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Enriching our lives

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Last weekend’s Northern Choral Society’s Christmas concert at Asbury Methodist Church began another wondrous celebration of the birth of Christ. The music continues this weekend with three concerts by the Orchestra of Northern New York.

The Northern Choral Society attracted singers from across the north country, who pleased large crowds at Asbury Methodist Church with a concert delivered in conjunction with their orchestra and a children’s choir. The atmosphere, the music and the joy on the faces of the performers made one appreciate the opportunity Northern New Yorkers have to enjoy high quality music performed by talented neighbors.

The Orchestra of Northern New York concerts begin Friday night at the Dulles State Office Building, then on Saturday at Massena Central High School and the final presentation Sunday at Potsdam’s Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall. An integral part of the Orchestra conducted by Kenneth B. Andrews of Potsdam will be 200 students from six north country school districts. The concert, “A Holiday Celebration,” will set the tone for the season.

A common thread to these concerts is SUNY Potsdam. The director of Northern Choral Society is Sara D. Gleason, a music teacher at Copenhagen who earned both a bachelor and master’s degree at SUNY Potsdam. John R. Lindsey, the Orchestra’s concertmaster is a member of the faculty at SUNY. Mr. Andrews is on the Potsdam faculty, and Kathryn M. Ingerson of Clayton, who is helping organize the high school voices for the Orchestra’s performances, is a Potsdam graduate. Members of the choir and orchestras are or were students at Potsdam.

The Society and the Orchestra enrich our lives providing live high quality music. The influence of the educational resources at SUNY Potsdam make these concerts memorable. SUNY Potsdam’s role in educating teachers and encouraging music in our schools is significant and should not be ignored, especially as the contraction of the state university system is being fought out before our eyes.

SUNY Potsdam is a valuable asset and has a strong heritage of delivering skilled people to the world of music. North country life is enhanced by its mission, and no one should ignore its value as the state struggles to balance its budget.

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