Ars Choralis salutes the Berlin Airlift in their next concert, "Wings of Hope". Hurley resident Richard Clark took part in the Airlift and shared his story with Ars Choralis director, Barbara Pickhardt. I have included his memories of the Airlift  along with the press release. I hope you will share the news of the concerts and Mr Clark's story with your readers. Please contact Barbara  at if you would like more information about Richard Clark or the upcoming performances. I am including a photo of Mr & Mrs Clark as well as one  of Cester & Linda Freeman who will be dancing  during the performances.

Thank you,
Cathy Roth
Ars Choralis

Concert:     Wings of Hope: The Berlin Airlift

Date and time:    Saturday, June 16 at 7 PM and Sunday, June 17 at 4 PM

Place:        Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center, 467 Broadway in Kingston

Performers:    Ars Choralis, Big Blue Big Band, Narrator Jim Ulrich
        Chester and Linda Freeman Got2Lindy Studio,

Tickets:        Adults $15 pre-paid, $20 at the door; Children 18 and under, $5

Contact:    Barbara Pickhardt, 845-679-8172

Ars Choralis will turn back the clock to the 1940s for its next concert, Wings of Hope: The Story of the Berlin Airlift, on Saturday, June 16 at 7 PM and on Sunday, June 17 at 4 PM at the Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center, 467 Broadway in Kingston. (Handicapped parking is available next to the building.)

The concert tells the story of the first humanitarian effort carried out by air, a story of a city rescued from starvation and restored to dignity and of hatred turned to respect and admiration. It is told in words and music; the words of the people who lived it and the music that carried the country through the WWII years and beyond. It is a story that resonates with Hurley resident Richard Clark who served as a communications mechanic in the Airlift and will be in attendance at the concert. His experiences will be included in the concert dialogue along with those of commanding officers, pilots, ground crews, wives left on the home-front and people living in Berlin.

Joining Ars Choralis to set the musical mood of the 1940s is Big Blue Big Band, under the direction of Jason Clinton. Dancers, led my Chester and Linda Freeman, will swing to the tunes of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman played by the band. Ars Choralis will sing Aaron Copland’s “Canticle of Freedom” and a hit parade of songs familiar during the 1940s  including:  “I’ll be Seeing You”, “As Time Goes By”, “Take the A-Train”  “Accentuate the Positive”, the original Andrew Sister’s arrangement of “Sing, Sing, Sing”,  Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” and many more. The chorus will be supported by Kristen Tuttman at the piano and Ron Westervelt on bass.

The concert was conceived and created by Ars Choralis’ artistic director Barbara Pickhardt. The story is told in the voice of General Lucius Clay by narrator Jim Ulrich. Members of Ars Choralis will narrate individual experiences of people who were in the Airlift.

Tickets for “Wings of Hope” are $20 for adults ($15 purchased in advance) and $5 for students, 18 and under.  They are available at and at area outlets: DIG in Saugerties - Mother Earth’s Storehouse and Barcone’s Music in Kingston -  Golden Notebook and Catskill Art & Office Supply  in Woodstock.

This project is made possible (in part) through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council,
administrator of public funds through the New York State Council of the Arts' Decentralization Program.

“Just doing my job. . . “
The Berlin Airlift Story of Hurley Resident, Richard Clark
The phenomenal success of the Berlin airlift is often told in the words and deeds of the decision makers, commanding officers, heroic pilots and crews who flew dangerous missions under severely adverse conditions. The story of a city rescued from starvation and restored to dignity, of hatred turned to respect and admiration is also etched in the lives of an untold number of American men and women whose names we may never know.
In 1947, the fighting had ceased but the lingering distrust and animosity was real. No individual, no law, no military orders could change that. The course of history was changed by a ground swell of individuals who had no concept of what difference their individual actions could make.
One man who made a difference lives quietly among us in the Hudson Valley. Richard Clark did not set out to be a hero. When he left school to enlist in the Army Air Corps, he was following the example of an elder brother. Training assignments were made by the Corps on a needs basis and Richard drew a slot in Communications. His proficiency in radio repair led to orders to report to a base in Germany. While on a 24 hour pass in Rhein-Main, Clark met his brother, Norman, on the tarmac one day. A flight engineer on one a of the C-54’s, Norman invited Richard to come on board as they were preparing to take off for another run to Berlin. During the pre-flight warm up, it became ominously apparent that there was no communication between the cockpit and the tower. Richard immediately dismantled the equipment and found evidence of sabotage. With skill and speed he removed the threat and reestablished vital communication channels.
One highly skilled man, one plane on an incredibly tight schedule, hundreds of German civilians waiting for life giving supplies and food. “I was just doing my job,” says a humble man. I’m proud to live in a country that helps people . . . . . . . .even former enemies.”