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Released Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Summit Group is composed of representatives of a broad range of colleges, universities, and arts organizations across Central New York.  We have extensive experience in the arts, education, administration, and non-profit boards, constituting an invaluable brain trust in the formation of a new professional orchestra for the region.  We are working with the Musicians of the Former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra to advocate for and assist in this effort.  We plan to engage a consulting firm to undertake a regional feasibility study and a strategic plan to guide this process.  We are ready to assume a leadership role and to work collaboratively with interested parties in bringing a professional orchestra back into being and to retain the artistic core of the orchestra that does remain.  These are our guiding principles:

  • A fully professional symphony orchestra must be established quickly to stem the further loss of musicians from our community.  It is essential now to move, without delay, to implement structures and financial backing for a ramp-up season in 2012-13.
  • The new orchestra will recognize the artistic core already present in our community, actively seeking and valuing the input of the Musicians of the former Syracuse Symphony. It is imperative to use their talents as the new orchestra develops.
  • There must be a new, collaborative approach by artistic, management, board, and union leadership.  All parties must be committed to artistic excellence and innovation in operations, recognizing both as essential for long-term success.
  • Constituent organizations will have representatives on the new board of directors.
  • The essential assets of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, including the music library and the instruments, must be available to the new orchestra for its unrestricted use.
  • A regional orientation and approach to season planning, marketing, development, and administration is essential to the long-term sustainability of the new orchestra.  The orchestra must have a true regional base, rather than simply doing run-out performances, as a central part of its mission.

David Abrams – Professor of Music, Music Department Chair, Onondaga Community College

Heather Buchman – Associate Professor of Music, Hamilton College

Thomas A. Burton – Vice President, Special Projects, Onondaga Community College

Vicki Feldman – Immediate Past President, Syracuse Symphony Association

Douglas Kinney Frost – Director of Music, Syracuse Opera

Lydia Hamessley – Professor of Music, Music Department Chair, Hamilton College

Chris Younghoon Kim – Associate Professor of Music, Cornell University

Daniel Paul Larson – President, Cayuga Community College

Le Moyne College

Carol Lipson – President, Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music

Joel McKissick – Executive Director, Stanley Theatre (Utica)

Fritz Messere – Dean of School of Communication, Media, and the Arts, SUNY Oswego

Samuel Pellman – Professor of Music, Hamilton College

Neva Pilgrim – Executive Director, Society for New Music

James W. Shults – Vice President, Arts and Culture Leadership Alliance of Central New York; Board Member, Society for New Music

Catherine Wolff – General & Artistic Director, Syracuse Opera

Andrew Zaplatynsky – Violin Instructor and Director of String Ensemble, Hobart & William Smith Colleges; Concertmaster Emeritus, former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra

2 Responses to “Symphony Summit Group Statement”

  1. Music is very much a part of my life. WCNY is the only radio station to which I listen; I have been a supporter of theirs for the last 40+ years.
    I have not been a concert goer but I have tried to support the Symphony in the past because I want them to be a part of the society in which I and my family live. “Good music” provides many benefits to our essential being as humans and I want that to continue not only for my daily pleasure and benefit, but also for the general society.
    Please make it happen.
    Ron Herrgeell
    SSG (ret) USAR, Desert Storm veteran
    Ecuador 64-66
    509 Balsam St.
    Liverpool, NY 13088-5003

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