Savage to Guest Conduct Duke Ellington!

Timothy L. Savage, immediate past president of the Orchestra of Northern New York and 20+ year veterans of the ONNY Board, will guest conduct Duke Ellington! at a concert dedicated to him. He will lead the professional regional symphony orchestra for this work on the New World program, to be presented October 15 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam, and October 16 at 3 pm in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

Savage was awarded the 2022 Helen M. Hosmer Excellence in Music Teaching Award by the Julia E. Crane Alumni Association in July. A month earlier, he retired from Canton Central School after more than 25 years teaching one of the strongest instrumental music programs in the region. He led outstanding and competitive concert bands and jazz ensembles while at Canton. Prior to that, he taught at Heuvelton Central School for eight years.

In addition to his full-time teaching load at Canton Central, Tim has served as an adjunct faculty member at St. Lawrence University, conducting instrumental groups and teaching jazz improvisation. He also was the adjunct director of the Crane Jazz Ensemble during the 2019-2020 academic year.

An accomplished saxophonist, Tim also plays with the popular band, Northbound. He is the treasurer of the Crane Alumni Association, and chair of the NYS Band Directors Association Honor Jazz Ensemble.

ONNY is honored that he will conduct this Calvin Custer arrangement.

ONNY Premieres New Work on October 15

Noted composer and Crane Faculty member, Gregory Wanamaker, has composed Still Life in Motion, which will have its world premiere on Saturday, October 15th at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam when the Orchestra of Northern New York (ONNY) presents its fall concert.

Wanamaker says, “Still Life in Motion is partly a contradiction in that it is inspired by the life that exists in the natural environment that surrounds me. When Kenneth Andrews, ONNY’s Music Director and Conductor, discussed this commission, we decided upon a work that would capture the effects of wind and water (and other weather-related phenomenon such as snow, fire, and ice) in motion on landscapes and/or seascapes and any wildlife within, specifically as these effects pertain to the North Country and the Adirondacks.”

Equally at home composing in solitude or collaborating with other artists, Gregory Wanamaker creates music that is at times lyrically expressive while at others athletically virtuosic. His eclectic sound world responds in kind to a variety of extra-musical influences ranging from the simplicity of a still life paining, the emotions of a dramatic narrative, the graceful or angular lines of a landscape, or the visceral discourse of the moment.

Wanamaker’s music has been described as “pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace” (San Francisco Chronicle), “achingly beautiful” (Palm Beach Daily News), “deeply romantic yet unsentimental” (I Care if You Listen), and “a technical tour de force” (Fanfare).

Still Life in Motion was commissioned for the Orchestra of Northern New York and funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Legislature.

Previous commissioned works by Wanamaker were supported in part by a National Endowment for the Arts 2011 Access to Artistic Excellence grant. He is also the recipient of 2012 Individual Artist Commission from the NYS Council on the Arts in addition to awards from ASCAP, The national Association of Composers/USA, and Britten-on-the-Bay.

His recent album, Light and Shadows, Waves and Time features 21 musicians from around the globe in world premiere recordings of eight of his recent chamber works.

For more information about the composer, visit

ONNY Celebrates Classical Music Month

Kenneth Andrews conducts

The North Country’s only professional symphony orchestra, now celebrating its 35th Anniversary season, invites the public to join it in recognition of September as “Classical Music Month.”

In 1994, President Bill Clinton issued a proclamation declaring September as the month to celebrate the beauty of classical music. It stated, in part, “Classical music is a celebration of artistic excellence… This month we exalt the many talented composers, conductors, and musicians who bring classical music to our ears… Music is a unifying force in our world, bringing people together across vast cultural and geographical divisions.”

ONNY is very grateful to its Maestro Kenneth Andrews and its musicians for creating beautiful classical music for more than three and a half decades.

Music is a powerful medium, expressing emotion and touching hearts unlike anything else. This wide-ranging genre uses multiple instruments for playing a single melody, giving a powerful sound that has transcended over time.

Classical music covers several periods, each with their unique style of musical composition. With the focus more on orchestral melody, classical music is definitely different from today’s music. But without its influence, modern music as we know it wouldn’t exist.

Medieval music (500ish – 1400) was greatly influenced by the church with such forms as Gregorian Chants and Organum.

Composers of the Renaissance period (1400/1450 – 1600) had more freedom from the church, which encouraged experimentation. This era was also impacted by the ability to print music after the printing press was invented in the 1400s.

Baroque music (1600-1750) was very ornate. It was in this period that the concerto, cantata, oratorio, and sonata were created. Famous composers include Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi.

Classical music (1750/1775 – 1820) was simpler than Baroque music. It focused more on melody and dynamics (change in volume) and added woodwinds to the orchestra. Noted composers of this time were Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn.

