State of The HVBA – 2015

As 2015 draws to a close it’s time to look back at the highlights of the year for the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association. The HVBA mission is to provide events, communications, and educational opportunities for people who embrace or are interested in learning more about Bluegrass music. To this end we hold bi-monthly jams, maintain a website, hold concerts and other performance opportunities, manage a bluegrass stage at the Arlington Street Festival, plus offer a course through Marist college about the evolution of Bluegrass music. It’s a year packed with something for everyone who loves bluegrass music.

Our showcase program is designed to give local bands an opportunity to perform for an enthusiastic audience. This year the bands that participated were Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus, Stained Grass Window, The Abby Hollander Band, and Michael Daves and Jenn Larson. Every one of these performances was stellar. The words “local bands” does not convey the high level of musicianship delivered by each and every one of these groups. I hope if you have not yet made it out to one of these showcase events that you will take my word for it and come on out. These are exceptional events.

This year we had another fine concert series presenting to our members some of the best in national bluegrass touring groups.Groups that left our jaws dropping were Lonely Heartstring Band, JoeWalsh-Grant Gordy (with StringTix), the Spinney Brothers, James King, and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. To round out the year the Gibson Brothers came back with family and friends to present a heart warming “Gibson Family Gathering.”

Thanks to the crew that makes these events happen. Marc Berman the backbone of the Showcase events, Peter Conklin and Kevin Walsh for sound systems, Lynn Lipton for scheduling bands and the room, Fred Robbins for videotaping, Mike Foley for publicity, George Nasca assisting with tickets, Jacques DiCroce and Chris Scheu parking crew, and my wife Nancy for fresh baked goods. Thanks to Mark Hudson for owning the Facebook page. Thanks to all the board members who do the behind the scenes work to lay out a plan for the events. Finally a big thank you to Lynn Lipton our Program Director and Webmaster for her dedication and hard work. Our website has blossomed over the years and is the place to connect with what is happening in bluegrass for the entire region and it gets traffic from all over the world.

Next Year we continue with what works and seek changes that will make what we do even better.

David Angell

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