Hybrid Vigor Music

Alisa Pearson

Geoffrey Hudson

Pat McDonagh

Sally Robinson Bagg

Sam Bergman

Sarah Metcalf

Tom Schwab

About Hybrid Vigor Music

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Our Mission Hybrid Vigor Music is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to develop, produce, and proliferate new musical works that reach beyond the confines of

the concert hall and collaboratively engage communities.

Our Name In the world of biology, hybrid vigor is the vitality that results from the combination of two separate genetic groups. Hybrid offspring are more viable and

vigorous than their purebred cousins. Hybrid vigor is a vivid, breath-taking phenomenon.

Hybrid Vigor Music applies this principle to the musical world by connecting two populations with differing perspectives: the vision of the creative artist and the real-world

needs of the arts organization. Artists bring a passionate need to realize their aesthetic vision with all the craft and energy they can muster. Organizations bring a deep

commitment to their mission, a community of loyal supporters, and institutional resources.

Our Work Under the leadership of artistic directors Geoffrey Hudson and Alisa Pearson, Hybrid Vigor Music brings these two populations together. We provide not just

new ideas, but also project design and oversight. If ideas are seeds, our process of sustained interaction with our partner organizations insures that those ideas are sown

on fertile ground. Hybrid Vigor Music builds creative partnerships with existing arts organizations, allowing bold new ventures to take root.

Hybrid Vigor Volunteer Board

Sally Robinson Bagg is the mother of 5, the grandmother of 10, all of whom love classical music and most of whom play a classical instrument.

She is a graduate of Smith College, BA 1957, and is the Director of Greenwood Music Camp, Junior Division. Sally is the Co-ordinator of instrumental

music at the Smith College Campus School, and has a private studio of cello students.

Sam Bergman, Treasurer has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since February 2000. In addition to his duties in the viola section, he

serves as host and producer of the orchestra’s offbeat Inside the Classics concert series. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has commissioned

and premiered new works by several young American composers. He also spends part of his summers teaching and coaching chamber music at

Greenwood Music Camp in rural Massachusetts, where he has been a fixture since the age of 10.

In addition to his performing career, Sam serves as a news editor and content contributor for the much-lauded arts news digest ArtsJournal.com,

writes occasionally on baseball and hockey for Minnesota Gameday, and co-authors a blog on the Minnesota Orchestra website with conductor Sarah

Hatsuko Hicks.

Pat McDonagh, President is recently retired from a long career as a teacher-naturalist with the Massachusetts Audubon Society.  For the past

twenty years she served as Director/Teacher of an early education program dedicated to helping young children learn to observe, understand, and

appreciate the natural world.  She has also taught in elementary schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Colombia, South America and worked for

several years as program director for the Holyoke Children’s Museum.

She received a B.A from Pomona College in 1969 and a M.Ed. from Boston University in 1973.  In addition to a deep commitment to environmental

education, Pat also has a long-standing interest in music.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Northampton Community Music Center and

has been singing for twenty-five years with the Pioneer Valley Cappella, a small auditioned chorus that specializes in the performance of

Renaissance and contemporary music.

Sarah Metcalf, Secretary

Tom Schwab was born 1927 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served in US Navy 1945-46, as a member of the ship’s band of the battleship USS Iowa. He

attended University of Chicago and Harvard Law School, clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and was in Private

Practice of Law in Washington, DC, 1956-1984, doing general corporate and personal law.

Music is a life long passion; He sings and has been playing musical instruments since he was 7 years old, and still frequently plays violin and viola.

He plays in the Holyoke Civic Symphony and sings in the Pioneer Valley Cappella.  He also plays chamber music with small groups of friends.

Social activism has also been a longtime interest for him, since he became a youth member of the N.A.A.C.P. in high school. He was heavily involved in the civil rights

movement in the sixties and seventies in the Washington, DC area, working especially in fair housing – he was President of a suburban Maryland fair housing group, and

of the Metropolitan Washington Area Fair Housing Council. He also served as President of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and was Treasurer of the

National Capital Area affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.

