Planetary Art Show at ONNY Concert

POTSDAM - Students from nine area public schools will have their artwork on display in SUNY Potsdam's Snell Theater lobby for the Orchestra of Northern New York's concert, The Planets - Our World and Beyond!  Concerts are 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 18 and 3:00 pm, Sunday, March 19th.

The art show includes student works that have a celestial or planetary theme. It is being coordinated by Jason Hubbard, art teacher at Norwood-Norfolk Central School, and sponsored by the ONNY Volunteer Guild.

During intermission of the Sunday performance, milk and cookies will be served in the Crane Commons, courtesy of PACES, for all children in attendance.

The ONNY concert features Gustav Holst's The Planets, and includes a multi-media presentation that will be projected onto a large screen above the orchestra. Visual artist Adrian Wyard of Seattle will coordinate the computer software that features NASA photography, original animations, and imagery from telescopes, orbiting spacecraft and rovers on the planets' surfaces, all in sync with the conductor's direction of the work.

Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 seniors and military personnel, and $5 students, ages 6-17, and college students with I.D. For tickets, call 315-267-2277, visit, or purchase them at the door.

NASA Photos Featured in Orchestra Concert

POTSDAM - The Orchestra of Northern New York will combine music, science and original animation at its next concert when it performs Gustav Holst's The Planets to the accompaniment of visuals featuring NASA photography and images from roving spacecraft.

Concerts are 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 18 and 3:00 pm, Sunday, March 19 in SUNY Potsdam's Snell Theater. A pre-concert lecture will take place 45 minutes before each concert begins with music director Kenneth Andrews and Adrian Wyard, the Seattle-based visual artist, who created "The Planets Live," the visual accompaniment to Holst's The Planets.

The multi-media presentation features original animations and NASA images that are cued live to follow the conductor. The visuals faithfully reflect the spirit of each movement as they evolve bar by bar, making them true accompaniments. This approach allows the imagery to add a new dimension to the experience while Holst's music retains center stage.

Wyard is a former designer and program manager at Microsoft. He has over 20 years experience working in digital media, including computer graphics, photography, and videography as well as software design. He also has a Master's degree in the history of science from Oxford University, and has long appreciated classical music and been an enthusiastic supporter of space exploration.

While many of the visuals are original animations, everything shown has some basis in fact and has as its source data from telescopes, orbiting spacecraft, or rovers on the planets' surfaces. Source images, video and computer modeling are courtesy of NASA, JPL-Caltech, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, The Space Telescope Science Institute, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Malin Space Science Systems, and The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, among others.

The concert opens with Strauss' Also Sprach Zaathustra, Op. 30 which was used as the introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey followed by John Williams' The Imperial March from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Also featured on the first half of the program will be cellist Hannah Sohn, 15, the winner of the 2017 Young Artist Instrumentalist Competition sponsored by ONNY and held in January. From Clifton Park, NY, she will perform Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33 from memory.

The second half of the program highlights The Planets: Mars, the Bringer of War; Venus, the Bringer of Peace; Mercury, the Winged Messenger; Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity; Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age; Uranus, the Magician; and Neptune, the Mystic.

Tickets for the concert are $22 adults, $18 seniors and military personnel, $5 for students, ages 6-17, and college students with I.D.

For tickets or more information, call 315-267-2277 or visit


Cellist Wins Young Artist Competition

POTSDAM - Hannah Jieun Sohn, 15, of Colonie, NY placed first in the James and Katherine Andrews Young Artist Instrumental Competition, sponsored by the Orchestra of Northern New York, the North Country's professional symphony orchestra.

Ms. Sohn earned $500 in prize money and the opportunity to perform with ONNY at its upcoming March concert, The Planets, to be held 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 18 and 3:00 pm, Sunday, March 19 at SUNY Potsdam's Snell Theater.

Ms. Sohn has been actively playing the cello since the age of 6.  Now a sophomore at Shenendehowa High School, she studies under the tutelage of cellist, Yehuda Hanani after 6 years with Dr. David Bebe of the College of Saint Rose. She also has received coaching by Yumi Kendall and Gloria dePasquale of the Philadelphia Orchestra and participated in master classes conducted by Johannes Moser and Paul Dwyer. 

