04/16/13 9:30am


What gives this Spanish rice its flavor? Saturated notes of a tenured chef. Spirited flavor and time honored tradition of perfectly blended spices enveloping sweet plantains. Succulent rotisserie falling off the bones after roasting for hours over open flame drenched in a marinade for overnight success. Spicy aji sauce or creamy curry dressing overtop romantic greens. Authentic Peruvian Restaurant – Don Fernando’s – family owned and operated on Newburgh’s Broadway – where culture comes alive.

Lunch and Dinner by Susana, Mayra and their father – Fernando – chef extraordinaire.


The Newburgh Professional and Business Association meets monthly at Don Fernando’s the third Wednesday of every month at 5:30PM. It’s a great way to try out something delicious at the restaurant and mix and mingle with Newburgh’s professional networkers. Cost for dinner $10/per person. Connect with the NPBA on Facebook.



Students from Newburgh Free Academy Choir Perform at SUNY New Paltz

New Paltz, NY: Members of the Newburgh Free Academy Choir caught a ride on the Underground Railroad this weekend, and stole a glimpse of college level production as well. The performance at Studley Theatre at SUNY New Paltz was a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and African American History Month. The afternoon concert played on into the evening – a soundtrack of hymns, blues and ragtime rubbed against a narrative journey through the progression of enslavement. The show carried themes of freedom, hope and deliverance.

Ticket lines were out the door at the campus performance hall, pushing start-time back approximately half an hour. College President Donald Christiansan welcomed the crowd.  Professor A.J. Williams-Meyers from the Black Studies Department spoke in emphatic prose about slavery pushing deep into the joyful noise of freedom furthermore asking everyone in attendance to turn to someone nearby and say, ‘together we will.’ To which the packed house complied.

Dr. Nkeiru Okoye – director of Music Theory and Composition at SUNY New Paltz- debuted a series of Songs of Harriet Tubman and creating a mood of enlightenment. Guest performer Ashley Horne – a renowned violinist – brought lightheartedness to the instrument during each of his solo performances standing center stage each time with a quiet smile across his lips.

eatonNewburgh Free Academy choir director Jillian Caci stepped in to conduct several numbers on behalf of scheduled conductor Harvey Felder who was held up by snow-related obstacles in Connecticut.  She didn’t miss a beat when she was met on stage by Mezzo-soprano Patrice Eaton and the Pone Ensemble for New Music who played alongside the high school singers for two numbers including Wade in the Water (arr. Chandler Carter) and Go Down Moses (arr. Samuel Nathan). Eaton gave an impassioned performance reaching her vibrato high into the balcony of the theater, sounds of liberation ringing out in triumph over unarguable historical heartbreak that befell human beings during times of slavery. The students provided a softly lit backdrop for the mighty soloist. Despite having missed dress rehearsal Friday thanks to Nemo the parts all blended beautifully.

Article by Stefanie Pearl – Publisher at HappyHudsonValley.com

02/06/13 10:01am


It was a celebration 100 years in the making and a toast to 100 more at the Ritz Theater on Broadway’s east end Monday night. The lobby walls of the historic structure echoed with the sound of champagne glasses clinking and Mike Pacer’s orchestra of one  set the mood with some classic Americana arrangements reminiscent of Sinatra. A string of photos across the wall told the story of a lost era while airing on the subject of history in the making. The Ritz aims to become a state-of-the-art 825 seat theater in 2016.


In the long term the revival project aims to create administrative and operational positions on-site and strengthen community partnerships like the one they are currently enjoying with Newburgh’s mainstay college campus – SUNY Orange. In the short term it hopes to become a safe-haven for Newburgh’s aspirational theater arts and performance groups.


Edward Gibbons-Brown the creative director and founding partner of a new local nonprofit theater company called Hatmaker’s Attic Productions was hob-nobbing with his spatial partners at the Ritz and Safe Harbors of the Hudson. Hatmaker’s Attic theatrical programming has been integrated into Safe Harbor’s 2013 calendar year beginning with a May production of the beloved contemporary musical THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE*,  peaking with a summer camp theater program.


The celebration doubled as the kick-off for the capital campaign which aspires to raise 100k in this the Ritz’s 100th year.

*Auditions for the 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be held in The Ritz on February 9th, from 12:00PM to 4:00PM.

Article and photos by Stefanie Pearl – Publisher at HappyHudsonValley.com