Finally, the Romantic era (1820 – 1910) resulted in expressive and emotional works. Woodwind and brass sections of the orchestra expanded. Works by Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms are from the Romantic period.

It is important to celebrate Classical Music Month to preserve the legacies of great musicians and introduce this genre to new audiences. Whether it is rock, jazz, or country music, the inspiration and roots will always be connected to classical music in some way.

ONNY Opens 35th Season with Gifted Soprano

POTSDAM – The sweet sounds of a full orchestra and a gifted soprano will fill Hosmer Concert Hall on Sunday, August 28th at 3 pm when The Orchestra of Northern New York presents Encore! – Great Music from Dance and the Stage.

Miss Colleen Skull, an exceptional soprano from Canada, has performed with that country’s leading orchestras and joins ONNY to perform her renditions of “I Could Have Danced All Night,” from My Fair Lady, “Dream with Me” from Peter Pan, and “The Last Rose of Summer.”

Miss Skull has performed/covered over thirty operatic roles at venues such as the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Manitoba Opera, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, and many others. Radio and television appearances include performances on CBC Radio, CTV, Definitely Not the Opera with Sook-Yin Lee, Breakfast Television, TVO, and YTV. 

She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Crane School of Music.

The program also includes Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance, Piazzolla’s Libertango, and Marquez’s Danzon No. 2, among other works.

Tickets are adults $27, seniors, military, first responders and healthcare workers, $24, college students with ID $10, and teens (13-17) $5. Children, 12 and younger, are always admitted free.

Season tickets are also available at a 15% savings.

Patrons are encouraged to order their tickets in advance of the concert as ONNY is using a new online ticketing system intended to make purchasing tickets easier. Avoid the lines at the box office prior to a concert. Simply visit for details.

For more information, call 315-212-3440 or email

ONNY Honors Veterans and Space in Summer Pops Concert

POTSDAM – The Orchestra of Northern New York will honor America’s veterans and celebrate the world’s fascination with space when it presents four performances of its summer Pops concert, Adventures in Space, June 30 – July 3rd.

Maestro Kenneth Andrews conducts the concert by 60 professional musicians, which begins with the Star-Spangled Banner followed by America the Beautiful and Fanfare for Democracy.  A particularly poignant time in the concert occurs when the ever-popular Armed Forces Salute is performed. Americans who have served their country stand tall as the orchestra plays their theme of various branches of the armed services. Audience members applaud enthusiastically each year to recognize the service and sacrifice of these dedicated countrymen.

The second half of the program highlights America’s fascination with space with selections from Apollo 13, Star Wars, Holst’s The Planets and Star Trek.

Free performances are slated for: June 30th at 8 pm in Thompson Park, Watertown; July 1 at 7 pm at Paul Smith’s College; and July 2 a private performance at 7 pm in Thousand Island Park, Wellesley Island. A ticketed concert will take place on Sunday, July 3 at 7:30 pm at Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam.

For more info or tickets for the July 3rd performance, visit or call 315-212-3440.

ONNY Presents "Live Music Amid the Pines"

CHILDWOLD – With the threat of the pandemic abating, the Third Annual Childwold Chamber Music Series returns to the little church in the Adirondack woods. The concert series is an outreach program sponsored by The Secret Sits Pro Music Ensembles, Inc.  and the Orchestra of Northern New York. It takes place at Childwold Memorial Presbyterian Church and features five offerings starting with an ice cream social.

On Saturday, July 9at 2 pm, Gretchen Koehler (fiddle), inductee in the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame, and Barb Heller (guitar and vocal), host of North Country Public Radio’s String Fever, will entertain concertgoers with great bluegrass and folk music as they enjoy cake and ice cream.

All other concerts are on Thursday evenings at 7 pm at the church located on Bancroft Road. Signs on Route 3 in Childwold will direct concertgoers to the venue.

On July 14th, Pro Musica Adirondika, a new quartet of flute, violin, viola, and cello will make their debut with a program of popular classical music. The talented foursome includes: Kenneth Andrews (flute), Music Director & Conductor of the Orchestra of Northern New York; Liesl Schoenberger Doty (violin), faculty member at the Crane School of Music; Scott Woolweaver (viola), principal viola for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and the Ann Arbor (MI) Symphony Orchestra; and Karen Kadaravek (cello), former principal cellist of Boston Baroque and Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society.

Sebastian Buhts will wow the crowd on the marimba on August 4th. He is a solo, chamber, and orchestral percussionist based in St. Louis, MO where he teaches percussion at Lindenwood University and St. Charles Community College. He also has appeared as a performer and clinician throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe

The husband-and-wife duo of Karl Doty (bass) and Liesl Schoenberger Doty (violin) will present a blended genre of classical and crossover music on August 18th. Liesl and Karl are “CRIERs” in Boston’s own chair-less, conductor-less chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, that was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2015.

