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MVCC Orchestra Chorale

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MVCC Orchestra-Chorale

1951

The NYSIAAS formed a “State University Community Chorus,” a “community service” led by Charles F. Green, director of the Institute Music Department.

MVCC Orchestra

1973

On May 22nd, five men auditioned for the position of conductor of the Utica Symphony Orchestra and MVCC Orchestra. Each had 25 minutes of “cold rehearsal” with the Utica Symphony. Each could play one selection of his choice, and one piece selected by the Civic Music Society. The auditions took place at the First Presbyterian Church. The competitors: Bruce McKinney, of Lawrence, Kansas, a professor at the University of Kansas and conductor of its orchestra; Fritz Maraffi, of Baltimore, conductor of the Roman Forum Orchestra, Rome, Italy , and musical director of Theatre Rococo, a touring chamber opera company based in New York; Mark Starr, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, professor at the University of Wisconsin and university orchestra conductor; Bruce McIntyre, Mission, Kansas, conductor of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and the Kansas City Ballet; and Andrew Schenck, Honolulu, Hawaii, assistant music director of the Honolulu Symphony and artistic director for the Hawaiian Festival of Music.

On June 6th, the Utica Civic Music Society and MVCC announced that Fritz Maraffi had been selected as the new conductor. At MVCC, he would teach music appreciation and basic theory, direct the choir, and act as a consultant on musical matters.

1974

The Mohawk Valley Community College Orchestra was formed in February 1974 in a partnership with the Utica Symphony Orchestra. The Utica Symphony’s conductor, Maestro Fritz Maraffi, also conducted the MVCC Orchestra, and was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor. The MVCC Orchestra was designed as a community service for musicians and music fans, as well as a training group leading to possible membership in a symphony organization. The Orchestra would be managed by volunteers, including Mrs. Thomas Gallagher of Barneveld and Ms. Edna May Rawson of Holland Patent as co-chairpersons. Mrs. Donald O’Brien of Utica was named concert manager. Miss Shirley Scialdo of Marcy was named personnel manager. Open auditions were planned for musicians. Maraffi had previously conducted the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, was musical director of the Stetson University Orchestra and Opera. He had conducted the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Philharmonia, and a Pops Orchestra at the same institution. He was conductor of the Oberlin Chamber Players, Oberlin Contemporary Music Festivals and was concertmaster of the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. He has also spent two seasons as musical director for the Central Florida Community Orchestra. He had been appointed conductor of the Utica Symphony Orchestra in June 1973. He was married to the former Jeannette Ferrell, a soprano appearing in a solo role with the Rome Festival Orchestra. He was also musical director of Theatre Rococo, a professional chamber opera company in New York. He held a Musicae Magister Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He held a Bachelor’s degree in English from Oberlin College and a Bachelor’s degree in Violin from Oberlin Conservatory.

May 19, 1974: MVCC Orchestra’s debut concert at Proctor High School, with 75 musicians. Included in the program: Symphony No. 5 “Reformation” by Mendelssohn, Overture to Rasamunde by Schubert. Also (with chorus): The Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor by Borodine…later adapted for Broadway show Kismet.

1975

The MVCC Orchestra went on the road for its first traveling concert May 24th in Boonville, NY. (May 1975)

1976

As part of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival on February 15th, the MVCC Orchestra presented a concert around the theme “Music for Winter’s Dream.” The three-year-old community orchestra included more than 50 musicians, ranging in age from eight to 80, drawn from throughout the Oneida County area. (February 1976) The orchestra also presented a concert on campus on February 23rd. The Orchestra, under direction of Maestro Fritz Maraffi, served as a training orchestra for serious musicians of all ages. Through its scholarship fund, members received training with principal players of the Utica Symphony Orchestra, and received partial assistance for private and studio lessons. (Fritz Maraffi also served simultaneously as musical director for the Utica Symphony Orchestra). He also served at the time as musical director for the Rome Festival Orchestra – and continued to do so for at least 30 years.

1976

Anthony Milograno was named conductor of the MVCC Orchestra; James Hanosh was named director of the MVCC Chorale. They succeeded Fritz Maraffi, who had held both positions while he served as conductor of the Utica Symphony Orchestra. Milograno, concert master of the Utica Symphony, was also music supervisor at Clinton Central School, and had been conductor of the Utica Civic Band since 1961. He was also orchestra manager and concert master for the Mohawk Valley Opera Society. He held a bachelor of music education degree from Syracuse University School of Fine Arts, with a major in violin and music education. He had certificates in violin and conducting from the Academy of Music in Vienna, Austria. Hanosh had been music instructor at Utica Free Academy since 1968. He also served as minister of music at New Hartford Presbyterian Church, and was founder and director of the Utica Chorale. He held a bachelor of music education degree in organ and education from Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., and a master of science degree in organ and choral conducting from Union Theological Seminary of Sacred Music in New York City.

1978

Charles Schneider of Oneonta, musical director of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, was named conductor of the MVCC Orchestra, succeeding Fritz Maraffi. Schneider has also been musical director of the Utica Opera Guild and Glimmerglass Opera Theater in Cooperstown, the San Francisco Opera, and was associate conductor of the Kansas City Philharmonic. He held a Bachelor of music degree from Cornell College of Iowa, and studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.