Submitted by the CNY Arts Center
At the recent Arts Fest on the River in Fulton, July 9th, CNY Arts Center presented a line-up of local talent that delighted audiences all afternoon. “It was some of the best feedback we received about the day with comments that we had a good mix of musical styles to appeal to all ages and types,’ said Nancy Fox, Coordinator. “It really came together in the last few days and we are grateful for these professional musicians who donated their time and talent to entertain the crowd.”
Old No. 7 Band with Alan France and P. J. Wise kicked off the opening hour of the festival with a rock/country mix followed by Dan Williams and Liz Enwright performing popular Broadway tunes. NAMMY Award Winners Thunder Hawk Singers with Laura Vannah and Donald Blackfox next delighted the audience with the captivating sounds of Native American music.
Gina Holsopple next delivered the unique sound of original folk music joined by Matt Wood and their pint-sized son Rubey. The audience was delighted by this trio. Gina Holsopple will be appearing again July 29th at Harborfest.
Partners in Song next took to the stage with Mary Beth and Rob Hill performing a mix of oldies from the 60’s & 70’s. The familiar songs warmed up the crowd before the talent competition when ten contestants competed before a panel of judges for prizes and professional feedback. Two talented vocal musicians, Liz Enwright and Christine Tupe captured high honors.
Liz Enwright is an Oswego native educated in voice and piano at Crane School of Music who made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2008. Liz is currently working and performing in area theaters. Her winning scores reflected her training and background along with strong vocal delivery on a Fiona Apple song.
In a tie for first place, Christine Tupe scored high marks for creativity and originality when she performed an original song. She has been involved in gospel music ministry for fifteen years. Christine works at Pathfinder Bank in Oswego and is the daughter of a former Fultonian.
Other contestants in the first annual talent competition included a wide variety of ages and genres. Richard Fox, local ventriloquist, brought his “friend” Charlie to entertain the crowds. Two local bands – Old Glory Fades, featuring Justin Purtell on guitar and Kody Fowler on drums, and Far From Over, with Zac Birdslow on vocals and Tyler Battist on guitar –each displayed highly skilled techniques in solo moments from guitars to drums to vocal renditions. James Evans, a History Major/Music Performance Minor from SUNY Oneonta performed a John Butler song on acoustic guitar.
Several junior performers also took to the stage – 7th grader Christina Blake sang a camp song; Samantha Diezel, celebrating her 11th birthday, danced with sister Savanah and friend Missy for the judges while 8 year old Kaylee Foster sang a contemporary Christian song accompanied by her uncle on guitar. Wrapping up the competition was Classic Touch Barbershop Quartet who later performed several numbers for the crowd.
Following the competition, Randy David, Singin’ Cowboy stepped up with Christian/Country music to entertain the crowd until Talent winners were announced and finally Classic Touch Quartet closed the entertainment with several familiar numbers in perfect harmony.
Emcee for the event was Kristin Cook, a local jazz and blues singer and frequent actress on stage. Judges for the competition were Deana Michaels, Fulton Pathfinder Bank Manager and CNY Arts Center Board member, Lorrie Anderson, an Advertising Sales Representative with a musical performance background that includes Syracuse Opera and studies with the late Helen Boatwright; and Laura Vannah, Founder and Exec utive Director of Bright Star Productionz, Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival, and a 2009 Native American Music Award winner as a member of Thunder Hawk Singers.
“Looking back, it really was a broad spectrum of multi-cultural styles. It is exactly what the arts center seeks to promote. We look forward to an even bigger festival next year that delivers other performing arts as well…all talents, all ages. ”
For more information about the Arts Center visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call Nancy Fox at 598-8812.