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From Bach to the Blues

The Oswego City Band is pleased to announce that the next concert in the Summer Sunset Concert Series will take place on Wednesday August 10th at 7:00pm in Breitbeck Park. (Note the time change from the July concerts.)

City Band, under the direction of Donald Goodness will present a concert with the theme “From Bach to the Blues.” The concert will trace the evolution of western music from the Baroque Era through the Romantic Period, to Ragtime and the Blues of the early 20th century. Among the composers whose works will be performed are J.S. Bach, Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Scott Joplin and Ray Henderson.

“This promises to be one of the most entertaining programs of the summer,” said Goodness. “Using a theme for each concert has been a way to keep the concerts relevant and interesting as well as musical and entertaining.”

City Band has been an Oswego tradition since 1935. Generations of Oswego citizens have enjoyed listening to these programs while watching the spectacular sunsets on Lake Ontario. The entire community is invited to attend this free concert.

Orleans Headlines Fulton’s Memorial Day Salute

The current line-up of Orleans, singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park in July 2006. Photo from Wikipedia user manicdrums.

The current line-up of Orleans, singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park in July 2006. Photo from Wikipedia user manicdrums.

This is the 30th year of Fulton’s Memorial Day Salute. It doesn’t seem possible that this community wide event was started in 1981. Four service clubs, Lions, Rotary, JayCees, and the Kiwanis clubs, started the event. After a few years the Optimist Club replaced the JayCees, and they disbanded and the present fourth service club today is the Sunrise Rotary Club.

The original purpose was three fold. We wanted a community wide event that everyone in our community, especially the children, could participate in. We wanted to offer a program, or series of events, that would thank all of our present and former service men and women for their service to our country. And we wanted to bring the citizens of our community a weekend of music by nationally and locally recognized performers or groups.

When it comes to entertainment, the service clubs have provided the Fulton audiences with some great music over the years. The emphasis has mostly been on the popular music of the 1950’s thru the 1970’s. This music could be defined in broad terms as “Rock ‘N Roll.” Groups that have appeared on the Recreation Park stage over the years are: Bill Haley and The Comets, Little Richard, Chubby Checker, Herman’s Hermits, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Bobby Vee, country star, Jim Ed Brown, The Lovin Spoonful, Tribute to the Beatles (Let It Be), Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Jay and The Americans and last year, A Tribute To Elvis.

One group that has not appeared on our stage is “Orleans”. This year Fulton Savings Bank will sponsor Orleans on the Community Center stage on Saturday, May 28, 2011 starting at 8 PM. Orleans is an American pop-rock band best known for its hits “Dance With Me” (1975), “Still The One” (1976) and “Love Takes Time (1979).

Orleans was formed in Woodstock, New York in February 1972, by guitarist/songwriter John Hall, Vocalist/guitarist Larry Hoppen and drummer/percussionist Wells Kelly. In November of that year, the group expanded to include Larry’s younger brother, Lance, on bass. Drummer Jerry Marotta later joined, completing the quintet.

The Hoppen brothers and Kelly reunited the band in 1979, signing with Infinity Records label and producing “Love Takes Time”. By that time Hall had left the group to pursue a solo career tho continuing to join the band from time to time. The group was stunned with the untimely death of Wells Kelly in 1984. That was the catalyst for a reunion of Hall and the Hoppen brothers.

To this day, Orleans continues to write, record and perform. The current line-up includes Lance and Larry Hoppen, youngest brother Lane Hoppen on keyboards, Dennis “Fly” Amero (replacing John Hall) on guitar and, on drums, Charlie Morgan (best known for his 14-year stint with Elton John). The writing and recording of new material is a high priority for this band.

Jim Myers, long time entertainment chairman for the Memorial Day Salute, has released the balance of the entertainment schedule for the weekend. On Friday, May 27 , the G. Ray Bodley High School Jazz band will perform at 5 PM . Rick Bush will be on stage from 6-7 PM, followed by one of Central New York’s favorite groups, “Dr. Boogie” They will play until the fireworks start at about 10 PM.

On Saturday, May 28, Oswego County’s largest parade will move down Broadway, from east to west, starting at 10 AM. This will be followed by several of the parade marching bands playing at a “Stand-in” on the Community Center stage from noon to 2 PM. Off Broadway Dancers will perform at 2 PM and “Virgil The Magician,” will entertain the children and adults alike at 3:30 PM. The Fulton Community Band will be on stage at 5 PM. followed by the music of L.A. Rising at 6 PM. Orleans takes the stage at 8 PM .

