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ONNY Holiday Concert This Saturday

The Brass Ensemble of the Orchestra of Northern New York performs its Holiday in Brass concert this Saturday at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam and is sure to put concertgoers in a festive holiday spirit. As the world celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa this month, so does ONNY.

Both sacred and secular Christmas pieces will be presented, ranging from “O Come, O Come Emanuel” and “While by My Sheep” to a variety of musical works including selections from the animated cartoons How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Anthony DiLorenzo’s setting of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas will also be presented.

ONNY will commemorate Hanukkah with the Bill Holcombe medley The Sounds of Hanukkah that includes “Moz Tsur” (“Rock of Ages”), “Mi Y’Malel” (“Who Can Retell”), “My Dreidel,” “S’Vivon” (“Spin Dreidel”), and “Hanukkah, O Hanukkah.” 

Kwanzaa will also be celebrated with a performance of Valerie Coleman’s composition Umoja—The First Day of Kwanzaa. Umoja is the Swahili word for unity and begins the annual seven-day celebration that strives for unity in family, community, nation, and race.

Tickets are available online at onny.org, by calling 315-212-3440 or at the door.

ONNY Offers Classy, Brassy Holiday Concert

The Orchestra of Northern New York celebrates the holidays with a one-of-a-kind concert in Potsdam and Watertown when a twenty-three-piece ensemble of trumpets, trombones, horns, tuba and percussion performs Holiday in Brass on Saturday, December 16 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall and Sunday, December 17 in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

Dr. James Madeja, Professor Emeritus at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, guest conducts. The program he designed begins with Sadler’s Christmas Fanfare for Brass and Percussion, includes several familiar pieces, such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and contains works about Advent, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa, among others.

Dr. Madeja’s thirty-six-year tenure at the Crane School included teaching instrumental music education and studio trumpet, and conducting the Crane Concert Band and Crane Brass Ensemble. Prior to joining the faculty of The Crane School of Music in 1985, he developed two successful high school wind band programs in Illinois and directed the Judson College Wind Ensemble.  His ensembles have performed for both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. 

From 1990 to 2002, Dr. Madeja was Associate Editor of The Journal of the International Trumpet Guild, and from 2002 to 2022, he was Associate Editor of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Manual. 

He is a charter member of the Orchestra of Northern New York and Northern Symphonic Winds and was a member of the Potsdam Brass Quintet from 1985 to 2020.

He is a recipient of the SUNY Potsdam President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, the MENC Excellence in Teaching Award, and the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Tickets for the holiday concert can be purchased online at onny.org or by calling 315-212-3440. They are $27 adults, $24 seniors, $10 college students, and $5 teens (13-17). Admission for children, 12 and younger, is always free.

The Orchestra of Northern New York is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency supported by Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

ONNY Finalist to Conduct Fall Concert

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Michael J. Colburn
Music Director Finalist Michael J. Colburn

Following a national search for a new Music Director, one of the two finalists for the position will conduct the Orchestra of Northern New York’s fall concert, Inspired. Two performances are planned for Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam, and Sunday, October 29 at 3 pm in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

Michael Colburn, from North Hero, VT, designed and named the fall concert, Inspired. What inspires a composer to write a manuscript? Colburn says “All sort of things as our Inspired program will demonstrate. The concert will feature music by composers who found inspiration in nature, exotic cultures, family, friends, and even secret codes!” He notes, “while the sources of inspiration are varied, the results are identical – unforgettable works that have stood the test of time.”

Colburn is the former Director of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band (eighteen years). As leader of its Chamber Orchestra, he primarily conducted performances at the White House, but also at public venues, including performances for Kennedy Center Honors receptions and two Kennedy Center concerts commemorating September 11. He also conducted the Marine Band for President Obama’s two inaugurations and President George W. Bush’s second inauguration. He was the Director of Bands at Butler University and is now the director and Conductor of the Me2 Orchestra in Burlington, VT.

He has a master’s in music from George Mason University, with a concentration in Conducting. His undergraduate career began with two years at the Crane School of Music and finished at Arizona State University

Colburn chose Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, also known as Fingal’s Cave, to open the program. Mendelssohn was inspired by his 1829 trip to Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa, off Scotland's west coast, known for its puffins and the echoes of the cave. He wrote it to capture the Atlantic swell, the sound of the waves crashing into rocks and lapping against each other.

