Jackson Lunch Hour Series

Jackson Lunch Hour Series

Literary and musical artists featured every semester.

Jackson Lunch Hour Series

The Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series presents a series of musical and literary programs each semester. All programs are free of charge and are open to students, faculty, staff, and the public.

Sponsored by the Utica College Social Cultural Committee, programs begin at 12:30 p.m.

  • Musical performances are held in the Library Concourse.
  • Literary readings are held in Macfarlane Auditorium in DePerno Hall, unless otherwise noted. 

Learn more:

Series Calendar

Author / Performer Profiles

Spring 2020 Performers

August 26 | Monk Rowe Trio | Video Rebroadcast

The Monk Rowe Trio


Monk Rowe is a 1972 graduate of SUNY Fredonia and played in the saxophone section of the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble for four years. During those years he composed original music for the FJE and he continues to write for jazz ensembles, chamber groups and orchestras. Monk has been the Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College since its inception in 1995. In this capacity, he has conducted videotaped interviews with over 325 jazz artists across the country. With his wife Romy, he has recently authored a book entitled Jazz Tales from Jazz Legends, drawing on the resources of this oral history collection. He works in the field of aesthetic education and served as the Artistic Director of the Utica Arts in Education Institute. Monk has recorded a CD of original music entitled Jazz Life and a solo keyboard CD, At the Piano.

John Hutson was born in Indiana and attended college in Boston. College graduation was followed by five years of constant musical performance in and around the Boston area. A visit to L.A. turned into a 19-year stay during which John further honed his musical skills by graduating with honors from The Guitar Institute of Technology. Following graduation, John racked up many hours in the studio working with the likes of George Benson and Freddie Hubbard. The years in southern California ended when John relocated to the Utica area and his musical progress continued. John is a skilled recording engineer and a guitar teacher, where he engages students in the “blues you can use” approach to playing. His versatility makes him an in-demand player throughout Central New York

Percussionist Tom McGrath has performed in a variety of musical settings, from theatrical stages, intimate music clubs and state-of-the-art performance spaces. Since the summer of 2005, he has taken up residence in Central NY State where he continues a busy performance schedule, playing with some of Central NY’s finest, including Monk Rowe, John Hutson, Tom Townsley, Don Goodness and the Do Good Big Band. Tom has also released two recordings of original music: Ten Shades of Blue and Pictures at the Family House. He has performed both live and/or in the studio with numerous songwriters and instrumentalists including the folk duo Minus Ted, Walter Egan, Carmin Turco, the Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin), and the graceful and kind, Odetta.

September 2 | Topaz | Video Rebroadcast

Topaz


Judy Marchione holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of George Goslee and Ronald Phillips and a Master of Music Performance degree from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman she was a student of K. David van Hoesen and Philip Kolker. She also served as K. David vanHoesn’s teaching assistant which included teaching through the Continuing Education Division as well as conducting wood-wind technique classes for University of Rochester Music Education Majors. Currently Ms. Marchione performs with the Utica Symphony, Catskill Symphony, and Binghamton Philharmonic. She has performed over the years with such orchestras as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Ohio Ballet, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony, and the Evansville Philharmonic.

Colleen O’Neil has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College, and a Master of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University. A native of Rome NY, she has taught instrumental and general music in public and parochial schools in the Mohawk Valley area for eighteen years and has played previously as a sub/extra with the Utica and Catskill Symphony Orchestras. She is co-founder of the Rome Concert Band, Jewel Winds Quintet and Alliance Classical Players.

Jo Ann Krant Geller, a native of Chester, Pa., while in high school studied piano with Jon Carlin at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania graduating with a degree in Musicology. While a student at Penn, Jo Ann studied piano under Vladimir Socoloff at the Curtis Institute of Music, and accompanied the choir under the direction of William Smith, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jo Ann continued her piano studies in Munich, Germany under Leonard Shure. Returning to the United States, she became a member of the performance faculty at the Wilmington School of Music, Wilmington, Delaware. Later, she worked for a time as an assistant editor at the Theodore Presser Music Publishing Company in Philadelphia. Formerly an adjunct professor at MVCC, Jo Ann has an extensive piano studio in Rome, and has appeared in numerous performances throughout New York State as soloist, accompanist, and in chamber ensembles.

September 9 | Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet | Video Rebroadcast

Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet
Paul Quigley, Sten Isachsen, Joel Brown, and Brett Grigsby

The Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet presents exciting, eclectic programming spanning five centuries, including original arrangements, as well as works commissioned, and premiered by the FLGQ. The Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet is the assemblage of four accomplished guitar soloists, Joel Brown, Brett Grigsby, Sten Isachsen, and Paul Quigley whom have performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Past performances include, the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College Guitar Festival, (World Premiere, Holland), Skidmore College, and the Sandisfield Arts Center.

Joel Brown’s actively eclectic performances as a soloist and chamber musician have included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Caramoor Festival, and the Killington Festival. Internationally, he has played at the Barbican in London with soprano Dawn Upshaw, in British Columbia at the Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, in the Czech Republic at the Mikulov Guitar Festival as concerto soloist with the Martinu Chamber Orchestra. Notable appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall with Dawn Upshaw, recitals on both coasts with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Brown has also performed on NBC’s Today, CNN’s Showbiz Today, on NPR, and on the BBC. He is a Senior-Artist-in-Residence in classical guitar at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and is Chair of the Skidmore Music Department.

Sten Isachsen has appeared as concerto soloist with the University at Albany Orchestra and the Ithaca College String Quartet. Possessing a Bachelor and Master of Music in Guitar Performance from Ithaca College, he has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Joel Brown, and has participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad and Benjamin Verdery. Isachsen is a founding member of the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet, which has commissioned works from composer Anthony Holland. He is also a member of the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a string trio in residence at the Schuyler Mansion, the Cohoes Music Hall, and Schenectady County Community College. Musicians of Ma’alwyck have steadily gained acclaim in the Classical world of music and the addition of classical guitar make them an unusual and in-demand string trio.

Brett Grigsby has performed as both soloist and chamber musician giving audiences heartfelt performances over the past 15 years. Notable performances include solo concerts at the 92nd St Y, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an all Bach program at Steinway Hall, and at the esteemed concert series at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. As chamber musician, Brett has performed with both his guitar duo, A Piacere, and as a member of various guitar quartets performing at the International Festival Domaine Forget in conjunction with the National Jazz Ballet Company of Montreal. A 1992 Skidmore graduate, Grigsby received his Masters in Guitar Performance from the Mannes College of Music in New York City where he studied with Peter Segal, Pat O’Brien, Michael Newman, Ben Verdery, and Patrick Roux.

Paul Quigley has performed with the Glens Falls Symphony, the College of Saint Rose Camerata, and at the Saratoga Arts Center Theatre, Troy Music Hall,The Riverside Church Christ Chapel series, Bowdoin College Summer Chamber Music Festival, Lang Concert Hall at Hunter College, The Spanish Institute, Shakespeare & Company, and the Oberwald Concert Series in Basel, Switzerland. Additionally, Paul was a featured performer on the Queen Elizabeth II World Cruise as well as the Queen Mary II and Crystal Symphony ships. A graduate of Schenectady County Community College and the Manhattan School of Music, Paul earned the A.S., BM and MM degrees in guitar performance and recently completed coursework for the New York State Music Certification Program at the College of Saint Rose. Major Teachers include Joel Brown, Mark Delpriora, Norbert Kraft, and Tony Sano.

September 16 | Casandra Lopez, poet

Cassandra Lopez, poet


Casandra Lopez is a Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseño and Tongva writer raised in Southern California. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has been selected for residencies with the Santa Fe Art Institute as well as the School of Advanced Research where she was the Indigenous writer in residence for 2013. She is the winner of the 2013 Native Writers Chapbook Award from the Sequoyah National Research Center. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in various literary journals such as Potomac Review, Hobart, Weber, CURA, McNeese Review and Unmanned Press. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and is a founding editor of As/Us: A Space For Women Of The World. Lopez's chapbook, Where Bullet Breaks was published by the Sequoyah National Research Center and her poetry collection, Brother Bullet is forthcoming from University of Arizona.

September 16 | Porochista Khakpour, novelist

Porochista Khakpour, novelist


Porochista Khakpour is the author of the novels Sons and Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion, and the memoir Sick. Among her many fellowships is a National Endowment for the Arts award. Her nonfiction has appeared in many sections of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Elle, Slate, Salon, and Bookforum, among many others. She has been guest faculty at VCFA and Stonecoast’s MFA programs, as well as Contributing Editor at Evergreen Review. Brown Album is her first collection of essays, and just out from Vintage Books. Born in Tehran and raised in the Los Angeles area, Khakpour currently lives in New York City.

September 23 | Steven Heyman, pianist

(Featuring music by Utica College Emeritus Professor Louis Angelini)

Steven Heyman, pianist


Syracuse native and pianist Steven Heyman has appeared in solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and as concerto soloist throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has appeared in London, Paris, Prague, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Oslo, Montreal, Quebec, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Washington, Salt Lake City, Juneau, Philadelphia, and New York, among others. In New York, he has appeared in Lincoln Center, Columbia University, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and as an invited artist for a Juilliard tribute to the late legendary artist/teacher Adele Marcus. He received his education at the Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Adele Marcus and at the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna with Hans Graf. Mr. Heyman has won prizes in over a dozen national and international competitions. As a result of winning the Juilliard School’s Concerto Competition, he appeared with the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center.

