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.

Watson Retiring as ONNY Treasurer

After 27 years of doing the books, taxes, and keeping The Orchestra of Northern New York in good financial standing, Mary Jane Watson, South Colton, has retired her position as treasurer of the North Country’s only professional symphony orchestra.

She was instrumental in the early years after ONNY was incorporated in 1995, and has played many roles and seen many changes throughout the years.

“The Orchestra used to be a smaller chamber ensemble, and it has grown in size significantly,” she added. Summer pops orchestras have been comprised of 70 musicians.

“We used to do the box office in-house. I remember going to the bank the very next day after a concert to make a deposit to cover the musicians’ checks,” she said in a recent interview.  “Cashflow is much better today,” she added.

She also saw the annual budget increase substantially. Pre-COVID, the budget was nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

Events such as Bach’s Luncheons, a holiday brunch and silent auction, and raffles have been lucrative fundraisers over the years, but none was as successful as the Symphony Junque Sale held during the Potsdam Summer Festival for over 20 years.

Watson and Eleanor Hopke, Suella Young, and Marguerite Scheyer spent hours sorting through donations and marking them for sale. A long day of set-up, one for the sale, and another for clean-up made the fundraiser very labor intensive, and ONNY’s most successful fundraiser.

“We had people who became regular shoppers,” she added. “People who never came to the concerts would frequent the Junque sale.”

She is most proud that the orchestra has “survived.” It will mark the beginning of its 35th anniversary later this year.

She is also pleased that musicians’ fees have increased, a full-time executive director has been hired, and an endowment was created in partnership with the Northern New York Community Foundation. Today, ONNY’s endowment is about $200,000 and growing.

COVID presented interesting challenges, and a silver lining. Concerts were cancelled for 18 months, and programming went digital. Last year, three concerts were held with COVID protocol in place, but attendance was down 30%. COVID grant money will help ONNY celebrate its 35th year with larger orchestras and the return of the Baroque concert.

“I remember the Pre-COVID days when the holiday and summer pops concerts packed Hosmer Hall,” she says. That venue seats nearly 1,200 people. ONNY also faces new challenges with a recent grant for outreach in the Adirondacks, requiring the organization to raise $300,000 in five years. “I’m concerned about the Orchestra’s ability to meet that obligation, she said candidly.

While many aspects of this nonprofit organization have changed since the mid-90s, “the quality of the music remains outstanding under Maestro Kenneth Andrews’ direction,” Watson says.

A reception will be held in her honor on Saturday, April 2 at 6 pm at the Clarkson Inn, allowing interested persons to wish her well and still make the pre-concert lecture at 6:45 pm before the 7:30 pm concert. To attend the reception, persons must contact Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice at or 315-212-3440.

9th Grader’s Music Composition to be Performed by ONNY April 2

The Orchestra of Northern New York will perform a new work composed by a 9th grader when it presents Dreams of Spring, Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 pm in SUNY Potsdam’s Hosmer Hall and Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm in Watertown’s First Presbyterian Church.

Constantine Darie originally composed WAVES in MuseScore during the pandemic that started two years ago. He began composing after being introduced to the computer program, Garage Band, by former Crane School of Music student Thomas Lawton, who is currently a music teacher at the Harlem Children’s Zone.

The composer Toby Fox is one of Darie’s major inspirations. Darie has also been influenced by several music teachers, including Catherine Frick, Jill Rubio, Jill Savage, Matthew Gayle, Melinda Zvacek, Dr. Michelle Martin-Atwood, and Beth Robinson.

He is self-taught in MuseScore and FL Studio, and has participated in the NYSSMA electronic composition program as well as the Crane Youth Music program held each summer. Currently, Constantine is being coached in composition by Lorie Gruneisen, a published composer, who has given him input for the orchestration of WAVES.

Mrs. Gruneisen plays violin in The Orchestra of Northern New York, and brought this talented teenager to the attention of ONNY’s Music Director and Conductor, Ken Andrews. She says, “Constantine is a gifted young man who, I believe, will continue to excel and quite possibly be an innovator in the field of music. His compositions are in a contemporary style and very pleasing to the ear.”

“ONNY is pleased to premiere this new work by a gifted young composer, Constantine Darie. May his achievement inspire other young musicians to follow in his footsteps for they are the future of music,” says Andrews.