American composer George Walker’s Lyric for Strings was dedicated to his grandmother, Melvina King, a formerly enslaved woman, who died when he was a student at Curtis Institute of Music in 1946.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol is based on Spanish folk melodies and was first performed in 1887.

Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations is featured in the second half of the concert.  In fall 1898, Elgar played a melody one evening that caught his wife’s attention. He improvised variation on it in styles which reflected the character of some of his friends.

For tickets, visit onny.org, email executivedirector@onny.org, or call 315-212-3440.

ONNY is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Legislature.

World-Renowned Composer Visits ONNY for World Premiere of Escapades

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John Anthony Lennon

When the Orchestra of Northern New York performs the world premiere of Escapades for Orchestra and Soprano Saxophone, it will have a special guest in the audience. World-renowned composer John Anthony Lennon will visit Clayton and Potsdam from the West Coast for this special concert.

Lennon has been commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Theatre Chamber Players, the Library of Congress, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the National Endowment for the Arts Orchestral Consortium, the Fromm Foundation, the Kronos Quartet, and many other groups and institutions.

He has also been the recipient of numerous honors and prizes. In addition to the Rome Prize, he has received the Guggenheim, Friedheim, and Charles Ives Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Lennon has held fellowships at Tanglewood, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Villa Montalvo, Yaddo, the Bolgiasco Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony as a Norlin Foundation Fellow. Other residencies have been at the Valparaiso Foundation in Spain, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, and the Camargo Foundation in France.

Reared in Mill Valley, California, Lennon earned a Bachelor's degree in Literature under Jesuit study at the University of San Francisco. He holds a Master's degree and a Doctorate from the University of Michigan where he studied with Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, and William Albright.

A professor of composition and theory at Emory University, he resides in San Rafael, California. His website is johnanthonylennon.com

The concert, conducted by Dr. Brian Doyle, also features works by Maurice Ravel, Carlos Simon, and Aaron Copland. Christopher Creviston, former faculty member of the Crane School of Music, will solo on soprano saxophone in the work by Lennon.

Tickets for the Saturday, September 2 concert at 7:30 pm at the Clayton Opera House may be purchased by calling 315-686-2200. Tickets for the Potsdam performance on Sunday, September 3 at 3 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam can be obtained at onny.org or by calling 315-212-3440.

ONNY is sponsored, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature as well as the Northern New York Community Foundation.

ONNY Tickets on Sale through August 31

The Orchestra of Northern New York is offering a first-time sale on general admission tickets during the month of August. Save fifteen percent off regular ticket prices.

Sale prices for adult tickets are $23; for seniors, military personnel and veterans, healthcare workers and first responders are $20.40, for college student tickets are $8.50; and for teens (13-17) $4.25

Season tickets are not being offered this year due to the changing purchasing habits of audience members. More people buy individual concert tickets than season subscriptions. To ensure that former season ticket holders receive the fifteen percent subscription discount, all general admission tickets for the year are available at the same savings during August.

Tickets may be purchased online at onny.org, by calling 315-212-3440, or at the door.

The 36th season opens September 2 with Dances and Escapades at 7:30 pm at the Clayton Opera House. Tickets may be purchased through the opera house by calling 315-686-2200. A second performance takes place Sunday, September 3 at 3 pm in Hosmer Hall, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam.

The opening concert of the Season of Discovery will be conducted by Dr. Brian Doyle. Works by Maurice Ravel, Carlos Simon, and Aaron Copland will be featured. Christopher Creviston will solo in a world premiere for soprano saxophone written by John Anthony Lennon.

World Class Saxophonist to Perform with ONNY

Christopher Creviston, “one of the world’s top saxophone artists” (Audiophile Audition), with “the personality and fingers of a first-rate soloist (American Record Guide), joins the Orchestra of Northern New York on Labor Day weekend to perform the world premiere of John Anthony Lennon’s Escapades, a concerto for soprano saxophone.

