Alliance Classical Players, B Sharp join forces for virtual music project

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Despite the cancellation of indoor music events due to the pandemic, the Alliance Classical Players (ACP) of Rome and the B Sharp Musical Club have been busy creating virtual music projects.  

Members of the two groups recently collaborated on a newly released virtual performance of Saint-Saens’ Feuillet d’Album. The piece, which was originally for piano and arranged for wind octet, was chosen as a tribute to one of Alliance Classical Players’ canceled summer concerts, “The French Confection,” which was supposed to have been performed in July at Rome Art and Community Center as part of its Classical at the Center chamber music series. The program would have featured the Saint-Saens piece, along with more wind music of French composers. 

B Sharp Music Club President Judy Marchione said since several members of the Alliance Classical Players are also members of B Sharp Musical Club, it became fitting to partner in this collaboration.

“Our spring and summer music events have also been canceled, so we were excited to collaborate with Alliance Classical Players on this project,” said Marchione, who is also a bassoonist with ACP. “It was both challenging and fun to be involved in the creation of a virtual music event. A lot of effort goes into the final product, more so than many people think.”

In all, it took about two months to put the project together, led by production engineer and musician, Evan Young of New Jersey.   

Although B Sharp Musical Club is based in Utica, and Alliance Classical Players perform mainly in Rome, musicians from both groups hail from throughout central New York. Performing on the Saint-Saens project were clarinet players and Rome residents Kristin Kelly and Colleen O’Neil, bassoonist Judy Marchione and flutist Elizabeth Evans, both of Sauquoit, bassoonist Sue Daves from Delmar, oboist Kathryn Dimmel of Camillus, and horn players Claire McKenney and Tyler Ogilvie, from the Syracuse area. Marchione, Kelly, Evans and O’Neil are members of both B Sharp and ACP. 

The musicians of Alliance Classical Players are providing additional opportunities to hear classical music in central New York this summer. In place of ACP’s summer concert series at RACC and its popular Classical Youth Music Festival, the group has developed “Duets with ACP,” a video series of play-along duets for intermediate-advanced student musicians.

The video series can be found on the Alliance Classical Players’ YouTube page and includes duets for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn.

“Additional instrumental duets will be added over the next few weeks, to include additional brass, woodwinds, and percussion,” said Kristin Kelly. “We started with our core players’ major instruments and are expanding out from there. We were extremely disappointed to not be able to host the Classical Youth Festival this year, and we hope that many students will visit our page to practice duets (virtually!) with us.”

The musicians of ACP will also be performing mini concerts around the region during July and August. These “pop-up” concerts will be short events featuring soloists and duos from the group.

“We will be coming to a park near you,” said Colleen O’Neil. “We can’t announce them ahead of time, due to restrictions on encouraging gatherings, but we will appear in well-known areas.”

Pop-up concerts have already begun in the Syracuse area, and will soon begin in Rome and throughout Oneida County. 

The 2020 activities of Alliance Classical Players are supported with funding from The Sears Family Foundation and the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the state Council on the Arts. See more about Alliance Classical Players on YouTube at  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFVeH7MeP9ZoGC-EAs2OEzw and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AllianceClassicalPlayers. ACP can also be reached by email at alliancecp2017@gmail.com.

The B Sharp Musical Club is posting virtual musical events to its website, which is https://www.bsharpmusic.org. The club is also active on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BSharpMusicalClub.   

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