Closing out the series will be the return of Pro Musica Adirondika on September 1 as it presents another program of popular classical music.

All programs of the Orchestra of Northern New York are 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.

For more information about TSS and ONNY, both 501(c )(3) nonprofit organizations, call 315-212-3440.

ONNY Announces New Social Media Director

Brianne Borden Ph.D. has graciously assumed the role of ONNY’s social media director.  A trumpet artist and educator, Dr. Borden joined the faculty at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in fall 2020 as Visiting Assistant Professor of Trumpet. She is a member of the Potsdam Brass Quintet, the Nova Trumpet Collective, and performs regularly with the Orchestra of Northern New York. Preceding Potsdam, Borden taught for the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Harmony Project Phoenix, the University of Colorado Summer Academy, as well as maintained a vibrant private studio.

Having an active performance schedule, Borden presents recitals and masterclasses at numerous universities and conferences nationally and internationally. She was a featured soloist for the opening concert of the 2019 International Women's Brass Conference.

An advocate for wellness within the classical music community, Borden teaches a Musicians' Wellness class at Crane and has researched heavily in the field. Prior to her arrival at Potsdam, she served as Instructor for a weekly class titled Movement for Musicians at Arizona State University, as well as Instructor of Yoga for Musicians at the University of Colorado. Borden's wellness expertise is centered in the realms of performance anxiety, musculoskeletal health, trauma-informed mindfulness, and the practical application of yoga techniques. In addition to yoga and meditation accreditations, Borden has also completed the Essentials of Performing Arts Medicine certification through the Performing Arts Medicine Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. Furthermore, Borden currently acts as Co-Owner and CEO of a virtual yoga studio, Yoga for All Musicians, catering specifically to the physical and emotional needs of musicians.

Borden completed her Doctoral studies at Arizona State University, where she served as Teaching Assistant to David Hickman and was recipient of Raphael Mendez Scholarship for Outstanding Graduate Student. Preceding ASU, Borden received her Master's degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Colorado - Boulder where she taught as a Teaching Assistant as well as performed with the Graduate Brass Quintet. Lastly, she is a proud alumna of SUNY Potsdam where she received a Bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and her love of brass chamber music was established in the Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet. Borden is honored to be an S.E. Shires Artist.


ONNY Music Director & Conductor Announces Retirement

Last week, the Board of Directors of the Orchestra of Northern New York accepted the retirement letter of its Maestro of the last thirty-four years that is effective July 2023.

Kenneth Andrews, Founder, Music Director and Conductor since 1988, made his announcement at a recent board meeting.

ONNY Board President Kimberly Busch says, “Ken Andrews is an outstanding musician and conductor. Our North Country region has been a fortunate beneficiary of his artistry and passion for creating and performing professional quality live orchestral music for 34 years. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

In a prepared statement, Andrews notes, “Although this has been a very difficult decision, I have decided to retire as Music Director and Conductor from the Orchestra of Northern New York in July 2023, at the end of ONNY’s 35th Anniversary Season.”

“From its first concert in fall 1988, it has been my extreme honor and pleasure to conduct over 400 concerts. I have been blessed to work with musicians and soloists from Northern New York, the Northeast, Canada and beyond,” he added.

Andrews continued, “I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the thousands of musicians, staff, volunteers, donors, and concertgoers who, since 1988, have made this organization what it is today. I wish all the best for the future of the Orchestra and look forward with excitement and enthusiasm to our upcoming 35th anniversary season!”

President Busch added, “Our audience should rest assured that the Board is forming a search committee for a new Music Director and Conductor and will work to maintain the high-quality professional orchestra Ken Andrews played such a large role in creating and building.”

ONNY Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice remarked, “This is Ken’s life legacy. He built ONNY from the trunk of his car into a premier arts organization that has impacted thousands of lives, whether musicians or audience members, staff or volunteers, in the last three-plus decades. He will be sorely missed.”

ONNY Thanks Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

The North Country’s only year-round professional symphony orchestra publicly thanks its volunteers during National Volunteer Week. The Orchestra of Northern New York relies heavily on dedicated individuals to help with everything from putting up posters throughout the region to planning and staffing its annual golf tournament.

ONNY volunteers, coordinated by Volunteer Committee Chair Michele Meyers of Canton, perform a host of cost-saving activities. Steve Bateman, Lisbon, and Marc Boyer, Ogdensburg, move from one venue to another music stands, percussion instruments, chairs, and anything else needed to produce a concert. The rented truck they use is loaded after the final rehearsal and unloaded upon return from Watertown to the Crane loading dock in the wee hours of the morning.  Past ONNY President Timothy Savage, Canton, and current ONNY President, Kimberly Busch, also lend a hand on the road crew from time to time.

