Category Archives: Capital District–NYS

PLEASE HELP Racing City Chorus’ $how to Benefit Saratoga Springs HS Music ♫ Department


THE RACING CITY CHORUS NEEDS YOUR HELP!!! (Yes, I am repeating myself!) The Racing City Chorus is Raising $$$ to Benefit the Saratoga Springs High School Music ♫ Department. PLEASE join us! Please help us make this a smash hit! (At the bottom of this you’ll see all kinds of ways you can share this.)

The Racing City Chorus (RCC) of Saratoga Springs, NY, is celebrating its 60 anniversary this year with a Diamond Anniversary Show on June 4thand we are going to donate 50% of the Show’s net proceeds to the Music Department of the Saratoga Springs High School.

I call this cause RCC sings for Saratoga Springs Music.RCC Sings for Saratoga Springs 7

For our Chorus, this is HUGE (or as Billy Fuccillo would say, “You-jah!“) and we need  your help. We believe in our Barbershop music and in supporting music education for youth. Candidly, we’d like to raise a LOT of money to make a really large donation. (For some more information see Paul Post’s great article “Singing for a Cause” in the 4/12 issue of The Saratogian.)

AND PLEASE COME TO OUR SHOW! It will be an a capella singing lover’s feast! Here are the details:

WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, June 4, 2016, the Maple Avenue Middle School 515 Maple Avenue Saratoga Springs NY 12866. Two performances: 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Maino2

Mike Maino

OUR PERFORMERS: Barbershop Harmony Society favorite Mike Maino will Emcee this fabulous LINE UP:

2015-NED-0456The Racing City Chorus and its four Quartets – Contempt of Chord, Elderly Brothers, Late Bloomers, and Primrose Lane!

VS 1Vocal Spectrum, 2006 International Barbershop Harmony Society champions! These four young men rock Barbershop singing, America’s original a capella art form!

SSCSD logo JCK 3Saratoga Springs High School Choraliers led by Kathleen McCarty (7:00 pm show)!

southgf_HP_bannerSouth Glens Falls High School  SGF Vocal Point led by Elizabeth Stambach-Fuller (2:00 pm show)! (Thank you SGF Vocal Point for helping!!!)

The Afterglow: Join Vocal Spectrum, Mike Maino, and all of us for a more casual sing. Pizza and wings to be served. (Starts after the Show at the Saratoga Springs K of C hall.)

  • TICKETS AND COST:

    • TO BUY TICKETS ONLINE CLICK HERE: (Reserved Seating available, first come, first serve!)
    • OR CALL:  518-504-SING (that’s 518-504-7464) to buy Tickets through the Racing City Chorus.
    • NEED HELP ORDERING? HAVE A GROUP ATTENDING? HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS? Please Email pbaker1@nycap.rr.com.
  • Show Tickets:
    • VIP Seating: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $23.00
    • Premium Seating: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . $19.00
    • General admission: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $17.00
    • Non Reserved General Admission: .  .  . . . $15.00
  • Afterglow Tickets: Per person: . . . . . . $20.00

FOR MORE INFORMATION: visit the Racing City Chorus website OR Telephone 518-504-SING (that’s 518-504-7464).

Join the  Racing City Chorus June 4th  as RCC sings for Saratoga Springs Music“!  Thank you!

Joe Cutshall-King

  • Information on The Racing City Chorus:
    • The Racing City Chorus is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, chartered in Saratoga Springs in 1956 as a Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
    • Mailing Address: PO Box 713, Saratoga Springs, NY  12866
    • Telephone 518-504-SING (that’s 518-504-7464)
    • Website: http://racingcitychorus.org/

Do you think my ♫ cause is worth going viral?


I have a Music ♬ Cause and I am asking you this:   Should it go viral?

Here is my cause:  My Barbershop chorus, The Racing City Chorus (RCC) of Saratoga Springs, NY, is celebrating its 60 anniversary this year with a Diamond Anniversary Show on June 4thand we are going to donate 50% of the Show’s net proceeds to the Music Department of the Saratoga Springs High School.

