WPBS to Broadcast ONNY Holiday Concert December 19

Thanks to an incredible opportunity presented by WPBS based in Watertown, the concert will be broadcast on Saturday, December 19 at 9 p.m.

Mark Prasuhn, WPBS President and General Manager, says: “All of us at WPBS are delighted to be airing the Orchestra of Northern New York’s Holiday concert as part of our schedule of music specials airing throughout the month of December. Showcasing wonderful music of the Christmas season is a long-standing tradition here at WPBS, and it feels especially important to us this year as the COVID pandemic has closed off so many opportunities to celebrate the season as we normally do.”

“ONNY is a much-admired local treasure and does so much for our region. I know this performance will bring joy and inspiration and I look forward to sharing it with our viewers across Northern New York and Eastern Ontario,” Prasuhn added.

The broadcast enables viewers to enjoy the program from the comfort and safety of their homes. Select chamber ensembles from within the Orchestra and a few guests perform beloved seasonal songs and traditional carols. The concert features the Potsdam Brass Quintet, Carriage House Quartet, ONNY Woodwind Trio, The Rubio Duo, and soloist Donald George, tenor.

[[{"fid":"517","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","alignment":"left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"4":{"format":"medium","alignment":"left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-medium media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"4"}}]]Potsdam Brass Quintet was established in 1968 and is in-residence at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. It has performed in concert throughout the U.S. and Canada including at New York’s Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. PBQ opens the concert with Leroy Anderson’s exciting Sleigh Ride and also plays A Hanukkah Suite, which includes: O Hanukkah, Rock of Ages, and Dance the Horah, among other works.  Members are: Brianne Borden (trumpet), Clark Hunt (trumpet), Lauren Becker (horn), Christopher Hernacki (trombone), and Charles Guy, tuba.

[[{"fid":"515","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","alignment":"right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"5":{"format":"medium","alignment":"right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-medium media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"5"}}]]Carriage House Quartet is a professional string foursome named after the 19th century carriage houses located behind the Victorian homes owned by group's members where they frequently rehearse.  Maggie McKenna, first violin; Jennifer Kessler, second violin, Christian Hosmer, viola; and Robert Docker, cello, entertain with such pieces as Christmas Concerto and Jingle Bells.

[[{"fid":"519","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","alignment":"left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"6":{"format":"medium","alignment":"left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-medium media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"6"}}]]The ONNY Woodwind Trio was formed in 2020 with Principal Musicians: Jill Rubio, flute; Julianne Kirk Doyle, clarinet; and Carol Lowe, bassoon. This holiday concert is the trio’s debut performance, in which they perform “March of the Toys” from Babes in Toyland and I Have a Little Dreidel, among other pieces.

[[{"fid":"518","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","alignment":"right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"7":{"format":"medium","alignment":"right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-medium media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"7"}}]]The Rubio Duo consists of the husband-and-wife team of Douglas and Jill Rubio. They have been delighting audiences since 1983 with music for flute (Jill) and classical guitar (Doug). In ONNY’s holiday concert, they perform White Christmas and Two Catalonian Carols, (The Son of Mary, and Christmas Night).

[[{"fid":"520","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","alignment":"left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"8":{"format":"medium","alignment":"left","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-medium media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"8"}}]]Donald George, an internationally renowned tenor, who has brought North Country audiences to their feet in prior years, presents The Lord’s Prayer and O Holy Night, accompanied by local pianist Jeffrey Hinkle.

Bringing Home the Sounds of the Season is produced with generous support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature; and Northern New York Community Foundation, whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Watertown Savings Bank, which has been a generous supporter of ONNY’s holiday concert in Watertown for many years, is the business sponsor of this concert.

ONNY Executive Director, Kathy Del Guidice, asks appreciative viewers to make a donation in lieu of ticket sales to help cover the cost of the program that includes musicians’ fees.

