2018 Caroga Lake Season Announcement

The 7th Annual Caroga Lake Music Festival

2018 Season Highlights

Since 2012, Caroga Lake Music Festival has brought the charms of live classical, jazz and pop music to the southern Adirondacks. Now organized as the non-profit Caroga Arts Collective, the festival offers a rich and varied menu of live music, film screenings, and educational music and art gatherings at venues in Caroga Lake and beyond. Most festival events are offered for free, supported generously by area businesses, foundations and private individuals.

Events are held from June 7 to August 19; please check our events page for a full list.

The long-term goal of the Caroga Arts Collective is to offer year-round arts residencies and education to the Caroga Lake region. 

Highlights of our 2018 season include:

Encore! Jazz Sessions with Kittel & Co. (mandolin, guitar and fiddle, July 27); The Matthew Whitaker Trio (jazz piano, August 3); the J-Music Pocket Band (jazz saxophone, August 10); The Glenn Zaleski Trio (jazz piano, August 17).

Sherman’s Revival Series. Caroga Arts Collective is proud to promote the return of Sherman’s Amusement Park to its former glory as a lakeside summer destination for fun, frolic, and events. Join us at Sherman’s this summer for seven special events: Sawyer Fredericks (folk, June 8); Cara Samantha (pop, July 21); Musical Storytelling: A Kids Concert (July 28, noon); MARO (indie folk, July 28, evening);  Matthew Whitaker Trio (jazz piano, August 4); Rhythm Future Quartet (gypsy jazz, August 11); SAUNDERS FEST (bluegrass, Geoff Saunders & family, August 11).

Artist in Residence Concerts: Musicians of the Caroga Lake Music Festival will be featured guests at venues in Gloversville, Peck’s Lake, Cooperstown (new in 2018) , Ghent, Woodstock, Albany, Johnstown, Cobleskill, Mayfield, Lake Luzerne, and Dorset (Vermont). Additional venues may be announced at later dates.

Caroga Chapel Concerts. The original home of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, an intimate setting for mostly classical music performed by festival performers, weekly starting June 16.

–The Barge at Canada Lake Concerts. Classical, jazz and folk music performed on a floating barge at Canada Lake Store & Marine, with audience seating on shore. July 22 & August 5. Generously hosted by the Fielding family.

— Summer String Project Concerts. The Summer String Projects offer local music students from Schoharie, Fulton and Montgomery Counties the chance to experience, learn and share music with the Caroga Lake Music Festival artists for five days leading up to a finale side-by-side performance at the Arkell Museum in Canjoharie (August 8 for Schoharie County) and at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Cobleskill (August 9 for Fulton & Montgomery Counties).

Fulton and Montgomery Counties Summer String Project: Saratoga Arts made this program possible with an Arts Education Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Schoharie County Summer String Project: This event is made possible in part with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the NYS Council on the Arts, administered in Schoharie County by the Greene County Council on the Arts through the Community Arts Grants program.

Caroga Lake Music Festival: Saratoga Arts made this program possible with a Community Arts Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Arkell Hall Foundation
Fenimore Asset Management & FAM Funds
The Faith Ann Takes Family Fund

Caroga Arts Collective’s corporate sponsorships offer tremendous visibility, promotion and exclusive opportunities to arrange for booths at events and hire CLMF Artists to perform at your venue of choice.  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please visit www.carogaarts.org/sponsor or contact Alix at development@carogaarts.org.

