Combined families — Youthful music promoters
This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about the daughters of Samuel Pruyn and their families that lived in the three houses that now are the campus of The Hyde Collection art museum in Glens Falls.
Even in their youth, the daughters of Samuel Pruyn promoted the arts.
“Upon invitation of the Misses Pruyn, a number of our music loving residents enjoyed a rare treat Saturday evening at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Pruyn, Elm Street,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on Sept. 3, 1888.
The family hosted a concert by pianist Frances Stevens of Boston and violinist Anna Harris of Glens Falls.
Charlotte, the oldest of the three sisters, would have been 20 at the time.
It’s possible that Charlotte met Stevens when Charlotte attended Boston Finishing School in 1887.
The Morning Star review of the concert was filled with praise.
“A prominent critic who listened to the rendition of the numbers on this programne pronounces Miss Stevens one of the most skillful executants ever heard in Glens Falls,” the review stated. “Her technique is perfection itself. She plays with much expression, and her repertoire includes classical selections not usually heard here. The ‘Hunting Song’ from Mendelssohn was particularly fine, and her selections from Chopin, and the overture from William Tell, were worthy of special mention.”
Other selections included “Gavotte” by Jeffries, “Cradle Song” by Kiefert, “Cavantina” by Raff, Selections from Schumann, and other classical standards and contemporary tunes of the time.
Harris, the violinist, was a well-known local musician.
“She fully sustained her reputation as an accomplished musician,” the reviewer wrote.
“Those present passed a delightful evening, and left with profuse expressions of gratitude for the entertainment provided by Mr. and Mrs. Pruyn and their daughters.”
Stevens, the pianist, had studied the Sherwood Method, a piano-teaching method developed by William Hall Sherwood, who founded Sherwood Music School at Chicago.
Stevens planned to move to Glens Falls in October to teach piano.
“She is unassuming and modest in her demeanor, and sure to win friends among us.”
Click here to read my most recent previous Combined Families post.