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Guest Speakers at ONNY's Pre-Concert Conversation Discuss Living Women Composers

Two members of the Orchestra of Northern New York will be the featured guest speakers for the Pre-Concert Conversation when ONNY presents its Brahms Symphony No. 1 concert on April 29 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam and on April 30 at 3 pm in the First Presbyterian Church, Watertown. The Pre-Concert Conversation begins 45 minutes before each program.

Dr. Nelly Maude Case of Los Alamos, New Mexico, is traveling to the North Country from New Mexico to perform one last time under the baton of Maestro Kenneth Andrews in his final classical concert. Dr. Erin Brooks, a member of the Crane School of Music faculty, joins her. Both women play viola and are noted musicologists, persons who conduct the scholarly analysis and research-based study of music. Maestro Andrews will pose questions about the two noted female composers whose works will be performed in this spring concert.

The program opens with the energetic and rhythmically riveting Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, composed by Joan Tower, considered by many to be one of the most important composers living today. She was awarded the 2020 Composer of the Year by Musical America.  ONNY is excited to present Charles V. Guy, the Orchestra’s principal tubist, in Jennifer Higdon’s Tuba Concerto (2018). Higdon is also one of the most sought-after American composers of our day. ONNY’s performance will be the New York State premiere of this work.

Dr. Nelly Maude Case is a Professor Emerita of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where she taught courses in music history, theory, and women in music for 25 years.

She served as organist and bell choir director at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton from 1989-2016, and played viola in the Orchestra of Northern New York from 1991-2016.

She also published biographies of two Crane icons: Worry Early: the Life of Brock McElheran in 2006, and Helen Hosmer: The Spirit of Crane in 2011.

Since retiring to Los Alamos, New Mexico, she has served as organist and choirmaster at Trinity on the Hill (Episcopal Church), taught music appreciation at the University of New Mexico, and played violin and viola in the Los Alamos and Roswell Symphonies. In her spare time, she plays bridge and engages in political activism.

Dr. Erin Brooks is Associate Professor of Musicology at tSUNY Potsdam. Her research interests include opera, film, video games, gender and sexuality, disability, listening, and trauma studies.

She earned her Ph.D. in Musicology from Washington University in St. Louis, where her dissertation analyzed French actress Sarah Bernhardt’s role in fin-de-siécle musical culture. Erin has published multiple articles on opera and film music; her most recent article, appearing in the April 2023 issue of Nineteenth-Century Music Review, illuminates connections between sound, war, and trauma during the Franco-Prussian War. She has presented her research at multiple national and international conferences, and is a founding co-chair of the American Musicological Society Study Group on Music, Sound, and Trauma. She is currently working on a monograph on the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, as well as a research project on sound and the polio epidemic.

Dr. Brooks teaches courses on a wide variety of topics; she has taught seminars on music, gender, and sexuality at SUNY Potsdam, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and UCLA. 

In addition to ONNY, she is a member of the Carriage House string quartet and has also appeared with the St. Lawrence University String Orchestra and the Northern Lights Choir. Before moving to New York, she played viola, Baroque viola, and viola da gamba in ensembles in Arkansas, Missouri, California, and Wisconsin. 

For more information about the Brahms Symphony No. 1 program, visit onny.org where one can also purchase tickets online.

Principal Tuba to Solo with ONNY

POTSDAM – When Charles V. Guy isn’t teaching classes at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music or performing with a host of musical ensembles, he makes time to volunteer with the Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country’s only professional year-round regional symphony orchestra now celebrating its 35th season.

He is ONNY’s players’ liaison, representing any musician concerns to management and the Board of Directors, of which he is a member. He also chairs the Programming Committee and serves on the Personnel and Music Director Search Committees.

Next month, he will solo in the New York State premiere of Tuba Concerto by renowned 21st century composer Jennifer Higdon when ONNY performs its spring concert, Brahms Symphony No. 1, on April 29 and 30 in Potsdam and Watertown respectively.

Guy is Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He performs with the Potsdam Brass Quintet, and as principal tuba with the Orchestra of Northern New York and Northern Symphonic Winds. Annually, he performs with the Tuba Bach Tuba-Euphonium Quartet at the Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Dedicated to the development of young students, Dr. Guy teaches at the Crane Youth Music Camp and has taught at Interlochen Arts Camp, New England Music Camp, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He has also developed a video series of tutorials aimed at empowering music educators with tools to teach beginning tubists. 

Before joining the Crane faculty, Charles held a similar position at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and performed with the Lawrence Brass, the Oshkosh Symphony, and the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra.  As a soloist, he has performed at many International and Regional Tuba and Euphonium Association conferences, the Army Band Tuba-Euphonium workshop, and many university recitals. In 1999, he won the prestigious Leonard Falcone Festival artist division solo tuba competition and has served the festival as an adjudicator on several occasions. He has also presented numerous master classes and clinics for music educators and tuba-euphonium students at the New York State School Music Association, New York State Band Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association conventions, and in public schools. 

