The History of Harmony
Founded in 2011 by Henry Skier and Jill Carletti in a small space on the first floor of the Hawley Silk Mill as it was being developed by Justin Genzlinger, Harmony Presents became a place for music, art, and for collaboration and imagining what it could become.
Now in its third generation, Henry is the second generation of AMSkier, a family insurance business founded in 1920 by his father, Abe Skier. Jill grew up in the local Hawley area, immersed in the performing and visual arts and she always had a desire to share her passion for them. She studied art and education at Penn State University, traveled and taught abroad, and met Henry while home from her travels.
Harmony Presents took shape as Jill engaged aspiring musicians and bands for small concerts every Friday and Saturday in the Boiler Room, a second location on the lower level of the Silk Mill. Jill was a one-person team, booking artists, promoting the shows, selling tickets, setting sounds, and even lodging musicians in her own home.
Although the beginnings were humble and some performances had only a handful of attendees, the talent was always wonderful, and Harmony Presents cultivated a loyal following. Jill had a skill for finding talent, and she booked some notable performers before they became well-known. Some Harmony Presents performers became famous like Billy Strings, who recently won Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd Grammy Awards for his critically acclaimed record, titled Home.
After two years, Harmony Presents moved to the renovated Boiler Room in the basement of the Hawley Silk Mill, where Jill enhanced the programs and presented them to larger audiences. Harmony Presents in the Boiler Room became a wonderful venue for presentations and performances as Harmony Presents continued to attract artists and performers who often returned because of the sounds and warmth of venue and Jill’s creative ways to inspire performers.
In 2018, Henry Skier and the Skier Foundation decided to build a new home for Harmony Presents. Two acres on Skier family lands on Route 6 in Hawley, Pennsylvania, were chosen to build an outdoor amphitheater with a stage designed by world-class architect Peter Bohlin, and a hillside of tiers that was developed by the Linde family and other area contractors, and coordinated by project manager Ned Sader. It was named Harmony in the Woods. The entrance to Harmony in the Woods is 19 Imagination Way.
In 2019, the Foundation for Harmony Presents, a 501(C)(3) charitable organization was formed by Henry Skier to be the presenting and performing cohort for Harmony Presents.
The Foundation for Harmony Presents’ vision is to enlighten and engage the human spirit by giving a platform for artistic discoveries and life-long reflection and learning in our most basic and natural habitat, nestled among the trees at our home amphitheater known as Harmony in The Woods.
On July 2, 2021, Harmony in The Woods opened its inaugural season to a sold-out audience with The Gold Magnolias, and on July 10, Sally Wilfert and Joseph Thalken charmed the Harmony Presents audience with show tunes and classical favorites. Some said it seemed as if the tall trees at Harmony in the Woods were swaying to the music.
The 2022 Season is a continuing development of artistic talent and an exciting and diverse lineup featuring new and returning talent in blues, folk, jazz, rock, Broadway, Celtic, dance, comedy. More about the 2022 Season is found by visiting Harmony In The Woods’ upcoming events page here.
The Foundation for Harmony Presents is guided by women and men who are called Cellos, managed by talented people who are called The Orchestra, and staffed by Volunteers who are dedicated to make every concert in the Woods a very special event.
The Foundation for Harmony Presents has other cohorts that are dedicated to enhancing and extending the founding vision – HarmonyTALK™, podcasts featuring interviews of people with fascinating ideas and achievements, In My Wildest Dreams, a video book of interviews of people whose wildest dreams have come true, and the Ben Appelbaum Dreamers, who offer people of all ages an opportunity to help develop their dreams with the wisdom and success of a faculty of doers.
For more information about Foundation for Harmony Presents and its sister cohorts, please contact Jill Carletti – jill (at) harmonyinthewoods.org, or Henry Skier – henrys (at) amskier.com