The Conduit is usually a legal non-profit under one of several Not for profit law. The Conduit agrees to use their not for Profit status to sponsor an individual artist or an unincorporated organization to pass the Decentralization grant funding through for the sole purpose to assist in the presenting of a cultural event.

The conduit may retain no more than 10% of the grant to cover administrative expenses which may be incurred.

The conduit agrees to sign a contract with the sponsored individual /organization and the Cultural Resources County of Syracuse and Onondaga County which will state " In event of a conduit situation, The conduit agrees that once funding is received from the Cultural Resources Council they will, within in four weeks, write a check to the sponsored individual/organization for the entire amount minus a 10% administrative fee.

The Conduit will not be responsible for the completion of the project nor will they hold any responsibility for the funding once they have written the check to the sponsored individual or organization.

Additional questions should be addressed to Mark J. Wright, Grants and Program Director, Cultural Resources Council, 411 Montgomery St. Civic Center, Syracuse, NY 13202. 315-435-2158 or  607-745-5810-cell. or via email at

Project Budget

Cash Expense (A)

Administrative Fee: N/A

Artist Fees: $2000 $500/festival

Technical Fees: N/A (John Sikora, services donated)

$1200/year web development, podcasting

$400/year sound and digital recording

Space Rental: N/A (provided by venue)

Equipment Rental: N/A (provided by John Sikora or venue)

Travel: N/A

Program Supplies: $20 $5/festival for photocopies

Adv/Publicity: $40 $10/festival for (color) posters

Other: $48 Website domain names $12/year, webspace $36/year CortlandMusic.Org

Total Cash Expenses

(A-1): $2108

Earned Income (A2)

Admissions: N/A

Concessions: None for 2007

Unearned Income (B-1)

Corporate: No commitments for 2007

Foundations: No commitments for 2007

Government: No commitments for 2007

In-Kind Support (C-1) No commitments for 2007

Cash Expense Total: $2108

Unearned and Earned: 0

Total Grant Request: $2108

Classical Music Festivals (Cortland County 2007)

  1. Project Summary:

Three or four Classical Music Festivals will be held during the year, with admission free and open to the public. There will be an emphasis on classical music as well as other styles of music that are less popular or less well known. The festivals will be roughly equally spaced throughout the year. I would like to retain the option of converting one of the four festivals into one or more special concerts focusing on particular musicians.

The venues used for the festivals are still to be determined. Up to now, cool weather festivals have been held at the Blue Frog Coffeehouse, and summer events in the Courthouse Park, both being in the city of Cortland. However, there is a great deal of flexibility in the choice of venue since the equipment required is simple, portable and on hand. Generally, venues will be relatively informal, increasing the probable attendance of, for example, families with children, residents with physical or mental disabilities, and anyone else who may feel less comfortable in a concert hall.

  1. Project Details:

Each festival will consist of four hours of music provided by local musicians, with each musician or group typically performing ½ to 1 hour. The talents of local professional, semi-professional, amateur and student musicians will be used. Professional, semi-professional and mentor musicians will be paid for their effort, according to definitions and rates given below. Student, amateur and volunteer musicians will be unpaid.

Each festival will be promoted through articles in local newspapers, posters in local businesses, web calendar announcements, and postings on the cable access channel. In addition, posters and flyers will be made available to senior apartment complexes, special needs organizations and to child day care centers in the area. In the past, this has been successful in attracting a diverse audience.


  • Volunteer: includes those who would otherwise be included in one of the paid categories of musician, but have decided to waive the compensation offered.

  • Professional: includes those who

  • Work full time as a musician OR

  • Have a PhD or DMA in music, regardless of employment

  • Semi-Professional: includes those who

  • Are employed on a regular basis as church musicians, in pit orchestras, as accompanists for NYSSMA soloists, etc. OR

  • Have, or are working on a masters degree in music, regardless of employment

  • Student: includes students up to and including those with Bachelor's degrees in music, but not employed as musicians on a regular basis.

  • Amateur: includes anyone who wants to be in this category.

  • Mentor: includes music teachers who bring in and support student performance at a festival. For example, a teacher who brings in students to perform in an ensemble where the teacher has prepared the students with extensive outside rehearsals etc., regardless of whether or not the teacher is part of the ensemble. This would also include someone who serves as accompanist for a student. Mentoring is strongly encouraged.

Proposed Musician Compensation

  • Professional: $50 per half-hour per musician

  • Mentor: $50 per half-hour. One mentor per half hour segment.

  • Semi-Professional: $25 per half-hour per musician up to $100 per half-hour for a group.

