The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Reporter's Notebook

January 25, 2014

Engineering and music let kids test their mettle

There are two upcoming concerts for the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble, a regional youth orchestra made up of string players ages 6 to 18.

The first is 3 p.m. Sunday at Farrell Hall at SUNY Delhi, followed by one at 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at Anderson Theatre at Hartwick College.

According to the group’s website, the group was established in 2000 by musical director Julie Signitzer, Deanna Palumbo and a group of parents who wanted to give young string players a chance to gain ensemble experience unavailable elsewhere in the region. The group rehearses in Oneonta one night each week and performs four public concerts annually.

In its 14th season, the group added a preparatory orchestra for less-experienced students ages 6 and up. It will help prepare the players for the transition to the more-advanced group.

•••

State Sen. James L. Seward, R-Milford, stopped by the Oneonta Middle School’s tech room earlier this month to visit Otsego 4-H FIRST Robotics Team 4203, “RoboKronos.” The team of 12 boys and 4 girls is building a robot for the regional competition scheduled for March 13-15 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

This year’s game is called “Aerial Assist,” which requires the robot to catch, move, and shoot an inflatable ball, cooperating and competing with other robots on a basketball-sized court. The after-school team, funded by NASA, local businesses, and the community, won the “Regional Rookie All-Star Award” in 2012, and competed in the World Championship in St. Louis.

“This is a great program for students,” Seward said.

The team is guided by Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H of Schoharie and Otsego Counties, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and local volunteer professional mentors.

•••

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, earned a perfect grade of A from the National Education Association for his work in Congress in 2013, according to a media release. He was one of three three House Republicans to earn the ranking.

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