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Hudson Festival Orchestra, Inc.

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Hudson Festival Orchestra, Inc.
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The mission of Hudson Festival Orchestra (HFO), a professional orchestra based in the city of Hudson, NY, is to bring our city’s diverse community together through live musical celebrations of our shared American and diverse cultural heritages.


The initial program of the HFO will be the establishment of an annual concert for full orchestra on the Hudson waterfront, beginning in the summer of 2020. Called “Hudson in Concert: A Community Celebration,” it will be free and open to the public and celebrate our diverse American heritage, recognizing that music and culture can bridge divides and build community. The event will also engage area students through a mentoring program, “Take a Seat…in the Orchestra.”

HFO’s annual “Hudson in Concert: A Community Celebration” will take place at Henry Hudson Waterfront Park, and feature a fifty-five-piece professional orchestra led by conductor and artistic director, Gwen Gould. The music selections will focus on the dance rhythms and music idioms of our city’s various cultures, intended to bring together broad, diverse, and multi-generational audiences. The orchestra will be comprised of prominent area musicians, and each concert will feature special guest artists and student musicians.

HFO will collaborate with area school music programs, including the Harmony Project Hudson (a music program with a mission to engage at-risk youth in the Hudson School District), inviting student singers and musicians to “Take a Seat… in the Orchestra.” At the intermission, HFO will perform the rag “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” sung by students and featuring a parade of children following a life-size bear (a costumed volunteer) to a picnic blanket for treats. 

The waterfront concert will be performed under a large tent (60’ x 120’) able to cover the orchestra and 300 seated audience members, with an adjacent lawn that can accommodate 400-500 more. Audience members will be invited to picnic on the expansive lawn overlooking the river. The park is an easy walk from the town center, the town dock, and will be a comfortable place to enjoy the concert and assembled community, with the spectacular backdrop of the scenic Hudson River and views of the Catskill Mountains.

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