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As a group, Betty and the Baby Boomers are well-known in the Mid-Hudson Valley as musicians. As individuals, they are highly regarded here as teachers. The Boomers will bring their talents and expertise together in an online presentation for the Elting Memorial Library entitled " ."
The Boomers’ repertoire includes a great many songs that celebrate the natural world and efforts to protect and enhance the well-being of our environment, including both ecological and human communities. The Boomers’ version of the song “Back Bay” by group member Jean Valla McAvoy was included with selections by Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, and others on the 2005 recording Songs for the Earth, a tribute to Rachel Carson from Musicians United to Sustain the Environment. Seeger himself regularly performed another of Jean’s songs, “Down by the River.” And in 2016, the Hudson River Environmental Society recognized the group's special commitment to the Hudson, honoring them with its "Outstanding Environmental Communicator" award.
For this presentation, the group will offer a colorful history of the Hudson River Valley over the last 100 years. This 100 year period coincides with the celebration of the Elting Memorial Library in its current location. Images or photos from the library archives will augment the historical perspective of the songs that will be presented. This ranges from the steamboats in the Hudson in the 1920s through the environmental movement of the 1960s and 70s which continues to this day. References will be made to the efforts of Pete Seeger and others to build the Clearwater which focused on efforts to confront pollution and revitalize the river.
In addition, the band will also acknowledge the gifts of the land and the river, touching on agriculture and sustainability in the Valley. There will be a video of the "Apple Pressing Song," an original song written by Jean, which shows the Boomers along with three generations of Paul Rubeo's family and friends gathering to use the family apple press. Another of Jean's originals, "Shad Song," reflects on the bounty of fish once supplied by the river and its tenuous future.
Following the concert, there will be an interactive discussion about the themes presented, and the audience will have the opportunity to share perspectives or ask questions.
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