Sounds of the season

Iwama said this was the vocal arts program’s first holiday-themed concert, and what she called the “start of a tradition.”

“These students are at the pre-professional level. They’ve won important competitions. This is their last step before a professional career. They possess a high level of accomplishment. I am looking forward to the community seeing what we can do,” she said.

The students are accustomed to bringing their music and talents out into the community, she added. “We put on operas, evenings of operatic arias and songs. The students themselves have gone out into the community to put on concerts themselves. One group performed at the Morton Library to benefit the Anderson Center for Autism. Another group went to the Hudson Opera House to benefit the local food bank. The program searches for ways to make classical music relevant to the world in general, to connect with the outside world and help bring classical music (to more people). People may think that it’s a little too high-brow, and that they might not enjoy it, but that’s not true.”

Iwama said that “A Winter Songfest” was “something that the whole family can enjoy – my own children will be there. I’m encouraging all of their friends and families to come.”

Tickets are $15, $25, $50, and $100. Top-level tickets get patrons into a post-concert reception with Upshaw and the performers.To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 845-758-7900 or go to

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