Pete Seeger and A Hudson River Journey

Pete Seeger came to PDS yesterday. He came for the lower school musical – an original production on a subject dear to his heart – the magnificent Hudson River for which he has done so much.

Pete Seeger at PDS May 2010

The show – A Hudson River Journey – was written and produced by lower school drama teacher Dorothy Penz with music directed by Bill Fiore and Damon Banks.

It was a fun show that came complete with all the  fauna, folk and folklore of the Hudson Valley region that took a mystical and mythical quadrennial journey. And every student pre-kindergarten through fourth grade had a part.

It opened with Henry Hudson being set adrift in a rowboat by his crew and ended with  the present day of  Clearwater and the Walkway.

Pete Seeger visits PDS in 1949

Pete Seeger at PDS January 1949

It was wonderful that Mr. Seeger came to see the performance.

But this was far from his first visit to PDS.

As reported in the Poughkeepsie Journal of January 12th 1949,  he came to play  folk music  for  the fourth, fifth and sixth grades in a concert open to the public. And already Mr. Seeger was widely known for his work and his music.

That 1949 concert was a benefit for  Peoples Songs Inc., an organization he had co-founded in 1945  with the belief that folk music could be an effective force for social change.

Pete Seeger’s life of music and activism have been just such a force of social change for seventy years. It was a pleasure to be able to thank him for all that he has done for the Husdon Valley and the cause of social justice everywhere.

We thank him for the inspiration he provides, the dedication he has given and for his enduring commitment  to education and democracy.

And…of course, we thank him for his friendship to PDS. Since 1949 Pete Seeger has been at PDS many times.

He has inspired generations of students to play music, get involved and make a difference in the world.

Henry Hudson and crew aboard the Half Moon. And – at left – David Held live streaming to the world.

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