He has commissioned several works for solo tuba and tuba in chamber settings, including the Potsdam Brass Quintet’s most recent collaboration with Anthony Plog on a piece entitled Polychromes in celebration of the group's 50th Anniversary.

His orchestral experience includes performances with the Syracuse Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Midland Symphony Orchestras. He has published articles and reviews in the International Tuba and Euphonium Association Journal and has been recorded on the Madstop, Mark and Bernel Labels.  He was the co-chair of the Performance Department at the Crane School of Music. 

Dr. Guy earned both his Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Akron.  When not teaching or performing, he enjoys time with his wife, Lorie, and two boys, Ethan and Miles. 

Charles is a Buffet Crampon USA Artist/Clinician and performs exclusively on Melton Meinl Weston.

Syracuse Teen Wins ONNY Young Artist Competition

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Young Artist Competition 2023 Winners with Ken Andrews

Soren Krantz, 17, recently took top honors in the 17th Annual James and Katherine Andrews Young Artist Competition, sponsored by the Orchestra of Northern New York. He performed the first movement of Edvard Grieg’s Concerto in A Minor for Piano, Op. 16., winning the first place prize of $500 and the opportunity to solo with ONNY at its April 29th concert in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam.

Soren earned the first-place prize of $500 and the opportunity to solo with ONNY at its April 29th concert in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam.

In Soren’s home, he and all his older siblings play piano, taught by their mother. At age 14, he switched to his current teacher, John Spradling. Two years ago, he took third place in the senior division of Central New York AMT’s advanced piano competition.

Homeschooled since kindergarten, Soren will graduate high school this May through taking college courses at the local community college. In addition to his studies and piano playing, he enjoys basketball, chess, solving Rubik’s cubes, and being outdoors in all weather.

Soren is the son of Sabine and Alex Krantz, Syracuse.

Eric Lee, 14, who first studied violin under the Suzuki method when he was in kindergarten,

placed second, winning the $300 cash prize. He performed Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 in G Minor for Violin.

A student of Peter Rovit of Dewitt, Eric began playing in the Symphoria Youth Orchestra at age 10. Since then, he has participated in the Symphoria String Orchestra, the Repertory Youth Orchestra and the Young Artist Orchestra. He is an experienced concertmaster, having led three All-County and All-State orchestras as well as the High School Music Camp at Ithaca College.

An avid skier who also holds a black belt in Miori-style Martial Arts, Eric enjoys chess, playing golf, watching sports, and participating in fantasy football and basketball leagues with his friends. He graduated Salutatorian from his 8th grade class at Christian Brothers Academy of Syracuse.  

Eric is the son of Kelly and Young Lee, Manlius.

Third place went to flutist Andrea Iqbal, 15, a sophomore at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. She performed Charles Griffes’ Poem for Flute and Orchestra, earning the $150 prize.

Andrea has been in two All-County bands and a member of her high school’s marching band for four years. As the marching band’s flute soloist this past year, she was featured on local radio station, WCNY. She also participates in her school’s Symphonic Band and the Junior and Senior High School pit orchestras.

Outside of school, she performs with the Symphoria Youth Orchestra and plays tennis. In December 2022, Andrea was her school’s Music Student of the Month. Last year, she received an Excellence in Band award.

Andrea is the daughter of Guillermina Ortega and Robert Iqbal, North Syracuse

Violist Kari Maxian, 17, a senior at Manlius Pebble High School was awarded Honorable Mention and a $75 cash prize. A student of Arvilla Wendland for the past eight years, Kari has been principal viola in the Symphoria Youth Orchestra for the last two years. In 2022, she won the Civic Morning Musicals concerto competition, and her quartet won “Best Syracuse Area Ensemble” in the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music competition.

Kari also enjoys piano, soccer, and science, hoping to study conservation biology in college.

She is the daughter of Jeffrey Winston and Tina Maxian, Cazenovia.

ONNY Awarded $40,000 by the New York State Council on the Arts

The Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country’s only year-round professional symphony orchestra now celebrating its 35th Anniversary season, announced today a grant award totaling $40,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Following New York State’s historic investment for the arts, NYSCA has awarded $90 million since Spring 2022 to a record number of artists and organizations across the state. The $40,000 award is payable over two years.

Governor Kathy Hochul said, “As a cultural capital of the world, New York State is strengthened by our expansive coverage of the arts across all 62 counties.  This year's historic commitment to the arts sector will spur our continuing recovery from the pandemic and set the course for a stronger future."

NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus said, “We are immensely grateful to Governor Hochul and the Legislature for their unprecedented investment of $240 million to support arts organizations across the state. New York State arts organizations such as The Orchestra of Northern New York are the cornerstone of our vibrant arts economy. As crucial drivers of our health and vitality, we are grateful to the unwavering dedication of arts workers across the state.”

NYSCA Chair Katherine Nicholls said, “On behalf of the entire Council, I congratulate ONNY on this grant award. Their creative work provides the benefits of the arts to both their community and all of New York. Arts organizations are essential, leading our tourism economy and fueling sectors such as hospitality, transit, and Main Streets across our state.“ 

Preserving and advancing the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit, NYSCA upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life. To support the ongoing recovery of the arts across New York State, NYSCA will award record funding in FY 2023, providing support across the full breadth of the arts.

