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It’s Summertime: A Roundup of Outdoor Concerts in Saratoga & the Adirondacks

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Outdoor Concerts in the Adirondacks 2011 Roundup: Saratoga, Lake George, Lake Placid, Schroon Lake, Washington County & More

Adk Summer concertsThis summer, expect a great musical lineup at the various parks in and around the Adirondacks. Everyone from the classical enthusiast to the acoustic coffee house junkie should find their musical fix via at least one of these outdoor summer concert series. Most of the concerts listed here are free, or for the most part offer significantly lower-cost tickets. This summer’s outdoor concert series lineup covers the following counties: Saratoga, Warren, Washington and Essex. Concerts are organized below by the county they’re in. Our companion guide of concerts in Albany, Schenectady & Troy is coming soon.

Saratoga County

Every Sunday evening in July, the Spa City Band will perform in Congress Park in downtown Saratoga Springs. The event begins at 7pm, and you’ll be treated to a mix of music, including light classical, jazz, military marches, and Broadway show tunes. On Tuesdays in August, the park presents the Multicultural Music Series, bringing unique sounds from all over the world to spa city.

The annual Thursday night concerts at Wiswall Park in Ballston Spa begin on June 23 and go through August, running from 6pm to 8pm. Indie lovers will be familiar with Ra Ra Riot, who will headline the first concert with opening act Sirsy. Nationally renowned, Ra Ra Riot hails from Syracuse, NY. Their most recent album, The Orchard, was just released in Europe, and the band will embark on tour across the United States this summer, with a visit to the JP Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. This year, the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association has partnered with 102.7 WEQX-FM for Ra Ra Riot and another concert on August 18, performers yet to be announced.

June 23: Ra Ra Riot with opening act Sirsy, presented by WEQX
June 30: Ballston Spa Community Band
July 7: Skeeter Creek
July 14: Marty Wendell
July 21: Sonny & Perley
July 28: Tequila Mockingbirds
August 4: Annual Ice Cream Social with Union Fire Company Band
August 11: Jump Daddies
August 18: WEQX presents band TBA
August 25: Ten Pound Tiger

Warren County

The 2011 Lake George Summer Concert series will commence at the Shepard Park amphitheater on July 6 with the blues music of the Chris O’Leary Band. The season also includes Seattle-based Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers on July 13–a band recently recognized by Modern Acoustic magazine as 2010′s “New Artist of the Year.”

July 6: Chris O’Leary Band
July 13: Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers
July 20: Hair of the Dog
July 27: Robert Michaels Trio
August 3: 42nd Infantry Division Band
August 10: Chatham County Line
August  17: Sweetback Sisters
August 24: Harold Ford & the Cash Band
Aug. 31: Hugh Pool ~ Mulebone

Bolton Landing will be holding concert events at Rogers’ Memorial Park, Tuesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. These events will start July 5 and run through August 30. If you enjoy living in the Adirondacks, or even if you find the area attractive, you should try to attend the performance by the Stony Creek Band on July 5. Adirondack Singer/Songwriter Christopher Shaw wrote, “The band’s distinctive blend of folk, country, and bluegrass grew from the humor, wry wit, and irony of those old men and women who sang songs and told us stories of the old days, and from their wistful but hard-edged sense of loss,” and that “the Stony Creek Band contains a more purely distilled essence of the Adirondacks — that special mixture of Quebec fiddle tunes, lumberjack ballads, and postwar country-swing.”

July 5: Stony Creek Band
July 12: The Ernie Williams Band
July 26: Matt Finley & Rio Jazz
Aug 2: Chain Lightning
Aug 9: Vivid!
Aug 23: The Master Cylinders
Aug 30: The In Crowd

The Luzerne Music Center is truly the place to be for your instrumental and classical digs this summer. The center hosts a music camp for talented student instrumentalists, who are featured in weekly free concerts on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (until July 23), with faculty playing every Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ($15).

Commencing July 3, the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival will feature several professional instrumentalists and chamber groups every Monday at 7:30 p.m ($10/adult, $5/students. With their dancing counterparts at SPAC, the “Stars of the New York City Ballet Orchestra” (with Louise Thomas Bisharat on piano) perform on July 11. Pieces will include Antonin Dvorak’s “Dumky” and Ludwig von Beethoven’s “Archduke”.

July 11: Stars of the NYC Ballet Orchestra
July 18: “With an International Flair”, Cynthia Tobey (piano) with Luzerne Chamber Players
July 25: Imani Winds (With Toby Blumenthal, piano)
August 1: “Hungarian Rhapsody”, Danielle Belen (violin) with Luzerne Chamber Players
August 8: “Fabulous Philadelphians”, featuring selected musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra
August 15: Aeolus String Quartet
August 22: Toby Blumenthal and Elizabeth Pitcairn, with Jacob Braun (cello) and Brett Deubner (viola)

The Park Pavilion on Lake Luzerne will also be hosting a Summer Concert Series. Concerts begin at 7pm, and will run from July 7 through August 25 on Thursday nights. These events are all free to the public.

The town of Thurman will be hosting Monday Night Concerts in the Park at Veterans’ Memorial Park in the town of Athol. The concerts are free and take place at 7pm. Make sure to bring a blanket or chair and comfy clothes for relaxing in the field or dancing in the grass. You can also sample some tasty food by local not-for profit vendors, while rocking out to bands such as The Bluebillies and The Lustre Kings.

July 4: Smokey Greene (along with a fireworks display!)
July 11: Vintage County
July 18: The Bluebillies
July 25: Warren County Ramblers
August 1: The Lustre Kings
August 8: Charles Cornell
August 15: The Sky Blue Boys
August 22: Nancy Walker Trio
August 29: Stony Creek Band

Washington County

Summer concerts take place throughout the county.

