Performing with the Orchestra of Northern New York

Each year the Orchestra of Northern New York (ONNY) puts on a summer pops concert which coincides with the Crane  Youth Music Program. It also happens during a huge Fourth of July celebration in Watertown which is attended by thousands of listeners. Every year the orchestra plays a standard list of patriotic rep, and then adds a few pieces that fit a certain theme. After the Canadian National Anthem (July 1 is Canada Day) and the Star Spangled Banner, the orchestra performed American Salute, American Patrol, and the Armed Forces Salute. The Armed Forces Salute is part of a ceremony where veterans stand during their respective service song and are honored by the entire audience.

IMG_0493
What a great section! Erica, Kyle, AJ and myself a few moments prior to the downbeat in Watertown.

After the ceremony, ONNY kicked off its Big Band themed portion of the program. This was the first time I had ever played drum set with an orchestra of this size. I got to play a Duke Ellington medley, an arrangement of Kearns, Gershwin, and Berlin tunes, and the world premiere of “Sincerely Sinatra“, a piece written by the Crane School of Music’s own Brett Zvacek featuring a Trombone soloist (played by Zvacek) and a bass and drums rhythm section.

The concert in Watertown was concluded with a powerful performance of the 1812 Overture featuring Howitzer cannons from nearby Fort Drum. Combined with the ensuing firework show, it was truly a moving experience. I couldn’t have asked for a more competent section to play with either. I was joined by Kyle, an alumni of Crane and Percussion Instructor at the Eastman Community Music School, and Erica and Aj who currently study at Crane.

FDC40663-
Hannawa Falls rapids, a short hike to take advantage of the nice weather

The Crane Youth Music camp also wrapped up this week with each ensemble giving a final concert. I’m proud to say that the percussionists in each concert were the best sounding group. The student have come a long way from their auditions on the first day of camp. The students are demonstrating their understanding of good technique and beginning to play with the special¬†touch that separates music from noise.

The Orchestra of Northern New York is always a blast to perform with. I’m thankful for having the opportunity to premiere a piece and to perform patriotic classics for a large crowd. Pairing that with the opportunity to work with students who are dedicated to music for

D0B3A98D-
Kyle conducting the CYM Percussion Ensemble.

two straight weeks creates such a rich and vibrant program. If you haven’t before, check out the Crane Youth Music camp for next summer, and visit the Crane School of Music!

2180697D-
Stage setup for the final CYM concert series.

Today (July 10) I started my first day as a TA with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Junior Jazz Academy; more on that in the next few days!

IMG_0504
The closest thing to a beach in Potsdam is this little lake! We stopped by between concerts.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s