Caroga Lake festival a treat

I recently received an email from Kyle Barrett Price, artistic director of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, stating they will again be here in our little town at the Caroga Chapel with an expanded program and seven performances. Caroga Chapel is on Chapel Road between Route 10 and East Shore Road here in town, and will host four of the seven performances.

I include a photo of some of the performers on a dock at West Caroga Lake, as well as one of Kyle playing his cello at a performance. Kyle Price has spent his summer vacations here at Caroga Lake at his grandparents’ lake house (Joyce and the late Rev. Richard Barrett) for the past 20 years. That’s Joyce Barrett at the extreme right on the dock.

I start each morning and greet the day with classical chamber music, and could hardly believe my good fortune when I heard three years ago that wonderful music would be played live and just around the corner from where we live. Better yet, they have kept at it and returned each year with a bigger venue and more variety. This year, they are adding vocals to the instrumental performances.

I’ve told you before that I went to Indiana University on an opera scholarship, and prior to that, I started at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where Kyle has also studied. Other schools represented by these artists include the Eastman School of Music, Julliard, Yale and New England Conservatory, to name a few. To have such influential and high-ranking music schools represented in our little town each year is a real treat.

I remember my voice teacher at Cleveland Institute, George Vassos, who encouraged me to pursue music at I.U., where I majored in voice, theater and dance. From there, I went on to tour with the American Repertoire Theater, and then went on to pursue my career in New York City and Los Angeles.

But back to our little town, where the music festival began Saturday. You will still have plenty of opportunities to see and hear these remarkable musicians at the Caroga Chapel on Aug. 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., and also at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown on Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and then a final performance Aug. 15 at Caroga Chapel 7 p.m. From there, they are off to New York City.

There is no charge, no tickets required and no reservations needed, although free will offerings are gratefully accepted to help cover their travel costs in these fantastic presentations. Do come.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website, www.kathrynskorner.com.