Memories of Hugh Allen Wilson - lifelong Bolton resident,
Bolton residents have gathered recently to share memories of friend and neighbor of Hugh Allen Wilson, internationally acclaimed harpsichordist, organist and orchestra director, who died Dec. 18 at his home.
He served as Professor Emeritus of Music at Union College in Schenectady, Music Director Emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church in Glens Falls; Conductor Emeritus of the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, and past president of the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing.
His career in music started early - he served as choir director-organist for the St. James' Episcopal Church in Lake George when he was just 14 years old.
He was founder and co-conductor of the Bolton Festival of Music in 1948, founder and first Dean of the Adirondack chapter of the American Guild of Organists; and co-founder of the Adirondack Studio of Song in 1951 - which later became the Lake George Opera Festival. In 1977, Wilson conducted the Union College Men's Glee Club in a performance at the White House for Jimmy Carter's first State Dinner. His various concerts met acclaim throughout the world.
It isn't hard to find someone willing to share a story or kind words about Hugh Allen Wilson. Hugh had many passions and it was evident that gardening was right near the top of his list. George and Michele Perosi were neighbors of Hugh's for the last several years, meeting him in their garden, of course. Michele reflected about Hugh saying, "He had one favorite flower, a Night Blooming Cereus, which blooms at night and just once a year. Well we were a bit surprised to get a phone call late at night from Hugh, and he said, "It bloomed!" - and so we were invited to go down to see it. At the time it seemed a bit odd but looking back, we are glad we went that night to get a glimpse of such a rare and beautiful flower, as we were lucky enough to know a rare and wondrous man - Hugh Allen Wilson."
Nancy Rhodes of Bolton Landing said, "My greatest memories of Hugh are of his detailed tours of his beloved gardens - and how very generous he was to give me clippings of some of his most cherished plants. As many hours as I spent with him over the years, both in the mornings at Stewart's Shop over coffee and in his house going over his many treasured paintings and photographs, I knew that I never came close to hearing the full extent of his wonderful stories about the people in his past. I can't wait for his book to be published - Maybe then we will all be able to share in his stories of a very special perception of Bolton Landing and its inhabitants and visitors that only Hugh could have had."
Bolton's Anita Richards attended a gathering Dec. 19, organized by the Sembrich Museum, at the Lakeside Lodge and Grille, where about 50 people gathered to remember Hugh, complete with a toast by Dick Bartlett while a slide show of Hugh continuously played. At the event, folks said that Dick's friendship with Hugh began when they were 16, attended ballroom classes together and learned to play bridge, which they continued to play bridge all their lives. Members of the Bolton Bridge Club were present and reminisced. Dick mentioned that Hugh's accomplishments as a musician were well known, but he emphasized that Hugh was a man of many interests and possessed knowledge on a variety of subjects. Also in attendance were Sembrich Museum Board of Directors including president William Hubert, staff members and volunteers, Zandy Gabriels, and his mother Jane Gabriels, whom Dick named as Hugh's oldest Bolton friend present.
Library election set
Two positions on the Bolton Library's governing board are now up for a vote, and the entity's annual election of trustees will be held Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Current board president Hal Heusner is seeking re-election, and Kathie Donohue's seat is vacant.
Anyone interested in serving on the library's board must be a least 18, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the town of Bolton. Anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from being a trustee. To be a candidate for the post, the president of the board or the library director must be notified at least five days prior to the election.
The trustees meet once a month on the fourth Wednesday at 7 p.m. The board has several committees, and all trustees are expected to participate in at least one. The current committees are: financial, personnel/policies, fundraising, annual book sale, buildings and grounds, and library practices and grants.
For details, call Megan at 644-2233.
• Wednesday Jan. 12 - Trip to Racino; call Pat Merchant at 644-9359 or join a group at the Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. for club activities. Lunch at the meal site, call 644-2368 for reservations.
• Wednesday Jan. 19 - Bowling, 10 a.m. at Sparetime Bowling, Lake George.
• Wednesday Jan. 26 - Wii Bowling, 10 a.m. at the Senior Center. Lunch at the Hometown Diner.