The Orchestra of Northern New York is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, founded in 1988 by Music Director Kenneth Andrews. Its mission is “to enrich the quality of life for all people, especially youth, in the North Country, Adirondacks, and Southeastern Ontario by inspiring the enjoyment and appreciation of music  through diverse and inclusive, live and online programming by professional musicians.”

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. To contribute, visit; mail a check, payable to “ONNY,” to PO Box 488, Potsdam, NY 13676; or call Ms. Del Guidice with a credit card at 315-212-3440. For more information, contact her at

ONNY Offers Musical Tribute on Veterans Day

The North Country’s only year-round professional symphony orchestra honors veterans and active duty personnel with a musical tribute this Veterans Day 2020.

The Orchestra of Northern New York has produced a six-minute video, with the help of Massena AMVETS Post 4 members, to thank all Americans who have served or are serving in our armed forces for their dedication and sacrifice.

Each year at its summer Pops concert, the Orchestra performs “Armed Forces Salute,” a medley of theme songs of five of the branches of the armed services. Music Director and Conductor Kenneth Andrews invites veterans and active duty military in the audience to stand and be recognized by those present, a particularly memorable part of each performance as the crowd erupts with applause.

For many years, veterans from Massena AMVETS Post 4 have presented the flags during this musical piece. They do so again in the video from Veterans Memorial Park in Massena. ONNY thanks publicly: Fred Cockayne, Disabled American Veterans Commander; Ken Kells, Post 4 Commander; Tim Mattice, Second Commander; Larry Paige, Sons Officer; and Ken Sequin, American Veterans Officer.

ONNY’s musical tribute will be posted at 8 a.m., Wednesday, November 11th on its website,, and on social media.

During the pandemic, the Orchestra is fulfilling its mission without live concerts for the first time in its 33rd year by offering “New Experiences Through Blended Programming.” Five new ONNY ONLINE programs include interviews of its professional musicians and staff by Music Director Andrews; conversations between donors, board members , and even a Young Artist Competition participant and former Board President Timothy Savage; a variety of performances by ONNY’s professional  musicians; and two programs geared for children - Improv Sessions with ONNY Musicians, coordinated by Massena Central School District Director of Orchestras, Amalio “Mario” Pratti, and free Mini Music Lessons.

All ONNY programs are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature; and the Northern New York Community Foundation, Watertown.

For more information or to make a donation in support of ONNY’s online programs,  contact Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice at 315-212-3440 or

CPA Firm Donation Saves ONNY Thousands of Dollars

The CPA firm of Gray & Gray and Associates, with offices in Canton, Potsdam, Massena and Spring Hill, FL, donated a $3,500 Konica Minolta c364e printer/copier/scanner/fax machine to the Orchestra last year.

ONNY Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice says, “It will save literally thousands of dollars in printing and copying costs. I am so grateful to John and Angela for this generous contribution.” 

John J. Gray, Jr., managing partner of Gray & Gray and Associates, ONNY board member and Finance Committee chair, says:  “Our firm has always been committed to supporting the arts in Northern New York.  This was a unique opportunity for us to assist ONNY where there was a real need. It allowed us to help a valued arts organization with a benefit that would have a positive impact over several years. It was our pleasure to do so.”   John Gray Jr. & Angela Gray, Partners

(Pictured: John J. Gray, Jr. and his business partner, daughter Angela Gray)


Introducing ONNY Online

Dear Friends, 

The entire ONNY family has missed seeing you since we gave our last concert in December 2019. All of us hope that you and yours are safe and healthy.

In recent months, many creative people have been collaborating to develop programming for our 33rd year. It is my pleasure to announce a blended season of traditional live concerts and new digital programs for 2020-2021.

ONNY ONLINE includes five new programs that begin on September 8th on our website, Select segments from these offerings will also appear on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow ONNY on those social media platforms.

