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.