The Memorial Day Salute opens at 5 PM on Friday and closes at 11 PM after the fireworks are over. On Saturday, the hours are from 11 AM to 10 PM. During these hours, delicious food and beverage and many rides will be available.

OMS All County Singers Perform

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego Middle School was well represented at the All-County Music Festival held earlier this month in Fulton.

OMS All County Singers Perform

OMS All County Singers Perform

The students were under the direction of Elisa DeKaney Macedo of Syracuse University.

They performed before an appreciative audience numbering in the hundreds.

In front are Alyssa Wahrendorf, Emily Oldenburg, Aidan McGreevy and Claudia Engle.

In the middle are Kate Breezee, Mark Forger, Ryan Smith, Kyle Osmun, Paige Daniels and Alexis Daniels.

In back are Matt Spaulding and Ben McCrobie.

The students performed classical, spiritual and Brazilian music.

Parish Elementary School Rings in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Holiday

“There’s Santa,” exclaimed the third and fourth grade students at Parish Elementary School while singing a rendition of Santa’s On His Way during their ‘Jingle Bell Jukebox’ holiday concert.

“There’s Santa,” exclaimed the third and fourth grade students at Parish Elementary School while singing a rendition of Santa’s On His Way during their ‘Jingle Bell Jukebox’ holiday concert.

Parish Elementary School students Helaina Hale, Amber Amidon, Angelina Oakes, and Ansley Brouse lead their classmates in singing and performing the Frosty Hand Jive during the school’s holiday concert.
Parish Elementary School students Helaina Hale, Amber Amidon, Angelina Oakes, and Ansley Brouse lead their classmates in singing and performing the Frosty Hand Jive during the school’s holiday concert.


Parish Elementary School (PES) rang in the holiday season with a concert that took audience members on a musical journey back to a time of muscle cars, soda fountains, and vinyl records. Titled The Jingle Bell Jukebox, the holiday performance event at the school was directed by PES music teacher Ms. Michele Catania and consisted of a collection of holiday hits with a rock ‘n’ roll twist. Setting the stage for the journey was the artfully prepared backdrop and many retro decorations that the students created with PES art teacher Mrs. Mary Alice Flynn.

Second grade students were the first to take the stage and performed three songs for the audience including a lively number called Jingle Jive. First grades followed and the audience was entertained by their energetic rendition of Blitzen’s Boogie. This was followed by the kindergarten students who dazzled in their first holiday concert performance with songs like Listen to the Jingles, Snowman Choir, and The Santa Claus Rock.

Round out the evening’s concert was a musical and skit performance by the third and fourth grade students. Songs like Frosty Hand Jive, Jingle Bells Rock, and Sleigh Ride had the audience moving in their seats, clapping along to the beats, and joyfully joining along for a four song sing-along at the conclusion.

The evening’s performances proved once again to be just what families and community members needed to put some jolly and jive into their holiday season.

Altmar Concert a Treat for the Senses

The fourth grade students at Altmar Elementary School (AES) enjoyed their song “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” during the AES Holiday Concert. The students performed two separate performances, one during the day for students, teachers, family and friends, and another evening performance for a packed house. The Sights, Sounds and Scents of Christmas was this year’s holiday concert theme.

Jazzy Jinglers provided entertainment between class changes during the Altmar Elementary School Holiday Concert. Four member of the group read excerpts from the book “The Polar Express,” as the fourth grade class took their place on the risers. Pictured in front, left to right are: Hannah Comstock; Abigail Babcock; Jacob Smith, with book; and Kody Haywood.

Nova Kowalski was the guest soloist at the Altmar Elementary School’s (AES) Holiday Concert during the Kindergarten’s song “Silver Bells.” Nova is a fourth grader at AES in the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District.

“The Sights, Sounds and Scents of Christmas,” the delightful title of this year’s Altmar Elementary School (AES) Holiday Concert, was a treat for the senses and audiences were left with a gift of Holiday Spirit following the packed performances. AES Principal Denise Penoyer welcomed those attending the concert and thanked the many individuals who worked to produce this year’s holiday musical extravaganza. Custodian Deral Stevens, music director, Gil Lopez and Jazzy Jinglers director Krista Alsworth, were just a few of the many responsible for the thrilling holiday treat. From the magical holiday backdrop created by AES Art Teacher Donna O’Hara, to the beautifully decorated auditorium and overflow seating area in the cafeteria, the school was transformed into a winter wonderland of sights and scenes of the holidays. Artwork, colorful lights and decorations lined the walls and windows in the two rooms and a large video screen was set up in the cafeteria area where hundreds more seats were available to view the production which was broadcast live via a video setup that gave every seat in the house a perfect view of the performance.

