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Local News

January 11, 2014

First Night medley was refreshing

First Night Oneonta didn’t present some of the established musical performers of previous years, but nonetheless the night rocked.

Former New Year’s Eve events locally have featured the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, the Dady Brothers and Walt Michael as highlights, among many other performers, including local musicians and artists.

David Hayes, a member of the organizing First Night Oneonta board and a former chairman, said the panel wanted to offer a variety of performers from year to year and to avoid repetition.

Hayes noted that well-received bands this New Year’s Eve included the Fredtown Stompers, a Dixieland band with young musicians and “great vocals,” and the Spectacular Average Boys, playing “hot banjo Americana,” in a vacant Main Street storefront.

A remarkable ingredient of some performances was the opportunity for young musicians to share lessons learned from local teachers.

For the lovers of jazz and show tunes, Sing a Song of Broadway offered guests rhythms for dancing as well as listening pleasure at the First United Methodist Church. The lineup of performers included local musicians who have been playing many years and others still honing performance skills. 

A few blocks away downtown, Naomi Bartz, 15, of Sidney Center, gave her first performance on the cello with the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. 

“It was pretty fun,” she said. Her father, Tim Bartz, also appreciated the concert.

“I’m all for kids getting out and having the opportunity to perform,” he said. “It was wonderful.”

***

If the name Riddell sounds familiar, that’s because it has local connections.

Patricia “Trish” Riddell Kent, who was appointed this week to the Oneonta Town Board, grew up locally and has ties to a local state park.

As an appointee, Riddell Kent didn’t have the opportunity to go door-to-door during last year’s campaign season and introduce herself to residents.

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