COOPERSTOWN – Elizabeth “Betsey” Fenton Snyder passed away in Cooperstown, NY, on December 26, 2022 at the age of 85. She was born in Salamanca, NY, on July 4, 1937 to William and Olive Fenton. She attended Brown University where she earned an A.B. in 1959 and Syracuse University where she earned an M.Ed. in 1971.
As an educator and school administrator, her most notable role was as Director of Adult Education at Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES in Ithaca, NY, a position she held for 17 years. Other activities included volunteering as poll worker at Cooperstown Elections and ushering for the Glimmerglass Festival. Snyder was also a longtime parishioner at the Cooperstown Christ Episcopal Church.
The recent performances by the Fenimore Chamber Orchestra on October 8 at Christ Church in Cooperstown featured the winds section of the orchestra and revealed some rarely heard and as well as some well-known works.
This balance between the rare and well-known seems already an established norm for this very stylish orchestra. The beginning of the concert brought two complete rarities. The Italian opera composer Gaetano Donizetti, far better known for his late 37 operas than any of his orchestral pieces, composed his “Sinfonia for Winds” when he was only 17 years old and a student in Bologna.
The Fenimore Chamber Orchestra performed its inaugural concert at Cooperstown’s Christ Church on August 27, and it was a huge success. Now they are gearing up for another concert at the same location on Saturday, October 8.
“When we all have time to actually sit and think about what happened in August, we are proud of the work we did and the exceptionally high quality of the performances,” said Thomas Wolf, chair of the Governing Board of Directors of Fenimore Chamber Orchestra.
“When an organization begins, there is much work that continually presents itself, so we really have had little time to think of the ramification of that debut; in other words, the work continues.”
This post-season concert is a don’t miss! The American String Quartet is a widely acclaimed ensemble who have been performing for decades. Don’t miss this chance to hear them, along hear flutist extraordinaire Linda Chesis and master cellist Philippe Muller in a program featuring works by Aaron Jay Kernis, Joseph Haydn, and Franz Schubert.
4 pm Sunday, October 2, at Christ Church, Cooperstown.
In these days when so much strife is to be found seemingly everywhere in the world, the genesis of any new orchestra is a unifying element to the human spirit. This was how Thomas Wolf described it on August 27 during the opening celebrations of Fenimore Chamber Orchestra at its debut concert.
Mr. Wolf is Chair of the Governing Board of Directors. Certainly, many in the capacity audience at historic and beautiful Christ Church in Cooperstown must have felt the same. A sense of wonderment at the fact that Fenimore Chamber Orchestra was founded during a pandemic also pervaded the afternoon. This is no small feat considering many musical organizations folded during the pandemic. It is, much to the contrary, a tribute to the vision and tenacity of Mr. Wolf, Director of Operations Rosemary Summers and Maestro Zoltowski, not to mention the Governing Board of Directors.
It was a full house at the chapel at the Christ Church Episcopal in Cooperstown on Sunday August 21. to celebrate the dedication of a cross in the name of Dr. Bruce S. Harris who passed away in 2018. Dr. Harris was a beloved community member, neurosurgeon, farmer, and musician. He helped found the Voices of Cooperstown in the 1980s.
He is perhaps best remembered for his compassion and sympathy for his patients.
The cross was commissioned in Austria by Dr. Harris on one of his many ski trips with his wife. The cross languished in the basement for a number of years after Dr. Harris’s death until Mona contacted the church. Then money was raised for the granite base and a bronze memorial plaque, with donations being raised from congregation members. The Voices of Cooperstown were on hand to share memories and to sing the hymns at the dedication.
“I am still the Music Director at Catskill Symphony Orchestra and am now the Music Director at Fenimore Chamber Orchestra!”, he said. “It’s not unusual to be music director for two or three companies. I remember my first meeting with Thomas Wolf, Executive Director, and we developed a fruitful relationship. It just all grew from there.“
“In every organization, the music director is always the conductor of the orchestras that we are talking about. This works for me because my idea is to fill the seasons to compliment our concerts so we can provide the audiences in the area with a full season of symphonic concerts, chamber concerts, of different character that don’t conflict with each other. They are completely different types of music being presented,” Mr. Żółtowski said.
BENEFIT AUCTION – 5:30 – 8 p.m. Come out for 15th annual auction for the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Find cool items to bid on with auctioneer Kevin Herrick, and support this local historical society. Quality Inn, 5206 St. Hwy. 23, Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org
BENEFIT DINNER – 4:30 p.m. Enjoy Brooks Chicken dinner to support Susquehanna SPCA. Tickets, $10/person available at the shelter. Christ Church Episcopal, 46 River St., Cooperstown. 607-547-8111 or visit www.facebook.com/SQSPCA/
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – 9 a.m. Learn about the historic events in 1939 while celebrating the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 80th birthday. Baseball Hall of Fame, 25 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.baseballhall.org/, 607-547-7200.
CHILI LUNCHEON – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Enjoy Homemade chili or soup to warm the soul for Winter Carnival. All you can eat with bread, drink, tasty dessert. Donations support ongoing ministries. First Baptist Church, 21 Elm St., Cooperstown. Visit www.cooperstownwintercarnival.com/event-schedule
ART SHOW – 4 – 6 p.m. Opening “Art in Winter: Rural Resonance” features 3 well know local artists: Tracy Helgeson, Alice Hudson, & Lavern Kelly. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. Call 607-547-5327 or visit www.facebook.com/TheArtGarageCooperstown/