Performances are Saturday, September 2 at 7:30 pm at the Clayton Opera House and Sunday, September 3 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam.

Creviston has played venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Paisley Park and the Apollo Theater. As a soloist, and with the Capitol Quartet, Creviston has been featured with bands and orchestras across the U.S. including the Baltimore, Indianapolis, and National Symphony Orchestras. He has worked with many conductors, such as Andre Previn, Neeme Jarvi, and Randall Craig Fleischer, among others.

In demand as a recitalist and clinician, he performs regularly with the Capitol Quartet, and in duos with pianist Hannah Gruber Creviston, guitarist Zoren Fader, and harpist Frances Duffy.

He has appeared in concert with many great jazz artists, and worked with pop performers Crystal Gale, Ben Vereen, Maureen McGovern. Crane alum Lisa Vroman, and Bob Hope, to name a few.

Dr. Creviston currently serves on the faculty at Arizona State University. He has held positions at the Crane School of Music, the Greenwich House of Arts (NYC), the University of Windsor (Canada) and the University of Michigan.

Tickets for the Clayton concert can be purchased by calling 315-686-2200. Tickets for the Potsdam concert can be obtained online at onny.org or by phone at 315-212-3440.

ONNY is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

ONNY Announces Season of Discovery in 2023-2024

When the Orchestra of Northern New York opens its 36th season on September 2, it will celebrate a Season of Discovery. With a world premiere, four new guest conductors, two of whom are finalists for the position of ONNY’s next Music Director, and a money-back guarantee for first-time concertgoers, ONNY is sure to delight long-time audience members and newcomers.

The season begins September 2 at the Clayton Opera House with Dances and Escapades, conducted by Dr. Brian Doyle, the Director of Bands at the Crane School of Music since 2006. He also conducts the Crane Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, as well as teaches courses in conducting.

The program he selected includes Ma Mere l’Oye (the Mother Goose Suite) by Maurice Ravel; Breathe by Carlos Simon, and Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland.

A special work premiering for the first time anywhere is Escapades, by John Anthony Lennon. Performing the soprano saxophone solo is former Crane School of Music professor Christopher Creviston, who is joining the Orchestra from Arizona.

The second performance of Dances and Escapades takes place Sunday, September 3 at 3 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam.

The fall concert features Michael Colburn as conductor, one of the two finalists for the Music Director position. Colburn is the former Director of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. He also was the leader of its Chamber Orchestra, in which he conducted musicians primarily in performances at the White House.

He has programmed Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave), George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Performances are Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall and Sunday, October 29 at 3 pm in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

ONNY encourages the public to celebrate Holiday in Brass, which welcomes a 23-piece brass and percussion ensemble to the stage. Dr. James Madeja, a retired Crane School of Music professor of trumpet as well as a former member of the Potsdam Brass Quintet, will conduct.

Works range from Fisher Tull’s Variations on an Advent Hymn, Valerie Coleman’s Umoja: The First Day of Kwanzaa, and Festive Sounds of Hanukkah arranged by Bill Holcome and Bill Holcombe, Jr. Christmas Fanfare for Brass and Percussion, Suite of Carols for Brass Choir, and Christmas Toons  are just a few of the many other works to be performed.

Performances are Saturday, December 16 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam, and Sunday, December 17 at 3 pm in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

The April concert introduces the second finalist for the position of ONNY Music Director. Adrian Slywotzky is currently Director of Orchestras at the Crane School of Music. He is a prizewinner of the Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition in Portugal in 2016 and the Audite International Conducting Competition in Poland in 2017. For three years he was the Associate Director of Orchestraas at the University of Michigan.

His program choices are titled Visions and Reflections and include: The Abduction from the Seraglio by Amadeus Mozart; Crystal Gazing by Dolores White; Le Tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel; and Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius.

Performances are Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, and Sunday, April 28 at 3 pm in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

The final concert of the season is An American Salute, a rousing program of American music such as Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa, Cuban Overture by George Gershwin, selections from The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers, and The Cowboys by John Williams, among several others.

The program will be conducted by Michael Colburn.