Caroga Arts Collective also offers advertisement opportunities in our Season Program Book, distributed at every CLMF concert. The Program Book provides a unique opportunity for businesses to advertise and supporters to share a personal message.  Please visit www.carogaarts.org/advertise or contact Hina at operations@carogaarts.org

History of the Caroga Lake Music Festival

Presented by Caroga Arts Collective, Caroga Lake Music Festival (CLMF) is a five-week summer music festival in the southern Adirondacks of New York State, started in 2012 by then 19-year-old cellist Kyle Barrett Price, who had summered since early childhood at his grandmother’s home on Caroga Lake. Now in its seventh season, CLMF brings accomplished musicians from all over the world to participate in week-long residencies in Caroga Lake. These artists include musicians from leading professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and opera companies, as well as faculty artists from prestigious conservatories and universities among many others. CLMF is known for unique concerts that embrace many genres of music, from classical to pop and jazz, performed by both singers and instrumentalists in ensembles of varying size. CLMF has grown tremendously since its inception in 2012 from eight musicians in one week to over eighty-five musicians in five weeks in 2017 who perform at venues all over the southern Adirondacks.

In 2016, the festival was absorbed into the Caroga Arts Collective, which includes several additional components: Your Body Is Your Strad, which include the National Summer Cello Institute, formerly based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Feldenkrais for All Performers, an annual seminar on the Feldenkrais method of body awareness; MyHil Film Series, presenting films and film discussions with producers and actors; and the InterArts Symposium, a collaborative workshop showcasing interdisciplinary arts.

The long-term goal of the Caroga Arts Collective is to offer year-round arts residencies and education to the Caroga Lake region.

In the mid-1900s, the town of Caroga Lake was famed for a lakeside amusement park called Sherman’s, long shuttered, that was similar to legendary Coney Island, with a carousel, a merry-go-round and numerous entertainments. The creation of the music festival, strongly supported by prominent local businesses, has injected the local region with summer activities that have contributed a significant economic boost. In 2018, the former Sherman’s Amusement Park will host seven of the festival’s major concerts.


Meet violist Eva Kennedy, a Caroga original

Old friends to reunite in Caroga Lake Music Festival

Columbus, Ohio native Eva Kennedy is a violist who met Kyle Price when she was a rambunctious pre-teen and he was just beginning his adolescent growth spurt.

Through grade school, high school and eventually in college at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), they played music together and established a strong friendship. Eva performed at the first Caroga Lake Music Festival in 2012 and now, after an absence of six years, she’ll be back the week of July 23 to mesmerize us all with some enchanting works for string instruments.

A long-ago string quartet, Accelerando String Quartet: Kyle Price, cello (14); Claire Watkins, violin (14); Meredith Kufchak, viola (13); Eva Kennedy, violin (12).

“Kyle Price is one of my oldest friends,” Eva writes. “We met at the Chamber Music Connection of Columbus, Ohio, when I was seven years old and he was about nine or ten. We started playing together right away and continued until he graduated high school. And, as we each attended CIM, we also played together for the year that we overlapped there.

“During this time–and because of the amazing privilege of playing with such wonderful friends–I fell head over heels in love with chamber music, and it has been what I wanted to do with my life for as long as I can remember. In fact, I came to CIM in large part due to its reputation as a great chamber music school.

“I have learned so much and had many wonderful experiences there, but the best by far has been the joy of playing with the quartet I’m in now, the Callisto Quartet. We formed at CIM in 2016, became serious very quickly, and hope to pursue a career together playing chamber music. Our travels this year will take us to London for the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in April and to Melbourne, Australia for the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.



The Callisto Quartet: L-R, Rachel Stenzel and Paul Aguilar, violin; Hannah Moses, cello (also a CMC alum who grew up playing cello with Kyle); Eva Kennedy, viola.

“We are so excited to be able to come to Caroga this summer after returning from Melbourne! The chance to work with some amazing colleagues, learn some new repertoire, and maybe even relax a little will be very welcome! On a personal note, I’m so thrilled to be able to come back to Caroga–I participated in its very first year and had a blast, but every summer since, I’ve had scheduling conflicts. I’m so happy to finally be able to return, see how the festival has grown, and play great music with some of my very favorite people.

“Both the Melbourne and Wigmore competitions require seven full works. At each one, we will perform Haydn’s Quartet op. 71 no. 1 in Bb major; the Mozart “Dissonance,” Quartet; Beethoven’s Quartet op. 59 no. 2, called “Razumovsky”; Brahms’s Quartet op. 51 no. 1 in C minor; and Bartok’s Quartet no. 6.

