as an opener for the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Lake Performing Arts Center as well as at two other venues. Not bad for a first stab at a music party.
Kyle dubbed the event the Caroga Lake Music Festival, and an annual tradition was born. In 2015, in its fourth year, the Caroga Lake Music Festival offered four weeks of free concerts at venues ranging from Fulton-‐Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, the Canada Lake Marina (on floating barges), several churches, a nursing home, on a farm and in New York City.
Kyle, now a master’s student and Collins Fellow at UW-Madison, studying with professor Uri Vardi, plans a fifth festival for 2016 and has even bigger ideas: he is cultivating support to evolve it into a year-round arts center located on the site of Sherman’s, a long-shuttered amusement park. He’s created an official nonprofit, the Caroga Arts Collective, and established a board of directors sprinkled with names from big companies like L.L. Bean, Borden Dairy and two law firms – all people with summer homes in the area.
Somehow he’s doing this around a full-time schedule as a music student. “It’s tough,” he says, with a laugh. “Recently, I’ve been needing to go back there to present things, meaning I miss class here, but the teachers have been great.” His classes mostly include performance-based classes such as chamber orchestra with conductor James Smith and chamber ensembles with professor Parry Karp, but he’s also enrolled in Jazz Improvisation with saxophone professor Les Thimmig.
It was the Internet that got him hooked on Madison.
Price, who is originally from Columbus, Ohio, knew nothing about the university until he watched a YouTube video about the National Summer Cello Institute, an intensive week-long camp for cellists organized by professor of cello, Uri Vardi. The camp has been held at UW-Madison since 2010 and offers classes that explore connections between body awareness, musical expression, and injury prevention. “I was literally sitting with my cello in front of my computer in a practice room, and I came across a video that linked to the NSCI,” he says. “There was this funky word, Feldenkrais, and a video of Uri explaining Feldenkrais and how it relates to performance. And I decided, I totally have to go to this. It was my main priority, cello-wise, for the summer.” (Feldenkrais is a technique that helps people to increase ease and range of motion.)
By the time he graduated, he also had decided that he wanted to apply for a master’s degree at the UW-Madison School of Music, a behemoth compared to the 350-student Cleveland Institute of Music. “I didn’t know much more about the school, but Uri was someone I wanted to study with.” He’s been impressed with the city and the university. “It was amazing, meeting all these undergrads – some are double or triple majors. Everyone is so smart and the faculty is amazing.”
Of Vardi, Kyle says: “It’s been fantastic. He’s pretty brilliant. He tries to get you out of your habits, so you have options to work with, then you can expand your palette. His teaching goes way beyond the cello in a lot of ways. It made a big impact on my life, and on playing the cello.”
Prof. Vardi has similar praise for Kyle. “He’s a mensch,” he says, with a twinkle in his eye. “He has a good heart and appreciates beauty. He wants to improve life for society. And he’s one of the most musical students I’ve ever worked with.”
All of these, he said, are why Vardi nominated Kyle for the Collins Fellowship, a full graduate scholarship funded by longtime School of Music supporter Paul Collins.
His intuition was accurate. In 2015, Kyle was a winner in the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and a finalist in the G. Gershwin International Music Competition. After graduation next spring, he plans to devote himself full-time to growing the Caroga festival, plus freelancing and composing music.
Kyle has high hopes for the future of the festival, now an annual tradition that has captivated those who live in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys of central New York state. It may have begun as a lark, but it’s brought deep pleasure to the small community. “We have a mix of audience: the experienced ones who’ve been to Saratoga and New York City, and people who are completely brand new and who are experiencing classical, jazz, even alternative music for the very first time,” he says.
People like Jim Hinkle, from Johnstown, who in 2014 penned a letter to editors of the Leader Herald, a local newspaper. Wrote Hinkle: “My knowledge of music is extremely limited. But now I am hooked on this concert series. It took some time for me to figure out whom they they talking about when they correctly pronounced Debussy. It’s not De Bu Sea like I had been taught. There are still play dates left. I urge you to not watch television but go to the free concert, sit in back and if the music is not right for you, leave during the applause. It’s OK. Please give it a chance, as I did.”
