Adirondack Music: The Loon Lake Live! Effect

There is still a buzz in the air regarding, what has been termed “the “Mozart Effect.” There have been studies done and videos made all in the attempt to make our children smarter, better and stronger. One aspect of the term emerged from the work of University of California Irvine’s Raucher, Shaw and Ky (1993). Their findings researched the effects of Mozart’s Music on 36 college undergraduates and tracked improvements in spatial intelligence after listening to 10 minutes of certain scores of Mozart. The findings created a cottage industry of hope for the fountain of intelligence with as many critics as followers.

One part of the equation that I feel isn’t given its due is the passion and drive of a musician, those that practice for love of their instrument and what can come out of it. Those that want to show music as more than a sheet of paper with notes or a disk in a jewel case. It is a connection with people, played by people and very much for people. That is the Loon Lake Live! Effect.

For the past thirteen years Artistic Director Catherine Beeson, Sara Fierer, and Lori Lax have gathered musicians from their professional lives for a series of free summer ensemble chamber concerts. Beeson said that the organization originated by an impromptu practice overheard by a jogger that lead to the three playing which brought about a performance to coordinating vacations that focused on more free concerts. Their professional resumes are vast so I’ll just toss out a few names like Beeson is for one Assistant Principal viola with the Colorado Symphony and cellist Sara Fierer plays with the Boulder Philharmonic while Lori Lax was first stand violinist with the American Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to the regular concerts they also give special children’s concerts. This year the venue is the Saranac Lake Free Library. According to Beeson the children’s concerts are a significant part in their programming. The concerts are interactive and break down the elements. Each program is different and highlights those particular pieces of music. They introduce the kids to the various instruments, take apart the music and show the different layers. Besides performing they are dissecting the elements of the concert. It is not musical theory but a wonderful approach to show children how thrilling it can be to be around people who love what they do for a living so much that they share it during their holiday.

So listening to classical music may have a different effect than a caffeine boost to the IQ but rather a long-term appreciation for a cultural experience.

These are the last two weeks of the season to catch one or all of the series.
Saturday 8/8, 10:30 am at the Saranac Lake Free Library
Sunday 8/9, 7:30 pm Loon Lake Jewish Center
Monday 8/10, 7:30 pm, Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church St., Saranac Lake
Saturday 8/15, 10:30 am, Saranac Lake Free Library
Sunday 8/16, 7:30 pm, Loon Lake Jewish Center
Monday 8/17, 7:30 pm, Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church St., Saranac Lake
For more information please check out their website at


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