Performances are slated for Tuesday, July 2 at 8 pm in Watertown’s Thompson Park, the ever-popular free Concert in the Park; Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall; and a free concert on Thursday, July 4 at 7 pm at Thousand Island Park on Wellesley Island.

Tickets may be purchased online at onny.org or by phone at 315-212-3440.

First-time concertgoers are promised a money back guarantee. If not completely satisfied with their initial ONNY musical experiences, they will receive a full refund.

ONNY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designated by the IRS as a charitable entity, with donations tax-deductible.

Its major sponsors are the New York State Council on the Arts, the Northern New York Community Foundation, SUNY Potsdam, and the Crane School of Music.

Paul Meyers Performs “The Great American Songbook”

Paul Meyers, “one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists since Kenny Burrell,” (NY Times) will perform The Great American Songbook on Thursday, July 13 at 7 pm in the Childwold Memorial Presbyterian Church, Childwold, and Friday, July 14 at 7 pm in the Potsdam Presbyterian Church. These free concerts are part of an outreach initiative of the Orchestra of Northern New York and  The Secret Sits Pro Musica Ensembles, Gull Pond, NY and Athens, GA.

Meyers has been a busy freelancer, sideman, and bandleader in and around New York City since 1980. For several years, Paul performed and recorded with his quartet featuring Frank Wess, until Mr. Wess’ passing. A very active player in New York’s vibrant Brazilian jazz scene, Paul leads his own Brazilian jazz group, World on a String. He has performed and/or recorded with a long list of jazz greats including Wynton Marsalis. He has four solo guitar CDs. Meyers’ remarkable talent has taken him to Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, Brazil, England, Greece, among many other countries.

He earned his Master of Music degree in jazz guitar from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music with honors from the New England Conservatory. In 1990/91, Paul received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for jazz composition.

Meyers is on the faculty of William Paterson University (since 1988), New Jersey City University (since 1993), and at SUNY Purchase (since 2019).

ONNY Announces Summer 2023 Chamber Music Series

The Potsdam Brass Quintet will kick off this year’s Summer Chamber Music Series on July 1 with a Classy, Brassy Ice Cream Social. Festivities begin at 1 pm at the Childwold Memorial Presbyterian Church. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy great music with cake and ice cream as an outreach initiative of the Orchestra of Northern New York and The Secret Sits Pro Musica Ensembles, Gull Pond, NY and Athens, GA.

The quintet celebrates its 55th Anniversary this year. It has performed in concert throughout much of the U.S. and Canada, including performances at New York’s Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The series includes four more concerts to be presented on Thursdays and Fridays at Childwold and the Potsdam Presbyterian Church respectively. These performances begin at 7 pm, are free, and open to the public.

Adirondika Pro Musica, a gifted chamber quartet playing light classical works, will be joined by marimbaist Sebastian Buhts. APM members are Kenneth Andrews (flute), Liesl Doty (violin), Scott Woolweaver (viola), and Karen Kaderavek   (cello). They perform July 6 and 7.

Mr. Andrews is an accomplished flutist who has performed with the Montreal Symphony, and as Principal or Artist in Residence with several other orchestras and festivals. He recently concluded his 35-year tenure as Music Director of the Orchestra of Northern New York.

Hailed for her “magnetic presence,” Liesl Doty has performed at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, and many other venues. She is a faculty member at the Crane School of Music.

Paul Meyers, “one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists,” according to the NY Times, will present The Great American Songbook on July 13 and 14. Mr. Meyers’ remarkable talent has taken him to Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, Brazil, England, Greece, among many other countries. He is very active in New York’s vibrant Brazilian jazz scene. In this performance, he will present favorites from the great American songbook.

Original and traditional songs and tunes from the Adirondacks will be presented by Peggy Lynn (guitar and vocals) and Dan Duggan (hammered dulcimer). They appear August 10 and 11.

Peggy Lynn, who poet Maurice Kenny calls “the voice of the mountains,” is widely recognized for her soulful songwriting and vocal versatility. She is known for ballads of strong women, children’s songs about nature, and bluesy songs of love and life.

