Music on the Delaware is made up of a group of volunteers who make everything happen. Over the years the organization has expanded its programs and welcome new members to help with planning and implementing programs. Getting involved does not mean a person has to be a part of attending meetings, but can be someone who simply would like to help with some aspect of the programs. It is as simple as sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacting one our members. Come join us - it’s fun!
Music on the Delaware’s mission is to bring quality, affordable, and educational musical experiences to the general public and students of Delaware County and its surroundings.
Robert & Rebekah Doig
Bill & Dawn Seneschal
Sandy & Gale Sheradin
The History of Music on the Delaware
A long time ago, somewhere around 1992, Jim Richardson and a group of parents with children in the music program at Walton Central School formed a Friends of Music group. They worked hard to bring some live music to the students and to the town. The first concert was Sadie Green Sales, a jug band/folk music genre. They performed in the cafeteria!
Because several of the Walton music teachers performed with the Catskill Symphony, many of the Friends of Music attended those performances. Someone had the great idea to invite the symphony to Walton for a performance. This led to Music on the Delaware being formed in 1998. Four times a year Music on the Delaware sponsored the symphony with performances in the auditorium on late Sunday afternoons. Each time a MOD member held a reception afterwards, in their home, for the participants. The Cabaret Concert was always a hit, with local guest “conductors.” These were held in the gym and required extensive set up, snacks and cleanup; they were always a well attended, classy event.
Sometime in the early 2000’s, laws changed and it became required that the musicians be paid much more money for each performance. Music on the Delaware, always working on a small budget, could not afford to continue sponsoring the concerts. It was decided to continue with other musical events, some classical and some from other genres.
Part of the foundation of Music on the Delaware has always been the inclusion of young people in the music. Music on the Delaware has sponsored workshops for music students in all the surrounding schools throughout the years. Many of the performers for the big stage come two days early so they can hold these workshops. Some of the exciting workshops we've had include The Canal Street String Band who included the Townsend School Select Chorus in their performances, which led the entire Townsend School to learn music written by Grant Rogers, a local musician and folk song writer. Another time, Backtrack A Cappella sent music ahead to the WCS High School students who practiced it. When Backtrack came for the workshop, they worked on this song with the chorus and that weekend the chorus joined them onstage to sing with them- many of the WCS chorus even got to sing solos!
Music on the Delaware continued sponsoring music several times a year with groups such as Cobblestone Crossing, Susquehanna String Band, The Air Force band, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, Robin Spielberg and the Canadian Brass. However, scheduling around school events was becoming more and more difficult. The group struggled with what to do. The school auditorium holds 793; a smaller and more accessible venue was needed. The light bulb went off! Why not the Walton Theatre? Negotiations with RSS and the village began and Music on the Delaware held its first event at the theatre.
Jay Unger and Molly Mason kicked off the inauguration of the new venue. Many groups performed there in the first couple of years. Groups like John McCutcheon, John Gorky, Cathie Ryan, and Ruby Shoes performed in the beautiful new venue.
Then the flood of 2006 hit in June and the water rose in the theatre to stage level and covered the stage as well as ruined most of the seats and floor.
Groups were scheduled for the fall, but Music on the Delaware was without a venue. Once again the school was approached and asked to hold these events while the theatre was being renovated. Cobblestone Crossing, led by Walton native Steve Rowell, held the first concert. They donated their fees to the restoration project. Insurance monies had covered much of the replacement, but the Walton Theatre Preservation Association stepped in to aid in the work. Music on the Delaware, as well as the WTPA, spent the summer and fall of 2006 fundraising to help in the rebuilding.
The theatre was once again useable by late January of 2007, thanks to much hard work from the theatre preservation group. The Susquehanna String Band performed the first concert. Since that time, many, many groups have performed in this venue. Some of the favorites to perform have been Jay Unger and Molly Mason, Cherish the Ladies, Peter Yarrow, Ruby Shoes, The Gawler Family, Driftwood, Acoustic Eidolon, Patsy Kline, Canal Street String Band, Backtrack A Cappella, De Temps Antan, Stephanie and Paolo, and the Revelers.
COVID-19 shut down the theatre for nearly over a year, from March 2020 to May 2021, but it didn't stop the music. Music on the Delaware continued to bring music to the community in a virtual form, including coffeehouses, "main stage" events, and even school workshops.
In September 2021, Music on the Delaware returned with a full year of performances and workshops, both in-person and virtual. We can't wait to see you all at the show!
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