In addition to composing, Darie plays several instruments, including piano, cello, and electric bass. He is a member of ensembles and orchestras including the North Country Connections Orchestra, in which he plays with his mother and sister. He also performs with the Potsdam High School orchestra, its jazz band, and the All-County Orchestra and Chorus.

This summer, Constantine plans to study composition at the Walden School in New Hampshire. His compositions can be found in MuseScore and SoundCloud under the name Kostaki01.

He is the son of Costel C. Darie and Alisa G. Wood, Potsdam.

ONNY Partners with HarmoNNY to Conduct Instrument Drive

Donate a Musical Instrument and Save $5 on ONNY Ticket!

The Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country's only year-round professional symphony orchestra, and HarmoNNY Performing Arts Community are partnering to host an instrument drive in Watertown on Sunday, April 3.

All those who bring a gently used musical instrument or musical equipment to Dreams of Spring, ONNY's concert slated for 3 pm at First Presbyterian Church, will receive a $5 discount off their ticket purchase. One need not purchase a ticket to donate an instrument prior to the concert.

HarmoNNY started the instrument lending library earlier this year when it discovered that some schools do not have sufficient instruments for children willing to learn how to play one. The lending library is available to all individuals in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. 

"Since HarmoNNY works with all local school districts, an instrument donation to the lending library is an excellent way to ensure that your instrument has a lasting positive impact on your community," says Joseph Foy, president of HarmoNNY.

The current inventory, available to adults and children, can be found at All instruments, except acoustic pianos, are appreciated. A tax-deductible receipt will be provided in exchange for donated instruments by ONNY staff at the April 3rd concert.

For more information, contact ONNY Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice at or 315-212-3440.

ONNY Dreams of Spring Featuring Young Artist and Composer

The Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country's only year-round professional symphony orchestra, will present two performances of classical music that evokes the joy and renewal of spring while celebrating the talents of two exceptional young people.

Dreams of Spring will take place on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 pm in SUNY Potsdam's Hosmer Hall, and on Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm in Watertown's First Presbyterian Church.  

The program opens with Haydn's Symphony No. 88 in G Major followed by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, performed by the 2022 Young Artist Competition winner, Victoria Huffman, 16, Theresa. She played the piece from memory to take First Place in the competition, earning a chance to solo with the full orchestra and the $500 first prize.

The second half begins with a new work, "Waves," composed in MuseScore by Potsdam High School Ninth Grader Constantine Darie during the pandemic. He started composing after being introduced to the computer program, Garage Band, by former Crane student Thomas Lawton, currently a Music Teacher at the Harlem Children's Zone. Constantine includes the composer Toby Fox as one of his major inspirations. It is the first time ONNY has performed a piece composed by a teenager.

The program continues with Mascagni's "Ratcliff s Dream" from Guglielmo Ratcliff (William Ratcliff). Concluding the concert will be all four movements of Smetana's "Vlatava" ("The Moldau") from Ma Vlast (My Fatherland). It is a piece about the great river, Vlatava, or 'The Moldau" on its journey from its source in the mountains of the Bohemian Forest through the Czech countryside to the city of Prague. The music captures the passage through a forest hunt, peasant wedding, a nymph's dance in moonlight, and the rapids of St. John.

ONNY musicians are eager to perform in-person once again. For the safety of musicians and concertgoers, the public is asked to wear masks while in all public places, such as the lobby, restrooms, and while socially distanced in the concert hall.

Tickets are $27 for adults, discounted to $24 for seniors (60+), military personnel (active and veterans), and all healthcare workers as an expression of ONNY's thanks for their tireless efforts during the past two years of the pandemic. Tickets for teens (13-17) are $5 while children (12 and younger) are always admitted free.

A $5 discount is available to all those who donate a gently used musical instrument at the Watertown concert on April 3. ONNY is partnering with Watertown-based HarmoNNY Performing Arts Community to build an lending library that will provide instruments to school districts, adults, and children interested in learning to play one.

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; and by the Northern New York Community Foundation.

For more information about the instrument drive or tickets for the concert, visit, Brick & Mortar Music, 15 Market St., Potsdam, the CPS Box Office in the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Potsdam, or by calling 315-267-2277.