  • Students, Amateurs: no compensation except for the experience.

  1. Key Artists and Staff:

For all festivals to date, John Sikora, owner of Cortland Music, has taken primary responsibility for: press releases, CortlandMusic.Org website development, poster design and distribution, musician recruitment, scheduling and sound system (when required). Additional support has come from Gina Sikora and Stephen Wilson in many of these same areas. Also, Karina Murphy (Blue Frog Coffeehouse) and David Beale (Cultural Council of Cortland County) have been of great help in coordinating the use of venues.

The following is a list of musicians who have participated in past Classical Music Festivals.

When organizing each festival, combinations of musicians will be recruited so that the total musicians' fees are within the $500 festival limit. 95% of the budget goes to musicians' fees.



Carlos Gutierrez (Guitar)

Lisa Rosenthal (Voice)

Crown City Brass:

Mark Baxendell (Trumpet)

Jeff Dovi (Trumpet)

Cheri White(French Horn)

Terry Martens (French Horn)

Mike Poole (Trombone)

Phil Rumsey(Trombone)

Bob Smith (Tuba, Euphonium)

Madrigal Choir:

Marion Giambattista (mentor)

CHS Student Vocal Ensemble

Individual Artists

Marina Gorelaya (Piano)

Ann Habermehl (Harp/Voice)

Ashley Huyge (Voice)

Maria Mucaria (Flutes, piccolo, etc...)

Tim Myers (Piano)

Mecke Nagel (Flute)

Lois Pfister (Violin)

Dave Richman (Classical Guitar)

Laurel Sciortino (Flute)

Joel Shatzky (Piano)

Emmanuel Sikora (Composer)

Gina Sikora (Soprano)

John Sikora (Classical Guitar)

Bill Tei (Piano)

Ben Wells (Tenor)

Skye Wilson (Soprano)

Stephen Wilson (Piano)

  1. Project Goals:

There are four overall goals of the Classical Music Festival Series. The first, is to provide music free of charge for the benefit of the general public in a relatively informal atmosphere. Second, to promote classical and other styles of music that are less popular or less well known. Third, to provide visibility for local professional musicians, and an opportunity for them to perform the music that they love. Fourth, provide an environment in which amateurs and students can participate in public events without the stress of having to put on an entire concert by themselves. It is also hoped that they may acquire the exposure, experience and confidence to pursue professional careers of their own.

The community will benefit both from the availability of great music, and an increased awareness of the many local musicians in the area. It may also serve to encourage more members of the community to dust off their instruments and participate in a future festival.

  1. Other Sources of Funding

In addition to a possible DEC grant, local businesses will be asked to help support the festival series, as well as local individuals. This will be done through one-on-one contact with prospective donors, news articles, website donor forms, general announcements during the festivals themselves, and as a part of festival publicity. Another source of revenue is the recording, manufacture and sale of CDs by local classical musicians. This is intended mainly to promote both classical music and local musicians, but also results in some revenue. The selling price is $6 per CD including tax, with a $2 manufacturing cost. Two CDs of this type are now sold at the Blue Frog Coffeehouse and Mando's Books, both on Main Street in Cortland. Details on the recording program can be found at CortlandMusic.Org

In the event of a funding shortfall, partially funded or unfunded events will be held. I should point out that three of the five festivals that have been held so far have been unfunded, with musicians donating their talents to the community. This is why I am looking to obtain funding for future festivals, because the musicians have already given so much to the community, it seems appropriate that we give them something in return.

  1. How does the proposed project serve the mission of your agency?

The project goals (see 4 above) are largely the same as the mission of my company. My purpose is to provide music to the general public at as low a cost as possible, and to promote styles of music, such as classical music, that are less popular and in need of support. It is also my impression that there is a large gap between the initial interest that children might have in performing music and the growth of those children into adult professional musicians. What happens in between their initial interest and the concert stage? As students, they will practice for hours each day preparing for a NYSSMA solo, which is only heard behind closed doors. What happens to the fine musicians who don't quite make it into the New York Philharmonic? Or who didn't quite make it into Julliard? Local professionals play in pit orchestras for school musicals or play Mendelssohn's wedding march for the 452nd time without the opportunity to play, in public, the music that inspired them to study music in the first place. So it seemed like a good idea to have events where young and old, professional, amateur and student could put forth their best efforts and share them with the community.

The community has responded in kind. There is as much diversity in the audience as there is in the collection of musicians. And I would like to think that in addition to being entertained, the audience has learned a little bit about another time, another culture or perhaps about the neighbor who turned out to be such a fine musician.

