Benefit concert will raise funds for music center at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge

Students at the private High Meadow School begin formal instrumental instruction in their early elementary school years.

High Meadow School in Stone Ridge will soon break ground for the Jesse Kolber Music Center, where students will be able to compose, perform, record and enjoy diverse forms of music. The project reflects the school’s commitment to providing its pre-K through eighth-grade students with a rich performing-arts curriculum.

A “Raise the Roof” benefit concert to kick off the capital campaign to build the center will be held this Sunday, December 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $25, and free childcare will be provided. The concert will showcase Hudson Valley talent, including performances by The Mammals, Buffalo Stack, The Restless Age and the High Meadow Advanced Band and Choir with special guest Spookyghost (aka Gerry Leonard, Dublin-born guitarist, songwriter and producer now based in the Hudson Valley). 

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The Mammals are fronted by songwriters and High Meadow School parents Ruth Ungar and Mike Merenda. The group identifies itself as “subversive acoustic traditionalists” and “a party band with a conscience.” An “uplifting performance that combines blissful exuberance with heart” is promised.

Buffalo Stack offers “sophisticated yet raw music that invites your soul in,” according to a release from bandmates Andy Stack, Lee Falco, Brandon Morrison, Will Bryant and Adrien Reju. They will perform a set of original music and at least one song written by Jesse Kolber, namesake of the new theater and Stack’s best friend and roommate from SUNY Purchase.

Buffalo Stack’s Bryant, Falco and Morrison will also perform at Raise the Roof as The Restless Age, with music featuring lush harmonies and polished arrangements.

The Jesse Kolber Music Center is named for the late son of Susan Paynter, head of the High Meadow school. The facility will have three soundproof practice rooms, a large rehearsal space, an ensemble practice room, a composition and production studio designed for youth and the possibilities for enhanced STEAM collaborations.

Kolber graduated from the State University of New York at Purchase with a degree in music composition and production. Music was a driving force in his life, and he devoted himself to supporting music and musicians until his untimely passing due to cancer in 2017. According to his close friend, Andy Stack, “Jesse loved seeing talent and championing it. He had no hidden agenda; only to share love and vibration.”

Students at the private High Meadow School begin formal instrumental instruction in their early elementary school years. They study violin in first and second grade, ukulele in third grade and guitar in fourth grade. In the upper school division, students choose from performing arts electives that include guitar, wind instruments, strings, percussion, voice and composition. Many choose to stay for private lessons after school.

High Meadow School is located at 3643 Main Street, Stone Ridge. For tickets to the concert, visit https://www.highmeadowschool.org/raise-the-roof-event/. For information, call 687-4855 or email contact@highmeadowschool.org.

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