“Each competition also requires a contemporary work. For Wigmore Hall, it’s “The Four Quarters” by Thomas Adès, which was written in 2010; for Melbourne, it’s “Balderdash” by Holly Harrison, which was commissioned specifically for the competition and written in 2018.

“I’m not sure what we’ll play at Caroga–after spending the whole year intensively preparing this repertoire, it will be really fun to play something new!”


Summer Concerts return to Sherman’s – Teen Piano Sensation Coming to Caroga – Meet Our New Board Members

Summer Concerts return to Sherman’s!

Sherman’s on the Lake: what a beautiful, dreamy place to hear live music! Melodies floating through the air as you sip your glass of wine, friends and family at your side, knowing that every single note helps to restore a special piece of Caroga history, and moves toward a new vision of the future.

Summer 2017: Live music on Caroga Lake at Sherman’s Amusement Park

With all that in mind, we’re happy to announce that Sherman’s is already reserved for six concert dates.

Young Jazz Keyboard Sensation Coming to Caroga!
Matthew Whitaker
Matthew Whitaker

On Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4, New York City teen piano/Hammond organ powerhouse Matthew Whitaker will bring his unique gift to the stages of Nick Stoner Inn and Sherman’s Amusement Park.

“If you thought God was good to grant us one Stevie Wonder, what would you say to two? Hackensack’s Matthew Whitaker happens to be blind – that’s the least of the resemblance – but he’s also a 15-year-old piano powerhouse who has rocked Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and festivals in France, Italy, Morocco and Japan.” – 17 People to Watch in 2017, North Jersey News, December 29, 2016.

Born prematurely at 23 weeks, Matthew survived and was given a small keyboard at age three. He taught himself to play piano, then the Hammond organ. Now 17, Matthew studies classical piano and drums at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of the Lighthouse Guild in New York City. It is the only community music school for the blind and visually impaired in the US. He also attends the Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-college Jazz Program.

Matthew has received the “Outstanding Soloist Award” from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival and the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Read his full biography.

At Caroga Lake Music Festival, the Matthew Whitaker Trio will perform selections from his first album, “Outta the Box,” and other electrifying jazz charts, in addition to performing with the CLMF Orchestra.

  • Encore! Jazz Sessions: Friday, August 3 at 10pm at Nick Stoner Inn with the Matthew Whitaker Trio
  • Sherman’s Revival Series: Saturday, August 4 at 7pm with the Matthew Whitaker Trio and the CLMF Orchestra

Matthew’s father, interviewed on the Today Show, had this to say about this son: ” Matthew just assumes that everyone he meets, they’re smiling at him. And that is the reason why he’s so full of love.”

Stay tuned for more updates on our upcoming 7th season of Caroga Lake Music Festival, July 16 to Aug 19, 2018. Full season announcement: April 15!

Welcoming Two New Board Members

Mary Peck, a resident of Caroga (Green Lake), has attended performances of the Caroga Lake Music Festival since its inaugural year in 2012.  Mary has graciously volunteered to donate housing and meals for the past four years and helped to coordinate housing for the past two years. As a previous member of the Advisory Council, Mary acted as the Advisory Council Co-Liaison to the board. We are thrilled to welcome Mary as a new board member.

Nancy Purcell, a resident of Caroga (East Caroga Lake), is the lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist for the well-known Durey Creek Bluegrass Band. Nancy has attended Caroga Lake Music Festival concerts for the past four seasons and has been active as a volunteer for the organization, providing housing and meals to our musicians. We welcome Nancy Purcell to our board and look forward to gaining her insight on multiple facets of our arts organization through her experiences as a performer and community member.

On that note…

Stephen Smith, CEO of L.L. Bean and Caroga Arts’ founding Board member, will deliver Dickinson College’s Commencement address on Sunday, May 20. He also will receive a Doctor of Business Management honorary degree. Congratulations, Steve! Read more here.

