Orchestra Receives Gift for Student Apprenctices

POTSDAM - The Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country's only year-round symphony orchestra, has received a five-year commitment to sponsor the exceptionally gifted students from the Crane School of Music who are selected for the ONNY Apprenticeship Program. The students are paid as young professionals.

The donation comes from The Secret Sits Pro Musica Ensembles, Inc. (TSS, Inc.), a charitable nonprofit organization founded in 2017 in memory of Marie A. Patten, of Athens, GA and the Gull Pond Community in the Piercefield, NY area. TSS, Inc. is incorporated in Georgia and New York.

Marie Patten was educated in New York City public schools and went on to earn BA, MSW and PhD degrees at the College of William and Mary and the University of Georgia. Her love of music grew throughout her life. An avid opera- and concert-goer, she would leave chamber music performances and frequently comment to the effect that the world would be a better place if that kind of music was on street corners. It is that sentiment, and the pursuit of related goals finding root around it, to which TSS, Inc. is now dedicated -- Better Music, Better World.

Marie was very fond of poetry, and wrote some herself. A personal encounter with Robert Frost when she was young became indelible in her life, and this is reflected in "The Secret Sits" being the title of one of Frost's poems:

We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for Crane students to perform with a professional symphony orchestra," says Kenneth Andrews, who founded the orchestra in 1988. "They are held to the same high standards as the other musicians, and the experience fosters discipline and professionalism."

"We are most grateful for this generous gift. It truly is transformational for the orchestra," Andrews continued.

ONNY is celebrating its 31st season of music that inspires and excites. It is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is "to enrich the quality of life in Northern New York and engage area youth by inspiring the enjoyment and appreciation of music through live performances by professional musicians." It is funded, in part, by the Northern New York Community Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

For more information about ONNY, call 315-267-3251 or visit www.onny.org.

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