An active performer, he can be heard on nine commercial CD recordings. Two of these received SAMMY Awards, a Central New York area music award for excellence in recorded music. The most recent SAMMY was given for Echoes, a CD of new works for viola and piano, and is a collaboration with violist Laura Klugherz. In addition, another CD (all Corigliano on the Black Box label) was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Chamber Music Performance. Very active in new music, he has been involved in dozens of premieres, including premieres throughout the U.S., and in Mexico, Europe and Asia. Several composers have written and dedicated music for Mr. Heyman. He played with the Society for New Music for over 25 years and received a special tribute from this organization in 2008. In the Central New York area, he has an active performing career including being the soloist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (Symphoria) 28 times over a 46 year period. Upcoming concerts include the complete Beethoven Piano and Violin Sonatas for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth, a recital in Steinway Hall NYC, and concerts in Mexico, California, and throughout the Northeast.

Mr. Heyman is an Associate Professor in Piano at Syracuse University where he is also the Chair of the Department of Applied Music and Performance, and has been on the faculty for 30 years. At Syracuse University, among dozens of concerts in Setnor Auditorium, he has performed multiple concertos with the SUSO, including a Beethoven Concerto under the baton of Leon Fleisher. At SU, he has received the School of Music’s Most Outstanding Faculty Member Award. In the summer of 2007, Mr. Heyman gave concerts and classes in Beijing and Shenyang China. At the conclusion of a residency at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, he was appointed a Full Visiting Professor. He currently also serves as the Artist-in-Residence at Colgate University, where he frequently performs in solo recital, chamber music, and has appeared as soloist with the Colgate Orchestra 9 times. Mr. Heyman is a Steinway artist.

September 30 | Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, poet

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, poet


Ricardo Alberto Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He is the translator ofDinapiera Di Donato’s Colaterales/Collateral (Akashic Press/National Poetry Series, 2013) and author of The Life Assignment, forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2020. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Queer|Arts|Mentorship and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is managing director at the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center and cohosts the EMPIRE reading series with Hafizah Geter. He lives in New York City. 

October 7 | Dominic Fiacco, piano | Video Rebroadcast

Dominic Fiacco


Dominic Fiacco, 13 year old resident of the small Adirondack foothills village of Poland, New York, began studying music at the age of 4. His curiosity about the organ began after attending an organ recital at age 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Utica, immediately after which he was invited to try the organ and then began lessons. Although he could not at the time reach the pedals, his inherent musical sensitivity and remarkable determination resulted in rarely seen progress and during the following years of lessons with First Church organist Stephen Best, Dominic progressed to the point where he is eagerly seeking the most difficult challenges, choosing pieces of significant complexity.

Dominic has a special love for French romantic music, especially the works of Louis Vierne, and he is presently deciding which symphony he wants to learn in its entirety.
He recently performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and has been invited for a return visit. This season he will play at the Cadet Chapel at West Point, location of the third largest organ in the world, as well as presenting recitals in Ilion and Saratoga Springs. He is also assistant organist at St. Joseph and St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Utica. He and his five younger siblings are home schooled.

As a pianist, Dominic studies with Hamilton College lecturer Sar-Shalom Strong. His achievements are astounding on his second instrument as well, tackling repertoire rarely explored by pianists before college: currently, his passion is for Cesar Franck’s Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue! He has twice been a winner in the Central New York Music Teachers piano competitions, and this summer was invited to perform for a second time on Society for New Music’s Rising Stars programs, premiering new pieces on both piano and organ. He also has performed for A Little Summermusic, Spring Farm Cares, and given a volunteer performance at the Presbyterian Home of Central New York.

October 14 | Ida Trebicka and Tina Toglia, 4-hand piano

Ida Tili-Trebicka and Tina Toglia


Ida Tili-Trebicka is a part-time assistant professor of music at the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music. Albanian-born and raised pianist Ida Tili-Trebicka has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and China as orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. Ms. Trebicka has been featured in National Radio-Television, Italian Broadcasting Corporation RAI 2, and on local radio stations WCNY/Syracuse and WBFO/Buffalo. She has performed chamber music concerts with members of Paris, Athens, Rome, Munich, and Bari-Italy Symphonic Orchestras, as well as regular chamber music appearances with the musicians of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. She made her New York City debut in January 2001 at Merkin Hall. In summer 2002, Ms. Trebicka was invited to perform as part of the summer series concert sponsored by the Italian Federation of Women of Arts, Professions, and Affairs (FIDAPA) and the University of Ancona, Italy. Other recent performances abroad include those in Florence, Italy at the Galleria Dell’Accademia in 2006 as well as in China with SU’s Hendricks Chapel Choir. She performs regularly at the Cazenovia Counterpoint concert series as part of the Society for New Music events, as well as at Civic Morning Musicals concert series.

Ms. Trebicka is a recipient of numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, and fellowships, including Albania’s most prestigious national piano competition, SUSO Concerto Competition, and the piano prize in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition. Trebicka holds her graduate degrees in piano performance from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, Albania, where she served as assistant professor of piano from 1985-1992, and Syracuse University, where she currently serves on the piano faculty at the Setnor School of Music. Ida currently holds the position of music director at Saint Peters Episcopal Church in Cazenovia, N.Y., and resides in Manlius, N.Y.

Pianist Tina Toglia received her Doctorate in Piano Performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she studied piano with Gilbert Kalish and harpsichord with Arthur Haas. Her Bachelor's and Master's degrees were earned from Temple University where she was a student of Alexander Fiorillo, a pupil of Vladimir Horowitz. She also has a diploma in collaborative piano from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as a student of Dr. Vladimir Sokoloff.

As an advocate for new music Dr. Toglia has given numerous premiere performances at Merkin Hall, the 92nd St. Y, Columbia University and Princeton University. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, the Bach Aria Festival and the Tanglewood Music Festival. She was a finalist in the J. S. Bach International Piano Competition and was the winner of concerto competitions at both Temple University and Stony Brook. Dr. Toglia was harpsichordist for the Stony Brook Early Music Ensemble and the Capital Chamber Players in Albany.

The compact disc Just-Spring: Art Songs of John Duke, recorded with soprano Lauralyn Kolb, was released in January 2002 by New World Records as part of their Recorded Anthology of American Music.

Dr. Toglia has been a pre-concert lecturer for the Great Artist Series at the Stanley Theatre in Utica and has lectured for the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement. She has taught piano, music history and theory at SUNY Stony Brook, State University College at Oneonta, SUNY Institute of Technology and Utica College. She currently maintains a private studio in New Hartford, NY.

October 21 | Benjamin Garcia, poet

Benjamin Garcia, poet


Benjamin Garcia’s first collection, Thrown in the Throat, was selected by Kazim Ali for the 2019 National Poetry Series (Milkweed Editions, August 2020) and makes a stunning debut with a sex-positive incantation that retextures what it is to write a queer life amidst troubled times, Garcia writes boldly of citizenship, family, and Adam Rippon’s butt. Detailing a childhood spent undocumented, one speaker recalls nights when “because we cannot sleep / we dream with open eyes.” Garcia delves with both English and Spanish into how one survives a country’s long love affair with anti-immigrant cruelty. Rendering a family working to the very end to hold each other, he writes the kind of family you both survive and survive with. He had the honor of being the 2017 Latin@ Scholar at the Frost Place, the 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and winner of the 2018 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Contest. He works as a Community Health Specialist who provides HIV/HCV/STD and opioid overdose prevention education to higher risk communities throughout New York’s Finger Lakes region.

October 28 | Ida Trebicka, piano and William Knuth, violin

Ida Trebicka, piano and William Knuth, violin


Ida Tili-Trebicka is a part-time assistant professor of music at the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music. Albanian-born and raised pianist Ida Tili-Trebicka has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and China as orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. Ms. Trebicka has been featured in National Radio-Television, Italian Broadcasting Corporation RAI 2, and on local radio stations WCNY/Syracuse and WBFO/Buffalo. She has performed chamber music concerts with members of Paris, Athens, Rome, Munich, and Bari-Italy Symphonic Orchestras, as well as regular chamber music appearances with the musicians of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. She made her New York City debut in January 2001 at Merkin Hall. In summer 2002, Ms. Trebicka was invited to perform as part of the summer series concert sponsored by the Italian Federation of Women of Arts, Professions, and Affairs (FIDAPA) and the University of Ancona, Italy.

Other recent performances abroad include those in Florence, Italy at the Galleria Dell’Accademia in 2006 as well as in China with SU’s Hendricks Chapel Choir. She performs regularly at the Cazenovia Counterpoint concert series as part of the Society for New Music events, as well as at Civic Morning Musicals concert series.

Ms. Trebicka is a recipient of numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, and fellowships, including Albania’s most prestigious national piano competition, SUSO Concerto Competition, and the piano prize in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition. Trebicka holds her graduate degrees in piano performance from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, Albania, where she served as assistant professor of piano from 1985-1992, and Syracuse University, where she currently serves on the piano faculty at the Setnor School of Music. Ida currently holds the position of music director at Saint Peters Episcopal Church in Cazenovia, N.Y., and resides in Manlius, N.Y.

William Knuth, a violinist and Fulbright Scholar who has earned recognition for his artistry as a solo and chamber musician, teaches violin and viola and gives private lessons. As a current member of Duo Sonidos with guitarist Adam Levin, Knuth has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and South America.

Knuth and Levin released their most recent album Duo Sonidos: Wild Dance on the NAXOS label, which immediately rose to no. 3 on the Billboard classical music charts. The duo was awarded First Prize at the 2010 Luys Milan International Chamber Music Competition in Valencia, Spain, and BBC Music Magazine chose the debut album Duo Sonidos as the “BBC Top Choice US Release Album.” Knuth is also a member of the esteemed New York City-based new music group Ensemble Signal and has a private teaching studio in the New York City metro area. He served as associate concertmaster of the vibrant Boston-based chamber orchestra Discovery Ensemble and held an ongoing residency with WGBH Boston Radio’s Fraser Performing Arts Studio. While in Boston, he was also a member of the Boston Philharmonic under the leadership of Benjamin Zander.

