Sunday Music Series Makes Comeback

Coordinator cites economic and community benefits

By Michael Turton

After a brief hiatus, the Sunday Music Series on Cold Spring’s riverfront is back, literally by popular demand. The summer concerts, which had been held for the last 11 years, were canceled by the Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce this spring. The series was recently reinstated, with an abbreviated schedule, after a cross section of the community asked the Chamber to bring the music back.

Cathryn Fadde, Chamber of Commerce treasurer, coordinated the rejuvenated four-concert series for 2013. She has acted as coordinator for more than half of the series’ history. Asked if the concerts had been canceled because of changing priorities within the Chamber, she said, “No. The series wasn’t really doing what it had done in the past. The music was fine but it wasn’t bringing new people to the community.” Fadde said that while well-known performers such as Dar Williams and The Grand Slambovians drew visitors from out of town, lesser-known local acts did not.

The Chamber’s phone was ringing

So what changed? “People asked to have it brought back,” Fadde said, adding that the request came from both residents and businesses. “The Chamber received more calls about the music than anything else. People said it (cancellation) was a big disappointment.”

The Costellos will perform July 21 at the bandstand in Cold Spring.

The Costellos will perform July 21 at the bandstand in Cold Spring.

Fadde, owner of Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, sees economic benefit in maintaining the music series and thinks other businesses do as well. “I think they see a value to their business. There’s both a ‘feel good’ and an economic benefit,” she said. “Historically, I’ve had people come into my restaurant after the music. I think others have, too.” She feels that even if visitors simply come for the music and don’t spend right away, “The exposure to Cold Spring is good.”

Sponsors stepped up to the plate

The music series is funded through local sponsors recruited by Fadde. The late start this year didn’t affect her ability to pay for the series. “I’ve never seen people give me money so quickly,” she said. “I really believe people in the community support good community events.”

This year’s sponsors support the music series at three levels – full, half and quarter shares. Full share sponsors for 2013 include Central Hudson, Moo Moo’s Creamery and Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill. Joseph’s Fine Jewelry and Continental Organics contributed half shares. Quarter-share sponsors include Pig Hill Inn, Roberts Total Care Salon, Hudson House, Le Bouchon, Riverview Restaurant, Yannitelli Fine Wines and Spirits, The Gift Hut, and Tight Rope Interactive. The Living Room serves as the back-up venue in the event of bad weather.

Fadde said it will cost close to $5,000 to stage this year’s shorter series. She raised $6,000. “I’ll use the surplus to advertise next year’s series.” In previous years the series has included eight dates and it will likely return to that schedule in 2014. She said that to promote the series in publications such as Hudson Valley Magazine, ads must be placed as early as March.

Bands that bring a following

If one of the qualifications for coordinating the music series is being a fan of live music, Fadde certainly fills the bill. “I go to see so much live music. I’ll have seen Mumford & Sons 11 times by this September,” she said.  “I love new, emerging groups.”

For the Cold Spring series she said, “I want to bring in bands that have a following outside the village. Maybe they’ve produced a couple CDs, maybe they’ve had some radio play.” One of this summer’s four acts,  “Caravan of Thieves,” has performed live on WFUV. Another of this year’s performers, Charlie Faye, rose to number four on the Americana charts. “She’s from Austin, Texas,” Fadde said of Faye. “She played as part of the series before – and people remember her.”

Shorter series but great variety

Caravan of Thieves will perform Aug. 4 in Cold Spring.

Caravan of Thieves will perform Aug. 4 in Cold Spring.

This year’s lineup also reflects Fadde’s preference for variety. “We have four different kinds of music this year,” she said. No one can argue that the 2013 lineup is not varied.  The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn kicked off the series July 7 with early jazz, swing and blues.  The Costellos play July 21, and will no doubt plug their newest album which features pop, rock, country and surf music. Caravan of Thieves, Aug. 4, is known for its driving gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass, violin and vocal harmonies. Charlie Faye wraps up the season Aug. 18 with her signature mix of country, folk, blues and rock.

Staying put, Sundays at the bandstand

While some concerts such as the Fourth of July celebrations have been held at Dockside, Fadde prefers to keep the Summer Music Series at the riverfront bandstand. In the past, there has also been discussion about holding the series on Friday or Saturday evening as a way to perhaps benefit business more. Fadde said she, “would be more inclined to move it to a Tuesday rather than Friday or Saturday,” explaining that Tuesday has fewer visitors and that music could be a draw, while Friday and Saturday are typically already busy in the village. “We’re trying to maximize visitors at times when there are potentially fewer people in the village. I’d like to keep the music series on Sunday, to prolong people’s stay in Cold Spring.”

Concerts begin at 5:30 p.m. at the bandstand located at the foot of Main Street on the Hudson River waterfront.


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One thought on “Sunday Music Series Makes Comeback

  1. Many thanks to Cathryn and the Chamber for continuing the music series and being so responsive to public input.

    As we look at neighboring communities, it’s clear that music festivals can be a huge draw and I think that Cold Spring could be the ideal setting for something like a Jazz and Blues Fest like the one in Peekskill that’s held there every year for a very large audience of people from all over (this year it will be on July 26 & 27).

    Also, it doesn’t seem right for the Chamber to have to scramble for money when the County Tourism Agency (funded by tax dollars) just blew over $120,000 on a one-day bike race that did very little for Cold Spring despite all the hoopla. That money should have been used to finance weekend events throughout the summer that could bring thousands of visitors to the Village. For that kind of money we could have had at least one event every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We need to start planning and lobbying now for next summer.