Since 2010, Ms. Sohn has been principal cellist of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, performing in numerous concert halls, including the world renowned Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. With a great passion and enthusiasm in music, she hopes to pursue a career as a professional musician.

Nicholas Cantello, 18, of Syracuse placed second for his performance on the French horn. He is the accompanist, substitute and organist for several churches in the Syracuse area. As a student of Paul Brown, he won the seat of principal horn at the Orchestral Studies program at the 2015 New York State Summer School of the Arts. He has been principal horn of the Syracuse Youth Orchestra since 2014.

Also an avid composer, Cantello has had works performed at the Society for New Music, Rising Stars Concert, and was a finalist in the Ithaca Choral Composition Competition in 2015.

Silas Smith, 17, of Malone, NY won third prize on the harp, which he has been studying for nine years through the National String Project at the Crane School of Music, under the direction of Jessica Suchy-Pilalis. He has performed with the Crane Youth Music Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Harp Ensemble. He was also selected to be a featured soloist in the CYM Honors Recital.

A recipient of the Scott LaVine CYM Scholarship and the American Harp Society Kids for Camp Scholarship, Smith has also participated in numerous NYSSMA solo festivals and has been principal harpist in this region's Area All-State Orchestra. He has also performed at SUNY Plattsburgh's Choral Fest 2016.

The James and Katherine Andrews Young Artist Instrumental Compeition was established in 2007 for talented high school students in Northern New York. The competition is one of a few of its kind in the United States that offers both a cash prize and the opportunity to solo with a professional symphony orchestra.

The mission of the competition is to inspire the young musicians to reach their highest level of artistry. Pieces performed come from a select repertoire and must be performed from memory. This year, participants came from Plattsburgh, Malone, St. Regis Falls, Syracuse and Albany and competed on piano, flute, cello, french horn, and harp.

For more information about next year's competition or about the Orchestra of Northern New York, visit or call 315-267-3251.

Baroque Concert Features Trumpets and Drums

POTSDAM - A dazzling array of music from the golden age of the Baroque, featuring trumpets and drums, will be presented in Baroque Brilliance, the Orchestra of Northern New York's upcoming winter concert.              

Two performances only will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 11 at the First Presbyterian Church in Watertown, and at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, February 12 at St. Mary's Church in Potsdam.

Works from five great composers of the Baroque era will be featured on the program including: Purcell's Overture from The Fairy Queen; Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op. 3 No 11; Handel's Concerto Grosso in C Major from Alexander's Feast; Lully's March for the Turkish Ceremony; and Telemann's Overture in D Major for two Trumpets and Orchestra. ONNY founder and music director for the last 29 years, Kenneth Andrews, will conduct the twenty-three piece Baroque orchestra.

Soloists include Anna Hendrickson, oboe; John Ellis and James Madeja, trumpets, and John Lindsey and Elaine Dewar, violins.

Tickets are $22 adults, $18 seniors and military personnel, and $5 for students, ages 6-17, and college students with current I.D. They are available by calling the box office at 315-267-2277 or visiting

ONNY is sponsored, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. It also receives a generous grant for its Watertown Concert Series from the Northern New York Community Foundation.

For more information about ONNY, visit, email, or call 315-267-3251.

New CD by The Orchestra of Northern New York

POTSDAM - Just in time for the holidays, Santa's elves have delivered "Home for the Holidays," a CD of the 2015 holiday pops concert by The Orchestra of Northern New York, the region's only year-round professional symphony orchestra.

The 12-song CD includes such favorites as Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride, and the Spanish and Russian Dances from The Nutcracker Ballet performed live by the 58-member professional orchestra under the direction of music director/conductor Kenneth Andrews. Featured is tenor Donald George, internationally acclaimed artist and Crane School of Music faculty member, singing Ave Maria and O Holy Night. Another highlight of the CD is the narration by local North Country Public Radio personality Barbara Heller of The Night Before Christmas, from the poem by Clement Moore, A Visit from St. Nicholas.

