Getting Sawyer Fredericks on the schedule meant an early start to the Caroga Lake Music Festival's 2018 season, but Kyle Barrett Price was fine with that.
"We've reached out before to him but the timing didn't work out," said Price, executive director and artistic director for the Caroga Arts Collective, which oversees the Caroga Lake Music Festival. "I think it's fantastic we got him this year. And while it meant an early start to our summer, that's fine. I feel very lucky to have him."
The concert is free and begins at 7 p.m. Friday. Part of the festival's Sherman's Revival Series, the event is held at what was once the Sherman Amusement Park in Caroga Lake.
"We can get about 4,000 people in our space and we're expecting this will be the biggest thing to hit Caroga Lake in quite some time," said Price. "It might be one of the few if not the only free concert Sawyer will be doing this year."
While admission is free, you're most likely going to need a ticket in advance. Tickets can be obtained at various stores in the Caroga Lake area or online at www.eventbrite.com.
A resident of the town of Glen in Montgomery County, Fredericks was the 2015 winner of the popular NBC series "The Voice." Fredericks, just 15 at the time and now 19, recently released his third album, "Hide Your Ghost." The official start of his U.S. and Canadian tour begins Saturday with a performance at the Queens Youth Music Festival in New York and will conclude Sept. 1 in Buffalo at the Mohawk Place.
The effort to get the now-defunct Sherman Amusement Park ready for the music festival has been an area-wide one, according to Price.
"We've been doing a lot of working getting the place ready, and the fire department and everybody else in the town has been very supportive," said Price. "It's been a real collaboration with everyone in the area."
The Caroga Arts Collective is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization created in 2012. With its music festival and other activities, Price's group strives to "reignite the Caroga Experience through interdisciplinary and inter-arts collaborations among musicians, artists, scholars and their communities," according to its mission statement.
Before Fredericks takes the stage Friday, the National Summer Cello Institute will hold a special event with cellist Mike Block at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Nick Stoner Inn. Block is the cellist from Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Ensemble. The event is free and open to the public.
"Caroga Arts Collective is the umbrella for multiple programs, including the National Summer Cello Institute, and we were very happy to have them join us last week," said Price. "We have been using the Nick Stoner Inn for classes. Classes end June 16, and on that day there will be another cello concert at the Caroga Chapel."
Among the other highlights for the Caroga Lake Music Festival this summer are appearances by violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn (July 25) and young pianist Matthew Whitaker (Aug. 3-4).
"All of our concerts are going to have great music and we take pride in doing a variety of genres," said Price. "We do classical music, bluegrass, country. I'm really excited about having Elizabeth Pitcairn visit us from the Lake Luzerne Music Festival. We have a great working relationship with them and we're going to have Matthew Whitaker, who is this amazing piano prodigy. People call him the next Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles. He's a real force of energy in the jazz world, and to have him here for two nights is really special."
Along with hosting events at the Sherman Amusement Park, Nick Stoner Inn and Caroga Chapel, the Caroga Lake Music Festival will also be holding concerts in Cooperstown, Cobleskill and a number of other venues closer to Caroga Lake, including: the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market in Gloversville; the Caroga Lake Boathouse; Stump City Brewing in Gloversville; the Glove Theatre; Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Little Falls; the Gloversville Library; The Barge at Canada Lake Marine; the Pine Lake Pavillion in Caroga Lake; St. John's Episcopal Church in St. Johnsville; the Mayfield Presbyterian Church; the Arkell Museum; and the Paul Nigra Center for the Creative Arts in Gloversville.
For information, visit www.carogaarts.org.