Stephanie Price / December 16, 2014 / Read the article on Musicovation here.
About the Caroga Lake Music Festival:
Inspired by the serene, beautiful area and inviting community of Caroga Lake, NY, cellist Kyle Barrett Price founded the Caroga Lake Music Festival (CLMF) in 2012 at the age of 19. Now in its 4th season, 22-year-old Kyle has developed CLMF into a noteworthy national music festival.
Each August, the program as a whole features artists, typically aged 18-30 in addition to guest artists, performing the great chamber music and string orchestra repertoire from classical to contemporary. A significant part of the CLMF mission is to increase the accessibility of chamber music and spread its joy throughout the Adirondack/Hudson Valley region. This past year we performed multiple concerts at Caroga Chapel, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Wells Nursing Home, Vrooman’s Inn (a classical revolution project), St. John’s Episcopal Church – Johnstown, and St. John Divine Cathedral (NYC.) The local community and audiences from all over the country have embraced our performances and a large fan base was developed in this small town of upstate NY. We have had more than 180 people sell out ourfinal concerts in the quaint Caroga Chapel. Through our performances, we have also met Yo-Yo Ma, Keith Lockhart, David Finckel, Wu Han and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
CLMF instrumentalists hail from the world’s top conservatories and music schools including Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute, New England Conservatory, Eastman School, Manhattan School of Music, Rice Shepherd School, San Francisco Conservatory, Yale School of Music, and University of Maryland. In the 2014 season, Annie Fullard, faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Mei-Hsuan Huang, faculty at Iowa State University, performed as members of CLMF. CLMF also headlined vocal artists, Alyson Stoner (actor, singer/songwriter, and dancer) famous for Step Up, Phineas and Ferb, Cheaper by the Dozen, Camp Rock and various Disney Channel shows/movies, Hannah Fentriss (singer/songwriter and dancer) as well as Cara Samantha (NYC and American Idol) this past August. CLMF artists have appeared on NPR’s From the Top and won various prizes at international solo and chamber music competitions.
Kyle Price, a resident of Worthington, Ohio, has vacationed with his family at the Caroga Lake, NY house of his Grandmother (Joyce Barrett) since he was an infant. He often mentioned that it would be great to have a chamber music festival in the area and the idea became a reality in the summer of 2012. In its fourth season, the festival has continued to evolve in numbers, popularity and genres. Many residents around Caroga Lake have generously opened their space to our artists and are treated with a house concert in return.
Caroga Lake is a connected twin lake (East and West) in the town of Caroga, CLMF is located on West Caroga Lake. Our artists are encouraged to utilize the wonderful Adirondack scenery and lakeside living as a retreat like atmosphere to inspire creativity and cultivate a fresh and rejuvenated approach to performance.
Many of the artists enjoy kayaking, fishing, swimming, sitting out by the lake or enjoying the festival boat, which is a popular item at CLMF. We also enjoy playing card games at night, improvising frequently and playing “bag toss” a game famous in Kyle’s home state of Ohio. The mixture of the mountains, lake and playing great chamber music with friends for eager audiences is truly an unforgettable experience.
A note from the Founder & Artistic Director, Kyle Price:
The process of creating chamber music instills an interest to collaborate as independent thinkers, striving to understand, communicate and compromise productively through the diplomatic medium. Through this model, we can encourage individuals to conceptualize an idea with a goal for the betterment of humanity. Through my establishment of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, I have sought to construct a supportive and creative community with a focus on passion-led education and collaboration.
Kyle Price, founder and artistic director of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, is a recent summa cum laude graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Music receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance under the tutelage of Merry Peckham of the Cavani String Quartet. He has recorded with Disney star Alyson Stoner for her single, Almost Home, and can be seen playing cello in the 2007 Terry George film, Reservation Road. As a composer, Kyle has received acclaim for his composition Requiem in memory of his aunt, cellist Constance E. Barrett. The Requiem was premiered at the Cleveland Institute of Music and was also featured at the National Summer Cello Institute and the 2014 Caroga Lake Music Festival. Kyle currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Collins Fellow pursuing a Master of Music in cello performance under the mentorship of Uri Vardi.