Knuth’s recent concerts in the U.S. have included a debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall; performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Fundacao Oscar Americano Sao Paulo, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Harvard Sanders Theater, Boston WGBH radio, Chicago WFMT radio, WCNY radio, NPR radio and Mayne Stage Chicago; guest solo appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and the Boston International Guitarfest; and ensemble work with Discovery Ensemble, Signal Ensemble, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Harvard Group for New Music, IMPULS Festival Austria, June in Buffalo Festival, Big Ears Festival and the Ojai Festival. Special projects have included collaborations with Steve Reich, Kaija Saariaho, Salvador Brotons, Eduardo Morales-Caso, Jorge Muniz, Phillip Glass, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Lukas Foss, Norah Jones, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Goldfrapp, David Byrne, Jon Brion and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Knuth holds an M.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied violin with Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo Quartet and chamber music with Eliot Fisk and Paul Biss; a Fulbright certificate for work with Ernst Kovacic at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts; and a B.M. from the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student of Lynn Blakeslee. 

November 4 | Karlinda Caldicott, harpist | Video Rebroadcast

Karlinda Caldicott, harpist


Karlinda Caldicott, a resident of Saratoga Springs, New York, is Principal Harpist with the Catskill and Schenectady Symphony Orchestras, and appears periodically with Symphoria, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and Orchestra Pro Musica, as well as several pickup orchestras for various events throughout the Capital Region. In the chamber music arena, she is the leader of the North Country Harp Band (a trio of lever-harp players) has a long-time flute and harp duo, Iridescence, with Jan Vinci (Senior Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College), and is a frequent guest artist with The Musicians of Ma’alwyck. Karlinda is adjunct harp instructor at SUNY Oneonta, Hartwick College, The College of Saint Rose, and RPI, with several private students as well (of all ages and interests). In addition to her very active schedule with classical performances, she also enjoys performing at lighter functions such as weddings and other private events (thelivingharp.com). When she isn't teaching, performing, or rehearsing, Karlinda enjoys relaxing at home with her family and their two lovable and slightly insane cats.

November 25 | Utica College Concert Band | Video Rebroadcast

Michael Dimeo


The Utica College Concert Band was founded by Dr. Louis Angelini in 1981. Frank Galime directed the band until his retirement. Since then the band has been directed by Michael J. DiMeo, retired director of bands from New Hartford High School. Band director Michael J. DiMeo received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He is a veteran Utica area performer and instructor, having spent 30 years as an educator in Westmoreland and New Hartford central school districts. At New Hartford High School, Mike helped their marching band become State Champions on four occasions. In addition to directing the Utica College Concert Band, Mike conducts the New Hartford Citizens Band in the summer and was a member of the versatile group “Classified” (which was recently inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.)  

Recent Past Seasons

January 29 | Ed Mabrey, poet, performer

Ed Mabrey


An accomplished poet, spoken word artist, writer, life coach, motivational speaker, comedian and actor, Ed Mabrey is driven by an incredible passion for creating experiences with every performance. His performances are often noted for their unique blend of passion, grace, creativity and fire. Ed has created characters that are unforgettable and experiences that prove to be life changing. Ed Mabrey is the founder of Black Pearl Productions LLC.  Black Pearl Poetry, an offspring of Black Pearl Productions, LLC, one of the most successful poetry shows in the nation, has hosted and produced over 1,000 poetry events and concerts, including shows featuring The Roots, Umar Bin Hasan, The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Ursula Rucker, and Saul Williams, to name a few.

Utilizing his diversity of artistic skills, Ed has curated for the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, been featured in the Whitney Museum (NY, NY), was founder of the first CUPSI/ Poetry organization for Arizona State University, mentored the first ever Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam team to come out of Phoenix, Arizona and Charlotte, North Carolina.

While currently residing in Charlotte, NC, Ed is currently touring nationally performing poetry and conducting workshops as a solo artist.


February 5 | Wendy Chin-Tanner, prose

Wendy Chin-Tanner, prose


Wendy Chin-Tanner is the author of the poetry collections Turn (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards and Anyone Will Tell You (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019), and co-author of the graphic novel American Terrorist (A Wave Blue World). She is a founding editor at Kin Poetry Journal, poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown, and co-founder at A Wave Blue World. A trained sociologist specializing in race, identity, and culture, she continues to write and educate on these topics in addition to teaching writing workshops and guest lecturing at a variety of institutions. Born and raised in NYC and educated at Cambridge University, UK, Wendy is the mother of two daughters and the proud daughter of immigrants.


February 12 | The Five Families Ensemble, featuring Monk Rowe

Five Families Chamber Ensemble


The Five Families Ensemble presents an alternative to the traditional chamber ensemble by combining one instrument from each of the four instrument groups (brass, strings, percussion and woodwinds) and adding a fifth family, that of the human voice. Original compositions and arrangements that draw from jazz, blues and both traditional and contemporary classical music are scored for the ensemble by Monk Rowe. 

The members of The Five Families Ensemble are well known throughout Central New York as versatile performers and music educators, and include Liz Simchick (violin and vocal), Nick Fields (trumpet, baritone horn and vocal), Kristen Kopf (cello), Tom McGrath (percussion and keyboard) and Monk Rowe (woodwinds and piano). 


February 26 | Society for New Music

Gregory Sheppard and Sar Strong


The Society for New Music, featuring Gregory Sheppard, bass, and Sar Strong, piano, will perform "A Tribute to Paul Robeson" as part of the Jackson Lunch Hour Series.

Gregory Sheppard, bass, has been heard in principal roles with opera companies throughout the U.S., including San Francisco, NYC Opera, Dayton Opera and countless others. His appearances abroad include Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, Costa Rica and London.  Mr. Sheppard is the winner of many prestigious awards including a Metropolitan Opera National Council Award and Study Grant.  Upcoming appearances include Pushed Aside: Reclaiming Gage at Colgate University & Hamilton College with the Society for New Music, Threepenny Opera with Syracuse Opera, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Anastasia Concerts, Verdi Requiem with Masterworks Chorus, concerts at the Hudson Opera House, Long Lake Music Festival and recitals in Syracuse and New York City.

Sar-Shalom Strong is well known to east coast audiences as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist.  He has had the privilege of collaborating with international artists such as flutists Judith Mendenhall and Gary Shocker, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violinist Sarah Crocker, singers Helen Boatwright, Peter Vandergraaf, and Sanford Sylvan, as well as multitudes of the fine musicians who live and perform throughout upstate New York. He has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in the area and is a founding member of both the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio.  Recorded performances with Society for New Music on Innova Records and with soprano Janet Brown on Russetbush Records have met with considerable acclaim. He is currently Lecturer in Piano and Coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College, and previously associated with Colgate and Syracuse Universities. He is also active as an adjudicator and vocal coach.


March 11 | Ronald Caravan, clarinet, and Sar-Shalom Strong, piano

Ronald Caravan, clarinet, and Sar Strong, piano


Ronald Caravan is a musician of considerable versatility and performer of equal accomplishment on clarinet and saxophone, the single-reed woodwinds. He has also gained wide recognition as a composer and arranger for the single reeds, as a teacher, and for his professional-grade clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces that carry his name. For most of his teaching career, he served as a member of the faculty of Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music of (1980-2015) where he taught clarinet and saxophone and conducted the Syracuse University Saxophone Ensemble. He earned the degrees Master of Arts in Music Theory in 1973 and the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Music Education in 1974 at the Eastman School of Music. He also earned the Performer's Certificate on clarinet from the Eastman School (1974). In addition to many years of solo and chamber-music performances on clarinet and saxophone, regionally and beyond, Dr. Caravan has performed regularly with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (more recently named Symphoria) on both instruments.

(For Sar-Shalom Strong's bio, see above)


March 25 | Poets Phil Memmer and Suzanne Cleary

Suzanne Cleary and Phil Memmer


Philip Memmer is the author of five books of poems, most recently Pantheon (Lost Horse Press 2019). His previous collections include The Storehouses of the Snow (Lost Horse Press 2012) and Lucifer: A Hagiography (Lost Horse Press 2009), winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry. His work has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Poetry London, in many anthologies, and in the Library of Congress’s “Poetry 180” project. He is Executive Director of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, where he founded the Downtown Writers Center in 2001. He is also Executive Editor of Stone Canoe, and Associate Editor for Tiger Bark Press.

Suzanne Cleary's Crude Angel, her fourth full-length poetry collection, was published in November 2018 by BkMk Press (U of Missouri-Kansas City). Beauty Mark (BkMk 2013) won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, and also received the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize and the Patterson Award for Literary Excellence. Keeping Time (2002) and Trick Pear (2007) were published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Poets Marilyn Nelson and Robert Cording selected her collection Blue Cloth as winner of the 2004 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival chapbook competition.


April 1 | Jonathan English, tenor, and Sar-Shalom Strong, piano

Jonathan English, tenor, and Sar Strong, piano


Jonathan English, tenor, is a native of Syracuse, NY and obtained his M.M., B.M. in voice at the Eastman School of Music. English has performed a wide range of musical styles, from opera, symphonic, and oratorio to art song, choral, Broadway, and modern vocal chamber music. He has been a soloist with Boston’s Cantata Singers under David Hoose; the Syracuse Opera Theatre under Christopher Keene and Steven White; Oswego Opera Theatre under Juan Francisco La Manna; Rochester Philharmonic under Isaiah Jackson; and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia under Alfred Mann. English is the founder of the American Song Project, created to promote awareness through performances and recordings of the depth and beauty of contemporary and historical American art song. Newport Classic released his first solo CD Over There! Songs From America’s Wars featuring music from the Revolutionary War to World War I. English has taught voice at the Commonwealth School in Boston, Roger Williams University, and Holy Cross College and given vocal and choral master classes throughout New England. As a choral conductor he has been music director at a number of churches in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island; conducted the Oneida All-County chorus; and was vocal coach and director of the Boys Chorus for the Boston City Singers. He currently teaches applied music and performance (voice) at Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music.