Joel Hurd, production engineer for North Country Public Radio, recorded the concerts. Lauren Zwonik, Crane School of Music Business of Music intern with ONNY, produced the CD.

At $10 each, the CD makes a wonderful and affordable holiday gift. It can be purchased at Brick and Mortar Music, 15 Market Street, Potsdam or by calling the ONNY office at 315-267-3251.

Canadian Soprano to Perform with ONNY

POTSDAM- The Orchestra of Northern New York welcomes one of the Crane School of Music’s talented Artist Faculty members, Colleen Skull, to the stage for its holiday concert.  

Dr. Skull, a soprano hailing from Canada, will be singing This Christmastide, O Holy Night, and other glorious favorites with the orchestra when it presents its ever-popular holiday pops concert, Holiday Magic, at 7:30 pm, December 9 in SUNY Potsdam's Hosmer Hall;

7:30 pm, December 10 at Massena High School; and 3:00 pm, December 11 at Watertown's First Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Skull has been a frequent performer with numerous opera companies and orchestras across Canada, having over thirty operatic roles to her credit at venues such as the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Manitoba Opera, Esprit Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, and many others.  She recently triumphed in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos. One reviewer noted, “Colleen Skull has the plush, robust tone and commanding presence befitting both incarnations of her character.”

Ms. Skull is well versed in both soprano and mezzo- soprano repertoire.  She is also equally active in orchestral and recital repertoire, having performed as a soloist in works including: Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bruckner’s Mass in D minor, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Mass in C, and Mahler’s 2, 3, and 4th Symphonies.

She has won many awards and prizes including the Metropolitan Opera District Competition, a Chalmers Award and a Professional Artist Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.  Radio and television appearances include performances on CBC Radio, CTV, and Definitely Not the Opera with Sook-Yin Lee.

Dr. Skull completed her Doctorate in Musical Arts, specializing in voice performance at the University of Toronto.  She won the Graduate Award for the best research paper from the International Symposium on Performance Science where she was a featured keynote speaker.  Her research was also featured at 52nd Conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing in Orlando.

She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Crane School of Music where she teaches Applied Voice, Introduction to Diction and Vocal Techniques.

Joining Dr. Skull for the Potsdam and Massena concerts will be the Massena High School Mixed Choir, under the direction of Christopher Lincoln. Tickets for the Massena concert, which is a benefit for Massena Music Friends that provide much needed resources to Massena school music programs, are available from Season's Gift Shop, 27 W. Orvis Street in Massena, 764-7671. Tickets for this performance are $15 adults, and $12 seniors/students.

Tickets for the Potsdam and Watertown performances are $22 adults, $18 seniors and military personnel, and $5 students, 6-17, and college students with ID.  For tickets for these concerts, visit the CPS Box Office in the Performing Arts Center on SUNY Potsdam’s campus, or call 315-267-2277.

Spanish Music Featured in ONNY Season Opener

POTSDAM -- Imagine perfumed gardens, toreadors and flamenco dancers driven by vivacious dance rhythms and castanets. Or revel in the soothing sounds of a strumming guitar when The Orchestra of Northern New York presents, Spanish Nights, the gala opening concert of its 29th season, on at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 15 at SUNY Potsdam's Hosmer Hall.

The program opens with Bizet's "Les Toreadors" from Carmen. Chabrier's Espana - Rhapsody for Orchestra is next, followed by De Falla's El sombrero de res picos (The Three Cornered Hat).

Douglas Rubio, recognized nationwide as an outstanding performer on the classical guitar and member of the Crane Artist Faculty, is the featured soloist on Concierto de Aranjuez, Op. 36 - Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra. The program ends with De Falla's "Danza Espanola" from La vida breve.

Dr. Rubio's brilliant solo performances inspire standing ovations, and he is a gold medal chamber musician. The Santa Barbara News-Press praised his playing for its “considerable sensitivity and bravura.” His programs offer a fascinating mix of the old, the new, the traditional, and the off-the-beaten-path.

