Falling for Pawling

A Musical Celebration of a Hometown

“I’m falling for Pawling, like I never thought I could.” These are the opening lyrics from one of the songs to be presented at the culminating performance of an exciting collaboration between the Pawling Central School District and the Sherman Chamber Ensemble.  On Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. the Pawling High School Band and Chorus, The Pawling Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Chorus, and selected instrumental players from Pawling Middle School will perform alongside ten professional musicians in concert.

Launched in 2015, “Falling for Pawling” is based on work from government and AP English classes when students researched historical and contemporary aspects of the Hudson Valley and developed creative non-fiction.  As an open-ended, personalized assignment, they were able to follow their interests and imaginations delving into topics as diverse as Hudson River School painters to Quaker Hill’s Mizzentop Hotel.

Many different motivations inspired the students.  One had fond childhood memories of Murrow Park and wanted to know more about the person it honors.  Another wanted to explore his mother’s contributions and experiences in small-town government.  Other students wondered about old local photographs or oft-heard, yet unexplored, local legends.

Other themes revolve around nearby Stewart Airforce Base, haunted houses in the area and George Washington’s Headquarters.  The end products range from an original series of Petrarchan sonnets to the diary of a teenage waiter at the turn of the twentieth century.

Sherman Chamber Ensemble Artistic Director Eliot Bailen was impressed by the high level of student work, which he used as the basis for creating the instrumental and vocal oratorio over the 2016-2017 school year. He worked alongside music teachers at the schools, sharing the composition process with students and rehearsing performance techniques with them.

The project was inspired by “Song to Symphony” – the large-scale extravaganza Bailen creates every four years with the Sherman School System.

In 2014, PCSD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Kim Fontana attended and was inspired by the production. She proposed the concept to the Board of Education, which agreed to provide financial support and resources for the program. The Elmwood Foundation also contributed to make the program possible.

The Wednesday, April 25, 6:30 p.m. performance is at the Pawling High School Auditorium, 30 Wagner Drive, Pawling, New York.  The concert is free and open to the public.  Tickets must be reserved ahead online at https://fallingforpawling.eventbrite.com or by calling the Sherman Chamber Ensemble at (860) 355-5930.



World Class Music, Close to Home


Founded in 1982 by cellist Eliot Bailen, Artistic Director, and flutist Susan Rotholz, the Sherman Chamber Ensemble offers a year-round schedule of performances for all ages at venues in Connecticut and New York.

 Guided by its mission to bring world class musicians to our communities and schools to perform a diverse range of music with an approach that is intimate and inclusive, The New York Times described SCE as “about as close as it gets to the Platonic ideal of a chamber music concert.” 

SCE offers Baroque programs, a summer chamber music series, educational activities and a year-round slate of musical events showcasing the best of live musical performance, from classical to bluegrass to jazz – plus children’s and family concerts, school residencies and pop/rock coffeehouses. In addition to concert subscription and ticket sales, support comes from grants, private foundations, local businesses and many generous individual donors.