I call the cause RCC sings for Saratoga Springs Music  (or RCC ♬ for $$$ for Saratoga ♬).RCC Sings for Saratoga Springs 7

For our Chorus, this is a huge undertaking and we need the public’s support. But we believe in our Barbershop music and in supporting music education for youth by 1) donating to our hometown school’s Music Department and in doing so,  2) drawing attention to music education for youth. Candidly, we’d like to raise a lot of money to make a really large donation.

Paul Post beautifully describes our efforts in his article “Singing for a Cause” in the 4/12 issue of The Saratogian. If you think RCC sings for Saratoga Springs Music is a good cause, will you share this on social media and via email and help it go viral? (See: “Share this” below.)

And please come to our show! It will be an a capella singing lover’s delight! Here are the details:

WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, June 4, 2016, the Maple Avenue Middle School 515 Maple Avenue Saratoga Springs NY 12866. Two performances: 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Maino2

Mike Maino

OUR PERFORMERS: Barbershop Harmony Society favorite Mike Maino will Emcee this fabulous LINE UP:

2015-NED-0456The Racing City Chorus and its four Quartets – Contempt of Chord, Elderly Brothers, Late Bloomers, and Primrose Lane!

VS 1Vocal Spectrum, 2006 International Barbershop Harmony Society champions! These four young men rock Barbershop singing, America’s original a capella art form!

SSCSD logo JCK 3Saratoga Springs High School Choraliers led by Kathleen McCarty (7:00 pm show)!

southgf_HP_banner

The Afterglow: Join Vocal Spectrum, Mike Maino, and all of us for a more casual sing. Pizza and wings to be served. (Starts after the Show at the Saratoga Springs K of C hall.)

  • TICKETS AND COST:

    • TO BUY TICKETS ONLINE CLICK HERE: (Reserved Seating available, first come, first serve!)
    • OR CALL:  518-504-SING (that’s 518-504-7464) to buy Tickets through the Racing City Chorus.
    • NEED HELP ORDERING? HAVE A GROUP ATTENDING? HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS? Please Email pbaker1@nycap.rr.com.
  • Show Tickets:
    • VIP Seating: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $23.00
    • Premium Seating: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . $19.00
    • General admission: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $17.00
    • Non Reserved General Admission: .  .  . . . $15.00
  • Afterglow Tickets: Per person: . . . . . . $20.00

FOR MORE INFORMATION: visit the Racing City Chorus website OR Telephone 518-504-SING (that’s 518-504-7464).

Join the  Racing City Chorus June 4th  as RCC sings for Saratoga Springs Music“!  Thank you!

Joe Cutshall-King

  • Information on The Racing City Chorus:
    • The Racing City Chorus is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, chartered in Saratoga Springs in 1956 as a Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
    • Mailing Address: PO Box 713, Saratoga Springs, NY  12866
    • Telephone 518-504-SING (that’s 518-504-7464)
    • Website: http://racingcitychorus.org/

A great new book for you: “The Things Our Fathers Saw”


The Things Our Fathers Saw

Teachers are normally miracle workers, but sometimes they’ll perform a miracle within a miracle. Matthew Rozell is a teacher who performed just that in a teaching method that ultimately led to his new book The Things Our Fathers Saw: The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation from Hometown, USA; Volume I: Voices of the Pacific Theater.

Let me describe what happened and then I’ll tell you about this extraordinary book by Matthew Rozell.

Starting in the late 1980s, Matt, a history teacher in Hudson Falls High School (Hudson Falls, NY), had his students interview and videotape the recollections of grandparents and others who had served in WW II—men and women. They were among the Greatest Generation, who were now aging, dying, and taking their stories to the grave. Matt’s miracle within a miracle was to have his students hear, see and feel the living history of the war, as embodied in and transmitted by these veterans. As he writes in The Things Our Fathers Saw, “I had hit upon something every teacher searches for—a tool to motivate and encourage students to want to learn more, for the sake of just learning it.” Matt himself also videotaped interviews with these veterans. His classes’ work coincided with the emergence of the Internet and world wide web and so The World War Two Living History Project (WW2LHP) website was born.