(For Sar-Shalom Strong's bio, see above)


April 2 | Casandra Lopez, poet

Casandra Lopez, poet


(Note: Special event time and location.  See listing for details.)

Casandra Lopez is a Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseño and Tongva writer raised in Southern California. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has been selected for residencies with the Santa Fe Art Institute as well as the School of Advanced Research where she was the Indigenous writer in residence for 2013. She is the winner of the 2013 Native Writers Chapbook Award from the Sequoyah National Research Center. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in various literary journals such as Potomac Review, Hobart, Weber, CURA, McNeese Review and Unmanned Press. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and is a founding editor of As/Us: A Space For Women Of The World. Lopez's chapbook, Where Bullet Breaks was published by the Sequoyah National Research Center and her poetry collection, Brother Bullet is forthcoming from University of Arizona.


April 22 | Utica College Concert Band

Michael Dimeo


The Utica College Concert Band was founded by Dr. Louis Angelini in 1981. Frank Galime directed the band until his retirement. Since then the band has been directed by Michael J. DiMeo, retired director of bands from New Hartford High School. Band director Michael J. DiMeo received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He is a veteran Utica area performer and instructor, having spent 30 years as an educator in Westmoreland and New Hartford central school districts. At New Hartford High School, Mike helped their marching band become State Champions on four occasions. In addition to directing the Utica College Concert Band, Mike conducts the New Hartford Citizens Band in the summer and was a member of the versatile group “Classified” (which was recently inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.)


April 29 | Utica College Concert Choir

Lynne Ferrara


Lynne Ferrara, a native of Central New York, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education (vocal concentration) from The College of Saint Rose and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from New Jersey City University. Upon completing graduate school, Ms. Ferrara accepted a position as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Herkimer College and currently serves as the college’s music faculty liaison for their College Now Program where she mentors and oversees local high school music educators. In the fall of 2018, she joined the adjunct music faculty at Utica College. At her two teaching posts, Ms. Ferrara teaches coursework in music history, piano, and voice. In addition to teaching, she is an active performer in small ensemble and solo settings. Recently, Ms. Ferrara made her operatic debut in a concert collaboration project with Bronx Opera as Papagena from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The music of Mozart has always been an interest of hers and led to the writing of her graduate thesis entitled “Mozart’s Muse: Examining the Feminine Influence in Mozart’s Life and Music.” Ms. Ferrara is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Alane Varga, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, attended Slippery Rock State College for her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s in Counseling Services. Alane began her career at Utica College in fall 1983, as a counselor in the Academic Support Services. She was cofounder with Dr. Della Ferguson of the Womyn’s Resource Center at Utica College. From 2011 to 2014 Alane served as Dean of Students at Utica College. Since then she has served as Dean of Diversity and Student Development. Her musical experience includes serving as accompanist in a variety of venues, including community coffee houses, musicals performed at Utica College reflecting her love of Broadway, and the UC Lunch Hour Series.

September 11 | Monk Rowe Jazz Trio

The Monk Rowe Trio

Monk Rowe is a 1972 graduate of SUNY Fredonia and played in the saxophone section of the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble for four years. During those years he composed original music for the FJE and he continues to write for jazz ensembles, chamber groups and orchestras. Monk has been the Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College since its inception in 1995. In this capacity, he has conducted videotaped interviews with over 325 jazz artists across the country. With his wife Romy, he has recently authored a book entitled Jazz Tales from Jazz Legends, drawing on the resources of this oral history collection. He works in the field of aesthetic education and served as the Artistic Director of the Utica Arts in Education Institute. Monk has recorded a CD of original music entitled Jazz Life and a solo keyboard CD, At the Piano.

John Hutson was born in Indiana and attended college in Boston. College graduation was followed by five years of constant musical performance in and around the Boston area. A visit to L.A. turned into a 19-year stay during which John further honed his musical skills by graduating with honors from The Guitar Institute of Technology. Following graduation, John racked up many hours in the studio working with the likes of George Benson and Freddie Hubbard. The years in southern California ended when John relocated to the Utica area and his musical progress continued. John is a skilled recording engineer and a guitar teacher, where he engages students in the “blues you can use” approach to playing. His versatility makes him an in-demand player throughout Central New York

Percussionist Tom McGrath has performed in a variety of musical settings, from theatrical stages, intimate music clubs and state-of-the-art performance spaces. Since the summer of 2005, he has taken up residence in Central NY State where he continues a busy performance schedule, playing with some of Central NY’s finest, including Monk Rowe, John Hutson, Tom Townsley, Don Goodness and the Do Good Big Band. Tom has also released two recordings of original music: Ten Shades of Blue and Pictures at the Family House. He has performed both live and/or in the studio with numerous songwriters and instrumentalists including the folk duo Minus Ted, Walter Egan, Carmin Turco, the Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin), and the graceful and kind, Odetta.


September 25 | Karlinda Caldicott, harp

Karlinda Caldicott

Karlinda Caldicott is Principal Harpist with the Catskill and Schenectady Symphony Orchestras, and appears periodically with Symphoria, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and Orchestra Pro Musica, as well as several pickup orchestras for various events throughout the Capital Region. In the chamber music arena, she is the leader of the North Country Harp Band (a trio of lever-harp players) has a long-time flute and harp duo, Iridescence, with Jan Vinci (Senior Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College), and is a periodic guest artist with The Musicians of Ma’alwyck. Karlinda is adjunct harp instructor at SUNY Oneonta, Hartwick College, The College of Saint Rose, and RPI, with several private students as well (of all ages and interests).

Upcoming special performances in October include the Macabre Music series with the Musicians of Ma’alwyck at Hyde Hall in Cooperstown on October 6, as well as First Reformed Church in Schenectady on October 26, plus the 2nd movement of the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto (Elizabeth Chinery, flute) with Schenectady Symphony at the GE Theatre at Proctor’s on October 13th.

In addition to her very active schedule with classical performances, Karlinda also enjoys performing at lighter functions such as weddings and other private events (www.thelivingharp.com). She currently owns five harps of varying sizes and types, which are used for various purposes. Karlinda is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received a Bachelor’s of Music in Harp Performance as a student of legendary teacher Alice Chalifoux. Other teachers and coaches include Marilyn Costello, Lucile Lawrence and Corkey Christman. Karlinda and her family live in Saratoga Springs, NY; their household includes her husband, herself, her son (when he isn’t away at college), her 97-year old mother, and also their two slightly-insane cats, Koko and Widgit.


October 2 | Steven Alvarez, poet

Steven Alvarez

Steven Alvarez is the author of The Codex Mojaodicus, winner of the 2016 Fence Modern Poets Prize. He has also authored the novels in verse The Pocho Codex (2011) and The Xicano Genome (2013), both published by Editorial Paroxismo, and the chapbooks, Tonalamatl, El Segundo’s Dream Notes (2017, Letter [r] Press), Un/documented, Kentucky (2016, winner of the Rusty Toque Chapbook Prize), and Six Poems from the Codex Mojaodicus (2014, winner of the Seven Kitchens Press Rane Arroyo Poetry Prize). His work has appeared in the Best Experimental Writing (BAX), Berkeley Poetry Review, Fence, Huizache, The Offing, and Waxwing. Follow Steven on Instagram @stevenpaulalvarez and Twitter @chastitellez


October 9 | Danan Tsan, mezzo soprano and Sar Strong, piano

Danan Tsan and Sar Strong

Danan Tsan is the interim director of choral activities and directs the College Choir and College Hill Singers. Her past directing jobs include the associate conductor for the Syracuse Community Choir and the music director and arranger for the Dream Freedom Revival, a political action performance troupe in Syracuse. She studied conducting under Constantina Tsolainou (SMU) and William Weinert (Eastman), after which she spent five years as an alto in the U.S. Army Field Band Soldiers’ Chorus. Tsan’s performance career spans the genres of classical music, musical theater, and rock and roll. Her original songs have been played on radio stations since the late 1990s and have also been featured in independent films in the U.S. and Japan. She has been the featured soloist for Symphoria’s Holiday Pops and the alto/mezzo soprano soloist for many oratorio, including Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and Lily Boulanger’s Psalm 80 (with the Hamilton College and Community Masterworks Chorale). She also plays the title role in Pushed Aside: Reclaiming Gage, an opera about the life of women’s suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Sar-Shalom Strong is well known to east coast audiences as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. He has had the privilege of collaborating with international artists such as flutists Judith Mendenhall and Gary Shocker, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violinist Sarah Crocker, singers Helen Boatwright, Peter Vandergraaf, and Sanford Sylvan, as well as multitudes of fine musicians who live and perform throughout upstate New York.

Sar has been involved in the premiere of many new works, and also appears on programs for Civic Morning Musicals, the Skaneateles Festival, A Little Summermusic, The Oasis Center of Syracuse, Hamilton College, and Utica College. He has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in the area, most notably for almost ten years with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of both the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio.

Recorded performances with Society for New Music on Innova Records and with soprano Janet Brown on Russetbush Records have met with considerable acclaim. In 2016, Mark Records released eight recordings Mr. Strong made with clarinetist and saxophonist Ronald Caravan, recordings that are available through Naxos. He is currently Lecturer in Piano and Coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College, and previously associated with Colgate and Syracuse Universities. He is also active as an adjudicator and vocal coach.


