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Crane faculty to be featured in Northern Symphonic Winds concert tonight

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POTSDAM — The Northern Symphonic Winds will take the stage at Hosmer Hall tonight for a free community concert, “Featured Friends.”

Patricia Cornett, who is in her first year helping to lead the band, said this concert is special because it gives the band an opportunity to feature several faculty members from the Crane School of Music.

“This is a faculty showcase concert, as we will be featuring several faculty soloists,” Ms. Cornett said. “It’s going to be a lot of really great music, and it’s a chance to showcase some of our faculty who play in the band, along with students and community members.”

Peter J. Popiel is a retired tuba instructor at Crane, but he still plays in the group, as do several others in the area.

“I still very much enjoy playing,” he said.

Mr. Popiel said it has been a lot of fun to rehearse for this concert in particular. “I think this is a particularly good concert from the perspective of audience appeal,” he said. “I think everyone will find it a very enjoyable program.”

Among the pieces are a “stunning fanfare” by Paul Dukas of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” fame, folk melodies, “Country Gardens” and “Early One Morning” by Percy Grainger and “Burlesk for Band” by the late Robert B. Washburn of Potsdam.

According to a release from the band, Mr. Washburn is best known for composing the music for the 1980 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Lake Placid.

“Serenade” by Richard Strauss is a piece featuring a small group of 13 brass and woodwinds. The show also will include four other pieces, all by American composers, with Crane faculty featured in each of the performances.

Lorraine Yaros-Sullivan, a mezzo-soprano, will perform cabaret songs by William Bolcom; Lonel Woods, a tenor, will sing Old American Songs by Aaron Copland; and “Concertino for Three Brass and Band” by Floyd Werle will feature James Madeja on the trumpet, Mark Hartman on the trombone and Charles Guy on the tuba.

The final piece of the evening will feature Crane’s Dean Michael Sitton on the piano in “Baby Face Nelson and the Femme Fatale,” by Joseph Thalken.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall on the campus of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

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