Albany Symphony has announced their 2022 American Music Festival: TrailBlaze NY, a “celebration of New York State’s glorious new Empire State Trail.” The festival will feature various events from the beginning of June to the first week of July running from Kingston all the way up to Saratoga County.
“We wanted to amplify the amazing story of the incredible 750-mile walking and cycling rail trail that now connects all residents of New York State to one another,” said David Alan Miller, Music Director of Albany Symphony and Grammy-winning conductor.
The Empire State Trail, completed in 2020, is composed of the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail which connects New York City to Albany, the Erie Canalway Trail which connects Albany to Buffalo, and the Champlain Valley Trail which connects Albany to the Canadian border.
TrailBlaze NY isn’t the first Albany Symphony production of its kind; during 2017’s Water Music NY, the Symphony travelled along the Erie Canal, performing free concerts at seven different canal communities along the way. During 2019’s Sing Out! New York, they performed free outdoor concerts at several different locations from Columbia to Saratoga County.
The festival will open with a “Troy & Cohoes New Music Week” from June 2 to June 5. One feature event of the four-day span includes a performance from the company’s new-art chamber orchestra, Dogs of Desire on the 3rd at the Cohoes Music Hall. The show will feature world premiers by Natalie Draper, Jack Frerer, Bobby Ge, Loren Loiacono, and Andre Myers.
There is also Albany Symphony’s keynote performance of “Trailblaze!” at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on the 4th. During the concert, the Symphony will play John Williams’ “Prelude and Scherzo (American Premiere)” featuring pianist Gloria Cheng, John Corigliano’s “Triathalon for Saxophone and Orchestra” featuring saxophonist Timothy McAllister, and Steven Stuckey’s “Radical Light.”
Other events include a piano recital from Gloria Chang at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on the 2nd, a “Late Night Lounge experience” with Jordan Taylor Hill at Table 41 Brewing Co. in Cohoes on the 3rd, a chamber performance titled “Endangered” at St. Paul’s in Troy on the 4th, and “Inuksuit,” a group percussion performance at Troy Riverfront Park on the 5th, among others. Admission costs for the week’s events range anywhere from free to $62, with tickets available for purchase on Albany Symphony’s website.
As for the other part of TrailBlaze NY, “Albany Symphony On The Trail!” will feature musical and trail-related event programs at Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville on the 11th, Hutton Brickyards in Kingston on the 19th, Basilica Hudson in Hudson on the 24th and around the city on the 25th, as well as Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady on July 1st, Jennings Landing in Albany on the 2nd, and Riverlink Park in Amsterdam on the 3rd.
TrailBlaze NY is a unique opportunity for people from all over the Northeastern US and Canada to discover some of the most extraordinary towns in New York State and the glorious nature that surrounds them. I hope all our friends and supporters will also join us to celebrate New York State in all its wonder and natural beauty, as well as our resilient communities and the things that connect us and bring us together, all the trails we explore, real and imagined.David Alan Miller
The program involves free Albany Symphony concerts at each stop, featuring music from Natalie Draper, Aaron Copland, Viet Cuong, John Williams, and John Philip Sousa. Additionally, every day of the program will feature activities such as bike rides and hikes on local trails, refreshment from local vendors, and historical & museum tours among many others. Full information about “Albany Symphony On The Trail!” can also be found on their website.