October 23 | Brandon Courtney, poet

Brandon Courtney

Brandon Courtney was born and raised in Iowa, served four years in the United States Navy (Operation Enduring Freedom), and is a graduate of the MFA program at Hollins University. His poetry is forthcoming or appears in Best New Poets (’09), The Journal, 32 Poems, and Boston Review, among many others. His book, The Grief Muscles, is forthcoming from Sheep Meadow Press. Thrush Press will published his chapbook, Improvised Devices. He is a graduate student at the University of Chicago.


October 30 | Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet

Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet

The Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet presents exciting, eclectic programming spanning five centuries, including original arrangements, as well as works commissioned, and premiered by the FLGQ. The Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet is the assemblage of four accomplished guitar soloists, Joel Brown, Brett Grigsby, Sten Isachsen, and Paul Quigley whom have performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Past performances include, the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College Guitar Festival, (World Premiere, Holland), Skidmore College, and the Sandisfield Arts Center

Joel Brown’s actively eclectic performances as a soloist and chamber musician have included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Caramoor Festival, and the Killington Festival. Internationally, he has played at the Barbican in London with soprano Dawn Upshaw, in British Columbia at the Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, in the Czech Republic at the Mikulov Guitar Festival as concerto soloist with the Martinu Chamber Orchestra. Notable appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall with Dawn Upshaw, recitals on both coasts with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Brown has also performed on NBC’s Today, CNN’s Showbiz Today, on NPR, and on the BBC. He is a Senior-Artist-in-Residence in classical guitar at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and is Chair of the Skidmore Music Department.

Sten Isachsen has appeared as concerto soloist with the University at Albany Orchestra and the Ithaca College String Quartet. Possessing a Bachelor and Master of Music in Guitar Performance from Ithaca College, he has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Joel Brown, and has participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad and Benjamin Verdery. Isachsen is a founding member of the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet, which has commissioned works from composer Anthony Holland. He is also a member of the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a string trio in residence at the Schuyler Mansion, the Cohoes Music Hall, and Schenectady County Community College. Musicians of Ma’alwyck have steadily gained acclaim in the Classical world of music and the addition of classical guitar make them an unusual and in-demand string trio.

Brett Grigsby has performed as both soloist and chamber musician giving audiences heartfelt performances over the past 15 years. Notable performances include solo concerts at the 92nd St Y, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an all Bach program at Steinway Hall, and at the esteemed concert series at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. As chamber musician, Brett has performed with both his guitar duo, A Piacere, and as a member of various guitar quartets performing at the International Festival Domaine Forget in conjunction with the National Jazz Ballet Company of Montreal. A 1992 Skidmore graduate, Grigsby received his Masters in Guitar Performance from the Mannes College of Music in New York City where he studied with Peter Segal, Pat O’Brien, Michael Newman, Ben Verdery, and Patrick Roux.

Paul Quigley has performed with the Glens Falls Symphony, the College of Saint Rose Camerata, and at the Saratoga Arts Center Theatre, Troy Music Hall,The Riverside Church Christ Chapel series, Bowdoin College Summer Chamber Music Festival, Lang Concert Hall at Hunter College, The Spanish Institute, Shakespeare & Company, and the Oberwald Concert Series in Basel, Switzerland. Additionally, Paul was a featured performer on the Queen Elizabeth II World Cruise as well as the Queen Mary II and Crystal Symphony ships. A graduate of Schenectady County Community College and the Manhattan School of Music, Paul earned the A.S., BM and MM degrees in guitar performance and recently completed coursework for the New York State Music Certification Program at the College of Saint Rose. Major Teachers include Joel Brown, Mark Delpriora, Norbert Kraft, and Tony Sano.
 


November 6 | Luisa Muradyan, poet

Luisa Muradyan

Luisa Muradyan is originally from the Ukraine and holds a Ph.D. in Poetry from the University of Houston where she was the recipient of an Inprint Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Fellowship and a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship. She is the author of American Radiance (University of Nebraska Press) and was the Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts from 2016-2018. She was also the recipient of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the 2016 Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry. Additionally, Muradyan is a member of the Cheburashka Collective, a group of women and non binary writers from the former Soviet Union. Previous poems have appeared in Poetry International, the Los Angeles Review, West Branch, Blackbird, and Ninth Letter among others. You can also find her on Twitter at @LuisaMuradyan.
 


November 13 | Ida Tili-Trebicka, piano

Ida Tili-Trebicka

Pianist Ida Tili-Trebicka has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has been featured on Italian Broadcasting Corporation RAI, Canadian National Broadcasting Radio, VOA, Voice of America, Albanian National Radio-Television Alba Live, Albanian Culture TV in Manhattan NY, NPR Radio and Television, WCNY in Syracuse, WBFO in Buffalo, WCCA TV 13 in Boston, and local station in Binghamton NY.

Ida has performed recitals in Ancona, Torino and Florence, Italy. She made her New York City debut in 2001 at the Merkin Hall and continues to play at the city regularly in venues such as the Tenri Cultural Center, the Victor Borge Hall, at the Scandinavian House and the Symphony Space. She has also performed with members of Tacas Quartet, Lark quartet, Cassat quartet, Jefferson Quartet and many more. Her solo career has taken her all over US from Massachusetts to California. Ida is also the co-founder of “Forty -Fingers” Piano Quartet, “Amida” Piano-Duo, and performs regularly with these groups in CNY area.

Ms. Trebicka is a recipient of numerous prizes, awards, scholarships, and fellowships, including Albania’s most prestigious national piano competition, SUSO Concerto Competition, and the piano prize in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition. In 2016 Ida accepted a SAMMY award on behalf of Society for New Music for the Inova label CD recording of “Music Here and Now’ where she was a performer.

She holds her graduate degrees in piano performance from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, Albania, where she served as assistant professor of piano from 1985-1992, and Syracuse University, where she currently serves on the piano faculty at the Setnor School of Music. Ida is the Coordinator of the Keyboard Department, and serves as the Graduate Student Advisor, Advisor of the MTNA Chapter of Syracuse University and Advisor of SAI, International Music Fraternity. In 2018 she was honored with the Faculty Excellence Award by the College of the Visual Arts at Syracuse University. Presented with “Top Teacher Award” by the Steinway & Sons, this past February 2019, Ida has presented Masterclasses in Colleges in Europe, North America, and Judged International Competitions.

Ida currently holds the position of music director at Saint Peters Episcopal Church in Cazenovia, N.Y., and resides in Manlius, N.Y.
 


December 4 | Utica College Concert Choir

Lynn Ferrara

Lynne Ferrara, a native of Central New York, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education (vocal concentration) from The College of Saint Rose and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from New Jersey City University. Upon completing graduate school, Ms. Ferrara accepted a position as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Herkimer College and currently serves as the college’s music faculty liaison for their College Now Program where she mentors and oversees local high school music educators. In the fall of 2018, she joined the adjunct music faculty at Utica College. At her two teaching posts, Ms. Ferrara teaches coursework in music history, piano, and voice. In addition to teaching, she is an active performer in small ensemble and solo settings. Recently, Ms. Ferrara made her operatic debut in a concert collaboration project with Bronx Opera as Papagena from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The music of Mozart has always been an interest of hers and led to the writing of her graduate thesis entitled “Mozart’s Muse: Examining the Feminine Influence in Mozart’s Life and Music.” Ms. Ferrara is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Alane Varga, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, attended Slippery Rock State College for her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s in Counseling Services. Alane began her career at Utica College in fall 1983, as a counselor in the Academic Support Services. She was cofounder with Dr. Della Ferguson of the Woymn’s Resource Center at Utica College. From 2011 to 2014 Alane served as Dean of Students at Utica College. Since then she has served as Dean of Diversity and Student Development. Her musical experience includes serving as accompanist in a variety of venues, including community coffee houses, musicals performed at Utica College reflecting her love of Broadway, and the UC Lunch Hour Series.
 


December 11 | Utica College Concert Band

Michael DiMeo, director

The Utica College Concert Band was founded by Dr. Louis Angelini in 1981. Frank Galime directed the band until his retirement. Since then the band has been directed by Michael J. DiMeo, retired director of bands from New Hartford High School. Mr. DiMeo received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He is a veteran Utica area performer and instructor, having spent 30 years as an educator in Westmoreland and New Hartford central school districts. At New Hartford High School, Mike helped their marching band become State Champions on four occasions. He has devoted his time to several competitive marching band circuits and received two outstanding soloist awards as Head Brass Instructor/Soloist for the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition to directing the Utica College Concert Band, Mike conducts the New Hartford Citizens Band in the summer and was a member of the versatile group “Classified” (which was recently inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.). In addition to regular performances in the Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series, the band plays an annual Concert for Veterans, a combined concert with Mohawk Valley Community College Concert Band, and at local events and at senior citizen communities such as the Masonic and Presbyterian Homes.

★  40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON  ★

January 23 | Jasmine Millner: Art As A Form Of Activism
Jasmine Millner

Part of the commemoration of Dr. King and his legacy

Jasmine Millner, a native of Rome, NY, is a recent graduate of the University at Albany with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Spanish. She is currently a full-time freelance Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager for both local and international businesses. When she's not working, Jasmine is teaching Zumba or Salsa dancing classes in Rome, Utica, Albany, or Syracuse. She is also a published poet, freelance model, actress, and volunteers the rest of her free time in any way she can.


January 30 |  Steven Heyman, pianist

Steven Heyman

Syracuse native and pianist Steven Heyman has appeared in solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and as concerto soloist throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has appeared in London, Paris, Prague, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Oslo, Montreal, Quebec, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Washington, Salt Lake City, Juneau, Philadelphia, and New York, among others. In New York, he has appeared in Lincoln Center, Columbia University, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and as an invited artist for a Juilliard tribute to the late legendary artist/teacher Adele Marcus. He received his education at the Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Adele Marcus and at the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna with Hans Graf. Mr. Heyman has won prizes in over a dozen national and international competitions. As a result of winning the Juilliard School’s Concerto Competition, he appeared with the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center.

