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Music among the pines

Pine Hollow Arboretum hosts concert to benefit Irene victims

John Abbuhl stands at the entrance to the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands. He's made over 3,200 plantings over the decades in the preserve, which today has species from all over the globe for the public's enjoyment and enrichment. The Arboretum is holding a unique concert on Sept. 25 to benefit victims of Tropical Storm Irene.

John Abbuhl stands at the entrance to the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands. He's made over 3,200 plantings over the decades in the preserve, which today has species from all over the globe for the public's enjoyment and enrichment. The Arboretum is holding a unique concert on Sept. 25 to benefit victims of Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Charles Wiff.

— The Duo Marchand, consisting of Andrew Rutherford and Marcia Young, has performed in places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden and the Yale Collections of Musical Instruments. Rutherford, a resident of West Sand Lake, plays the lute, and Young provides harp music and lends her voice to their repertoire of 17th-century music.

For the Arboretum's event, the Duo Marchand will be playing a selection of nature-related songs in a program entitled “'Tis Nature's Voice.” There's quite a few such tunes from the Renaissance time period because it was quite common for love songs and poems to have a natural element, said Rutherford.

“We've been playing this sort of music from the 17th century and earlier since about 1995 or so,” he said.

The show is one of the few places you'll be able to see a musician proficient on the lute, as well. The instrument went out of style in the mid-18th century. When Rutherford got interested in it, he ended up taking violin-making classes so he could construct his own because it's difficult to find one.

“The chronology [for lute players] is you start out playing electric guitar, then you work your way backwards,” he quipped.

Now, Rutherford works part of the time as a luthier, making lutes and other instruments. Young is a music teacher in New York City.

In addition to the musical performance, the Arboretum will be hosting works of art this fall at its educational center at 16 Maple Avenue. The show will open on Saturday, Sept. 17, with an event from 2 to 5 p.m., and work from 25 local artists will be on display through October. Though the Arboretum is open to visitors free of charge during the daytime hours, the center is not always staffed.

“Our desire is to make that building be open as much as possible, but the limitation is the volunteers we have to keep that building manned,” Abbuhl said.

The Arboretum will be open for a tour from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, the day before the concert with Duo Marchand.

The concert will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Slingerlands Methodist Church, 1499 New Scotland Road, from 4 to 5 p.m. A reception will follow from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A $20 donation is asked. To RSVP of for more details, call 439-6472.

For more information on the Pine Hollow Arboretum, including how to become a member, visit pinehollowarboretum.blogspot.com.

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