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The Hoff-Barthelson Music School Presents Its Contemporary Music Festival

Magpie will perform as part of Hoff-Barthelson Music School's 26th annual Contemporary Music Festival. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hoff-Barthelson Music School
Magpie will honor the birthday of John Brown with a family program entitled "John Brown: Sword of the Spirit." Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hoff-Barthelson Music School

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- The Hoff-Barthelson Music School has announced its 26th annual Contemporary Music Festival, Celebration 2015: The Music of Our Time , which is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 through Sunday, May 17.

The Music School, at 25 School Lane in Scarsdale, will come alive with the sound of 20th and 21st century American music.

A highlight of the Festival will be the School’s special event on Saturday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. when folk duo Magpie performs to honor the birthday of John Brown with a family program entitled John Brown: Sword of the Spirit that celebrates the life and times of our most original American abolitionist.

With a career that has spanned more than 40 years, Magpie has traveled the globe, bringing its unique sound and breathtaking versatility to audiences everywhere. From Americana traditional songs to vintage blues, swing and country to folk classics to contemporary and stirring original compositions, they cover a lot of musical ground. With their two powerful voices and harmonies and their excellent instrumental arrangements on guitars, mandolin, harmonica, dulcimer, and concertina, their sound is powerful and moving.

Magpie's recording of "Sword of the Spirit" features 11 songs, including seven originals, all about famed abolitionist John Brown, his family, friends and associates. The CD was produced as a companion piece to their one-act play of the same title based on the life and letters of Brown and his wife Mary.

Guest master of  ceremonies for Magpie will be WQXR and WFUV radio host Robert Sherman, whose long-running radio program Woody's Children has made him a de facto authority on contemporary folk.

The Hoff-Barthelson Music School, one of Westchester County’s most cherished and active cultural resources, has achieved national recognition as a premier community music school for its unsurpassed leadership in education, performance and outreach for more than half a century.

This performance is open to the public free of charge. For more information, reservations and information call 914-723-1169, email or visit

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