The project has been widely recognized in the media—newspapers, TV, radio, Internet— and justifiably praised here and abroad. And here’s a perfect example of its power. Matt was videotaping a student’s grandparent, Sgt. Carrol Walsh, who had been a tank commander in the European Theater. As the interview ended, Carrol Walsh’s daughter just happened to ask if he’d told Matt about “the train.” Carrol Walsh said he had not and so related how, on April 13, 1945, his tank unit came across and liberated a train full of concentration camp victims being transported from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Carrol Walsh’s interview and the photos taken that April day were uploaded to the WW2LHP website and gradually the train’s survivors began to see it. Eventually hundreds of them saw it, some living as far away as Australia, who subsequently contacted their liberators. Matt then worked to get most of the nearly 300 survivors reunited with their liberators.

So much other good came of that website, too much to relate here, but you can read Matt’s full story online. To me, the greatest good was expressed in what one of Matt’s students said of this project: “It’s life altering and because we’ve heard these stories, it’s our job to make sure it won’t happen again.”

Now, on to his book, The Things Our Fathers Saw: The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation from Hometown, USA; Volume I: Voices of the Pacific Theater. Matt’s classes have also interviewed veterans of the Pacific Theater. Matt selected the stories of twenty-nine men and three women living in and around Glens Falls, NY, which had been designated as “Hometown, USA” in a series of articles published by Look Magazine in 1944—hence its inclusion in the title. Some of the 32 were natives, born within a 30-mile radius of Glens Falls. Others came to settle in the area after the war’s end.

Matt edited these interviews and interwove explanatory text and historical background all in one book. It is a chronological progression taking us from Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941, through to the Japanese full surrender September 2, 1945, and then beyond into the veterans’ homecoming at war’s end. The war in the Pacific Theater covered an incredible area, considering how huge the Pacific Ocean is and that the Japanese Empire occupied almost as much territory as the United States does today. That so much of the scope of the Pacific Theater’s war is reflected in the lives of these  people is astonishing, both in terms of their personal experiences and in terms of the different number of geographic areas in which they served.

For example, we begin the war at Pearl Harbor with the memories of Gerald “Barney” Ross, who was serving in the US Navy aboard the USS Blue, moored at Pearl Harbor on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941. Ross and others were waiting for a motor launch to take him to church services, when a Japanese plane flew over their heads. Ross recalled, “She went down and dropped a torpedo. Then I saw the Utah turn over”—the USS Utah, a 522 foot Florida Class Battleship that went down taking 64 men with her.

It should be noted that not all of the accounts in the book were from interviews done by students or by Matt alone. Also, some accounts were taken from diaries and one from a 1946 article in The Post-Star. This in no way subtracts from the enormity of the ongoing contribution of the World War Two Living History Project; rather it beautifully complements it and strengthens Matt’s book. For example, the book quotes Joseph Minder’s diary. Kept throughout the war, it chillingly related the conquest of the Philippines Islands by Japanese forces in 1942. Minder brings you there, puts you in that moment at the heroic defense of Corregidor Island, and then takes you with him during the subsequent imprisonment of him and thousands of others in a Japanese POW camp. Minder’s accounts of life in the camp for the next three years are not for the faint-hearted.

Going back to his project, I was delighted to learn that veterans would also visit students in the classroom. James “Jimmy” Butterfield of Glens Falls came along with his wife Mary and his good friend James Lawler. Both Butterfield and Lawler had  served in the Marines and were on Okinawa, where Jimmy was wounded. Mary’s memories give us the stateside view of someone waiting for her loved one to return. In the classroom, the three spoke and Jimmy patiently, and with tremendous honesty and humor, told the students of how he lost his sight at age 19 during the battle for that Japanese Island, only 150 miles off the coast of Japan. As you read what Jimmy told the class and how Mary and James Lawler reacted, you find yourself alternately laughing and crying.

