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2007 Events

Classical Music Festival at the Blue Frog Coffeehouse

There will be a Classical Music Festival at the Blue Frog Coffeehouse on Sunday April 29, 2007 from 1 - 5PM. Music will include Baroque and Classical, as well as music from the Spanish Zarzuela and original compositions. Local professional, amateur and student musicians will present the music in an informal coffeehouse atmosphere. There is no admission fee, although it is hoped that listeners will buy a cup of coffee/tea or other beverage. The Blue Frog Coffeehouse is located at 64 Main Street in Cortland.

This is the second festival in a series that is being supported by a Decentralization grant obtained through the Cultural Resources Council of Onondaga County and by a grant from the New York State Music Fund established by the New York State Attorney General at the Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors. There will be four such festivals each year.

Rick Starmer is new to the festival stage, but no stranger to Cortland. Starmer will be playing some of his own compositions and arrangements on the piano including his recent "Pictures in My Mother's Attic". Emmanuel Sikora of Cortland High School will also present some of his recent piano compositions. In addition to presenting his own works, Emmanuel will accompany his mother Gina Sikora in performing works of the Zarzuela, a form of Spanish language operetta.

The April festival will include three members of the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York. New to the festival will be classical guitarist Donald Stone Sade of Mexico, NY who will present music from the Baroque and Classical periods, as well as more modern compositions. Chris Woodard, who gave a sample of his own compositions for the guitar during the February 11th festival will be returning to play more of his work. Dave Richman will present music of J.S. Bach, Agustin Barrios Mangore and Vincent Sojo.

Maria Mucaria (flute) will be returning with Marina Gorelaya (piano) to peform works for flute, piccolo and piano. Several High School students will be accompanied by Gorelaya in presenting music that they have been preparing for their NYSSMA solos. The Crown City Brass ensemble (quartet) will also be part of the event, with works and arrangements of music from the Renaissance period through more modern compositions.

The relaxed, informal atmosphere of the coffeehouse provides a different perspective of classical music both for the audience and for the musicians. It is also an opportunity for children to get a taste of live classical music without the formality of a concert hall. As has been true in past festivals, the music is not all classical. In fact, some thought has been given to calling it the "Other" Music Festival, since the organizers work to include music that is generally less popular or less well known. This includes not only classical music, but several other styles as well as music from other cultures.

Details of the program can be found by clicking on the "Events" link at CortlandMusic.Org and looking for the April 29 event in the list. On the same website, you can find some recordings of past festivals and other local events, a more detailed history of the series, and biographical sketches of festival musicians. If you have questions about the festival series or would like to participate in a future event, contact John Sikora at mail@cortlandmusic.org.