Tuesday Talks with the Maestro features interviews with past and present ONNY musicians, soloists and other ONNY personalities. Learn more about the interesting lives of our musicians as well as their thoughts on various aspects of music.

Behind the Scenes of ONNY is hosted by well-known musician, educator and immediate past president of the ONNY Board of Directors, Tim Savage. His conversations with ONNY sponsors, donors, staff, volunteers, even a Young Artist Competition participant, are fascinating. 

Improv Sessions with ONNY Musicians, coordinated by Mario Pratti, ONNY bassist and well-known music teacher in Massena schools, enables young people in Grades 5-12 to express their feelings through music. Each student will receive personalized feedback from ONNY musicians about their improvised piece.  

Mini Music Lessons with ONNY Musicians offer the opportunity for young people and people young at heart to receive a free one-on-one tutorial via a live Zoom session. Visit the ONNY website for details about how to request a lesson.

Finally, don’t miss ONNY Beyond the Stage, short videos in which our professional musicians perform solo or small ensemble works from their home or other settings outside the concert hall. I am confident you will enjoy this inside look at the creative process and these intimate performances.

This year, ONNY’s primary goal is to Manage Change. We wish you well as you, too, face these ever-evolving and challenging times. Be sure to visit often and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest information about concert venues, dates and times and the new ONNY ONLINE programs.

Watch your email for the invitation to “Toast the Season,” a live Zoom session at 7 pm, Sunday, September 27, when the three-concert season will be announced.

Thank you for your past and continuing support.

Kenneth Andrews

Watertown Advisory Committee Plays Valuable Role

In 2015, the late Michael C. Miller, Watertown, gathered together a group of interested individuals from Watertown to ensure that ONNY concerts would become a part of the fabric of life in that region. Today, Mike’s dream is a reality. 

Last season, 1,600 people purchased tickets to four ONNY concerts in Watertown. Literally thousands of people enjoyed ONNY’s summer pops concert and fireworks at the free Concert in the Park held around July 4th.  The event is sponsored by the City of Watertown and the Watertown Noon Rotary Club.

The twelve-member Watertown Advisory Committee (WAC) meets quarterly.  These dedicated volunteers:

  • Serve as ambassadors for The Orchestra of Northern New York
  • Open doors and build bridges with community groups, businesses and foundations in the area
  • Help solicit sponsorships, program advertising, donations and grants to defray the cost of the annual five-concert Watertown series
  • Provide valuable feedback to the ONNY board and management on everything from programming and operations to marketing and outreach activities.

John Goloski, WAC chair, is a voting member of ONNY’s Board of Directors. Membership is open to anyone in the greater Watertown region who is interested in assisting ONNY in a host of ways. Committee members provide refreshments and even dinner on occasion for musicians before concerts and during intermissions. They also serve as ushers, sell CDs, distribute posters, respond to management’s requests for feedback, and share social media posts.

In 2020, the group is examining their role and relationship with the ONNY Board. They are developing an operations manual for the Committee Chair’s office to minimize the learning curve for future WAC leaders. 

Persons interested in WAC’s mission are asked to contact Goloski at or 315-592-8740.

(Photo: Members of the Watertown Advisory Committee display ONNY reusable tote bags at their last quarterly meeting. They are, left to right, front row:  Emily Sprague, Watertown, retired English teacher from Watertown City Schools; Agnes McCarthy, Philadelphia, director/co-founder of Trillium Music Center and an ONNY violinst; Shannon Zaykoski, Adams, music teacher in the South Jefferson Central School District and an ONNY hornist; Wink Beadel, Wellesley Island, retired Communications Associate at Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum; and Aileen Anderson, Watertown, Grants Management Specialist for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Back row:  Richard Lake, Watertown, retired Vice President of Harleysville Insurance Co.; Anita Prather Harvell, Watertown, IT Specialist for Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation on Fort Drum; Clement Wong, Watertown, Financial Officer of the United Way of NNY; Lia Call, Theresa, 7th and 8th grade orchestra teacher at Indian River Middle School and ONNY violist; John Goloski, Theresa, Watertown Advisory Committee chair, 7th and 8th grade band teacher at Indian River Middle School; and John Wrape, Watertown, retired Assistant Superintendent for Instruction in the Watertown City School District. Missing: T. Urling “Tom” Walker, Watertown, retired businessman and former Mayor of the City of Watertown.)