Beginning in Greenwich, Wednesday Evening Concerts take place July 6-27 at the Mowry Park Gazebo on Main Street at 7pm. Performers TBA. Call 518-692-7528 for a lineup closer to the dates.

Granville Summer Concerts take place at Granville Veterans’ Memorial Park on Thursday evenings from 7pm-9pm. Some bands you’ll definitely want to catch this series, include the ever-entertaining The Big Smoothies on July 28, the classic horn band Satin & Steel on August 18, and the Woods Tea Company on August 25. The series is already underway, remaining shows include the following:

June 30: Prydien (Celtic rock with highland bagpipes)
July 7: New York Players (Big Band, Top 40, R&B and Motown)
July 14: T.S. Ensemble (Octet playing classic rock standards)
July 21: Country Express (Current and classic country hits)
July 28: The Big Smoothies (They’re name says it all, entertainment at its best, playing pop, r&b and big band)
August 4: Bobby Dick “A Man of Many Voices”
August 11: Washington County Concert Band (jazz, Broadway musicals, marches)
August 18: Satin & Steel (10-piece classic R&B horn band)
August 25: Woods Tea Company (a fine brew of bluegrass, folk, sea shanties & celtic)

Granville also has Sunday evening concerts featuring the Granville Town Band. Dates for this series are August 7-28, and all Sunday evening concerts start at 7pm.

Hudson Falls‘ concerts in the park take place on Thursdays at 7pm at the gazebo in Juckett Park, beginning in July. The lineup is as follows:

July 7: Hartford Community Band
July 14: Dry Town Drifters
July 21: Vintage Country Band
July 28: Jonathan Newell
August 4: Country Express
August 11: The Hand-Picked Band
August 18: Willie Playmore
August 25: Dan Mellon and Alexis Herrick

Outdoor concerts in Whitehall take place on Friday evenings from July 8-August 26 at Riverside Veterans Memorial Park from 7pm-9pm:

July 8: Willie Playmore Band (following the Whitehall Canal Festival)
July 15: Tailgatorz
July 22: Hartford Community Band
July 29: The Moonlighters
August 5: Rutland City Band
August 12: Adirondack Fiddlers
August 19: Enerjazz
August 25: Out Of Control

The summer outdoor concert series in Salem has wrapped up, but be sure to catch it in 2012.

Essex County

Conductor Ron Spigelman leads the ‘orchestra of the Adirondacks’ for this family-friendly concert series in Lake Placid. Spigelman, originally an Australian native, later turned American emigrant, was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy for his work, and has been associated with many prestigious orchestras in his career. The Lake Placid Sinfonietta is a summer chamber orchestra; its musicians come from larger orchestras and university faculties throughout the country. The Sinfonietta can trace its inception back to 1917, when it began providing excellent classical performances to the people of the Adirondacks.

The Park Series 2011 is free to the public, and all performances will take place at 7pm on Wednesdays in Mid’s Park in downtown Lake Placid. (In the event of poor weather, the concert will begin at 7:15 p.m. at St. Agnes Church on Saranac Ave.) Dates for the Park Series are as follows: July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10. Visit for a complete schedule.

Tickets for the 2011 Symphony Series Program, also in Lake Placid, will be available for $22; series discounts are available. Concerts will take place Sunday evenings, July 10 through August 13 at 7:15pm, also in Mid’s Park. Students 18 and under are admitted free (if seating is available). More info can be found at the link above.

Saranac Lake’s Summer Concert Series kicks off on July 4, with a concert featuring Ron Hurd at 7pm in Riverside Park on Lake Flower. The concert’s followed by fireworks. For a complete schedule (not yet published at the time of this article’s publication), visit the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce site at

Schroon Lake has a variety of folk, a capella, and instrumental concerts scheduled for their Boathouse Concert Series starting July 8 and running through August 20. Among these is the Adirondack Folk Music Festival at Schroon Lake Town Park on Sunday, August 14 at noon, featuring Middlebury and Vermont’s Michelle Fay Band, along with some great Adirondack crafts.

Schroon Lake’s Boathouse Concert Series also includes a few children’s events. The Elephant Child is a contemporary adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s work, describing how elephants came to have long trunks. Through large, colorful, handcrafted puppets, marionettes, and lavish scenery, The Puppet People use skillful storytelling to entertain their audiences. The Fun and Science of Folk Music blends guitar, congas, flute and voice to create a memorable performance that will be enjoyed by all ages. Both of these are free events.

Other performers include the Woods Tea Company (Celtic and folk), FLIPSYDZ (a capella), and Chris Westfall (folk). Adult tickets are $12, students $5. See below for the complete schedule.

July 9: “Art and Music in the Park“–Visual art on display, with Haprist Martha Gallagher and bluegrass group Modern Grass performing.
July 12: Jamcrackers (Adirondack folk music)
July 19: FLIPSYDZ (A capella doo wap)
July 26 (10am): The Hamstead Stage Co presents The Adventures of Mr. Toad (free)
July 26 (8pm): Boreal Tordu (Maine-Acadian Mmusic)
August 2 (2pm): “Story Laurie” tells stories and sings songs (free children’s event)
August 6: Chris Westfall (folk)
August 9: Sonny and Perley Trio (Jazz and folk)
August 13 (11am): Chris and Meredith Thomapson present The Fun Science of Folk Music (free children’s event)
August 14 (12pm to 5pm): 22nd Adirondack Folk Music Festival
August 16: Woods Tea Company (celtic and folk)
August 20 (7pm meeting and 8pm show): Paul Elliott, Peggy and Emery Williams (free)

Did we miss a concert series you’d like to see on here? Leave a comment below or drop us a line at info at thefreegeorge dot com.

–Michael Koester is an Assistant Editor for The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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