Lift Series returns in 2024! – Troy Music Hall

Written by on December 12, 2023

TROY, NEW YORK:     The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is excited to announce the popular Lift Series returns in 2024!  Curated by Organ Colossal, these performances give you the unique opportunity to sit on the historic Music Hall stage with the artists while they perform.  Tickets are only $20! The Lift Concert Series presents performances of new, independent music featuring regional performers, curated by local artists Sam Torres and Sophia Subbayya Vastek. The audience is invited to be seated on stage, with the musicians, creating an intimate concert experience. Concerts are designed to last about an hour and, after the performance, concert-goers are encouraged to enjoy the rest of the evening at one of Troy’s many restaurants or breweries.

Full series lineup:

January 24th

Sophia Subbayya Vastek

Described as performing with “passion and profound tenderness” (Second Inversion) and “serene strokes and lyrical beauty” (Brooklyn Rail), pianist and songwriter Sophia Subbayya Vastek moves quietly between musical worlds. Her most recent LP, In Our Softening (2022), features nine of her own piano compositions. The album was called “one of the very best things I’ve heard all year” by longtime music journalist Steve Smith (Night After Night). She released her debut record Histories (Innova Recordings) in 2017, and more recently, an EP of the complete piano works by composer Lili Boulanger, entitled Lili (reissued 2023). In 2022, Sophia was recognized as a NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Music/Sound. She is a co-founder of Organ Colossal, a nonprofit that produces musical projects in her hometown of Troy, NY. She and her husband also run a music series out of their home, a converted church building lovingly called Troy Listening Room.

This performance is sponsored by Artist Pianos.

February 14th

Connor Armbruster with special guest Ian Cotter Wishlist

After exploring the vast sanctuary of an empty church in 2022’s Masses, Armbruster inhabits a new setting with polar opposite qualities for his sophomore release with Dear Life Records, Can I Sit Here. The music, colored by distortion and cutting rawness befitting its subject matter, was created and recorded live in mono in the small back room of an apartment. Acoustic violin takes a backseat to Armbruster’s heavily distorted electric violin on this record as he improvises over textures simultaneously warm and dissonant. It is a reflection on loss and the feelings that follow a death, the delicate balance between despair, celebration, nostalgia, isolation, and kinship. Armbruster is based in Troy, NY and is behind a multi-faceted body of work exploring performance art, electric violin, Irish fiddle, traditional music, field recording, dance, and theatre. In addition to his solo projects, he plays electric violin and guitar for Blue Ranger, is a member of Hold On Honeys, and performs and records with numerous other artists in the capital region. He was musical director and lead composer for Troy Foundry Theatre’s original musical, City of Myth: Illium Sings. Outside of performance, Armbruster is a cartoonist and music educator, and proud parent of a 4-year-old.

Thoughtfully eclectic, Ian Cotter Wishlist draws inspiration from fellow songwriters, composers, authors, visual artists, and the natural world to craft their recordings and live performances.

March 27th

Aubrey Haddard & MAYSUN

Aubrey Haddard is a self-proclaimed escape artist. When the tides change and personal growth calls for emotional upheaval, Aubrey seeks refuge in her creative discipline. Carving out a boundary-less space to explore the mysteries of the human experience and the vastness of the physical world, she creates a sonic landscape that is both epic and deeply personal. Dreamy synthscapes, overdriven guitars and pulsing electronic drums lay the foundation for Haddard’s vocals, heralded by critics as “harrowingly beautiful” (Clash Magazine) and “herculean” (The Line of Best Fit). Calling upon the inspirations of powerhouse PJ Harvey and dance music giant LCD Soundsystem alike, Haddard blends the analog and the digital with eccentricity. Themes of Greek mythology and Japanese literature weave their way through her stories, inviting listeners to peek into her subconscious and share in the escape. Haddard only leaves a few breadcrumbs and shoots for a surprise with each release. Moving on from her acoustic and minimalist debut EP Adult Lullabies,  her knotty and soulful full length album Blue Part received widespread critical acclaim and earned her the title of Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year at the 2018 Boston Music Awards before she left to pursue her a career in New York City. Leaning into new, pop-driven inspirations and the chaos of the NYC scene, Awake And Talking proved Haddard’s ability to dive head first into new sounds and set the stage for her current project. Splitting her time between the far corners of New York state, you might find her in a library, at a Yankee game or jumping into a swimming hole. Aubrey Haddard may be a rising star in the indie scene, and one to watch for those interested in the future of experimental electronic music but “above all, it’s humanity that drives Haddard’s art” (Under The Radar).

MAYSUN is a composer and sound artist known for his unique blend of drumming expertise and sound design, creating immersive atmospheric soundscapes. With a focus on the use of physical space to shape and manipulate sounds, he crafts compositions that serve as soundtracks to his life events. MAYSUN’s work is characterized by an innovative approach that transforms real-life sounds into musical tones, skillfully interweaving the dimensions of time and space within its compositions. His artistic journey is driven by a deep passion for exploring spatial audio and a desire to create meaningful emotional connections through his music. MAYSUN’s latest release, ‘Timelines,’ represents his ongoing commitment to the craft of sound artistry, inviting listeners on a deep ambient introspective journey.

May 1st

Rafiq Bhatia

The New York Times proclaims “Rafiq Bhatia is writing his own musical language,” describing him as “a guitarist who refuses to be pinned to one genre, culture or instrument.” “His transient approach, combined with his obsession of assiduously studying the past in order to break cleanly from it, makes him one of the most intriguing figures in music today.”  Bhatia’s 2018 album Breaking English (Anti- Records) finds a visceral common ground between ecstatic avant-jazz, mournful soul, tangled strings and building-shaking electronics, resulting in a “stunningly-focused new sound” (Chicago Reader) that “resemble[s] science fiction on a blockbuster scale” (Washington Post). His 2020 EP, Standards Vol. 1 (Anti-) renders repertoire from the American songbook “completely deconstructed, infused with brand new textures and electronic effects, dreamlike and beautiful” (BBC).  Since 2014, Bhatia has been a member of the trio Son Lux; together, they have released several critically-acclaimed albums and given hundreds of performances internationally. A voracious collaborator, Bhatia has also worked with a multitude of artists across generations and musical communities, including Arooj Aftab, Holland Andrews, Hanna Benn, Ian Chang, Sam Dew, Dave Douglas, Marcus Gilmore, Mary Halvorson, Billy Hart, Shahzad Ismaily, Vijay Iyer, Kassa Overall, Kronos Quartet, Okkyung Lee, Nina Moffitt, Qasim Naqvi, Kassa Overall, Chris Pattishall, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Alex Somers, Moses Sumney, Anjna Swaminathan, Rajna Swaminathan, and David Virelles.

*All concerts begin at 6pm

Tickets are available now at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Box Office, 30 Second Street, Troy, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. via phone, (518) 273-0038, or online at    More information on the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Lift Series and upcoming programs is available on our website at

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