Loving Caramoor

If one is to be honored, I would wish it to be in such an idyllic place as Caramoor, where butterflies mingle with guests amidst lush greenery, peonies and irises, now in bloom, and the drumbeat of applause punctuating the air. That was my vision when CEO Jeff Haydon called to say that the Caramoor board wished to honor ArtsWestchester at its June gala. We felt like Apollo, the god of light and (appropriately) music, was shining his light on us for doing what we love to do, which is to give grants to more than 100 Westchester organizations and artists.  That of course includes Caramoor, which brings more than 15,000 folks to its incredible site … very much in the tradition of its original owners, Lucie and Walter Rosen — great lovers of music, who hosted private musical performances prior to 1946, when the House was opened to the public. The rest is as they say “history,” which for Caramoor means a world-class summer music festival with the (pardon, please) bells and whistles and fiddles.  ArtsWestchester Chairman John Peckham and I were feted by Caramoor CEO Jeff Haydon and Chairman Jim Attwood Jr. before gathering in the Italian Pavilion, a Brunelleschi-inspired outdoor structure where the Bel Canto Young Artists, under the baton of Will Crutchfield, belted out a diverse program of opera music.  Next season, Crutchfield and the artists under the banner of Teatro Nuovo will be moving to a new home at SUNY Purchase.  A bittersweet so-long was said to longtime managing director Paul Rosenblum. Every Caramoor devotee, including me, probably has their own favorite Caramoor programs.  Mine is the annual American Roots Music Festival, taking place this Saturday, which features “folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, singer/songwriter, string band, old time, and everything in between.” Straight from the program book: “everything we do at Caramoor…is based on the belief that music is an elemental part of a civilized society and a life well lived.” Well said.

Image above: (l to r) Caramoor CEO Jeffrey P. Haydon, ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam, ArtsWestchester Board Chairman John R. Peckham and Caramoor Board Chairman James A. Atwood, Jr. (photo credit: Gabe Palacio)


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