On coming to Holyoke, he found a niche providing legal advice and assistance to a number of organizations, especially ones operating in the Latino community. He is a

member of the Massachusetts Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and has done pro bono work for many arts organizations in the Pioneer Valley as well as in the Boston


He has served on a numerous Boards, generally social action, social service or musical organizations.  These have included the Holyoke Public Library, Providence

Ministries for the Needy, The Children’s Museum, Musicorda, and especially its Holyoke Summer String Workshop program, Holyoke Civic Symphony, and Holyoke

Reach Out and Read.

Artistic Directors

Geoffrey Hudson

Composer Geoffrey Hudson’s music has been performed across the United States and in Europe. In 2006, he and Alisa Pearson

collaborated on a new opera for young audiences, The Bug Opera, which was hailed as “clever and well-crafted, reminiscent of

Bernstein or perhaps of a light-hearted avuncular Stravinsky.” Trained as a cellist, Hudson has written often for strings, including

string quartets, a string quintet, a string sextet, a piano quartet, duets for viola and cello, and chamber music combining strings and


In 2003, the American Composers Forum commissioned Meeting Ground, a concerto for string quartet and orchestra based on

powwow music of the northern plains Indians, written for and premiered by the Chiara String Quartet and the Greater Grand Forks

Symphony Orchestra. Other recent commissions include Peal (2007), an orchestral work written in celebration of the 75th summer of

Greenwood Music Camp (Cummington, MA) and First Among Equals, a concerto for viola and chamber ensemble (2002), commissioned and premiered by violist Sam

Bergman and the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble. First Among Equals was also featured at the 23rd International Viola Congress (Minneapolis, 2004). In the last five

years, the Minnesota Orchestra has presented two of Hudson’s works on its chamber music series: Mayor of the Nighttime City (1999) for flute, viola, and piano and

Quintet (1996) for two violins, two violas, and cello.

Daydreamer, a solo work for flutist Christina Jennings, was commissioned in 2002 with support from the Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music and has since been

performed in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Maryland, and at the 2004 National Flute Association Convention in Nashville. Hudson’s catalog of works also includes a film

score (William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus), several song cycles (From Rilke’s Orchards, On the Subject of Bugs, Seasonal Songs), and works for chorus (Two New

England Songs, Psalm 67, and Bird Songs) and orchestra. He received his undergraduate degrees at Oberlin College, where he studied American history and composition

(with Richard Hoffmann) and earned a Master’s in composition at New England Conservatory, where his principal teacher was Malcolm Peyton.

Alisa Pearson is a soprano and librettist currently living and working in Vienna, Austria. Thanks to a Rotary scholarship, she began her

singing career in Vienna, Austria. With a repertory spanning music from the 17th century to the present, she has performed diverse leading

roles ranging from title roles in Pleyel’s Die Fee Urgele and the Schikaneder’s live performance film of Mozart’s Zaide, to appearances in

Maxwell Davies’ Resurrection in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Glasgow, lead voice in Steve Reich’s Tehilim at the Styriarte, Ars Electronica

and Innsbruck, to the featured soprano soloist in the premiere of Bernhard Lang’s der blutige ernst at the Vienna Burgtheater. An active

recitalist and concert performer, she recently gave a Boston Goethe Institute recital of Schoenberg and Weill cabaret songs, and was the

featured soloist in Mozart’s motet Exsultate, jubilate and Coronation Mass, and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with the chorus and orchestra of

the Haydn Konzertverein, and in Poulenc’s Gloria with the Hampshire Choral Society. A graduate of both Oberlin (double-degree in Voice

and Biology) and the Eastman School of Music, where she received the Performer’s Certificate, and won the concerto competition with

Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell, she is also the librettist and co-author of the children’s opera, The Bug Opera, with composer Geoffrey


Hybrid Vigor Logo by Fred Zinn