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January 22, 2014

Orchestra plans pair of winter concerts

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Fresh from completing a successful fund-raising campaign, the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble has two upcoming concerts, two of those involved with the organization said Tuesday.

The winter concerts for the regional youth orchestra, comprised of string players ages 6-18, starts with two 3 p.m. concerts. The first is Jan. 26 at Farrell Hall at SUNY Delhi, followed by one Feb. 2 at Anderson Theatre at Hartwick College. There is no admission charge, but a donation is appreciated.

Soloists at the concerts include Katie Eklund, of Mt. Vision, and Heidi Edmonds, of Cooperstown, each playing one movement from the Violin Concerto in A Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Cedric Taylor, of Margaretville, will play the solo concertino part in the Concerto Grosso Op. 10 # 6, by Tomaso Albinoni.

The group’s preparatory orchestra, under the musical direction of Oneonta native Jacqueline Cypress, will have its inaugural performance at the Delhi concert.

Coincidentally, the group recently completed a fundraising drive for its endowment

Several years ago, the Youth Ensemble received a $50,0000 matching grant from the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation. About a week ago that challenge was met. Group business manager Athena Gill said reaching the goal is “a relief” and provides “a sense of accomplishment” for the board of directors that has worked to raise the funds. It has come about through appeals at the concerts and letters to donors, she said.

It’s a reminder that “providing children the opportunity to play music always speaks to people,” she said.

Donations came from a wide range of people.

“It’s a testament to the broad base of support,” she said, in addition to two regular fundraising letters, during the season.

“We had a great year,” leaving the group on a solid financial footing, she said. The “endowment speaks to the future and the sustainability of the organization.”

Founding musical director Julie Signitzer said the group started in 2000.

This fundraising has been “a long haul, but it’s very exciting,” she said, and its success shows the group meets a real need because there are few schools in the area that have string orchestras.

“We encourage kids to pay well and have fun,” she said, adding that students make connections beyond their communities through the non-competitive organization.