Members of the Caroga Lake Music Festival had me at Nick Stoner Inn. Last summer, my wife and I were invited to hear the musicians play there. It was a fun event for them, playing classical to rock, and a learning experience for me.
Read the article on Kathryn’s Korner here.
I recently received an email from Kyle Barrett Price, Artistic Director of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, that they will again be here in our little town at the Caroga Chapel with an expanded program and seven performances! Caroga Chapel is on Chapel Road between NYS Rt 10 and East Shore Road here in town and will host four of the seven performances.
I include a photo of some of the performers on a dock at West Caroga Lake as well as one of Kyle playing his cello at a performance. Kyle Price has spent his summer vacations here at Caroga Lake at his Grandparents’ lake house (Joyce and the late Rev. Richard Barrett) for the past 20 years. That’s Joyce Barrett at the extreme right on the dock.
I start each morning and greet the day with classical chamber music and could hardly believe my good fortune when I first heard that wonderful music would be played live and just around the corner from where we live three years ago. Better yet, they have kept at it and return each year with a bigger venue and more variety. This year they are adding vocals to the instrumental performances.
I’ve told you before that I went to Indiana University on an opera scholarship and prior to that I started at the Cleveland Institute of Music where Kyle has also studied. Other schools represented by these artists include the Eastman School of Music, Julliard, Yale and New England Conservatory to name a few. To have such influential and high ranking music schools represented in our little town each year is a real treat.
I remember my voice teacher at Cleveland Institute, George Vassos, who encouraged me to pursue music at I.U. where I majored in voice, theater and dance. From there I went on to tour with the American Repertoire Theater and then went on to pursue my career in New York City and Los Angeles.
But back to our little town where the music festival began Saturday. You will still have plenty of opportunities to see and hear these remarkable musicians at the Caroga Chapel on Friday and Saturday Aug. 8 and 9 at 7p.m. and also at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and then a final performance Aug. 15 at Caroga Chapel 7 p.m. From there they are off to New York City!
There is no charge, no tickets required and no reservations needed although free will offerings are gratefully accepted to help cover their travel costs in these fantastic presentations. Do come!
Read the article on Cleveland Institute of Music’s Notes quarterly newsletter here.
Inspired Retreat Makes for an Unforgettable Experience
Undergraduate cellist Kyle Price spent his summer cultivating the ultimate artist retreat, the Caroga Lake Music Festival, a festival he launched last year. Utilizing a serene location to inspire artistry and collaboration, Price’s festival sold out to audiences in this Upstate New York venue. In the process, he met Yo-Yo Ma and played an impromptu pre-show performance for the Philadelphia Orchestra. “The mixture of the mountains, lake and playing great chamber music with friends for eager audiences was truly an unforgettable experience,” he explained. The festival ensemble also traveled to perform in Sleepy Hollow (NY) at the Old Dutch Church, made famous by Washington Irvin’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Outreach events included the Gloversville Senior Center, and their own version of “Classical Revolution” at the Nick Stoner Inn 19th Hole Bar in the town of Caroga. “We also got to meet Yo-Yo Ma, and play an impromptu performance of Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky for Keith Lockhart at the pre-show for the Philadelphia Orchestra concert,” Price said. “The local community embraced our performances. We had more than 180 people attend our final concert in the quaint Caroga Chapel, including Philadelphia Orchestra members,” Price continued. “Overall, the experience was surreal. Witnessing the community become so giddy about classical music, treating us like superstars, was very flattering.” Showcasing artists from across the country and Europe, festival participants also included CIM students and alumni violinists Alice Hong and Suliman Tekalli, violist Stephanie Price and cellists Ryan Louie and Julian Muller.
Read the article on Kathryn’s Korner here.
Chamber Music at Caroga Chapel
I’ve told you guys over the years how much I loved classical music, specifically baroque chamber music, which is my favorite kind of music.
