New Hartford Community Club

The New Hartford Community Club was established in the 1930s. It operated out of the Community House, where the main New Hartford Post Office now stands, until a fire destroyed that building in 1946.  It is often thought that the Club ceased at that time; but it continued for some years on an intermittent standing.

In 1956, it presented Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, under the direction of Fenno Heath.  In 1957, it built the two tennis courts, which stand to this day, near the North Congregational Church.

In 1962, it presented ‘A Pops Concert’ by the Hartford Summer Symphony, under the direction of Skitch Henderson.  The program is, as all programs are, something of a cultural time capsule.  The graphics for the ads are clearly from the 1960’s.  Banks dominate as sponsors; followed closely by manufacturing, including the Hurley Company, Winsted Precision Ball, Sealtest, O&G, Guida’s dairy (the solely a Ct firm), and one Richard M. Geddes a purveyor of organs and pianos (whose ad helpfully notes that the piano used in the concert was a Yamaha 6’1″ Grand).  Insurance, law, and brokerage firms are a distant third in sponsorship.

Skitch Henderson was best known for his work as the musical conductor for the TONIGHT Show; also working on ‘Andy Hardy’, the ‘Wizard of Oz’, and ‘The World of Bob Hope’.

The performance included pieces by Bernstein (West Side Story), Tschaikovsky (waltz from Sleeping Beauty), excerpts from the ‘King and I’ by Rodgers, and arrangements of ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home’ and the ‘World according to Bob Hope’, both arranged by Skitch Henderson.

The performance took place at Camp Pioneer on West Hill, and it must have been an enjoyable evening indeed.

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