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Local News

September 5, 2013

Hartwick professor to jam with Chicago, orchestra

A Hartwick College professor will be making music with the Utica Symphony Orchestra this fall in a concert featuring the rock ‘n’ roll band Chicago.

Jason Leo Curley, assistant professor of music, will conduct the Utica Symphony Orchestra at the Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Chicago will perform its classic songs with the 52-piece orchestra, which will add texture, richness and depth to the music, Curley said. Orchestration of familiar songs changes how a listener may perceive well-known melodies, he said.

“It’s like hearing them again, for the first time,” Curley said. “It’s a fresh experience.”

Chicago, known for such songs as “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” “25 or 6 to 4,” and “You’re the Inspiration,” performed July 1 at the Wright National Soccer Campus in Oneonta for the annual Hospice Celebrity Party. Curley said he had a gig that night but heard that the crowd was receptive.

Chicago is the “highest marquee quality” group with which he has had the opportunity to perform, Curley said, and “I’m absolutely flattered and honored” to be performing with the band, he said.

“Everybody knows Chicago,” Curley said.

Curley, who has been guest conductor three times for the Utica Symphony, said he called upon Hartwick adjunct faculty and alumni to perform at the November concert. Those musicians include Ana Laura Gonzalez on flute and piccolo; Daniel Hane on bassoon; Mike DePauw on tuba; M.W. Degan, class of 2011, on bass; Patrick Duffy, class of 2010, playing keyboards; and Uli Speth on violin.

“We are excited about this collaboration with an artist as inter-generationally recognized as Chicago,” Curley said. “It’s an honor to be called into action and work with a marquee ensemble and professional orchestra for what will turn out to be far more than your average rock concert.”

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