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Caroga Arts to celebrate Independence Day with virtual concert, 30 musicians

CAROGA LAKE — The Caroga Arts will celebrate Independence Day, with a virtual concert for the Caroga Lake Music Festival, at 5 p.m. July 3, featuring a variety of artists and musical selections.

For the first time 30 musicians from Caroga Arts Ensemble will perform virtually together to play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, arranged by Caroga Arts artist Josh Henderson and Echoes Ring, a piece commissioned in honor of MLK50 and composed by Director Kyle Barrett Price.

David Cook, Taylor Swift’s music director and jazz pianist, will perform a jazz segment.

Ethan Uslan, making a first Caroga Arts appearance, is a ragtime pianist and three-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. Uslan will play some music by Scott Joplin in celebration of the Sherman’s Centennial in 2021.

A vocal quartet consisting of CLMF artists and opera singers, Nicole Heinen, Logan Contreras, Jazimina MacNeil, and Armando Contreras, will sing an arrangement of “America the Beautiful.”

CLMF Artists Andy Liang and Aaron Schwartz will be playing Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” for two violins arranged by B. Dukov.

The Saunders Family Band from Canada Lake, vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, will give a performance of “This Land is Your Land.”

The backyard music festival is a fundraising event to support Caroga Arts’ continued efforts to revitalize local culture, business, and life by providing unique experiences through collaborative performances, community engagement and education. All donations made to Caroga Arts between now and Sept. 30, will be doubled, with a matching gift of up to $10,000 from Pat Lowry and Jim Hopkins.

The event will also introduce the “Play it Forward Caroga Arts Challenge,” a way to show support for Caroga Arts. The participants can make a donation to take the challenge and post a video of their creative making (playing music, dancing, crafting, cooking, reading poetry, etc.) on social media and inviting others to take the challenge.

Caroga Arts is also exploring possibilities of screening the concert for a limited number of audiences or cars (as a drive-in option) at Sherman’s subject to CDC guidelines.

The Backyard Music Festival is free and accessible to all with donations. The live stream will take place on July 3, at 5pm EDT on the Caroga Arts YouTube channel and Facebook page. Anyone who misses the live stream can still watch it later on both platforms and on the website at carogaarts.org.

Jacob Joyce will be the conductor. Those playing instruments will be Emily Schaefer and Dan Hively, both horn; Alex Mayon and Mark Grisez, both trumpet; Chris Brosius, trombone; Brian Shank, percussion; Jason Kutz, piano; Kevin Smith, Kelly Talim, Rebecca Benjamin, Chelsea Sharpe, Josh Henderson, Michelle Shin, Eva Dove, David Wong, Vini Sant’Ana, and Ben Kronk, all violin; Stephanie Price-Wong, Erica Gailing, Aaron Mossburg, Tonya Burton, Alice Ping, all viola; Ken Kubota, Julian Muller, Ryan Louie, Kyle Price and Nathan Chan, all cello; Nate West, Jordan Calixto and Jon Borden, all bass.

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