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Hudson River Valley Heritage

About this collection

Presented here is a sampling of historical resources from the collections at Woodstock Public Library.

Browse all Woodstock Public Library collections

Browse the Marverick Sunday Concerts Programs: Programs from the long-running Maverick Sunday Concert Series.

Browse the Maverick Musician Portraits: A musician and founding music director of the National Orchestral Association, Leon Barzin is quoted in the Maverick Concerts Seventy-fifith Anniversary Book as stating: "From the very beginning, music at the Maverick was a unique effort of professionals and amateurs" and "From the very first performance there was a delightful mixture of formality and informality. Nothing in Woodstock can ever be completely formal." Barzin was just one member of a diverse gathering of musicians, including Pierre Henrotte, concert-master of the Metropolitan Opera House, George Barrere, internationally renowned flutist and Boris Koutzen, giften composer and member of the first violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Maverick Sunday Concerts are still drawing crowds.

Browse the Maverick Festival Collection: The Maverick Art Colony was founded in 1905 by by Harvard graduate turned social activist, author, idealist and bohemian, Hervey White, when he and Fritz van der Loo purchased a farm in the hutley Patentee Woods. Hervey envisioned the farm becoming a new art colony, where the old restrictions on individual freedoms would be put aside. He strove to create an environment where men and women could live freely. Hervey's creed for the Maverick colony was simply put, "Do what you want to (as long as you don't harm others)."

The short geographic distrance between Greenwich Village in New York City and Woodstock in upstate New York, brought artists, musicians, social reformers and intellectuals to Woodstock. At the Maverick, artists found Hervey's farm a very pleasant and creative environment. Life quickly became more unconventional and bohemian, as viewed by the more conventional Woodstockers. The rural residents of Woodstock faced with the Byrdcliffe colony, the Art Students League now watched as Greenwich Villagers sought residence at Hervey's farm, the Maverick. Feelings of unfriendliness betweeen the locals and the newcomers intensified. Hervey believed that he could placate the local residents by providing musical performances, and at first, chamber music was performed for a small fee in Woodstock's Fireman's Hall. The audiences grew rapidly and it became apparent that people were willing to pay to hear the well played classical chamber music. Hervey began to look for a suitable concert hall, hoping it could be found at his Maverick farm.

By 1915, summer residencies at the Maverick Art Colony increased to more than twenty-five cabins, and so did the need for water and creature comforts. It became apparent that a well was needed and Hervey hired a man named Rockafeller, who was willing to be paid over a number of years for the drilling service. After having a well drilled an astonishing five-hundred and fifty feet deep, Hervey was faced with a bill for fifteen hundred dollars, far more than he expected. Plans to raise money for paying this bill turned into the organization of the first Maverick Festival.

Using available resources, Hervey and friends converted a stone quarry on the Maverick property into an open-air theater. Seating, a stage and an orchestra pit were built and picnic grounds are where the present Maverick Concert Hall stands and the long running Maverick Summer Concert Series performances are still held today. Hervey viewed the Maverick Festivals as an opportunity for all people, whether involved in the arts or not, to share in the festival pageantry, wearing fantastic costumes, picnicking around campfires, and enjoying numerous performances.

 
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