Hygrade Market to host jazz benefit concert to raise funds for Schoolhouse Theater


The Hygrade Market in Croton Falls will host a “Holiday Rave-Up” Sunday to benefit the Schoolhouse Theater. The event will feature a musical performance by accomplished jazz saxophonist Houston Person and his quartet.

Person, a tenor saxophonist, is best known for his work in soul jazz. He has recorded more than 75 albums. Attendees can look forward to a night of live music while helping to support the return of live theatrical performances at the Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls.

“The Schoolhouse is critical to the town,” said Tom Christopher, who co-owns Hygrade Market with his wife, Dawn. “In uncertain times the arts and theater often get trampled. But we have to remember what they bring to people's lives. And that they are often the reason people are drawn to an area.”

The Schoolhouse Theater is Westchester’s oldest professional theater company. The theater was forced to close for live performances during the pandemic but quickly pivoted online, hosting over 100 performances via Zoom since the pandemic began.

In 2023, the Schoolhouse plans to re-open with three must-see plays: “Red,” “Grant and Twain,” and “(mis)Understanding Mammy.” 

“Red” is a revival of the Tony-award winning play by John Logan, about the abstract-expressionist painter Mark Rothko. “Grant and Twain,” by Elizabeth Diggs, explores the surprising relationship between two unlikely friends: Ulysses S. Grant and Samuel L. Clemens. Joan Ross Sorkin’s “(mis)Understanding Mammy” tells the story of the remarkable life of Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Academy Award.

The Schoolhouse Theater is housed within a historic building at 3 Owens Road in Croton Falls that was purchased by the town in 2021. The 7,000 square foot building has been undergoing extensive renovations to turn it into a community center for North Salem residents. The Schoolhouse will represent one facet of the building’s expanded offerings in the new year.

“What’s great here is that the Town of North Salem is actively working with the community and private enterprise to totally rebuild the area,” Christopher said. “It’s an amazing model for how it can be done.”

Tickets for the Holiday Rave-Up are $50 each and can be purchased online or by phone by calling 914-473-7111. All proceeds benefit the grand re-opening of the Schoolhouse Theater.

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