TSS outreach Program in the Adirondacks & Northern NY
This was the headline in the printed programs for our first sponsored concerts beyond Georgia's borders. These were an inaugural series of four performances presented during July and August, 2018 in the quaintly exquisite (and acoustically excellent) Childwold, Memorial Presbyterian Church in the wilderness. New York's vast Adirondack region is an improbable setting for serious chamber music. Its rural inhabitants are not notably much exposed to Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart, so Marie's simple idea was in for some serious testing. The church's pastor is Rev. Dr. Martin Weitz, 'Marty' to all who know him. An accomplished Julliard graduate himself (bass trombone, retired), he performed with leading major orchestras in the country led by some of the best-known conductors of the time. He must, with Marie, have known something, for he defied the odds by putting on an impresario hat he'd never worn before and arranged four ensemble chamber concerts on Thursday evenings, then four more solo instrumental and voice performances by young Crane School artists at September's Sunday services.
(Memorial Presbyterian Church Pews)
On September 24, a day after the last Sunday service and its featured student soloist, Rev. Weitz emailed Marie's husband, our CEO:
What happened this past summer has given purpose and hope to the congregation. Music has lifted them to new heights that they never thought possible.
Her husband's response to "Friends of TSS" was as follows:
What I observed this summer is what Marie always said leaving performances in the Franklin College Chamber Music Series at UGA. Some of you have heard it from me before — the world being a better place with that kind of music on the 'street-corners', etc. That’s what showed up this summer, an outpouring of acceptance by rural folks not often exposed to live refined music.
I want to tell you about one of these 'outpourings' — it was after the last concert, the all-Mozart program performed by a string trio. The violist’s instrument predated (1737) Mozart himself. The second half of the program was mature Mozart, K563 (1788), an hour long. After the prolonged standing ovation that ended the program, people filing out, me in the front row waiting my turn—against this exit stream I saw a man making his way toward me. Something about his demeanor kept my attention. He was intent, subdued, and serious. He approached me, shook my hand in both of his, thanked me, then said two things I will never forget. First, "I have never heard anything like that in all my life." Then, after a pause, "I think my life has been changed." And he turned and left, never seeing my moistening eyes or sensing Marie’s hand touch my shoulder.