Our Condolences to the Abdella Family

We were very saddened to hear about the passing of a friend and supporter of our organization, Ruth Abdella, just over two weeks ago. Ruth was a teacher, educator and lover of music. She attended Caroga Lake Music Festival concerts including the Sherman’s Revival Series last season with her husband, George. We will miss her and extend our condolences to the Abdella family. In lieu of flowers, George and Ruth have decided to invite those to commemorate Ruth by donation to the Caroga Arts Collective, for which we are extremely humbled and grateful for. Please see her obituary here at this link.

An Inside Look at Caroga Lake Music Festival

In the summer of 2016, videographer Evan Daniels documented the story of Caroga Lake Music Festival. We’re extremely thankful for his hard work and excited to introduce to you our first short documentary.

New Year News! Looking Back, Looking Forward

Greetings from the New Year!

As 2018 gets its sea legs, planning is underway for another Caroga experience in the southern Adirondacks! Between now and our full season announcement coming in April, we will offer a few reminiscences from last summer and updates about Caroga Arts Collective.

Look who has joined Caroga Arts!

The Caroga Arts family is growing! We’re incredibly excited to introduce our newest additions to the team.

Kathy Esposito, Marketing Director

Katherine Esposito, Marketing Director
Publicist and Concert Manager at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music, Kathy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in journalism, promoting musicians and publicizing performances. Kathy grew up in Massachusetts and western New Jersey, adores the Adirondacks and hopes to relocate there as soon as possible!



Alix Raspé, Development Director

Alix Raspé, Development Director
Awarded Associate Harpist of the Columbus Symphony and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Alix joins Caroga Arts with great entrepreneurial and development experience from her previous works in Boston and Dorset where she founded a music festival. Alix has been a CLMF Artist since 2015.




Stephanie Price-Wong

Stephanie Price-Wong, Artistic Administrator
Though she has been assisting CLMF since its inception in 2012, we wanted to formally introduce Stephanie as the new Artistic Administrator! Stephanie is also Adjunct Viola Professor at Ohio University and Assistant Artistic Director and Fellowship Program Director at Chamber Music Connection.


Your Body Is Your Strad presented by Caroga Arts in 2018

National Summer Cello Institute
June 2-17, 2018

Feldenkrais for All Performers
June 2-7, 2018

Two intensive weeks combining the principles of somatic education with varied approaches to cello mastery designed to redefine how cellists perform and teach. Participants experience an introduction to Feldenkrais with fellow musicians in the Feldenkrais For All Performers program, and continue in private lessons, master classes and seminars dedicated to expanding artistic freedom.

InterArts Symposium returns
July 9-14, 2018 in Caroga Lake

This unique event focuses on Caroga Arts’ mission to create extraordinary experiences in Caroga Lake through interdisciplinary and inter-arts collaborations among musicians, artists, scholars, and their communities. InterArts Symposium will present two showcases in Caroga Lake as well as educational events for the community.
CLMF Concerts in Caroga
2018 CLMF concerts will include Sherman’s, Barge at Canada Lake, and Nick Stoner Inn – stay tuned! Season Announcement: April 15, 2018

Save the date! Caroga Chapel Series

Where it all began in 2012, Caroga Chapel remains a favorite, intimate concert series:

Thursday, July 19 at 7pm
Friday, July 27 at 7pm
Friday, August 3 at 7pm
Friday, August 10 at 7pm
Friday, August 17 at 7pm

Remembrance of Jonah Poplove

The Caroga Arts family is heartbroken to have lost a great friend, colleague, an extremely gifted musician and CLMF Artist (’15 & ’17) last year. Jonah brought such a bright presence and optimism to our group and his family expressed how happy, comfortable and at home he felt with all of us at CLMF, and how grateful and thankful they were for us and our time with him. When his parents visited Caroga, they had dinner at Nick Stoner Inn with the musicians and attended various concerts both years he was in Caroga. We will miss him dearly and will always be remembered at Caroga Lake Music Festival.