In addition to the memories of Mary Butterfield, I was particularly grateful to see the inclusion of the memories of Katherine Abbott and Dorothy Schechter,  who served in the war. Women then were not allowed in combat positions and so became nurses, WACs, WAVEs, or worked in other supporting services. Dorothy Schechter was an example of the last, serving as a civilian in charge of accounting on various Army Air Force bases. In 1942, she was the only woman authorized to be at a South Carolina air base that was being used to stage General Jimmy Doolittle’s famous raid on Tokyo. Doolittle and a team of crack B-25 bomber crews were practicing  taking off from the deck of an aircraft carrier, something no bombers had ever done. Later, Doolittle’s fleet of B-25 bombers would take off from the USS Hornet in the South Pacific and bomb Tokyo, the first time Americans had struck the Japanese Empire’s homeland. Schechter’s narrative also relates her subsequent very personal and poignant experiences with Japanese-Americans held in California interment camps, one of the many facets of this complex war.

Katherine Abbott trained to be a nurse at Memorial Hospital in Albany, NY, and then joined the US Army to be a flight nurse in the Air Evacuation Squadron. She served on a plane with “only one nurse and one medical technician” that island-hopped all over the South Pacific to serve the wounded in such places as Hawaii, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Leyte, and Okinawa. Other times they would ferry patients to larger places that had hospital facilities. On board, 28 patients had only Mary and the medical technician—no doctor—to keep them medicated, sedated, and cared for. Think of flying in an unarmed aircraft, with no pressurized cabin or oxygen. Although she was only in a combat area once, when serving Okinawa, Katherine’s service and heroism certainly qualify as “going above and beyond.”

Those are just snippets of the many stories gathered in The Things Our Fathers Saw: The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation from Hometown, USA; Volume I: Voices of the Pacific Theater—268 pages of enjoyable, educational reading.  This is a powerful work and I recommend it wholeheartedly for both adult and young adult readers. You can purchase Volume I in paperback in local bookstores; or online in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon.com. Go to Matt’s website for more information on the that, as well as on his upcoming speaking engagements.

Congratulations to Matthew Rozell, teacher, author and humanitarian!

Joe Cutshall-King

revised 9/18/2015

Congratulations, Matthew Rozell!


Matthew Rozell

Matthew Rozell

Historian, teacher and humanitarian Matthew Rozell is known to many as the Hudson Falls teacher who has brilliantly educated his students . . . and many adults . . . about World War II in general and about the Holocaust in particular. Through his “Hudson Falls High School World II Living History Course” he has courageously fought to bring forth the truth about the concentration camp killings of 6 million Jews, as well as 4 million other human beings the Nazis labeled as “inferiors” and “enemies of the Third Reich.”

I’m delighted that now, as we observe the 69th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, the Post-Star has just run an article on him entitled, “NBC crew documents Holocaust teachings in Hudson Falls.” Congratulations to Post-Star reporter Michael Goot for his fine article.

Matthew Rozell has a wonderful blog/website called “Teaching History Matters,” which he describes in this way: “These are the observations of a veteran teacher- on the Power of Teaching, the importance of the study of History, and especially the lessons we must learn, and teach, on the Holocaust.” Please read it.

The events that the word “Holocaust” embraces must never be forgotten. The story of the Holocaust must be retold to, and be refreshed in the minds of, every succeeding generation.  The Holocaust was an atrocity of such proportions that people have difficulty understanding the scale of human destruction and degradation perpetrated by the Nazis. The Holocaust did happen. Tragically, it is still being denied. The arrogance of ignorance that spawned the Holocaust then is still at work today among those who would lie about its ever having happened—and among those who would believe them.

Education is the key to combating that ignorance, which leads to ethnic and racial hatred, and ultimately genocide. No nation, no culture, no race, no ethnicity is immune to it. That more genocides have occurred too many times since the end of WW II is sad proof of that fact.

Education is the key and I congratulate Matthew Rozell on his continuing work to educate our children and us all!

Thank you, Flo Hayle!


It’s amazing the people you can meet on a plane!

Actor and Singer Florence Hayle

Actor and Singer Florence Hayle

And recently, I met a wonderful person named Florence Hayle! In January Sara and I flew out of Albany Airport for the Florida Panhandle. We sat on opposite sides of the aisle and I found myself a seat away from a lovely lady named Florence Hayle—whose stage name is Flo Hayle. As we talked, I discovered that the lady is an actor, singer, and director, who has performed on Broadway and regional theatre, in commercials, and—well, you name it!

