November 18-19, 2004
University at Albany


Department of History
University at Albany
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History Graduate
Student Organization
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The New York State Archives Partnership Trust


Performance & Discussion
The FBI in Action : Recreating an Original 1940s Radio Drama

Musical Performance
Albany's Euterpian Club 1823-27 & Stephen Van Rensselaer

Keynote Address
Finding the Story in History: Biography
& Newspaper Writing

Paul Grondahl

(518) 442-4488
Conference Highlights

These featured events are part of the Sixth Annueal Researching New York Conference. Both the The FBI In Action:Recreating An Original 1940's Radio Drama and Albany's Euterpian Club 1823-27 & Stephen Van Rensselaer with a musical performance by The Musicians of Ma'alwyck are free and open to the public.

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The FBI In Action:
Recreating An Original 1940's Radio Drama

A Performance & Discussion

Thursday, November 18th 7:00 PM
University at Albany Recital Hall

For many years, Schenectady station WGY broadcast the locally-written and produced radio program, The FBI in Action. Working with an original script and utilizing student actors from the University at Albany Theatre Department, a staged production of a broadcast of this program will be produced, complete with sound effects created by Dorothy Seeeney and Margaret Miller and organ music by Ned Spain--who originally provided them in the 1940s. A discussion with the audience led by history professor Ivan Steen will follow.

WGY Cast, Crew of FBI in Action, January 1949
WGY Cast, Crew of FBI in Action, January 1949. Courtesy Schenectady Museum

[From the script of the episode.]
Title of program: The FBI in Action
Episode: "Neil McConlogue"
Aired on WGY on Saturday, May 1, 1943, from 6:30-7:00 p.m.
"These dramatic programs are based on actual case histories taken from the files of the FBI and are adapted for radio and produced by Earle Pudney and Lorraine Theurer Rice of the WGY staff."

Dorothy Sweeney and Peg Miller

Dorothy Sweeney, a native of Amsterdam, N.Y., worked as a "sound man" on WGY from 1941-1943, primarily on The FBI in Action. From January 1944-June 1946, she worked for WOR in New York City, creating sound effects for several Mutual Broadcasting System network programs, especially Nick Carter, Master Detective and The Mysterious Traveler.

Margaret "Peg" Miller, a native of Schenectady, N.Y., produced sound effects for The FBI in Action from 1944 until the show's demise in the early 1950s.

Follow this link for a closer look at the art of creating sound effects and detailed profile of Dorothy Sweeney: Mark McQuire, Albany Times Union

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Albany's Euterpian Club 1823-27 & Stephen Van Rensselaer
Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz
Carl Westerdahl
& The Musicians of Ma'alwyck

Friday, November 19th ~ 10:30 AM
The Standish Room, New Science Library

Albany's Euterpian Club was founded in 1823 by a group of young men who were to become Albany's leading citizens. Extremely serious in their intent, these amateur musicians organized concerts, commissioned musical arrangements, and collaborated with some of the outstanding musicians of the day. They included in their ranks members of the Pruyn, Van Rensselaer, Van Schaick and Van Vechten families, as well as Simeon DeWitt (New York State's Surveyor General) and Edmund Genet (Citizen Genet). We have today only their book of minutes, Lansing Pruyn's musical manuscript book and a few newspaper advertisements to prove their existence, yet from these scattered sources a wonderful view of their activities and lives comes into focus.

Sheet Music from the papers of The Albany Euterpian Club
A sample of sheet music from the papers of The Albany Euterpian Club

Ms. Barker Schwartz will explore details of the Club's activities and plans as well discuss her research on the individual Club members and specific concerts they presented. Carl Westerdahl will talk about Stephen Van Rensselaer, an early member of the Club who shared much in common with the other members.

Following the discussion there will be a live performance drawn on musical manuscripts from the Euterpian Club and also of the period.

Musicians of Ma'alwyck is a flexible-size chamber music ensemble formed in 1999 by Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz. In residence at the Schuyler Mansion, a New York State Historic Site, and at the University at Albany, the group performs regularly in concert series in Upstate New York presenting programs specializing in the music of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. The core instrumentation consists of violin, 'cello, guitar, vocalist, and flute; with a second violin, viola, oboe bassoon, harpsichord or piano added as demanded by the repertory. Musicians of Ma'alwyck has performed on National Public Radio and recently returned from performing in Atlanta for producer Norman Lear, celebrating his purchase of the last private copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, director and violinist
Sten Isachsen, guitarist
Gene Marie Callahan Kern, guest artist, from The Chicago Lyric Opera

Artist Biographies:

Ann-Marie Barker-Schwartz
Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz attended Boston University where she studied with Roger Shermont. From 1982-1997, a member of the first violin section of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, she currently performs with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra and the Little Delaware Chamber Players. Co-founder and director of the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra from 1987-1998, Schwartz now runs the Siena College Music Series, where she founded the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra. She teaches violin and viola at the University at Albany and Schenectady County Community College and is a former instructor at the Emma Willard School in Troy. Currently attending graduate school at the University at Albany, she studies music in America during the 1700s.

Sten Yngvar Isachsen
Sten yngvar Isachsen performs extensively as a solo artist, giving concerts in such venues as the Adirondack Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Ithaca College, Eastman School of Music, Hyde Museum, College of St. Rose and the University at Albany. Isachsen holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Guitar Performance from Ithaca College and has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Joel Brown. He has participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad, and Benjamin Verdery. Isachsen is a founding member of the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet, which has commissioned works from Anthony Holland. Isachsen teaches at Schenectady County Communtiy College, St. Rose College and the University at Albany.

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Finding the Story in History:
A Journalist and Biographer Discusses a Narrative Approach to Political Biography and Newspaper Writing

Paul Grondahl

Lunch and Keynote
Friday, November 19th ~ 12 NOON AM
Ballroom, 2nd floor, Campus Center

Paul Grondahl is a staff writer at the Times Union, where he has worked since 1984. His articles and in-depth projects have won numerous local, state and national writing awards.

Grondahl's third book, I Rose like a Rocket: The Political Education of Theodore Roosevelt, published in June 2004,takes an in-depth look at the early political career of one of the most popular and enduring presidents in American history. The book focuses on Roosevelt's three years as an Assemblyman in the New York State Legislature, his two years as Governor and his time in the Adirondacks. Grondahl's talk will focus on the research and writing process of the Roosevelt biography, including local archives and resources he used, and will include anecdotes from Roosevelt's colorful career in the New York State.

Grondahl is currently working on The Home: A History of Parsons Child & Family Center 1829-2004, a narrative history of one of the oldest orphanages in the country-which started as the Albany Orphan Asylum 175 years ago. He will discuss the use of historical sources and the orphanage's extensive archives for that project.

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This page last updated November 14, 2004