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ONNY presents annual Baroque concert Saturday and Sunday

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The Orchestra of Northern New York traditionally goes for baroque each winter, with the concerts among the orchestra’s most popular, attracting a loyal following.

Orchestra founder and music director Kenneth B. Andrews has presented a Baroque-based concert yearly since the orchestra’s inception.

This year, for its 25th-anniversary season, Mr. Andrews has selected movements and complete works from the Baroque era that have been some of the most popular in the orchestra’s history.

The orchestra’s 26-piece Baroque orchestra will perform its “Greatest Baroque Hits” Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St., and Sunday at St. Mary’s Church, 17 Lawrence Ave., Potsdam.

The Baroque period ranged from about 1600 to around 1750 and was characterized by highly embellished melodies. The music of that time was written for either the church or for the court.

Mr. Andrews will open the concerts in a celebratory fashion with George Frideric Handel’s overture of his “Occasional Oratorio,” composed quickly in 1746.

The joyous “occasion” that caused Handel to write the oratorio was the English government forces’ (under the Duke of Cumberland) defeat of Prince Charles and Jacobite rebels at Culloden Moor in the Scottish Highlands in 1746.

Other highlights of the ONNY’s baroque concert will be Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto in C Major for Two Trumpets”; Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major”; and Jean-Joseph Mouret’s “Rondeau” from “Premiere Suites de Symphonies.” Many listeners may know the tunes, but not their names. For example, Rondeau’s piece is a variation used on the PBS series “Masterpiece Theatre.”

Featured soloists are Crane School of Music faculty members Anna Hendrickson on oboe and John R. Ellis and James T. Madeja on trumpet.

Ms. Hendrickson performs regularly with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and with the summer Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Ore. She is the ONNY’s principal oboe player.

Mr. Ellis has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He has appeared with the Canadian Brass, the U.S. Army Brass Band, Calgary Philharmonic, the Moody Blues and Grammy Award winners Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and Anne Murray.

Mr. Madeja has been a member of the Potsdam Brass Quintet since 1985 and has toured as cornetist with Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band. He was a conductor of Skyline Brass, a professional large brass ensemble based in Harrisonburg, Va. He now conducts the Crane Concert Band and Crane Brass Ensemble.

The details: ‘Baroque’s greatest hits’
WHAT: The Orchestra of Northern New York presents “Baroque’s Greatest Hits.”
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St., and 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary’s Church, 17 Lawrence Ave., Potsdam.
COST: $22 for adults, $20 for senior citizens, $10 for students and free for children age 12 and under.
OF NOTE: The orchestra’s annual Bach Lunch will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Maxfield’s restaurant, 15 Market St., Potsdam. It will feature roast pork with apple bourbon jus, butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage, desserts and beverages. Tickets are $35 for adults, $20 for students ages 6-12 and free for children age 5 and under.
Tickets for both the concerts and the lunch can be purchased by calling the ONNY box office at 267-2277 or by visiting its website at www.onny.org.
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