Rubio has performed throughout the U.S., and his numerous engagements in the Midwest include Lawrence, Bradley, Illinois Wesleyan, Missouri State, Illinois State, and Millikin Universities. He has been the featured concerto soloist with the Montecito and Pennsylvania Centre chamber orchestras, and the Orchestra of Northern New York.

He is especially active in the field of chamber music. As a member of the Avalon Guitar Duo, he won First Prize in the 1985 GFA International Duo Guitar Competition. The duo has gone on to perform throughout the United States, and is featured on the compact disc GFA Winners Circle 1982-1993. Rubio is also featured on an album of solo and chamber music by Heitor Villa-Lobos, released on the Naxos label. He performs frequently with flutist Jill Rubio as the Rubio Duo, and with Sweet, Fair & Wise, a trio of flute, tenor voice, and guitar.

A native of Southern California, Dr. Rubio is Professor of Classical Guitar at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Prior to moving to upstate New York, he ran a very successful guitar program at Illinois State University. He is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine, and holds both a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Southern California (USC). His private teachers include James F. Smith, Pepe Romero, and Frederick Noad.

Douglas Rubio performs on a guitar made by Stephan Connor, and uses D’Addario strings exclusively.

Tickets are on sale at the Community Performance Series Box Office in the Performing Arts Center on SUNY Potsdam’s campus.  For more information, call the box office at 267-2277 or visit

Welcome to the 29th Season

Dear Patrons,

Welcome to The Orchestra of Northern New York’s 29th season celebrating LIVE music! We have chosen a wide array of brilliant orchestral masterpieces from our Classics to our Pops series.

Come hear why this Orchestra is heralded as “One of the Sweetest Sounds in New York” by the I Love NY Campaign. We know you will enjoy these great programs performed by world-class soloists and inspired professional musicians from Northern New York and beyond.

I look forward to seeing you at our concerts. Thank you for continuing to “Celebrate LIVE Music!”

Kenneth Andrews, Music Director

ONNY Wins Challenge Grant from NNYCF

POTSDAM—The Orchestra of Northern New York has met a challenge posed by the Northern New York Community Foundation to win a $5,000 grant.

ONNY had to increase its attendance at its Watertown Concert Series in 2015-2016 by 30%  to earn the award. In fact, attendance at the first four concerts has grown by 62%.

Last fall, the Northern New York Community Foundation awarded ONNY $10,000 toward the 2015-2016 five-concert series, which includes the free Summer Pops concert to be held in Thompson Park on July 1. That's when the additional $5,000 challenge was issued.

“We continue to enjoy our partnership with ONNY and the important work they do. We have been glad to invest in enhancements to the quality of life in the region through our grants to ONNY, and we applaud them for their efforts to build both current and long-term sustainability, including an endowment fund at the Foundation,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director.

ONNY executive director, Kathryn M. Del Guidice, said the Orchestra was pleased with the response from the Watertown community. "We are working hard to build an audience in the greater Watertown area, so the results this year are really exciting."

To help position itself for success with the challenge, ONNY initiated a Watertown Advisory Council last year to provide feedback to the board of directors about Watertown and surrounding communities, and the orchestra's programming and promotional efforts.  The group met twice and offered valuable insight into marketing opportunities.

Current Watertown Advisory Council members include: T. Urling and Mabel Walker, Michael Miller, Richard Lake, Agnes McCarthy, Emily Sprague, Totter Crossley, and Don Alexander.

"We especially thank our Advisory Council members for their guidance and support that led to this increase in attendance and made the NNYCF grant possible," Del Guidice added. "They helped us understand that there is a perception in the Watertown area that the Orchestra is a community group, not the professional symphony orchestra that it is. That information led us to shift our marketing messages to emphasis the professional musicians who compose the orchestra, such as Paul Wyse who was the featured soloist at the spring concert held recently."

The Orchestra is currently in its planning stages for the 2016-2017 Season which would again include a five-concert series in Watertown if funding is secured. An application to the NNYCF for $20,000 in support has been submitted.

"NNYCF's support is essential to producing the Watertown Series. As we see more members of the military and more children attending the concerts there, we are confident that audiences will continue to grow in the future," Del Guidice noted.
For more information about ONNY, visit or call 315-267-3251.