A Black Bottom Line Thanks to Individual & Business Donors, Foundations, and NYSCA

The generous support of 292 individuals, businesses, organizations, foundations, and state agencies totaled $124,541 or 52% of 2019 total income, making it possible for ONNY to finish the year in the black.  These donors enabled the Orchestra to bring high quality orchestra music to the North Country. 

Their generosity allowed ticket prices to remain affordable, with discounted tickets for seniors, military personnel, college students and teens. Children, age 12 and under, are always admitted free to ONNY concerts.    

The Sweetgrass Foundation kindly funded a much-needed project, the re-organization and renovation of one of ONNY’s greatest assets, its music library.   

The Secret Sits Pro Musica Ensembles, Inc. (TSS, Inc.) sponsored the ONNY/Crane Student Apprenticeship Program last year. Thirty-four exceptional Crane students played in one or more concerts, gaining valuable experience performing alongside ONNY’s seasoned musicians. 

The Northern New York Community Foundation continues to demonstrate its support for ONNY in many ways. Once again last year, it awarded $15,000 to The Orchestra to help defray the cost of producing the Watertown concert series. In June, it bestowed a $10,000 matching grant to grow ONNY’s endowment.  Since last June, $3,945 in private donations to the endowment have been matched by NNYCF. Finally, in August, NNYCF authorized a $15,000 grant from the Sidney T. Cox Memorial Fund, held by NNYCF, to fund the season opening concert in Clayton. 

To contribute to the endowment matching campaign, contact Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice at or 315-267-3251.

The New York State Council on the Arts approved a three-year $57,000 grant, payable at $19,000 per year, for musicians fees. ONNY strives to hire the best musicians in the region to perform for its audiences.

Finally, ONNY learned in December that its application for a Workforce Development grant to transition its part-time executive director position to a full-time one was approved. The $37,500 two-year grant was issued by the New York State Council on the Arts and Regional Economic Development Council (NYSCA/REDC).

On behalf of the entire Board, thank you to all our supporters. We simply couldn’t do it without you!

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A Message from ONNY Board President, Kimberly Busch

Dear Friends,

As I begin a two-year term as President of the ONNY Board of Directors, I wish to thank our sponsors, donors, advertisers, audience members, musicians, volunteers and staff for their past support. As we navigate a world-wide pandemic, the ONNY Board is committed, first and foremost, to protecting the health and safety of our musicians and audience members, then determining how best to proceed with live music-making onstage.

Our Music Director Kenneth Andrews, Executive Director Kathy Del Guidice, and Personnel Manager Jill Rubio are working diligently, researching the latest recommendations from the CDC and best practices from the League of American Orchestras and other professionals in the field. Although ONNY cannot present live concerts at this time, we will fulfill ONNY’s mission of “enriching the quality of life in Northern New York” and inspiring “the enjoyment and appreciation of music” in new and creative ways. Online programs are being developed that we expect to launch in late summer/early fall. These offerings will include interviews with our musicians, solo or chamber performances by ONNY musicians, play-along musical improvisation activities, and more. 

I would like to sincerely thank Tim Savage for his excellent leadership as President of ONNY’s Board of Directors for the last nine years. His knowledge, passion and calm demeanor have been one of the secrets of the Orchestra's success. I am grateful that he will remain on the Board this year to help ensure a smooth transition. The other 2020-2021 ONNY officers are: Vice President Vicki Day (Hermon), Treasurer Mary Jane Watson (South Colton), and Secretary Adrienne Hartman (Potsdam).

