Memories of Hugh Allen Wilson - lifelong Bolton resident,
Bolton residents have gathered recently to share memories of friend and neighbor of Hugh Allen Wilson, internationally acclaimed harpsichordist, organist and orchestra director, who died Dec. 18 at his home.
He served as Professor Emeritus of Music at Union College in Schenectady, Music Director Emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church in Glens Falls; Conductor Emeritus of the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, and past president of the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing.
His career in music started early - he served as choir director-organist for the St. James' Episcopal Church in Lake George when he was just 14 years old.
He was founder and co-conductor of the Bolton Festival of Music in 1948, founder and first Dean of the Adirondack chapter of the American Guild of Organists; and co-founder of the Adirondack Studio of Song in 1951 - which later became the Lake George Opera Festival. In 1977, Wilson conducted the Union College Men's Glee Club in a performance at the White House for Jimmy Carter's first State Dinner. His various concerts met acclaim throughout the world.
It isn't hard to find someone willing to share a story or kind words about Hugh Allen Wilson. Hugh had many passions and it was evident that gardening was right near the top of his list. George and Michele Perosi were neighbors of Hugh's for the last several years, meeting him in their garden, of course. Michele reflected about Hugh saying, "He had one favorite flower, a Night Blooming Cereus, which blooms at night and just once a year. Well we were a bit surprised to get a phone call late at night from Hugh, and he said, "It bloomed!" - and so we were invited to go down to see it. At the time it seemed a bit odd but looking back, we are glad we went that night to get a glimpse of such a rare and beautiful flower, as we were lucky enough to know a rare and wondrous man - Hugh Allen Wilson."