The students, beginning with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten classes with their star-themed selections sang delightful songs such as “Star Light, Star Bright,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Christmas Star,” before ending their performance with a round of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Between performances a cast of Jazzy Jinglers including: Anna Mullin, Jessica Wiggins, Tori Ware, Emily Sampson, Kody Haywood, Jacob Smith, Hannah Comstock and Abigail Babcock, entertained the audience with charming readings and informative narratives about the Christmas season.

The Kindergarten classes’ carol of the bells featured “Bells Are Ringing,” “Ring, Ring, Ring the Bells,” “Hear the Jingle Bells,” and ended with “Silver Bells” and a splendid solo by fourth grader, Nova Kowalski.

Santa was the focus of the first graders performing “Must Be Santa,” “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Santa is Coming,” as their life-size Santa artwork looked down from the walls of the auditorium with jolly St. Nick faces.

Second graders crafted beautiful lace-work snowflakes that perfectly illustrated their songs “Marshmallow World,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and “Suzy Snowflake.”

The Third grade’s theme – gifts, began with the favorite “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” and added “Toyland,” and “Shepherds Came to Bethlehem.” Each student wore a beautiful hand-crafted necklace that they could give as a gift to a special someone in their lives.

Fourth graders took a turn toward the modern with their abstract artwork and their song selections starting with John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Christmas,” followed by “Walking in the Air,” and finishing with the American Folk Song, “What Month Was Jesus Born In?”

Two concert performances were held; one in the early afternoon with many parents, grandparents and friends attending as teachers and fellow students watched each grade level perform their songs. The evening performance took place in front of a packed house and those attending were thankful for the overflow seating with a great view of the video screen. The additional seating allowed for more than 600 total attendees at the concert during the evening performance.

Board Of Ed Recognizes Talented Oswego Students

Music students honored

Music students honored

OSWEGO, NY – Three Oswego High School students have been chosen to the elite New York State School Music Association musical groups in Rochester.

Emilie Benigno, Evelyn Horan and Erin McIntosh were recognized for their selection by the Oswego City School District Board of Education at the Nov. 23 meeting.

Presenting “Certificates of Recognition” are Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist and Board of Education President Dave White.

Another Dimension Of Music Experienced By OMS Students

OSWEGO, NY – It simply isn’t the same music program that your parents and grandparents enjoyed.

Oswego Middle School music students are still singing and playing instruments, but teacher Paula McKenney-Myers has taken the program to another dimension.

In conjunction with the SUNY Oswego “Adopt a School” program, the OMS students are experiencing a hands-on recording project.

A musical demonstration for sound recording is just a portion of the current cooperative project between Oswego Middle School and SUNY Oswego. Rehearsing a song are Carrie Yurkon, Jessica Pfeifer, Sarah MacDonald (SUNY Oswego student), Natahley Babcock, Merry Dowling and Chelsea MacDougal while SUNY Oswego faculty member Dennis Parsons plays guitar.

A musical demonstration for sound recording is just a portion of the current cooperative project between Oswego Middle School and SUNY Oswego. Rehearsing a song are Carrie Yurkon, Jessica Pfeifer, Sarah MacDonald (SUNY Oswego student), Natahley Babcock, Merry Dowling and Chelsea MacDougal while SUNY Oswego faculty member Dennis Parsons plays guitar.

McKenney-Myers said, “Students and faculty from the college are coming to work with my kids on various recording projects we are doing. We are using an industry standard software called ‘Pro Tools’ as the students learn about careers in music, composing, and what’s possible in music technology.”

At a kickoff celebration that brought everyone together the OMS students had a unique experience.

McKenney-Myers explained, ”We showed them what an actual recording session would look like. When they do their recording project they will understand what they have to record. I was giving them a ‘what if’ scenario – if you have all these musicians and resources, here’s what you could do them.”

In the current project all students have chosen a short story which they have to record and set to music with sound effects.

McKenney-Myers said, “Students have learned that sometimes background music might come from a piano, but also vocals, drums, guitars and other instruments.”

