Chamber Music Society of Utica announces new board members


Chamber Music Society of Utica has announced two new members to the CMSU Board of Trustees — Leonarda Priore, mezzo-soprano, and pianist Sar-Shalom Strong — as well as returning board member Jean Jones Morris.

Jean Morris has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Utica for more than 45 years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who continues in part-time clinical practice after retiring from 40 years of full-time work. She has participated in choral groups since college, including the Grace Church choir and Hamilton College Masterworks Chorale.  

Leonarda Priore, a Utica native, is co-founder and president of Chelsea Opera, a professional opera company presenting fully staged operas with chamber orchestra, established in New York City and now in its 18th season. With the goal to expand the vision and scope of the company, Priore is now producing Chelsea Opera performances in Central New York, with many more on the horizon. 

A versatile artist with significant experience in opera, jazz, sacred, classical, and popular genres, Priore has performed throughout the United States with regional and area opera companies, in musical theater and Off-Broadway productions, and with numerous symphony orchestras.

Priore said she is particularly proud of her special memorial concerts for her brother, Attorney Nicholas S. Priore, who was a gifted vocalist and actor. She is a long-time member of the B Sharp Musical Club of Utica, and maintains affiliations in Central New York and New York City, and with national organizations as well.

Sar-Shalom Strong is recognized for highly sensitive performances as soloist and collaborative pianist with the versatility to jump between styles and genres. For more than 30 years, he has worked with many international artists as well as the fine musicians who have chosen to live and perform in Central New York. He has been a soloist in concerti with local orchestras and has regularly appeared as recitalist and chamber musician for many area performance series and festivals. 

Strong is lecturer in Piano and coordinator of Staff Pianists and piano maintenance for Hamilton College, where he has taught since 2001, and has a large private studio. In 2012, he was a judge for the Humans in Space Youth Art and Music Competition sponsored by NASA, and in 2016 he celebrated the release of eight CDs recorded with Ronald Caravan, clarinetist/saxophonist, on Mark Recordings with Naxos distribution. 

For information on the upcoming 2021-22 CMSU season, go online to 


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