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Carnegie Hall Founder Remembered By St. George’s Church “And Music was the Cornerstone”

Carnegie Hall Founder Remembered

“And Music was the Cornerstone”

Concert to Help Maintain Historic
St. George’s Cemetery

By Edie Johnson

City of Newburgh – A Festive concert both choral and instrumental music on Sunday, May 5, (3pm) at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 105 Grand Street will celebrate the anniversary of the official opening of Carnegie Hall which took place on May 5, 1891, and honor its architect, William Burnet Tuthill. Mr. Tuthill was a knowledgeable music lover and an avid amateur musician who played the cello from his youth into old age. He established and played with the Wiederholen Quartet in his home  for thirty-four years. He also had an admirable singing voice and sang with the Oratorio Society of New York. He  became a member of its board in 1880, and served as secretary to the board from 1881 to 1917. Tuthill was also a member of the Calvary Baptist Choir in New York City, where he met Newburgh native Henrietta Elizabeth Corwin, (1852- 1917), who became the church organist.  At age 17, she had been organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Newburgh and later served as an accompanist to a choral group in Poughkeepsie. In New York City, she directed Sorosis, a women’s Carol Club. Miss Corwin became Mrs. Tuthill in 1881. The musical life of Mrs. Tuthill will also be honored at the concert. “And Music was the Cornerstone” is being presented by the cemetery committee of St. George’s Church. Musician Bruce Winslow of Monroe is the music coordinator.

St. George’s History

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Like fortresses guarding the Hudson River, there are dozens of monuments spread around the 7.4 acres of St. George’s Cemetery grounds.  In fact, they are fortresses representing many of the people who guarded the beginning of a young nation.  Yet they guarded not only with strength, but also with a burgeoning culture.  The architect of Carnegie Hall is here at St. Georges.  So is Denis Hickey (1844-1908) who served in the Civil War and received the Medal of Honor from Congress for Gallantry at Stony Creek Bridge, VA, June 29, 1864 (at 20 years of age). West Point cadets come and help maintaining it from time to time. Catherine Costello has tended many of the needs of the site for most of its recent history, dating back to 1989.

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Organizing events such as this concert they are hoping to continue the necessary upkeep and add some fencing and plan for other maintenance needs.   The beauty and strength of its inhabitants is mimicked by towering trees throughout the site.  Visitors can peek through the trees and get glimpses of the Hudson River as it enters Newburgh.   This cemetery is one of numerous ones in the area that include New York founders, and were designed as “Rural Cemeteries”, with winding paths and some with gardens that were and still are at times enjoyed as much as parks as burial grounds.  Here, and in New Windsor’s Woodlawn Cemetery and Cedar Hill, and Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Mountainville there are truly historic monuments and stones that date back to the 1700’s.

A very minimal admission will help continue maintenance at the cemetery.

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Caption: The Cemetery entrance honors heroes who protected the nation.

Caption: Mausoleum needs cleaning from graffiti

Caption: One of numerous fortress-like memorials.

Caption:  The enormity of the task of mowing and groundskeeping all of this site, dotted with small and very large stones, is done by ARMA Construction, headed by Bill Rose of Wallkill.



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