Explaining the current assignment, she said, “The project is called ‘Sound Story’ and each student starts out with a poem by Shel Silverstein. I have the poems marked up in the spots where sound effects should go. The students have to interpret the text, create moods and fit the moods to it. Students need to create background music according to the moods they chose using any instruments they can play and the resources available through ProTools.”

Students could also use a ‘Loops’ program where they can take samples and add to their work. However, they can also create their own sound effects using voice and instruments, search the Internet or use one of the CDs that are available.

At the conclusion of the project there will be a presentation day. When the mixing and sound mastering is completed the project will be put on a CD that will be distributed.

McKenney-Myers added, “When we are done the students will share their work with the world and email their work to the public.”

Linda Shannon’s eighth grade art classes are working in coordination with the music students to create covers for each classes CD.

They have also worked with SUNY Oswego on this project.

McKenney-Myers added, “I hope this opens their eyes to music as a possible career choice. They have seen that you can go to college and we have a great resource in town with SUNY Oswego. There are a lot of fields they can go into in relation to music even if they don’t play an instrument. Recording is a great option and I want them to know the various areas and aspects of recording. Working with professional quality software gives them a chance to take up an internship at a very young age in a recording studio to get their foot in the door.”

Reflecting on how the project came to pass the Oswego Middle School music teacher noted, “I went to the same college as Dan Wood and he is currently the head engineer at SUNY Oswego. So when I came to Oswego I discovered where he worked and thought it would be great to do a project together. Dan and I spent several months collaborating on this project. We hope to continue and expand on this in the future.”

This is just the beginning for Oswego Middle School music students as McKenney-Myers said, “The next step will be for the students to write their own songs.”

There is a select group of students who took a field trip to the recording studios at SUNY Oswego.

These students will have their compositions showcased in a CD release party to be held at SUNY Oswego at the end of January.

You may find additional information about this project and other OMS music programs at http://www.oswego.org/webpages/pmckenneymyers/adopt-a-school.cfm

House On A Spring Keeps Bouncing Along

By Nicole Hess, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – There was a ten-minute wait to get into Old City Hall recently as local residents and college students stood in line to attend House on a Spring.

As the band played there was a crowd of about 50 people dancing to the music.

A regular to the House on a Spring shows, Katie Flinn, took a quick break from dancing to talk about her opinion of the shows.

“I like the atmosphere; I love the vibes they bring. I like that the atmosphere, lets everyone feel togetherness through the use of Reggae music,” she said. “That’s why I love Reggae music, it’s something everyone can relate to.”

After a five-song set the lead singer Rob Dee sat down for an interview.

It was quite a struggle getting him outside, however, considering everyone in the bar wanted a word with the singer.

Clearly the singer has both personal and vocal skills.

Rob has been with the band for two years but House on a Spring has been playing for five.

His favorite part about playing in their hometown of Oswego is, “good energy, good vibe, lots of loyalty. The hometown love is more strong which makes our energy more strong,” he explained.

Since the band has been progressively gaining popularity, they’ve played as far as the Saranac region.

Recently they have been in Saranac Lake and Potsdam.

As far as crazy incidents on the road Rob said, “The craziest thing on the road happened when we got kicked out of a motel because people were skinny dipping next to us and it was a small town and the guy that owned the motel freaked out.”

Unfortunately for the band, they had nothing to do with the incident but still had to relocate their hotel room.

As far as the band’s success and how well they are doing financially Rob had this to say, “As far as being an income, it’s not that it’s just money in our pocket.  Obviously the world revolves around money but doing what you love and having fun is the most importation thing – period and dancing is cool too.”

Before the interview was over Rob was surrounded by fans trying to have a word with him.

For more information on House on a Spring, visit their Facebook website.


Classic Rock Reigns At State Fair

By Jocelyn Cook, Contributing Writer

SYRACUSE, NY – With all the exciting things to see at each year’s New York State Fair, it’s often hard for fairgoers to decide what to do in the little time they have.

But whoever attended any or all of the Blue Oyster Cult, Kansas and Styx concerts recently certainly made the right choice.

Classic rock favorites Blue Oyster Cult performed one of the at the 2 p.m. shows at the Chevy Court.

Despite the early show time, the seats were filled past capacity; hundreds were left in standing room only sections around the benches.

Everyone in attendance was rocking when the band got going, old and young, seasoned fans and new ones alike.

Playing old favorites like “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and “Godzilla” along with some lesser-known songs meant that there was something for everyone.

“They sounded amazing,” said Jackie Moore of Clay. “The only bad thing was how crowded it was – something me and my friends didn’t prepare for.”