John Sikora, Owner

Cortland Music

3090 Clute Rd.

Cortland, NY 13045

Personal Information:

Age 51, married, father of two children, ages 13 and 15. Active member of St. Mary's Church in Cortland: choir member, cantor and lector. Amateur classical guitarist and member of the Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York since 2005.

Event Organization:

I have taken primary responsibility for the organization of three Classical Music Festivals in 2005/2006 as well as the music portion of two (funded) Arts in the Park Festivals sponsored by the Cultural Council of Cortland County in July of 2005 and 2006. Responsibilities include writing/sending press releases, musician recruitment and scheduling, developing and maintaining the websites and, design and distribution of posters as well as equipment transportation and setup.

My responsibilities as an employee at Cornell University require the use of skills similar to those needed in organizing music events. A significant portion of my work involves the coordination and scheduling of accelerator physics experiments at the Wilson Laboratory. In this capacity, I frequently have to deal with conflicting requirements of scientists' personal schedules and accelerator availability, last minute changes due to the results of recent experiments and hardware failures. The results of the experiments are documented in a web-based system that I also help to maintain.

Work Experience:

March 2006: I formed the business Cortland Music for the purpose of raising funds for the festival series, beginning with the manufacture and sale of CDs by local classical musicians.

1989 to Present: Research Support Specialist at Wilson Laboratory, Cornell University. Responsibilities include software support, human interface design, web-based documentation, coordination and scheduling of experiments in accelerator physics.

1982 to 1989: Accelerator operation, electronics maintanence, cryogenics assembly, accelerator survey and alignment, superconducting RF cavity testing.


1989: Masters Degree in Physics Instrumentation, SUNY at Stony Brook.

1982: Bachelor's Degree in Physics and Mathematics, SUNY at Stony Brook

1979: Associates in Arts Degree, Ocean County Community College, Toms River, NJ

1972: High School Diploma, Toms River High School North, Toms River, NJ

Biographical Sketches of Some Participating Musicians

(A more complete list can be found at CortlandMusic.Org by clicking on "Musicians")


Lois Pfister (violin)

Lois Pfister has a Bachelors in Music Education from Ithaca College and a Masters in Music Performance from Penn State. She has taught students privately in Cortland, NY since 1979. She is the Concertmistress of the Cortland-Community Orchestra (and has played solos with them on many occasions) and plays with other groups including the Syracuse Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and the Skaneateles Festival Orchestra.

Marina Gorelaya (piano)

Marina Gorelaya was born in the Ukraine where she began study of piano at he age of six She graduated with a Master's degree from the Institute of Art at Kharkov. She later earned a Ph.D. in music from the Kiev State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. After a career as a concert pianist in her homeland, she came to the United States in 1996. She is currently the staff pianist of the drama department at Syracuse University and the pianist for several music classes at SUNY Cortland.

Maria Mucaria (flutes, piccolo)

Until she moved to the Cortland area Maria Mucaria was an active board member of the Long Island Flute Club, participating as a piccolo instructor at their annual flute festival, playing piccolo and flute in at flute choir concerts, and participating at board meetings to come up with new and exciting ideas for students in the region. She is also a member of the National Flute Association and the New York Flute Club and also a part of several music educator organizations.

She plays a variety of instruments from the flute family and performs with as many as possible, giving a unique sound and flavor when compared to those that only utilize the flute. Maria has been seen playing: piccolo, flute, alto flute, sopranino, soprano, alto, and occasionally bass recorders. She also play Irish tin whistle, the fife, and occasionally when requested, Renaissance and Baroque flutes.

Maria Mucaria has a background as a music educator with a BM in music education from Crane and a MA in music history and literature with a performance emphasis of piccolo and flute from Long Island University- C. W. Post Campus. She is currently associated with the Center for the Arts in Homer as a flute teacher.

Bill Tei (piano)

Bill Tei is presently music director at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Polkville, and teaches academics at a local private school. He was born in Cortland, grew up in Truxton and majored in Music and Elementary Education at SUNY Potsdam. He continued graduate studies at SUNY Oneonta.

Mr. Tei has played piano in pit orchestras for a number of musicals at area high schools and served as accompanist for the SUNY Cortland Choral Union during the Spring 2005 semester. He also played with the piano trio "Random Acts of Music" during the February 2005 Classical Music Festival at the Blue Frog in Cortland.


Mike Poole (trombone)

Mike Poole is a trombonist from Cortland, NY. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and is currently working on a Master's Degree in Music Theory at the University of Buffalo. Mike currently plays in the Cortland Old Timers Band and also organizes instrumental music at St. Mary's Church in Cortland.

