Remembering Geoff Welch’s Life of Harmony With Nature


Geoff Welch stands outside Harmony Hall in July 2022. Photo by Robert Brum

A classical music program at Harmony Hall-Jacob Sloat House in Sloatsburg on Saturday, June 22, will be a tribute to Geoff Welch, the historic estate’s curator, who died recently at 80 after a long illness.

For years, Welch arranged the Summer Solstice celebrations at Harmony Hall, sharing slides of his landscape photography while performing original compositions on his electric keyboard. Welch often shared his knowledge and love of classical music and composers with friends.

Welch lived at the 19th century Greek Revival manor that was once home to an industrialist whose family gave the village of Sloatsburg its name. The estate, which is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, was acquired by the Town of Ramapo and has been restored and operated by Friends of Harmony Hall.

Welch was an artist, educator, historian and storyteller. His passion for preserving the Torne Valley and the Ramapo Mountains was manifested in his unofficial role as the Ramapo River Keeper, and organizer of the annual Ramapo River Watershed Conference.

Harmony Hall posted a tribute by David Pereyra, who wrote that Welch was “a kind and gentle soul with an outsized personality who had amazing reserves of energy and creativity. He loved the Village of Sloatsburg, his singular life at Harmony Hall and found meaning and joy in his work and advocacy over many years.”

The Hudson Valley Wind & Brass Ensemble will dedicate their performance on Saturday to Welch. Nancy Surridge and Stephanie Sirico have added summer-themed flute duet selections to the program. The program includes compositions by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

The concert takes place from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Harmony Hall, 15 Liberty Rock Road, Sloatsburg. For tickets and information, visit or send email to

Robert Brum is a freelance journalist who writes about the Hudson Valley. Contact him and read his work at

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