Well, August 17th, just around the corner on Chapel Drive, from where we live on East Shore Road in Caroga Lake, The Caroga Lake Chamber Music Festival with founder Kyle Price was presented.
Price with seven of his musical friends presented chamber music from the likes of Dvorak, Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn along with the lesser known compositions of Arensky, Zemlinsky and Shostakovich. And the performers, although all young, had plenty of credentials. Some have appeared on NPR Radio’s “From the Top” and violinist Eva Kennedy performed with one of my personal favorite singers, Michael Feinstein. The high quality of their musicianship was obvious in the performance.
In looking through the bios of the musicians who played cellos, violins and violas, I saw several had connections with the Cleveland Institute of Music, which in and of itself is quite prestigious.
Besides being from Cleveland, I studied voice there at CIM with instructor George Vassos for a year before going to Indiana University School of Music on an opera scholarship.
Now, I confess that while I used the scholarship to help finance my schooling, I don’t really like opera music (read “can’t stand it” actually) and so I wound up studying jazz and scat singing under the great Eileen Farrell. I also studied theater and dance, so I was a “triple threat” in training as a future entertainment performer.
I also wound up assisting the tap instructor, Michael Sokoloff, who ran the “dance and movement” department in the school at IU.
I remember the singers at the Cleveland Institute of Music were treated like divas and tended to be opera students where I didn’t really fit in.
But back to the chamber music at Caroga Chapel.
With the setting in the woods by the lake, it was just an enchanting evening and not to be missed.
I certainly hope this is just the first installment of many future chamber music festivals for our little corner of paradise here in Caroga Lake.
Read the blog on Harvard Arts Blog.
Keir GoGwilt ’13, a resident of Adams House concentrating in Literature, was awarded an Artist Development Fellowship to attend the Bowdoin International Music Festival. GoGwilt also plans to study abroad with professors at the Köln Hochschule and the Guildhall School of Music. Additionally, he will be working with American composer Tobias Picker on a recording. A member of the Brattle Street Chamber Players, he has performed with the Bach Society Orchestra. AtBowdoin he served as a Performing Associate Fellow and also performed with the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra. He hope to purses a career as a concert violinist and be involved in the academic study of performance.
I spent the first few weeks of my summer studying with two violin teachers in Europe: David Takeno in London and Ute Hasenauer in Cologne. It was great to study with the two of them in a short period of time—they offer such unique perspectives on music making. David Takeno teaches from a house inWimbledon called “The Artesian Well.”It’s a large cylindrical building, and he teaches on the top floor, which is a huge dome with a skylight and bookshelves all around the walls. As he teaches he pulls out books and scores from the shelves, constructing a virtual web of similar or related themes and ideas. In the few lessons we had, we covered as much repertoire as possible.
Ute Hasenauer’s style of teaching is completely the opposite. We would spend two hours together on three or four passages of one piece. She and her husband have spent years compiling interviews, meeting with doctors and sports scientists, and studying videos of the great 20th century violinists, finding the common factors between all of them. She has formulated a science of violin technique that is incredibly precise and detailed. I learned so much from her in the three weeks I spent in Cologne.
I flew directly from Europe to the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where I performed theBeethoven Violin Concerto with the festival orchestra. By the time rehearsals started, I was still pretty jet-lagged and sleep deprived. However, the concert went really well, and the orchestra and conductor were really great to work with. For the first movement I played a cadenza by Alfred Schnittke, and for the last movement I played two cadenzas by Matthew Aucoin ’12. I also played “Invisible Lilacs” by Tobias Picker on a contemporary music series the next week.
All in all it’s been a great summer. I’ve learned so much, and I’m feeling really prepared for the upcoming year!Currently I’m at Caroga Lake, playing chamber music in a festival that my friend started this year. I thought I might get a bit of a vacation here, but we’ve been working pretty hard—we’ve had to learn a full recital program in about three days. Yesterday we played a pre-show for Yo-Yo Ma and the Philadelphia Orchestra out on the lawn at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and we have concerts tonight and tomorrow night.