Terry Martens (French horn)

A native of Vestal, New York, Terry Martens holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Ithaca College, and a Master's Degree in Music Performance from Binghamton University. She has served as a music teacher in the Johnson City Schools and was band director and music teacher at Windsor High School.

Terry currently plays, principal horn for the Southern Tier Concert Band, and plays in the Cortland Old Timers Band. She has served as assistant conductor and played principal horn with the Vestal Community Band, Additionally, Terry has played with the Bellayre Festival Orchestra, several Community Theater groups and does Free Lance playing in the area. Terry has a passion for chamber music and plays horn with the "Brass Nickel" brass quintet. She currently resides in Cortland, NY and is employed as a business analyst for Security Mutual Life Insurance in Binghamton.

Benjamin M. Wells (Tenor)

Benjamin M. Wells holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education from Nazareth College of Rochester with a double major in voice and harpsichord, and a minor in bassoon. Mr. Wells performs as a tenor soloist in various recitals, concerts and festivals each year. Operatic credits include Don Basilio in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Hilary in Alec Wilder's Sunday Excursion. Mr. Wells is the Director of the Cortland Youth Bureau Drama Program, is the owner and operator of Wells Costumes and is a proud member of the Syracuse Opera chorus. Mr. Wells is currently a graduate voice performance major at Syracuse University in the studio of Janet Brown where he is a graduate assistant in the Setnor School of Music. Mr. Wells was most recently featured in performance at the Bach and Beyond festival in Fredonia, NY with the International Baroque Soloist under the direction of Grant Cooper.

Bob Smith (Euphonium)

Bob Smith plays principal euphonium with the Southern Tier Concert Band and is tubist with the Brass Nickel quintet of Binghamton. He has also played tuba and euphonium with the Binghamton Philharmonic Band, the Downtown Singers Brass Ensemble, the Tioghnioga Brass Ensemble, the Chenango Brass, the Binghamton University Brass Ensemble and the Maine and Vestal Community Bands. Each December, Bob coordinates and conducts the annual Binghamton Area TubaChristmas. He conducts the Maine, NY Community Band and is music director and conductor of the Binghamton University Wind Ensemble. A resident of Binghamton, Bob spends much time in Cortland at the home of his partner, Sandra Aloi.

Volunteer Musicians

(Professionals who have donated their talents

at funded festivals)

Stephen B. Wilson (piano)

Stephen B. Wilson has been Professor of Music at SUNY Cortland since 1985. A former chair of the Department of Music, he teaches music theory, conducting, voice, and choral music. He is organist/choral director at Preble Congregational Church, a position he has held for 9 years. He has served as musical director and pianist for various musical theater productions in Cortland, and his choral and vocal arrangements have been performed in New York, California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. In 1992, he received the prestigious Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Wilson earned his doctorate in conducting from Ball State University and his master's degree in conducting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has performed Hispanic music in Cortland, Ithaca, New York City, and San Jose, Costa Rica.

Gina Sikora (soprano)

Gina Sikora studied voice in her native Peru with the famous coloratura soprano Lucrecia Sarria. At the age of 16 she began to sing professionally with the international company of zarzuelas and operettas under the direction of Faustino Garc�a, touring South America. At 18 she received the prestigious "Pluma de Plata" award for outstanding performance. After arriving in the US, she studied music at Stony Brook University. Since coming to Cortland, she has studied voice with Marion Hanson. Dr. Sikora has appeared as soloist with the Choral Union under the direction of Stephen Wilson performing Haydn's The Creation, Handel's Messiah, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Bach's Magnificat, Faur�'s Requiem, J. Rutter's Magnificat and Saint Saen's Christmas Oratorio. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature with a specialization in medieval studies at Binghamton University. She has taught at Syracuse University, Hamilton College, Binghamton University, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Cornell University, and SUNY Cortland. Her most recent performances were with Stephen Wilson in San Jos�, Costa Rica (where she presented this program of Piazzolla's vocal tangos for Veritas University) and in New York City where she performed the role of Mariana in the Zarzuela Luisa Fernanda.

Anne Habermehl (harp/voice)

Anne Habermehl studied harp with Eileen Malone at the Eastman School of Music. She sings and also plays organ and piano. Anne is currently organist and choir director at the Homer Avenue United Methodist church. She mostly does Gospel, Celtic, popular, oldies and as performed at Celtic festivals, gospel events, weddings and many other types of functions. Chair of the music committee of the Cortland Rotary Club, Anne is also a songleader at club meetings. Born in Canada, she is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, B. Sc. degree (major: chemistry). Anne Habermehl also owns the Harp and Dragon shop in Cortland.