History

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The Start
The Middle Years
Current State of the Corporation

A History of BLACKLEDGE and Blackledgemusic,Inc©

Since 1996, BLACKLEDGE has been providing a wide range and variety of musical entertainment, throughout the Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Northern New York regions.Blackledgemusic,Inc. was incorporated in November of 2002 as a non-profit 501C Corporation. BLACKLEDGEMUSIC, Inc. was formed out of a need to provide continuity and regularity to mixed chamber music performances in the Northeastern area of Connecticut. Helene Rosenblatt formed, managed, or performed with a number of chamber groups. The musicians often discussed bringing more imaginative and educational programs to the general public. The aim was to train new audiences as well as providing quality programming for the many seniors in the area.The problem was that there was no funding to do the special types of repertoire, which would excite both new audiences and top-notch local musicians.Helene Rosenblatt started BLACKLEDGEMUSIC, INC. and the “Music in Our Museums” Chamber Music Series at a number of willing local partners. These include The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Timex Museum (Watertown), and The Carousel Museum (Bristol). The core groups which provide performers for the concerts are BLACKLEDGE Woodwind Quintet; Salmon Brook Trio Plus, Equal Voicings, Nutmeg Consort, with additional resources from Charter Oak Flutes, Trio Sucare, Gantkin Concerts and Musical Friends. All of these groups have been in existence for at least five years (some for over 10 years) and they perform regularly as independent units.

The musicians have strong backgrounds as well as roots in the area. A strong impetus for creating a low cost, professional quality series came from our experiences at venues like Borders Books and Music, where inevitably young children (3-7 years old) would stop to listen to us in live performance with their mouths open…many times they would dance to our music. Unfortunately, venues like Borders have been disappearing, and other non-profits are straining just to sustain their own core goals. There exists a strong need to provide quality concert music venues to educate and entertain our communities and for local performers to sustain their skills.

Incorporation papers were filed in late 2002 for the non-profit corporation called BLACKLEDGEMUSIC, Inc. Its goal:program innovative or unusual musical programs for museums, landmarks and special cultural events. The concepts of low or no cost performance of interesting and diverse works had a “proof of concept” through two exceptionally well-received concerts…a “Flute & Co” concert at the New Britain Museum of American Art(Nov. 2000) (essentially a recital, but based upon various chamber music combinations – woodwind quintet, flute with string trio, alto flute with harp, etc) and a BLACKLEDGE Woodwind Quintet concert at the Avon Public Library in Avon (Jan. 2003), Connecticut where the Quintet performed with piano and also did solo instrumental works. Taking this kind of performance to the next level is the aim of the BLACKLEDGEMUSIC, Inc.

In 2003 - BLACKLEDGEMUSIC, Inc. officially began its life as a non-profit consortium with a concert entitled “Not Just Dead White Men” at the Timexpo,Inc. Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut. This was followed up with a similar concert at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain in early 2004, and a concert of “Music by Twos and Threes” at the Carousel Museum in Bristol, CT.The years 2005-2006 brought the introduction of newly commissioned works with the July 9, 2006 “World Premier” of a major work for flute,harp and cello “Soltice Circle” by California composer, Nancy Bloomer Deussen. Nancy and her husband flew in for the performance and it was quite a celebration.It was also the season that a collaboration with Alison Bogatay which started with flute,guitar (with Lorena Garay) and Alison doing original choreography ended with Alison forming a professional dance troupe “Allongé Dance Variations”which did its inaugural performance with an original dance to a movement from New Hampshire composer Dr. Gwyneth Walker’s “Silvermine Suite” for flute & guitar.That performance was held at “The Carousel Museum” in Bristol, CT and was entitled “Uniquely Ours” and also featured the “World Premier” of Greek Composer Alexandros Tichlas’ “Scherzo” for flute,harp and cello.Along the way, performances happened at The Latino Expo in Hartford, CT and The Ted Hershey Dance Festival in Hartford, CT. We now have an ongoing series of concerts at The New Britain Museum of American Art and are looking to formalize our concert series with The Carousel Museum and then extend our reach.In 2007 we are performing a number of interesting formal and “Gallery” concerts at NBMAA with music entirely by American Composers – including a Gallery Concert of music by African Americans and a May concert of music by American Women. ©