Dan Duggan is known nationally for his wizardry on hammered dulcimer and flat-picking guitar. He is a recipient of the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. A true multi-instrumentalist, Dan has an array of recordings and can be heard on Paul Simon’s CD “You’re the One,” (October 2000).

Rounding out the series will be Donald George (tenor) and Margaret Chalker (mezzo-soprano) with Broadway Memories & Light Opera. Both are members of the Crane School of Music Voice faculty. Performances are August 31 and September 1.

Three Finalists Identified for ONNY Music Director

Following a national search, The Orchestra of Northern New York’s Music Director Search Committee has selected three finalists for the position that became vacant when founding Music Director and Conductor Kenneth Andrews announced last year his retirement after 35 years, effective this July 1.

Timothy L. Savage, Search Committee Chair and ONNY’s immediate past president of the Board of Directors, says, “The search has been conducted with careful deliberation at every step in the process. We were fortunate to have a deep pool of well-qualified candidates for the position. And I am delighted to announce the three finalists who will guest conduct in the 2023-2024 season. They are Michael Colburn of St. Albans, VT, Dr. Adrian Slywotzky of Potsdam, and Dr. Rachel Waddell of Rochester.”

Michael J. Colburn

Michael J. Colburn

Michael J. Colburn has a master’s in music degree from George Mason University, with a concentration in Conducting. His undergraduate career began with two years at the Crane School of Music and finished at Arizona State University. Currently, he is the Music Director and Conductor of the Me2 Orchestra in Burlington, VT.

Mr. Colburn is the former Director of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, where he spent nine years as a performer and eighteen years as conductor. As leader of its Chamber Orchestra, he conducted musicians primarily in performances at the White House, but also in public venues where the repertoire spanned from the Baroque to the modern era. For the past eight years, he was the Director of Bands at Butler University in Indianapolis.

Among his many accomplishments, for eighteen years Mr. Colburn directed the Marine Chamber Orchestra in State Dinners at the White House, in annual White House performances for Kennedy Center Honors receptions, and for two Kennedy Center concerts commemorating September 11.  He also conducted the Marine Band for President Obama’s two inaugurations and President George W. Bush’s second inauguration.

Mr. Colburn will program and conduct the fall concert slated for October 28 and 29 in Potsdam and Watertown, respectively.

Adrian Slywotzky, DMA

Adrian Slywotzky

Adrian Slywotzky, DMA, earned his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan. He possesses two master’s degrees in Orchestral Conducting and Violin Performance from the Yale School of Music. Currently, he is the Director of Orchestras at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

Passionate about welcoming new audiences into the orchestral world, Dr. Slywotzky won Second Prize for the Audite International Conducting Competition in Poland and for the Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition in Portugal. He was also a semi-finalist for the Mendelssohn Conducting Competition in Greece.

Prior to coming to Potsdam, he was the Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan for three years. He has worked with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and the New Haven Chamber Orchestra, among others. He also was a Teaching Fellow with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra.

Dr. Slywotzky will program and conduct the winter concert scheduled for January 27 and 28, 2024 in Potsdam and Watertown, respectively.

Rachel L. Waddell, DMA

Rachel L. Waddell

Rachel L. Waddell, DMA, earned her doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and her master’s in Orchestral Conducting from Northern Arizona University. Currently, she is the Director of Orchestral Activities in the Arthur Satz Department of Music at the University of Rochester, and the Music Director for the University of Rochester Orchestras.

Committed to 21st century orchestras through innovation, artistic excellence, and organizational diversity and growth, Dr. Waddell won secon place (2019) and third place (2020) in the national competition for the Vyautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming through the American Prize. With over ten years of professional activity, she has guest conducted the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Flagstaff Light Opera Company, among others. For five years, she was the Music Director for Canton (OH) Youth Symphonies and Assistant then Associate Conductor for the Canton Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Waddell will program and conduct the spring concert set for April 27 and 28 in Potsdam and Watertown, respectively.

Musicians and audience members will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Music Director Search Committee about each candidate before it makes its final selection in May 2024. Receptions will be held for ONNY supporters and musicians to informally meet the candidates when they are in town to conduct their concert.

The remaining three ONNY concerts in the 2023-2024 season will also be guest conducted by individuals yet to be named.