An active performer, he can be heard on nine commercial CD recordings. Two of these received SAMMY Awards, a Central New York area music award for excellence in recorded music. The most recent SAMMY was given for Echoes, a CD of new works for viola and piano, and is a collaboration with violist Laura Klugherz. In addition, another CD (all Corigliano on the Black Box label) was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Chamber Music Performance. Very active in new music, he has been involved in dozens of premieres, including premieres throughout the U.S., and in Mexico, Europe and Asia. Several composers have written and dedicated music for Mr. Heyman. He played with the Society for New Music for over 25 years and received a special tribute from this organization in 2008. In the Central New York area, he has an active performing career including being the soloist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (Symphoria) 28 times over a 46 year period. Upcoming concerts include the complete Beethoven Piano and Violin Sonatas for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth, a recital in Steinway Hall NYC, and concerts in Mexico, California, and throughout the Northeast.

Mr. Heyman is an Associate Professor in Piano at Syracuse University where he is also the Chair of the Department of Applied Music and Performance, and has been on the faculty for 30 years. At Syracuse University, among dozens of concerts in Setnor Auditorium, he has performed multiple concertos with the SUSO, including a Beethoven Concerto under the baton of Leon Fleisher. At SU, he has received the School of Music’s Most Outstanding Faculty Member Award. In the summer of 2007, Mr. Heyman gave concerts and classes in Beijing and Shenyang China. At the conclusion of a residency at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, he was appointed a Full Visiting Professor. He currently also serves as the Artist-in-Residence at Colgate University, where he frequently performs in solo recital, chamber music, and has appeared as soloist with the Colgate Orchestra 9 times. Mr. Heyman is a Steinway artist.


February 13 | Society for New Music

Gregory Sheppard, bassGregory Sheppard, bass, has been heard in principle roles with opera companies throughout the U.S., including San Francisco, NYC Opera, Dayton Opera and countless others. Recent appearances include Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin with Syracuse Opera, Commendatore in Don Giovanni with WNY Chamber Orchestra & a recital in St. Augustine, FL. In concert he has sung Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Metro Chamber Orchestra, Verdi's Messe di Requiem with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and Mozart’s Requiem and Judas Maccabaeus with the New Haven Symphony. In addition, he has appeared as soloist with the Queens Symphony, Denver Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, American Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Illinois Symphony and The Little Orchestra Society. His appearances abroad include Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, Costa Rica and London. Mr. Sheppard is the winner of many prestigious awards including a Metropolitan Opera National Council Award and Study Grant. Upcoming appearances include Pushed Aside: Reclaiming Gage at Colgate University & Hamilton College with the Society for New Music, Threepenny Opera with Syracuse Opera, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Anastasia Concerts, Verdi's Requiem with Masterworks Chorus, concerts at the Hudson Opera House, Long Lake Music Festival and recitals in Syracuse and New York City.

Patricia AlbrightPatricia Albright, the daughter of Julius and Keturah Albright and the oldest of five children, graduated from West Genesee High School. She enjoys writing, singing, and playing the saxophone. During high school she studied voice with Neva Pilgrim for two years. Trisha was a winner two years in a row at the CNYAMT high school vocal competition, and chosen as one of the CNYAMT scholarship winners in March of 2013. As a result, she was a Rising Star at Cazenovia Counterpoint in July 2013, was selected for All-State and for Kaleidoscope at West Genesee high school prior to graduation, one of only two singers selected. Trisha performed on the CNYAMT scholarship winners recital in June 2013, and on the CMM prize winners recital in June at the Everson Museum. She attended Ithaca College on scholarship before transferring to Syracuse University. In July 2014 she performed again during Cazenovia Counterpoint in a program featuring the music of Syracuse native George N. Gianopoulos.

Rosee HeadRosee Head is a 16 year old sophomore at New Hartford High School who has been playing the violin for 13 years. She first studied with Iryna Juravich and is now studying with Matteo Longhi. Violin is an integral part of Rosee’s life. She plays in the Symphoria Youth Orchestra, Hamilton College Orchestra, and New Hartford High School Orchestra during the school year. In the summers, she attends music camps - most recently the Sphinx Performance Academy and the Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra 2. She credits these experiences with increasing her awareness of different opportunities available to violinists and helping her grow as a violinist. In addition to playing the violin, Rosee enjoys singing and dancing. She is currently a member of the New Hartford Senior High School choir and is both singing and dancing in the school’s spring musical production, Cinderella. Rosee also enjoys being a member of the New Hartford track and field team.

Sar-Shalom StrongSar-Shalom Strong is well known to east coast audiences as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. He has had the privilege of collaborating with international artists such as flutists Judith Mendenhall and Gary Shocker, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violinist Sarah Crocker, singers Helen Boatwright, Peter Vandergraaf, and Sanford Sylvan, as well as multitudes of fine musicians who live and perform throughout upstate New York. Sar has been involved in the premiere of many new works, and also appears on programs for Civic Morning Musicals, the Skaneateles Festival, A Little Summermusic, The Oasis Center of Syracuse, Hamilton College, and Utica College. He has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in the area, most notably for almost ten years with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of both the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio. Recorded performances with Society for New Music on Innova Records and with soprano Janet Brown on Russetbush Records have met with considerable acclaim. In 2016, Mark Records released eight recordings Mr. Strong made with clarinetist and saxophonist Ronald Caravan, which are available through Naxos. Sar is currently Lecturer in Piano and Coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College. He was previously associated with Colgate and Syracuse Universities. He is also active as an adjudicator and vocal coach.


February 22 | Alena Graedon, novelist

Alena Graedon, author

Alena Graedon was born in Durham, North Carolina, and is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia’s MFA program. She has worked at Knopf and PEN and taught at Columbia. The Word Exchange, her first novel, was completed with the help of fellowships at several artist colonies. It has been translated into eight languages. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


February 27 |  Martha Grener, flute; Greg Woods, cello; Sar Strong, piano

Martha Grener, fluteMartha Grener, Martha Grener is a freelance artist and music educator. As a freelance artist, she is most noted for solo recitals, chamber music, and as an extra in various upstate orchestras including Symphoria, Catskill Symphony Orchestra, and the Clinton Symphony Orchestra. Her flute/harp duo (Duo L'Adour) was nominated for a Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY) in both 2013 and 2014 and won a SAMMY award for her album "Dare to Dream: a series of reveries for flute & harp" in 2014. Ms. Grener has been a solo recitalist on many local concert series including Goldenberg Series, Liverpool Library, Joyful Noise, Motto Music Series at the Fayetteville library, Civic Morning Musicals, the Oaks at Menorah, Armory Square, Onondaga Community College Day of Percussion with flute & percussion. This past year, she has also performed outreach concerts for Civic Morning Musicals at the Nottingham, Upstate Hospital, and the Temple Concord. Ms. Grener was a featured soloist on the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music Series (SFCM) 2018 performing the Suite Modale by Ernest Bloch accompanied by chamber orchestra. She was also a performer on the SFCM 2016 series as principal flute in the Kuhlau flute quartet in e minor. Ms. Grener was a flutist with Dolce Flutes in Syracuse during its life of 2009-2015 (rip dolce flutes!) where performances were held at Hobart William Smith, Lemoyne College, Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College and other local venues.

Gregory WoodGregory Wood is Assistant Principal Cellist of Symphoria, and was Acting Principal Cellist of Symphoria for 2014-15. Mr. Wood was Assistant Principal Cellist of the SSO, and was also a member of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. He is currently a member of the Fingerlakes Opera Orchestra in Geneseo, and has recently performed as substitute cellist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Wood was also Principal Cellist of the Cincinnati Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, and performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He is adjunct instructor of violoncello and coaches chamber music at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. In addition to SU, he is also adjunct instructor of violoncello at Onondaga Community College, and has a private teaching studio with two former students as winners of the CMM concerto competition: Brian Gadbow and Lucas Button. Mr. Wood received his Bachelor of Music Degree in performance at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, studying with Lynn Harrell, Jack Kirstein, Zara Nelsova, and the LaSalle Quartet. He also performed as soloist with the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony, and as winner of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music concerto competition. He received the 2006 Excellence in Chamber Music Performance award from CMM and has performed solo and chamber music recitals regularly in the Central New York area, primarily with the Jewel Chamber Players, the Southwick Trio, the Society for New Music, the Skaneateles Festival, the Cassatt String Quartet, Civic Morning Musicals, and Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music.

Sar-Shalom StrongSar-Shalom Strong is well known to east coast audiences as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. He has had the privilege of collaborating with international artists such as flutists Judith Mendenhall and Gary Shocker, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violinist Sarah Crocker, singers Helen Boatwright, Peter Vandergraaf, and Sanford Sylvan, as well as multitudes of fine musicians who live and perform throughout upstate New York. Sar has been involved in the premiere of many new works, and also appears on programs for Civic Morning Musicals, the Skaneateles Festival, A Little Summermusic, The Oasis Center of Syracuse, Hamilton College, and Utica College. He has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in the area, most notably for almost ten years with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of both the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio. Recorded performances with Society for New Music on Innova Records and with soprano Janet Brown on Russetbush Records have met with considerable acclaim. In 2016, Mark Records released eight recordings Mr. Strong made with clarinetist and saxophonist Ronald Caravan, which are available through Naxos. Sar is currently Lecturer in Piano and Coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College. He was previously associated with Colgate and Syracuse Universities. He is also active as an adjudicator and vocal coach.


