By: Paulanne Simmons
August 1, 2021: Nothing heals a troubled soul better than music. And in these troubled times it’s truly a blessing to discover music in the most unusual places. Victoria Paterson and her musicians have been proving this over and over again in the last few months as they appear in various venues around New York City and beyond.
Paterson originally came to New York City with her husband, composer Robert Paterson, almost twenty years ago. She’s a classically trained violinist, but her dreams were of Broadway. Although she did play in shows such as The Addams Family and revivals of West Side Story, Sunset Boulevard and My Fair Lady, she and her husband also founded the non-profit, Mostly Modern Projects.
MMP began in 2005 with two recording labels (Lumiere Records and American Modern Recordings) and American Modern Ensemble, which spotlights contemporary classical music. Fifteen years later the Patersons founded the Mostly Modern Festival in Saratoga, NY on the campus of Skidmore College.
Last year they began two new initiatives. Mostly Modern Pops brings not only classical music but also pop music and Broadway favorites to smaller, less traditional venues such as Chelsea Market, Columbus Circle and Brookfield Place. And Music and Medicine provides music to people in hospitals, retirement homes, outdoor parks, and community and vaccination centers.
Paterson works with a core group of classically trained musicians, but they will happily delve into rock ‘n’ roll classics like “Stand by Me,” with an interpretation that will keep your feet moving and your heart pounding.
“I’m happy to play in traditional concert halls,” says Paterson, “but I like being in invigorating new spaces where we can spark people’s interest and start a conversation.”
Some of the people who stop to enjoy the music are too young to comment – like the infants bouncing in their mothers’ arms or their fathers’ baby backpacks. Some stay for a moment, then head out on the day’s business. Others are so mesmerized by the music they put the rest of their day on hold for an hour or two.
As Paterson puts it, “When you think of it, the whole city is a stage.”
Mostly Modern Pops will be at Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, August 12 and August 26 from 5 to 7pm.