Next time, she added, “We vowed to bring folding chairs with foot-rests.”

Later that night, Kansas took the stage.

The later show time only meant that more people, out of work or other commitments, were able to attend.

Every seat in the crowd was filled again and every space on the grass around had a fairgoer sitting or standing for over an hour before the show began.

When the band took the stage, they proved that the show was well worth the wait.

Within the hour, groups of people could be found dancing and singing in every corner of the crowd, enjoying tunes like “Dust in the Wind” to “Carry on My Wayward Son” and everything in between.

“It was pretty awesome to be able to sing along to such a great song with a few thousand people,” Moore said of “Carry on My Wayward Son.”

“The band sounded amazing – still! I admit, I was a tad surprised they sounded as amazing as they did,” she conceded.

Somehow, the crowd at the Styx show at 8 p.m. the next night was even more packed.

It’s no wonder, as it was announced later that night that it was the most attended day of the State Fair ever.

More than 115,000 people attended, and several thousand were present at the Chevy Court.

Hours before the show every bench seat was taken, and by 8 there was barely any space between fans in the crowd.

Despite a few altercations in the crowd that required the aid of state troopers a couple hours before the show, by the time the band went on everyone was ready to rock.

And the band absolutely delivered.

Putting on a spectacular show, the members of Styx proved that the attention they were attracting was well-deserved. Each member showed off their skills, complete with spinning keyboard tricks and trading off playing each other’s instruments, much to the crowd’s delight.

Even the American Sign Language Interpreter got to be in on the fun; she was invited to play guitar in the middle of a song.

For just the cost of a ticket to the fair, everyone in the crowd at each show got to enjoy Grandstand-worthy concerts.

Lady Antebellum and 30 Seconds to Mars were other fan favorites over the past few days.

Up and coming Country super group Lady Antebellum drew several thousand fans, equal to or better than the Grandstand crowd that paid to see the Justin Bieber concert that same night.

And, there are still many free concerts to be enjoyed in the coming days of the fair.

If the previous concerts are anything to go by, the experience will be well worth the crowds and the trip, one fairgoer exclaimed.

The fair runs through the Labor Day Weekend.

Music To Highlight Playing For Poverty

FULTON, NY – Music will be the focus of a very special event to raise awareness of hunger and poverty in Oswego County.

“Playing For Poverty,” a food aid concert for Oswego County will be held at Bull Head Point on Sept. 11 from 3 to 9 p.m.

The duo Those Guys will be one of the many music acts performing live during “Playing For Poverty, A Food Aid Concert for Oswego County.” Pictured are Korey LaRue guitar and vocals and Preston Martin, drums and vocals.

The duo Those Guys will be one of the many music acts performing live during “Playing For Poverty, A Food Aid Concert for Oswego County.” Pictured are Korey LaRue guitar and vocals and Preston Martin, drums and vocals.

The event, which features a full day of great music from a variety of bands, will serve to garner support for food pantries throughout Oswego County.

While there is no charge to attend the event, admission to “Playing For Poverty” is the donation of a canned food item.

“We are looking to collect as many food items as we can to help our local food pantries re-stock their shelves,” said committee member Jo-Lyn Phillips of Oswego County Opportunities. “Our food pantries are stressed to meet the increased demand brought about by our current economic conditions. We are looking forward to a bringing the community together for some great music, and good family fun as we work together to combat hunger and poverty in Oswego County.”

The concert will include live performances throughout the day and night from some of the area’s most popular bands including; The Beatles tribute band, Magical Mystery Tour; Rubber Ducky Revenge and Those Guys.

An original pop-rock duo from Parish, Those Guys, who are also members of the band The Hellfish, consists of life-long friends Korey LaRue on guitar and Preston Martin on drums.

The two, who have been writing original songs for more than 15 years, will perform a variety of their own songs as well as many popular modern and classic rock songs.

In addition to the music there will be a number of raffles, door prizes and food available all day.

All proceeds raised during the event will be used to support local food pantries throughout Oswego County.

Representatives from the coalition, which includes ARISE, Bridges out of Poverty, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, COACH (County of Oswego Advocates Challenging Homelessness), The Council of Churches, Fulton Family YMCA, Oswego County Opportunities, Rural And Migrant Ministries, and AmeriCorps will also be on hand to meet the public, educate them about their efforts to address the issues of hunger and poverty, and encourage the community to become involved in helping to alleviate these problems in Oswego County.

For more information or to make a donation, call Heather Robinson at 342-7532.

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