Sock (hop) it to hate

Members of the Paul Green Rock Academy Showband and special guests will perform ’50’s hits at the June 11 anti-bigotry benefit Unity Now at The Colony.

Students of the Paul Green Rock Academy (PGRA) and a roster of professional rockers will come together Sunday for an “All-American Sock Hop” at Woodstock’s Colony to benefit the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and anti-racism education in local schools.

Woodstock-based publicist and Rock Academy partner Abbe Aronson said that the event has its roots in an ugly incident of anti-Semitic harassment at Saugerties Junior High School earlier this year. Soon after the name-calling incident, Aronson addressed the Saugerties Board of Education and offered to throw a fundraiser to help pay for new anti-bigotry programming in the school.


Members of the Rock Academy – a performance-based music education program headquartered in West Saugerties – have been honing a set of rollicking, danceable ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll in preparation for a show in Germany this summer. Aronson said that the music – a mix of uptempo rockers and smooth crooners – seemed a natural fit for the cause. “We thought the ‘All-American’ – in other words, all American, all-inclusive, we’re all in this together, love and support all people sort of way – sock hop theme would resonate for this sort of benefit,” Aaronson wrote.

Joining the student musicians will be a Who’s Who of local pros, including Zach Djanikian, Gail Ann Dorsey, Amy Helm, Connor Kennedy, Robin the Hammer, Dan Littleton, Jerry Marotta, Bill Sims and Simi Stone. “Unity Now is really an artistic endeavor for the students of PGRA, along with their friends and professional musicians in the Hudson Valley community, to stamp out intolerable hate speech in our area and beyond,” Aaronson wrote. “As artists, the students and guest musicians are proud to lead by example.”

The show is scheduled for Sunday, June 11 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 o’clock) at the Colony at 22 Rock City Road in Woodstock. Admission costs $10 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the ADL’s upstate New York chapter and anti-bigotry education programs in local schools.