Take Note and Delight in The Voices of Children

Niskayunga Chorus w SSO3:00 pm • Sunday, January 22nd 2017
Proctor’s Theater • Schenectady, NY

Well now … Today, Inauguration Day for the new administration, is a significant day in American history. A day of much trepidation as my social media feeds and e-mail inbox is being inundated with news from The Hill reporting the new President’s budget blueprint includes the complete elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and several other programs and agencies with the goal of reducing federal spending by trillions over the next decade. They are deemed “wasteful and unnecessary.”

Hogwash. Clearly the new President does not have an ounce of understanding of what makes a nation healthy, culturally and/or economically. While I do not wish to politicize Hudson Sounds, I cannot help but feel a duty to share in the role of the canary in a coal mine. I suspect however, if you are reading this, I am probably preaching to the choir.

And speaking of choir … I bring your attention to our future choristers with two events taking place this weekend. There is Albany Pro Musica’s High School ChoralFestival which takes place at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (click here for more info). An incredible opportunity for our regional young artists. Then, there is the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra concert, also on Sunday afternoon.

With maestro Charles Schneider on the podium, this Schenectady Symphony Orchestra concert features the work of the Niskayuna High School Choruses (prepared by director Christina Pizzino-Catalano) in a performance of John Rutter’s non-liturgical mass, Mass of the Children. Now, we know concerts are programmed well in advance of their performance, it is however fortuitous to have this work for our ears and souls this weekend. Rutter’s compositions are littered with optimism and this work, in particular, is one of redemption, healing, and love.

“You’ve got to have hope, somehow, to have a sense of a better future.” —John Rutter

Let us take our cue from John Rutter and support efforts to retain and reinforce what is important to us and that which keeps us healthy as a society and nation.

No doubt as Rutter points out, the young artist is crucial to nurture. But, the organizations that allow us to celebrate our humanity are also important regardless of the age of those performing.

The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra’s full program on Sunday is to include:

    • Gabriel FauréPavane, Op. 50
    • Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op.93
    • Sergei RachmaninoffVocalise
    • John RutterMass of the Children

Please take note … whether through choral, chamber, opera, or symphonic; music (and education) by the likes of Fauré, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Rutter are “not one of life’s frills.” Our arts organizations provide key services to our communities byway of education, cultural awareness, teaching tolerance to us all that feeds “our” overall well being. As you enjoy the musical offerings our region has to offer, be sure to contact your lawmakers to remind them of the importance of our arts organizations in your life and your community. If you work or lead an art making organization, be sure to take the time to introduce yourself and share the work of your organization with your representative and how your organization impacts our economic health as well as our cultural health. This is more than important “stuff” to do as the new administration puts the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities on the chopping block.

Thank you for listening. Despite my canary role today, I hope you can leave your troubles at the door and celebrate the voices of our youth and next generation this Sunday. Enjoy your musicking this weekend!

Upcoming Events

  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall: Lilac 94 | “Explore! Harp Around the World”
  • Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY
    Saturday, January 28th 2017 at 1:00 pm

  • Adirondack Wind Ensemble: “l’Histoire du Soldat” | Stravinsky
  • Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid, NY
    Saturday, January 28th 2017 at 4:00 pm

  • Albany Symphony Orchestra: “Finding Do-Re (and Mi)” | Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini
  • Zankel Center, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
    Sunday, January 29th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Union College Concerts: Alexander Melnikov, piano | Rachmaninoff, Debussy
  • Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, NY
    Sunday, January 29th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Friends of Chamber Music: Calidore String Quartet | Mozart, Shaw, Beethoven
  • Kiggins Hall, Emma Willard School, Troy, NY
    Friday, February 3rd 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • Union College Concerts: Eric Lu, piano | Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Prokofiev
  • Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, NY
    Sunday, February 12th 2017 at 3:00 pm

  • Troy Chromatic Concerts: National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine | Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
    Thursday, February 16th 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • Albany Symphony Orchestra with Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis | Higdon, Brahms, Beethoven
  • Palace Theatre, Albany, NY
    Saturday, February 18th 2017 at 7:30 pm

  • Albany Pro Music with The Canadian Brass | Argento, McCullough, and more
  • Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
    Sunday, February 26th 2017 at 3:00 pm