April 3 | Natalie Scenters-Zapico, poet

Natalie Scenters-Zapico, poet

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is from the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, U.S.A. and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. She is the author of The Verging. She earned a BA from University of Texas at El Paso and an MFA in poetry from the University of New Mexico. Cities, which won the 2016 Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award, the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Tejas FOCO Award, was featured as a top ten debut of 2015 by Poets and Writers, and named a Must-Read Debut by LitHub (Center For Literary Publishing, 2015). A CantoMundo fellow, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poets, The Believer, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, Tin House, Indiana Review, Best American Poetry 2015 and more. Zapico is the author of Lima :: Limón (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming 2019). She has taught at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Westminster College, the University of Texas at El Paso, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the PEN American/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, the Great Lakes Colleges Association Prize, the Utah Book Award, and the National Association of Chicano/a Studies Book Award. She has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship and has served as a CantoMundo Fellow. In 2018, Scenters-Zapico was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Natalie lives with her husband, border rhetorics scholar Jose Angel Maldonado, in Salt Lake City.


April 10 | Jon Chopan, fiction

Jon Chopan

Jon Chopan is a writer, teacher, and editor. He is assistant professor of creative writing at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. His first collection, Pulled from the River, was published in 2011, and his work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Hotel Amerika, Post Road, Epiphany, and The Southampton Review, among other outlets. He received his BA and MA in American History from SUNY Oswego and his MFA from The Ohio State University. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Glimmer Train, Hotel Amerika, The Southampton Review, Post Road, and elsewhere. Professor Chopan has worked as an editor and reader for Sweet, Prime Number Magazine, and Epiphany. His first book, a memoir in stories, Pulled from the River was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2012. His second, a collection of linked short stories about the war in Iraq, was the winner of The 2017 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and was published by The University of Massachusetts Press. Professor Chopan teaches courses in fiction and nonfiction as well as study abroad courses that explore travel writing, and editing and publishing through The Gower Street Press
 


April 17 | Utica College Concert Band

Michael DiMeo, director

The Utica College Concert Band was founded by Dr. Louis Angelini in 1981. Frank Galime directed the band until his retirement. Since then the band has been directed by Michael J. DiMeo, retired director of bands from New Hartford High School. Mr. DiMeo received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He is a veteran Utica area performer and instructor, having spent 30 years as an educator in Westmoreland and New Hartford central school districts. At New Hartford High School, Mike helped their marching band become State Champions on four occasions. He has devoted his time to several competitive marching band circuits and received two outstanding soloist awards as Head Brass Instructor/Soloist for the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition to directing the Utica College Concert Band, Mike conducts the New Hartford Citizens Band in the summer and was a member of the versatile group “Classified” (which was recently inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.). In addition to regular performances in the Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series, the band plays an annual Concert for Veterans, a combined concert with Mohawk Valley Community College Concert Band, and at local events and at senior citizen communities such as the Masonic and Presbyterian Homes.


April 24 | Utica College Concert Choir

Lynne Ferrara, directorLynne Ferrara, a native of Central New York, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education (vocal concentration) from The College of Saint Rose and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from New Jersey City University. Upon completing graduate school, Ms. Ferrara accepted a position as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Herkimer College and currently serves as the college’s music faculty liaison for their College Now Program where she mentors and oversees local high school music educators. In the fall of 2018, she joined the adjunct music faculty at Utica College. At her two teaching posts, Ms. Ferrara teaches coursework in music history, piano, and voice. In addition to teaching, she is an active performer in small ensemble and solo settings. Recently, Ms. Ferrara made her operatic debut in a concert collaboration project with Bronx Opera as Papagena from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The music of Mozart has always been an interest of hers and led to the writing of her graduate thesis entitled “Mozart’s Muse: Examining the Feminine Influence in Mozart’s Life and Music.” Ms. Ferrara is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Dean of Students Alane VargaAlane Varga, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, attended Slippery Rock State College for her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s in Counseling Services. Alane began her career at Utica College in fall 1983, as a counselor in the Academic Support Services. She was cofounder with Dr. Della Ferguson of the Womyn’s Resource Center at Utica College. From 2011 to 2014 Alane served as Dean of Students at Utica College. Since then she has served as Dean of Diversity and Student Development. Her musical experience includes serving as accompanist in a variety of venues, including community coffee houses, musicals performed at Utica College reflecting her love of Broadway, and the UC Lunch Hour Series.


April 24 | Cassandra Lopez, poet

Cassandra Lopez, poet

Casandra Lopez is a Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseño and Tongva writer raised in Southern California. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has been selected for residencies with the Santa Fe Art Institute as well as the School of Advanced Research where she was the Indigenous writer in residence for 2013. She is the winner of the 2013 Native Writers Chapbook Award from the Sequoyah National Research Center. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in various literary journals such as Potomac Review, Hobart, Weber, CURA, McNeese Review and Unmanned Press. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and is a founding editor of As/Us: A Space For Women Of The World.

★  40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON  ★

August 29 | Monk Rowe Trio

The Monk Rowe Trio

Monk Rowe is a 1972 graduate of SUNY Fredonia and played in the saxophone section of the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble for four years. During those years he composed original music for the FJE and he continues to write for jazz ensembles, chamber groups and orchestras. Monk has been the Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College since its inception in 1995. In this capacity, he has conducted videotaped interviews with over 325 jazz artists across the country. With his wife Romy, he has recently authored a book entitled Jazz Tales from Jazz Legends, drawing on the resources of this oral history collection. He works in the field of aesthetic education and served as the Artistic Director of the Utica Arts in Education Institute. Monk has recorded a CD of original music entitled Jazz Life and a solo keyboard CD, At the Piano.

John Hutson was born in Indiana and attended college in Boston. College graduation was followed by five years of constant musical performance in and around the Boston area. A visit to L.A. turned into a 19-year stay during which John further honed his musical skills by graduating with honors from The Guitar Institute of Technology. Following graduation, John racked up many hours in the studio working with the likes of George Benson and Freddie Hubbard. The years in southern California ended when John relocated to the Utica area and his musical progress continued. John is a skilled recording engineer and a guitar teacher, where he engages students in the “blues you can use” approach to playing. His versatility makes him an in-demand player throughout Central New York

Percussionist Tom McGrath has performed in a variety of musical settings, from theatrical stages, intimate music clubs and state-of-the-art performance spaces. Since the summer of 2005, he has taken up residence in Central NY State where he continues a busy performance schedule, playing with some of Central NY’s finest, including Monk Rowe, John Hutson, Tom Townsley, Don Goodness and the Do Good Big Band. Tom has also released two recordings of original music: Ten Shades of Blue and Pictures at the Family House. He has performed both live and/or in the studio with numerous songwriters and instrumentalists including the folk duo Minus Ted, Walter Egan, Carmin Turco, the Queen of Soul (Aretha Franklin), and the graceful and kind, Odetta.


September 12 | Dominic Fiacco, organist, pianist

Dominic Fiacco

Dominic Fiacco, 13 year old resident of the small Adirondack foothills village of Poland, New York, began studying music at the age of 4. His curiosity about the organ began after attending an organ recital at age 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Utica, immediately after which he was invited to try the organ and then began lessons. Although he could not at the time reach the pedals, his inherent musical sensitivity and remarkable determination resulted in rarely seen progress and during the following years of lessons with First Church organist Stephen Best, Dominic progressed to the point where he is eagerly seeking the most difficult challenges, choosing pieces of significant complexity.

Dominic has a special love for French romantic music, especially the works of Louis Vierne, and he is presently deciding which symphony he wants to learn in its entirety.
He recently performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and has been invited for a return visit. This season he will play at the Cadet Chapel at West Point, location of the third largest organ in the world, as well as presenting recitals in Ilion and Saratoga Springs. He is also assistant organist at St. Joseph and St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Utica. He and his five younger siblings are home schooled.

As a pianist, Dominic studies with Hamilton College lecturer Sar-Shalom Strong. His achievements are astounding on his second instrument as well, tackling repertoire rarely explored by pianists before college: currently, his passion is for Cesar Franck’s Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue! He has twice been a winner in the Central New York Music Teachers piano competitions, and this summer was invited to perform for a second time on Society for New Music’s Rising Stars programs, premiering new pieces on both piano and organ. He also has performed for A Little Summermusic, Spring Farm Cares, and given a volunteer performance at the Presbyterian Home of Central New York.


September 26 | Reeds and Keys

Judy MarchioneJudy Marchione, bassoon, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of George Goslee and Ronald Phillips and a Master of Music Performance degree from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman she was a student of K. David van Hoesen and Philip Kolker. She also served as K. David van Hoesn’s teaching assistant which included teaching through the Continuing Education Division as well as conducting wood-wind technique classes for University of Rochester Music Education Majors. Currently Ms. Marchione performs with the Utica Symphony, Catskill Symphony, and Binghamton Philharmonic. She has performed over the years with such orchestras as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Ohio Ballet, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony, and the Evansville Philharmonic.

Colleen O'NeilColleen O’Neil has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College, and a Master of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University. A native of Rome NY, she has taught instrumental and general music in public and parochial schools in the Mohawk Valley area for eighteen years and has played previously as a sub/extra with the Utica and Catskill Symphony Orchestras. She is co-founder of the Rome Concert Band, Jewel Winds Quintet and Alliance Classical Players.

Jo Ann Krant Geller, a native of Chester, Pennsylvania, while in high school studied piano with Jon Carlin at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. She then attended the University of Pennsylvania graduating with a degree in Musicology. As a student at Penn, she studied piano under Vladimir Socoloff at the Curtis Institute of Music, and accompanied the choir under the direction of William Smith, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jo Ann continued her piano studies in Munich, Germany under Leonard Shure. Returning to the United States, she became a member of the performance faculty at the Wilmington School of Music, Wilmington, Delaware. Later, she worked for a time as an assistant editor at the Theodore Presser Music Publishing Company in Philadelphia. Formerly an adjunct professor at MVCC, Jo Ann has an extensive piano studio in Rome, and has appeared in numerous performances throughout New York State as soloist, accompanist, and in chamber ensembles.