ONNY board members are dedicated and engaged volunteers. I am excited and humbled to work with this amazing team as we explore new ways to bring orchestral music to North Country communities and lead our dedicated volunteers and talented musicians to a “new normal.” These are challenging times, but I believe the Orchestra will endure - with your support. Please give generously when we undertake our annual appeal in the coming months.


Kimberly Busch
ONNY Board President


Photo Credit: Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times (ONNY Pops Concert)

Orchestra Librarian Added to Staff

Music Director Kenneth Andrews has worn many hats for over 30 years to keep the orchestra viable. One of the more time-consuming and detail-oriented jobs has been preparing and distributing all the music for over 400 concerts to musicians, which can number as many as 70+ players per event.

Last year, the board hired Keith Ziemba as Orchestra Librarian to relieve the music director of many of the required tasks.

Mr. Ziemba is from West Orange, NJ. He received a BM in Music Education from Ithaca College and a MM in Trumpet Performance from Witchita State University. He is retired from Edwards-Knox Central School, where he taught instrumental music for many years. He has lived in Russell for almost 40 years with his wife, Nancy, a long-time member of the ONNY horn section. He is an active trumpet performer, composer and arranger.

Adept at scanning music and sending it to musicians in an organized, professional manner, Keith has already saved the orchestra a great deal of money in postage by using this technology. ONNY, and especially our Music Director, are grateful to Keith who is doing a great job.

Social Media Reach Increases 459%

Rebecca Weissman joined ONNY’s board last April. Her willingness to manage social media, including Facebook and Instagram, was welcome news. She quickly demonstrated her expertise in the field of marketing, which has had a huge impact on audience engagement. 

ONNY’s monthly Facebook reach - the number of people who had content from or about a page reach their screen - has grown 459% with her efforts, from 1,033 viewers to 5,782. Women followers of the orchestra outnumber men 2:1.  People, ages 25-44, account for 54% of Facebook followers while those ages 45-65 total 22%.

Instagram engages audiences primarily through photo content, engaging members of the ONNY family with community organizations through tagging, recognizing donors and sponsors, connecting with peer and other organizations through “liking” and reposting. 

These followers represent a younger demographic with 69% between the ages of 18-34. Again, women are twice as likely to be engaged by this social media platform as men are. Growth in Instagram enthusiasts grew 181%.

ONNY is grateful to Ms. Weissman for her ongoing work to engage and grow its audiences.  If you have not already done so, please look for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join our growing group of social media supporters.

The Orchestra also wishes to publicly acknowledge and thank volunteer Kevin Angstadt, who has served as ONNY’s website consultant since 2013. He does it all – handling site design, maintenance, and content updates.  Kevin is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan.  He received a Bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence University and a Master's degree from the University of Virginia.  He eagerly awaits a move back to the North Country.

Follow ONNY on:

Facebook: The Orchestra of Northern New York
Twitter: @OrchNorthernNY
Instagram: @OrchNorthernNY

Register for the Third Annual ONNY Golf Classic Today

Calling all North Country golfers!  The Orchestra of Northern New York invites you to register today for its third annual Golf Classic to be held Saturday, August 29th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Potsdam Town and Country Club.  

Proceeds of this charity event enable children, 12 and under, to attend ONNY concerts for free and teens, 13 to 17, for just $5. 

The entry fees are $75 for each adult and $50 for Junior Division (high school) golfers. The fee for this four-person mixed scramble event includes: 18 holes of golf and cart, contests, heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment by Microburst, and prizes for the winning teams. Cash bar, putting contest, skins, mulligans, a silent auction and raffles will all be available and are extra. 

Register today online at; in-person at Brick & Mortar Music, 15 Market Street in Potsdam, or call 315-212-3440.

Click here to read an invitation letter from Chip Lamson, tournament chair.

Photo Credit: Chris Urbanowicz