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Press Release

Woodstock Chamber Orchestra Presents "War and Music"

Concert Includes Works by Haydn, Handel, and Farberman

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, conducted by artistic director David Leighton, will present two exceptionally fine works based on themes involving the armed forces, Haydn’s Military” Symphony No. 100 and Handel’s “Dettingen” Te Deum. George Rockman, baritone soloist and Ars Choralis, Barbara Pickhardt, director, will perform in the Handel. The program will also include Alexandra da Costa Arrieche, guest conductor, and James Ulrich, narrator, in Harold Farberman’s The Little Girl and the Tree Branch. The concert is presented on Friday, March 4, at 8 p.m. in Bard College’s Olin Hall, and will be repeated at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at Pointe of Praise Family Life Center in Kingston, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $5 for college students. There will be free admission for K-12 students accompanying a ticketed adult. Subscription sets are available (four tickets good for any concert). For more information call (845) 758-9270.


Haydn’s “Military” Symphony is one of his late and great works, composed for London, where he was received with great acclaim. Haydn offers no program for the symphony but the listener will easily perceive a portrayal of the soldier’s life, military parades, regimental balls, and an actual wartime sortie full of suspense and a last-minute rescue. It is remarkable in form, stretching the idea of the symphony in innovative ways well past the limits of what was common in its day. Handel’s Te Deum was commissioned as a great hymn of thanksgiving to commemorate the British escape from disaster at the hands of opposing French troops at the Battle of Dettingen, in which King George II personally led the troops and narrowly avoided being captured and made a prisoner of King Louis XV. Its majestic grandeur is on a level with the composer’s great Messiah, yet similarly presents intimate moments ranging from the exquisite songs of the angels to passionate human soulfulness. No moment in life lacks its own special music, and wartime is no exception. Music leads troops into battle, comforts the wounded and bereaved, and celebrates victory. In contrast, Harold Farberman’s The Little Girl and the Tree Branch is all charm and fun, telling the story of a young girl who discovers her talent for conducting.


Ars Choralis, a community chorus whose membership reflects the Hudson Valley’s diverse artistic community, performs major choral works and theme concerts such as its annual Welcome Yule. The group’s acclaimed performance of “Music in Desperate Times—Remembering the Women’s Orchestra of Birkenau” toured Germany in 2009 with appearances at the Ravensbrűck Liberation Day Ceremonies. Director Barbara Pickhardt has been affiliated with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra since its inception and has served as harpsichordist, pianist and supporting choral conductor. Baritone George Rockman and narrator James Ulrich are also well known to the area, as is composer Harold Farberman, founder and artistic director of the Conductors Institute at Bard College. Brazilian-born conductor Alexandra da Costa Arrieche is a student of Harold Farberman at the Conductors Institute. It was as a composer that she first showed musical promise. She was awarded scholarships to study with several of Spain’s leading composers, but it was conducting that eventually proved to be her true passion. In 2007, she was named conductor of the student concerts of the Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo State University, one of the finest orchestras in Brazil.



The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, formed in 1980 by musicians from the Woodstock area, now is comprised of professional musicians from the entire Hudson Valley. The WCO regularly commissions music by local and regional composers and each season performs in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, and at Bard College.

Please call (845) 758-9270 or visit our website ( for information and updates.

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This event was last updated on 02-21-2011