October 3 | Christine Kitano, poet

Christine Kitano

Christine Kitano is the author of the poetry collections Sky Country and Birds of Paradise. She is an assistant professor at Ithaca College where she teaches creative writing, poetry, and Asian American literature. Recent work appears in The Portland Review, A Women's Thing, and Wildness. She received her Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University (2015); her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University (2010); her B.A. in Creative Writing from University of California, Riverside (2007).

From an interview on Writers Recommend: “When I’m managing to write regularly, I always have a collection of poems in translation on my desk. I’ll usually begin a writing session by reading a few poems from the collection and copying out the lines that speak to me. Then, I’ll re-organize those lines into a new poem, editing the lines or improvising my own language. During this process, I usually stumble upon a new phrase or image, which I’ll then use as the starter for a new draft. I often sense distance in a translated poem, and it is precisely this distance that frees me to experiment with the language.”


October 17 | Sar Strong, piano and Shem Guibbory, violin

Sar-Shalom StrongSar-Shalom Strong is well known to east coast audiences as both a soloist and a collaborative pianist. He has had the privilege of collaborating with international artists such as flutists Judith Mendenhall and Gary Shocker, trombonist Joseph Alessi, violinist Sarah Crocker, singers Helen Boatwright, Peter Vandergraaf, and Sanford Sylvan, as well as multitudes of the fine musicians who live and perform throughout upstate New York. He has been involved in the premiere of many new works, and also appears on programs for Civic Morning Musicals, the Skaneateles Festival, A Little Summermusic, The Oasis Center of Syracuse, Hamilton College, and Utica College. He has performed orchestral keyboard with virtually all the orchestras in the area, most notably for almost ten years with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and is a founding member of both the Jewell Piano Trio and the Southwick Trio. Recorded performances with Society for New Music on Innova Records and with soprano Janet Brown on Russetbush Records have met with considerable acclaim. He is currently Lecturer in Piano and Coordinator of Staff Pianists for Hamilton College, and previously associated with Colgate and Syracuse Universities. He is also active as an adjudicator and vocal coach.

Shem Guibbory, violinShem Guibbory started to play as a substitute in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at the age of 21, sitting on the last stand of the 1st violin section for a performance of Strauss’ Die Frau Ohne Schatten with Karl Böhm conducting. Since then, he has been privileged to be a part of hundreds of amazing performances. Throughout his career, Mr. Guibbory has explored ways in which music combines with other disciplines. This exploration is influenced by opera, no doubt, as well as by his early training at CalArts where the intrinsic unity between all the arts is viewed as a fundamental. With Director Margaret Booker and playwright Robert Schenkkan he has created a new music/theater work A Night at the Alhambra Café (2010) and is currently developing another work entitled Accidental Heroes. Mr. Guibbory’s personal recording credits include solo and chamber music on ECM, Gramavision, Opus 1, DG, Albany, Bridge, MSR Classics and CRI. He has performed as a soloist with a number of fine orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. For over three decades he has served as a faculty member of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, serving as their Music Director for nine consecutive seasons.


November 7 | “Doctuh” Woods Jazz Ensemble

Doctuh Michael Woods

"Doctuh" Michael Woods is a bassist, educator, composer, lecturer and clinician. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious grants and awards for performance, education, composition, scholarship and leadership. Doc has written more than 700 compositions in styles including choral, orchestral and chamber, jazz combo and big-band. His works have been performed by the Albany Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Ensemble, Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, Midland Symphony Orchestra, Utica Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, Little Rock Symphony, Anderson Symphony, North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony, Central New York Jazz Orchestra, Tulsa Philharmonic, Pro Musica Orchestra, Salt City Jazz Collective and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. "Doc" Woods is the Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Music at Hamilton College. Woods has taught at the university level since 1980, and joined Hamilton College in 1993. He is the musical director and bassist for the Zoe' Jazz Band and the Omniverse Jazz Ensemble.

The six piece Jazz Ensemble will be playing mostly original compositions that are catchy and clever but not distant or aloof with plenty of high energy solo improvisations: Jeff Stockham on trumpet, Bob Cesari on saxes, Joe Handy on guitar, Tom Witkowski on piano, Rick Compton on drums, and “Doctuh” Michael Woods writes the charts and plays bass. The selections will make up a suite of about eight movements as a “blend of fun meets social statement.”


November 14 | Shira Dentz, poet

Shira Dentz

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and before earning her Ph.D. in creative writing and literature from the University of Utah, Shira Dentz worked as a graphic artist, typesetter, and Assistant Art Director in NYC, mainly in the music industry. She was Drunken Boat‘s Reviews Editor and curated DB blog’s feature, “What I’m Reading Now…” from 2011-2016, and now curates this feature Tarpaulin Sky where she is currently Special Features Editor. Shira Dentz is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently how do i net thee (Salmon Poetry) and the sun a blazing zero (forthcoming, Lavender Ink/Diálogos). She is also the author of the full-length collections door of thin skins (CavanKerry, 2013) and black seeds on a white dish (Shearsman, 2010), and the chapbooks FLOUNDERS (Essay Press, 2016) and Leaf Weather (Shearsman, 2012). She teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and lives in New York.


November 28 | Utica College Concert Choir

Debora HollingDebora Holling, Adjunct Lecturer of Music, begins as the Utica College Concert choir director this semester, Debora is a veteran teacher of 38 years, having graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY with concentrations in music education, choir directing and musical theater. She began her career at the Schenectady Light Opera Company in Schenectady, NY. Since then she has directed, music directed, stage managed, as well as worked as a light/sound board technician at a variety of Upstate New York theaters. Debora spent four years at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in directorial and technical positions and most recently works with Rome Community Theater and Utica College's musical production of Jekyll and Hyde last spring. The bulk of her teaching experience has been spent in directing school choirs. She served a two year period as the Director of the Adirondack Children's Chorus in Saranac Lake, NY.

Dean of Students Alane VargaAlane Varga, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, attended Slippery Rock State College for her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and her Master’s in Counseling Services. Alane began her career at Utica College in fall 1983, as a counselor in the Academic Support Services. She was cofounder with Dr. Della Ferguson of the Woymn’s Resource Center at Utica College. From 2011 to 2014 Alane served as Dean of Students at Utica College. Since then she has served as Dean of Diversity and Student Development. Her musical experience includes serving as accompanist in a variety of venues, including community coffee houses, musicals performed at Utica College reflecting her love of Broadway, and the UC Lunch Hour Series.


November 29 | Levis Keltner, novelist

Levis Keltner

Levis Keltner is an author, editor, educator, and musician from Chicago living in Austin, Texas. He is the editor-in-chief at Newfound, an online publication devoted to literary, visual, and artistic perspectives and interpretations of the physical world. Using fiction, essays, poetry, and visual art Newfound explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding. Mr. Keltner teaches writing at Texas State University.


December 5 | Utica College Concert Band

Michael DiMeo, director

The Utica College Concert Band was founded by Dr. Louis Angelini in 1981. Frank Galime directed the band until his retirement. Since then the band has been directed by Michael J. DiMeo, retired director of bands from New Hartford High School. Mr. DiMeo received his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He is a veteran Utica area performer and instructor, having spent 30 years as an educator in Westmoreland and New Hartford central school districts. At New Hartford High School, Mike helped their marching band become State Champions on four occasions. He has devoted his time to several competitive marching band circuits and received two outstanding soloist awards as Head Brass Instructor/Soloist for the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition to directing the Utica College Concert Band, Mike conducts the New Hartford Citizens Band in the summer and was a member of the versatile group “Classified” (which was recently inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.). In addition to regular performances in the Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series, the band plays an annual Concert for Veterans, a combined concert with Mohawk Valley Community College Concert Band, and at local events and at senior citizen communities such as the Masonic and Presbyterian Homes.

2017-18 Season

Fall 2017

Monk Rowe Trio
CNY Watercolor Society - Gallery Talk
Janet McNally, young adult fiction
Karlinda Kaldicott, harp
Sassafras Lowrey, fiction
Finger Lake Guitar Quartet
Donika Kelly, poetry
Sar Strong, piano and Shem Guibbory, violin
Eduardo C. Corral, poet
Society for New Music
Utica College Concert Choir
Utica College Concert Band

Spring 2018

Alden "Max" Smith, speaker
Sungmin Kim, pianist and Edgar Tumajyan, violin
Rick Compton and Friends Smooth Jazz Trio
Chosen Generation Gospel Choir
Rob Mango, artist
Bronwen Dickey, nonfiction
Chen Chen, poet
Sarah Rose Nordgren, poet
Jewel Trio
Utica College Concert Choir
Lucia Cherciu, poet, winner 2017 Nassar Poetry Prize
Utica College Concert Band

2016-17 Season

Fall 2016

Carmen Caramanica Jazz Trio
Jewel Trio
Dasan Ahanu, poet
Karin Lin-Greenberg, author
Elizabeth Carville Evans, flute and Valeri Ludlum Wright, piano
Jake Wolff, writer
B Sharp Musical Club
Paul Lisicky, writer, memoirist
Utica College Concert Choir
Utica College Concert Band

Spring 2017

Tuskegee Airman Herbert Thorpe
Susan Fox Rogers, nonfiction/memoirist
Hamilton College Saxophone Ensemble
Society for New Music
Sarah Yaw, fiction/novelist
Julie Shigekuni, fiction
Danan Tsan, mezzo-soprano and Sar Strong, piano
Junior B Sharp Musical Club
Adam LeFevre, poet, winner 2016 Nassar Poetry Prize
Utica College Concert Band
Benjamin Garcia, poet
Utica College Concert Choir

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The Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series is sponsored by the Utica College Social Cultural Committee and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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