Florence Hayle is something else! Here’s what Kyle Adams wrote in the Catskill Register about a recent performance Flo Hayle gave in Catskill, NY:

Hayle . . . has a long history in show business. She performed in the Steve Allen musical Sophie, she’s directed and produced in New York City, played in “just about every club in the city,” and starred in too many commercials to remember now. She currently hosts Clear Channel Radio’s “Arts Alive Etcetera” interview program. She’ll be celebrating her 84th birthday tomorrow and said she has no intention of retiring.”

And did I mention that she’s an inspiration? Don’t tell Flo Hayle you’re blaming your inactivity on old age!

I told Flo that I’d published a mystery novel, The Burning of The Piping Rock and she graciously offered to interview me for her “Arts Alive Etcetera” radio show (Clear Channel Radio FM 93.5 radio, a Catskill, NY station). Flo’s interview aired Sunday, April 6, 2014. (And a special thank you to her. I enjoyed it so much! I’ve asked Flo if it would be possible to get a podcast of it to post. Stay tuned!)

Some other “notes” about singer and actor Florence Hayle. There are sweet coincidences that occur in life. You read above that Flo Hayle was on Broadway in the play, Sophie, Steve Allen’s musical about the early years of that great American chanteuse, Sophie Tucker. Tucker was among the many Broadway greats who performed at Piping Rock Casino in Saratoga Springs in those crazy years after WW II. Flo’s eyes lit up when I said I had specially mentioned Tucker in The Burning of The Piping Rock. A special connection was made.

Flo returned to the stage at age 82, starring in “Senior Moments” at Jay Kerr’s Fort Salem Theater in Salem, NY. Jay Kerr, a noted composer and lyricist, is also Flo Hayle’s music coach. She is now working with Kerr for an upcoming musical revue she’ll be doing in Catskill, NY, to benefit the historic Beattie-Powers Place. Let us know when the box office opens, Flo!

If you didn’t already know Flo Hayle, I’m glad, as a new fan in her legion of fans, to have the opportunity to introduce you.

And, let me “sign off” here by saying:  So, to Flo from Joe, a big hello and an even bigger thank you!

 

Flo Hayle of Clear Channel Radio
Flo Hayle of Clear Channel Radio
Flo Hayle of Clear Channel Radio

At Woodlawn Commons in Saratoga Springs


Last Friday, November 8, the residents at Woodlawn Commons, part of the Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs, had me as their guest to give a presentation on The Burning of The Piping Rock.  What a great group they were! Several had been to Piping Rock Casino in its glory days. They discussed how much they enjoyed dancing to the big bands at Piping Rock Casino and watching the hit stars, such as Sophie Tucker, Hildegarde, Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. (In those post WW II days, Andy Williams performed as one of the Williams Brothers.) When I showed them this photo of the entertainment revue at Piping Rock Casino, and other photos, they gasped in recognition of those times long ago. Thanks to Gina Mergel for the invitation to speak at Woodlawn Commons!

Piping Rock Interior  around 1946-B&W

Piping Rock Interior around 1946-B&W

Thank you Greenwich, NY, Senior Citizens!


Sara Idleman, Nan Fitzpatrick & Susan Frisbee with author Joe Cutshall-King Greenwich Seniors Lunch

Sara Idleman, Nan Fitzpatrick & Susan Frisbee with author Joe Cutshall-King Greenwich Seniors Lunch

145 people attend Brown Bag Lunch program on “The Burning of The Piping Rock”!


Brown Bag Lunch

Brown Bag Lunch

Saratogian article (9/8/13): “Author to unravel ‘Piping Rock Arson’ at brown bag lunch”


Check out this article from The Saratogian about my upcoming program for the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center’s Brown Bag Lunch Lecture  Series held at Saratoga Springs Public Library! Saratogian (9/8/13) - Author to unravel 'Piping Rock Arson' I’m looking forward to seeing you this Thursday (Sept. 12 ) at noon in the Community Room of the Saratoga Springs Public Library! (Thanks to Chuck Packevicz  for this clipping!)

Article courtesy of The Saratogian (9/8/13)

“Piping Rock Arson” by Joe Cutshall-King: Brown Bag Lunch Lecture (9/12) at Saratoga Springs Public Library


Brown Bag Lunch

Brown Bag Lunch