NYSCA further advances New York's creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources. Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, NYSCA is an agency that is part of the Executive Branch. For more information on NYSCA, please visit http://www.arts.ny.gov, and follow NYSCA's Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.

Concertmaster Lindsey to Solo with ONNY

For 35 years, the Orchestra of Northern New York has been fortunate to have violinist John Lindsey as its founding concertmaster. Next week, he will demonstrate his virtuosic musical skills as he performs as guest soloist in “Winter Serenade.”

Two performances of this concert are slated for Saturday, February 4 at 7:30 pm in St. Mary’s Church, Canton, and Sunday, February 5 at 3 pm in First Presbyterian Church, Watertown.

The program includes Mozart’s Divertimento in D Major, also known as Salzburg Symphony No. 3; Mahler’s “Adagietto” from Symphony No. 5 in C# Minor; Montgomery’s Strum; Rutter’s Suite for Strings; and Elgar’s Serenade for String Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 2.

Lindsey will solo on “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Manha de Carnaval” from Bonfa’s Black Orpheus.

John Lindsey retired as SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Violin Emeritus from The Crane School of Music (where he taught for 35 years) in 2016. The Distinguished Service Professorship is the State University of New York’s highest professorial rank, It was bestowed upon him in May, 2009. At the time, he was only the second Crane faculty member to ever receive that ranking. Previously he was awarded the 1993 SUNY Potsdam President’s Award and the 2003 SUNY Chancellor’s Award, both for Excellence in Teaching.

Parallel with his teaching accomplishments, Mr. Lindsey has fashioned an incredibly active and distinguished career as a performing violinist. He is currently the founding Concertmaster of both the Orchestra of Northern New York for 35 years and the Eleva Chamber Players in Vermont for 17 years.

Mr. Lindsey has performed in several U.S. states and the People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and Thailand.

His new CD album of violin music for early education purposes was released in August of 2020 and is available on Amazon and iTunes. Visit Mr. Lindsey’s website at: www.violinjohnlindsey.com for more information.

For tickets or more information visit onny.org.

Margaret Chalker to Perform with the Orchestra of Northern New York

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Margaret Chalker poses on piano

The internationally renowned soprano, Margaret Chalker, will be the guest soloist when the Orchestra of Northern New York (ONNY), the North Country’s only professional orchestra now celebrating its 35th Anniversary season, presents its holiday concert, PEACE ON EARTH. Three performances are scheduled:  Friday, December 16 at 7:30 pm in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam; Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 pm in the Malone Middle School Auditorium; and Sunday, December 18 at 3 pm in Watertown’s First Presbyterian Church.

Ms. Chalker is a faculty member at the Crane School of Music, where she is a visiting professor of voice. She began at Crane in 2017 following an extensive career that spanned two continents. She has sung with the Syracuse Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Columbus and Seattle Symphonies. She made her New York City debut with the Music Today Orchestra. Ms. Chalker spent several years performing with Opera Companies of the U.S.A. when she sang with Omaha Opera, St. Paul Summer Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. She was also featured at the famous Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.

For 25 years, she performed approximately 900 performances of 40 different roles with the prestigious Opernhaus Zurich in Switzerland. During that time, she was also a guest soloist in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Her repertoire spans from Baroque to contemporary, including large and chamber orchestral works. In 2013, she returned to the U.S., settling in Massena to be close to family, and subsequently joined the faculty at the Crane School of Music.

For PEACE ON EARTH, Ms. Chalker will perform “Let the Bright Seraphim,” “O Holy Night” and other holiday carols.

She will be joined by a Holiday Festival Chorus of nearly 150 students on Friday, December 16th comprised of students from Massena Central High School, Canton Central, Norwood-Norfolk Central, Madrid-Waddington Central, Clifton-Fine Central School and Brasher Falls Central. Malone students from the Middle School and High School will sing with Ms. Chalker on Saturday night. Both groups will perform “Glory to God,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” and “Joy to the World” with Ms. Chalker. For nearly all students, this will be their first opportunity to sing with a professional orchestra and star of Ms. Chalker’s caliber.

The program is sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Northern New York Community Foundation, and Adirondack Paint & Hardware, Malone.

The Malone Music Boosters are offering special discounted tickets for the concert. Adults are $20; seniors, military personnel, first responders, and healthcare workers are $17; college students are $10; and teens (13-17) are $5. Children, 12 and younger, are always admitted free, but do require a ticket for admission.

Tickets for the Potsdam and Watertown concerts are $27 for adults; $24 seniors; $10 college students with ID, $5 teen (13-17) and free for children, 12 and younger.

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit onny.org or call 315-212-3440. Tickets may also be available at the door, but advanced ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.

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 www.gregorywanamaker.com.

ONNY Celebrates Classical Music Month

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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 onny.org for details.

For more information, call 315-212-3440 or email executivedirector@onny.org.