Barbara Burdick, Canton, manages many volunteer ushers who take tickets and distribute concert programs.  Jane “Wink” Beadel, Wellesley Island, arranges ushers for Watertown concerts.

Roland and Deborah Lauther, Madrid, prepare snacks and refreshments for the musicians to enjoy during rehearsal breaks and concert intermission. Linya Bell, Watertown, also generously arranges for food and drink for musicians at Watertown concerts.

Until recently, Nancy Kear, Potsdam, arranged for host families for ONNY musicians from out-of-town. Several local families offer musicians a clean bed, a few meals, and a place to practice between rehearsals and prior to concerts.

Nancy Peschko, Norwood, has coordinated the Young Artist Competition, which just marked its 16th year in February.

Guy C. “Chip” Lamson, Potsdam, chairs the annual golf tournament committee. His colleagues include: Jeremy Carney, Potsdam; Timothy Savage and Michele Meyers, Canton; Kimberly Busch, Hannawa Falls; Susan Bellor, Massena; and Steve Bateman, Lisbon. This year’s event will be held Saturday, July 9 at the Potsdam Town and Country Club.

Victoria Day, Hermon, ensures that ONNY posts appear regularly on social media. She is assisted in these duties by Anita Prather-Harvell, Watertown.

Several people put up posters and flyers in St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties, including Cynthia Morin, Potsdam; Ned Potts, Norwood, Bradshaw Mintener, Canton; Carolyn Pierce, Heuvelton; Lin Griffin, Ogdensburg, Ralph Hastings, N. Bangor, Michael Busch, Hannawa Falls; and Mona Vroman, Massena.

ONNY’s Watertown Advisory Committee members also share postering duties, while providing valuable feedback to ONNY management on everything from programming and operations to marketing and fundraising. They serve as ambassadors for ONNY in their local communities, opening doors to funding possibilities. Chair John Goloski, Theresa, heads the twelve-member group that includes: Jane “Wink” Beadel, Wellesley Island; Lia Call, Theresa; Jacinda and Steve Hirst, Black River; Mark Prasuhn, Sackets Harbor; and from Watertown: Shannon and Joseph Foy, Anita Prather-Harvell, T. Urling “Tom” Walker, Clement Wong, and John Wrape.

ONNY is especially grateful to Kevin Angstadt, Madrid, who makes possible all things digital and online as ONNY’s Website and Technology Director.

Finally, members of the Board of Directors spend countless hours serving on committees, helping staff fundraisers, and meeting monthly to govern this 34-year-old nonprofit organization.  President Kimberly Busch, Hannawa Falls; Vice President Victoria Day, Hermon; Treasurer John J. Gray, Jr., Colton; and Secretary Adrienne Hartman, Potsdam, are joined by Kevin Angstadt, Madrid; Rich Basler, Canton; Steve Bateman, Lisbon; Jane Beadel, Wellesley Island; Susan Bellor, Massena; Marc Boyer, Ogdensburg; William Gibbons, Potsdam; John Goloski, Theresa; Charles V. Guy, Colton; Carol C. Lowe, Parishville; Richard Maloney, Constable; Michele Meyers, Canton; and Mark Prasuhn, Sackets Harbor.

To all those listed and countless others who assist in a myriad of ways, ONNY offers its deepest appreciation.

ONNY Celebrates National Music in Our Schools Month

The Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country’s only professional year-round symphony orchestra now in its 34th year, has created a Music Education Advocacy Committee, in recognition of National Music in Our Schools Month in March.

At its monthly meeting, ONNY’s Board of Directors endorsed the League of American Orchestras “Statement of Common Cause,” which reads, in part, “America’s orchestras are committed to advocating for equitable access to comprehensive and sequential music education in our nation’s schools.”

Two ONNY musicians are co-chairs of the new Music Education Advocacy (MEA) Committee. Jill Roberts, Canton, who teaches band for Grades 5-12 at Madrid-Waddington Central School and plays clarinet with ONNY, will lead the effort in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties. Lia Call, Theresa, who instructs the seventh and eighth grade orchestra at Indian River Middle School and performs on viola with ONNY, will oversee activities in Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

This nascent committee is planning focus groups with area music teachers in April to determine how ONNY can best advocate for music education in schools, and address specific needs of music teachers.

Kimberly Busch, President of ONNY’s Board of Directors, a vocal music teacher at Canton Central School, said, “Orchestras can and should serve as a resource for music educators, whether they are teaching general music, vocal music, band, or orchestra. A complete education must include the arts.”

For more information about ONNY’s Music Education Advocacy Committee, contact Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice at or 315-212-3440.