Cultural Icon, Grammy Nominee Judy Collins Returns to Skaneateles

Cultural Icon, Grammy Nominee Judy Collins Returns to Skaneateles

The pure soprano voice of Judy Collins will echo off the lake once again when she returns to Skaneateles to perform at a concert, sponsored by the Skaneateles Area Arts Council, at the lakeside Stella Maris Retreat Center, Saturday, July 30, at 6 p.m.

The seventh annual event, “Summer Cabaret with Judy Collins,” will support the Arts Council’s cultural events and community grants program.

The iconic and beloved singer/songwriter and author will meet the public earlier in the day for a free “Conversations with Judy” from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Skaneateles Library. Collins will have a book-signing for her book, “Singing Lessons.” Her CD “Paradise” will also be for sale. In the book, Collins reflects on her life and career after her son Clark’s tragic death in 1992, and offers comfort to other survivors of personal tragedies. Collins has taken a lead role in suicide prevention nationally by speaking openly on the topic. During her sold-out 2009 concert in Skaneateles, she shared with the audience how Stella Maris holds a special place in heart because she came to the retreat center seeking spiritual solace after her son’s death.

At her first Skaneateles performance, Collins showed her warmth and wit as she developed a personal rapport with her audience, telling jokes and sharing stories of her life, which resulted in multiple standing ovations. Collins’ classical piano background, which enabled her to perform at age 13 Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos,” was evident as she gracefully transitioned from the grand piano to the guitar, while singing a varied repertoire.

Known for her eclectic style, Collins combines folk, show tunes, pop and rock ‘n’ roll music. Her love of lyrics was inspired by the music of such artists as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival. Events often drive Collins’ music. Through her poetic lyrics, she helped articulate the feelings of a generation activated by the Vietnam War and the tensions of the Civil Rights Movement. Of her 40 albums released over five decades, Collins has had numerous Top 10 hits, Grammy nominations, and gold and platinum albums. Among her hauntingly beautiful classic songs are her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” her version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from the musical “A Little Night Music,” “Someday Soon,” “Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” “Suzanne,” “My Father,” “In My Life” and her version of “Amazing Grace.”

In the fall of 2008, Collins’ label, Wildflower Records, released “Born to the Breed – A Tribute to Judy Collins, Volume I,” featuring original writing and poetry of Collins recorded by such luminaries as Chrissie Hynde, Joan Baez, Rufus Wainwright, Dolly Parton, Shawn Colvin and Leonard Cohen.

Collins, who sings regularly at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, will be giving concerts throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, culminating at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Dec. 23.

The Arts Council’s “Summer Cabaret with Judy Collins” will include lakeside cocktails; dining al fresco by Chris Kuhns, executive chef of the Sherwood Inn and Phoebe’s Restaurant; and an intimate concert on the lawn by Judy Collins from 6 to 10 p.m. The title sponsor is Dr. Robert Kiltz, owner of CNY Healing Arts and CNY Fertility Centers.


Ticket prices are $250 for VIP seating and $125 for regular seating. Tickets may be purchased online through PayPal at or by sending a check to the Skaneateles Area Arts Council, P.O. Box 422, Skaneateles, N.Y. 13152. Advance purchase is required for all seating.

Stella Maris Retreat Center

The mansion that is now Stella Maris Retreat Center was originally built for Frederick Roosevelt by the famed architectural firm of Stanford White in 1879.

About the Skaneateles Area Arts Council

The mission of the Arts Council is to celebrate the visual and performing arts by creating an environment where cultural activity thrives in our community. The Arts Council presents cultural programming and issues community support grants to artists and arts organizations in the Skaneateles area. Winners of the 2011 grants are: Auburn Public Theater, Khoros Performing Arts Company for Kids, Joanna Manring’s Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce, Skaneateles Historical Society, Skaneateles Figure Skating Club, and Symphony Syracuse, a new organization (created by former SSO musicians) to continue the annual free summer symphony concert in Skaneateles. Since 2006, the Council has issued more than $40,000 in grants and free concerts to the community.

The Skaneateles Area Arts Council is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization.