Hamilton Hosts Clinton Central Foundation's Gala Concert
Following article reprinted with permission from The Kirkland Newspaper (January 3, 2004)
CCS ALUMNI CELEBRATE COMING OF MODERN NEW AUDITORIUM WITH AN EVENING OF SONG FOR SOME 400 PERSONS AT WELLIN HALL
Clinton Central School's much-anticipated multi-faceted new auditorium, a nearly two-year work in progress, was celebrated in song Friday night by 14 musical artists who got their start on the old one.
"Fantasize, if you will, that you are in the new auditorium at Clinton Central School," Dr. Roger Moore told the some 400 persons gathered at Hamilton College's Wellin Hall at the start of the more than two-hour performance.
Moore organized the Gala Concert on behalf of the CCS Foundation, which is giving $100,000 toward the auditorium project.
A member of the Foundation board, Moore also had five children taking part in the concert and his wife, Joanna Moore, accompanied many of them, as well as others, on the piano.
The doctor himself got into the act for the grand finale, leading the ensemble for a rendition of "Hail Poetry" from "The Pirates of Penzance" while his wife conducted from in front of the stage.
The first half of the concert concentrated on classical selections. It featured the singing or piano playing of 12 CCS alumni and a musical composition by a 13th, played on double bass by her husband.
For the second half, a dozen of the graduates returned to perform tunes from Broadway musicals, including a number from shows performed on the old CCS auditorium stage.
There were also a selection of jazz piano pieces.
The evening's performances were greeted with prolonged applause and more than a few standing ovations.
The concert was followed Saturday morning with a tour of the auditorium construction site for the guest artists, Foundation board members and their families.
And on Saturday night, a reception for the artists was held at the O'Connor's Alexander Hamilton Inn.
"From an artistic point of view, we feel the concert was a great success," said Moore, who was assisted in the year-long preparations by his wife and a committee of Foundation members.
He said the performances "went smoothly" and at least one audience member told him he was surprised by the high level of talent on display.
"I think that's a tribute to the professional people that were involved," he said.
The crowd was larger than anticipated he said, noting that just a week before only 106 tickets had been sold.
But two ticket outlets alone, the Burns Agency and NBT Bank, sold 85 tickets on Friday and a large number of persons bought tickets at the door, swelling the crowd to about two-thirds Wellin Hall's seating capacity of 698.
Money raised by the weekend's events will go towards the Foundation's contribution to the local share of the auditorium's construction cost, which is receiving 86 percent of its funds from the state.
Moore said the exact amount of money brought in by the concert and reception was not available Monday but they were "well in the black."
The concert originally was scheduled to be the opening event for the new auditorium, which has been under construction since February 2002.
But weather-related-delays and the complexity of the state-of-the-art facility, which is part of the overall $22.6 million CCS construction project, have continually pushed the construction period beyond hoped-for completion dates.
The latest estimate has the building being done by spring but not in time for the annual high school musical production, which also has been held at Wellin Hall for the last two years.
Superintendent Jeffrey Roudebush followed Moore to the microphone at the start of Friday night's concert, expressing the district's appreciation for to those gathered for their support in making "a dream . . . become a reality."
He said the Foundation already has contributed $80,000 of its $100,000 pledge toward the project and the other $20,000 is on the way. He termed the organization's effort a "remarkable accomplishment."
The superintendent pointed out that Wellin Hall and the new CCS auditorium share many features, having been designed by the same company, but also have significant differences.
He said the Gala Concert is intended to be the first of a series of events being planned to celebrate the district's heritage and the many CCS graduates who have brought "fame and honor" to the community.
Among the pieces performed Friday night was a "world premiere performance" of a percussion solo written by Dr. Jonathan Leshnoff, "Heart True and Full Faith," that incorporated the Clinton school song.
It was performed by Glenn Paulson, a 1985 CCS graduate who has gone on to become a top percussionist and now is a member of the "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band.
According to background contained in the concert program, Leshnoff is the recipient of two Morton Gold ASCAP Foundation Awards for Young Composers and his works have been performed by the U.S. Marine Band and symphony orchestras across the country.
"This piece is written for my good friend Glenn Paulson . . . The listener will notice the school song, albeit in a disguised form (hence the title), as well as Glenn's spectacular display of technique (this is a tricky piece). The tom solos at the beginning and end are improvisatory; those in the middle are written by the composer. I thank Glenn for the opportunity to write such a fun piece."
Others CCS alumni performing Friday night, and their year of graduation, were: Bill Doherty (1983), Maria Moore Hayden (1981), Jermaine Hill (1998), David Kim (1996), Anne Mason (1978), Ben Moore (1978), Helen Moore (1976), Ruth Moore (1976), Walter Moore (1975), Dan Rosenfeld (1977), Catherine Anway Walgenbach (1974) and Amedee Daryl Williams (1984).
In addition, a piece written by Deborah Mason (1975) was performed on the double bass by Stephen Sas, whom she married last June.
Accompanying the artists on piano in addition to Joanna Moore were Bonnie Hibbard, head of the CCS Music Department, Simon Andrews, Hermine Williams and Brian Zeger, who is director of Vocal Performance Activities in the Department of Vocal Arts at The Julliard School in New York City.
(For further background on the performing artists, see the Kirkland NewsLine article of Nov. 17 under 'general news." Two scheduled performers, former CCS Music Department head Anthony Milograno and his daughter Susan, were unable to attend. Also, the black-tie dinner originally planned for Hamilton College was replaced by the Saturday night reception at the Inn due to slow ticket sales.)
(Further background information was received since the Nov. 17 article on two of the featured performers, Walter Moore (class of 1975) and Dan Rosenfeld (class of 1977).
Moore is dean of the faculty and director of athletics at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, where he also teaches chemistry and coaches baseball and soccer. His performing credits include a number of roles in musical theatre, starting with the Tin Man in the CCS production of "The Wizard of Oz" and Phineas Frog in "Around the World in Eighty Days." He is a frequent soloist in oratorio with the Berkshire Lyric Theater and has performed as soloist in Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in Massachusetts.
Rosenfeld, of Red Bank, N.J., serves as cantor of Temple Beth Miriam in Elberon, N.J. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and received a master's degree in sacred music at Hebrew Union College. His stage appearances have included roles in "Dido" and "Aeneas" with the Thomas Cultice Summer Opera Program in New York City and off-Broadway with the Ryan Repertory Company in "The Trilogy of Edgar Allen Poe." He has developed a diverse repertoire, specializing in lieder and art song of the late Romantic Period, and more recently Yiddish vocal music. He has sung for more than 20 years in professional and community ensembles in the New York City area. He also teaches voice and piano.)