Thursday, November 12, 2009

Commemorate Rossini!

141st Anniversary of Rossini's death

Giachino Antonio Rossini was born in 1792 and passed away November 13, 1868. Rossini is best known for his 39 operas and their overtures.

The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes has performed numerous overtures by Rossini, and as you probably remember, the OSFL opened its 2009-2010 season with the Overture to William Tell. Other recent performances of Rossini include the Overture to Cinderella in 2002 and Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers in 2001.

The Barber of Seville is one of his most famous operas. This overture has been used throughout television media for years. Click the link below to watch its most famous media appearance! Can you guess what it is?

Barber of Seville

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

From everyone here at The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Halloween filled with ghouls, frights, and treats.

While you enjoy this holiday, we would like to recommend some listening material to help get you in the spirit for this spooky day!

Franz Liszt wrote a fantasia for Piano and Orchestra entitled Totentanz (Dance of Death). It was completed in 1849. Like many composers of the time, Liszt had a particular obsession with death. The haunting theme draws from the famous medieval Latin Mass of the Dead depicting the final judgment.

You probably recognize it! Many composers of this era drew upon this theme for inspiration, including Hector Berlioz and his masterwork, Symphonie Fantastique where he featured this Dies irae in the Finale. You probably remember hearing it last season in the OSFL's May concert! Another composer that used this popular theme was Rachmaninov. The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes' 2005-2006 season featured Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances which also incorporated this medieval theme.

Click below to listen to a recoding performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and pianist Byron Janis.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Season Begins

Tomorrow, October 10, 2009, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes marks the beginning of its 2009-2010 season! The orchestra couldn’t be more excited to welcome Toshi as its new Music Director and conductor and awaits his downbeat to begin the new season.
Toshi isn’t the only new member of the OSFL. We are grateful to have three new core musicians to round out the ensemble. For the first time in history, the orchestra has added a core harpist to its roster. Megan Bledsoe, harp, is an amazing talent completing a Masters in Harp Performance and Theory Pedagogy at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY! Listen for her in Jennifer Higdon’s piece “blue cathedral!” Another new member to the orchestra is Kate Goldstein, a graduate of Ithaca College. She is our acting principal second violin until Denise returns later this season. Rounding out our list of new members is Zachary Sweet, cello. Although he isn’t playing in the concert tomorrow, look for him in December!
This is a very exciting time for the orchestra. We hope everyone reading this will attend the concert tomorrow! It isn’t too late to get tickets; click the link below to buy your tickets:
Following the concert tomorrow, there will be a gathering at the Green Derby in Elmira hosted by the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and the Twin Tier Young Professionals. We invite all of you to come and meet Toshi, the orchestra musicians, and members of the TTYP.
The orchestra is blessed to have such amazing patrons and supporters. Thank you for everything you do and help us start off this new season with style!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Adagio for Strings... Glorious simplicity we all love....

Adagio for Strings, Opus 11

Samuel Barber

Samuel Barber, a graduate of and later teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, was generally a conservative in regard to compositional styles of the 20th century. His passion was for the voice and his principal affinity was for vocal composition, which is apparent in the melodic lines of the Adagio for Strings. The elegiac work is the Molto adagio opening of the second movement of his String Quartet No. 1, written in 1936, and then arranged for full strings in 1937. By the end of World War II it was being performed everywhere, almost as a dirge for and tribute to the many young dead.

Barber’s gift for sweeping lyricism finds a graceful atmosphere through which a single meandering melody finds its way. With conjoining pitches of the scale, an accompaniment of chords, and a homogeneous tone quality, the melody is first heard in the violins. It then fades downward to the violas and cellos until each voice has had a share of the action. The reverie offers quiet spiritual reflection, with a searching quality as every upward movement is counteracted with a subsequent fall. In the center section, the double basses rest as the others create a shrill treble climax. When the basses return, the work reverses course and gently dies away.

~ Joy S. Perry

For information on how this piece changed the world visit the NPR link:

Next week please visit our new "Grace Notes" page, an interactive multimedia page with information on all songs performed on each OSFL concert.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chorus Notes as we prepare to start rehearsals tomorrow...

In looking ahead to our choral performance in December, it’s tempting to delve into the colorful story of the composer Francis Poulenc, whose “Gloria” the chorus will be singing. The “Gloria” is a late work of Poulenc’s, written just a few years before his death in 1963. But Poulenc’s story begins much earlier, during the era of the First World War, when in his young years he took up with some of Paris’s most notorious avant-garde musicians. One Parisian musician in particular captured the interest of young Poulenc and others like him: Erik Satie.

If you have heard anything at all about Erik Satie, you probably know that he was an eccentric figure par excellence. He was born in 1866 and grew up during the great decades of Paris’s rise to the height of fashion, the years of the Eiffel tower (1889) and the height of glittering café society. At the same time there was an undercurrent of artists, intellectuals and musicians who played themselves off against the high society, poking fun at their airs and attitudes, and spawning a colorful counter-culture that enjoyed a certain fame in its own rite. Satie led the musical wing of this counter-culture with his mock-serious compositions, mostly quirky and humorous, and sometimes having a surprising beauty that is quite unlike the serious music of the day – the fashionable and extravagant music of the opera, ballet and concert halls.

The First World War had a surprising effect on the world of the arts in Paris. Suddenly the economy was torn apart, and support for the classic arts dropped off drastically. The counter-culture artists, always bordering on penniless, found themselves sought after as a source of cheap but interesting art and music. Satie, now in his fifties, became a center of attention. To his own amazement, young musicians clustered around him as a source of inspiration for the new era. It was an era of post-war retrenchment, an era in which old cultural values were questioned, and new ones were yet to be forged.

Poulenc was one of these young musicians. Born in 1899, he came of age during the years of the First World War. He was a good pianist, having been taught by his mother. He started writing music for fun, before having any serious training in composition. He dabbled with tunes from the underworld – tunes from the cabaret halls and night clubs, scarcely the material of high art. He cobbled them together in songs and piano pieces that had a quirky non-classical logic and a comical charm, not unlike the music of Erik Satie.

It was only natural that in 1920, two years after the end of the War, Poulenc would find himself in the company of similarly minded young composers, all banding together as admirers of Satie and followers of his style. In that year, 1920, the French newspapers singled out a group of six young musicians at the core of Satie’s circle. They were Poulenc, Milhaud, Honegger, Auric, Durey and Tailleferre – of whom the first three are still well known today. The papers dubbed them “Les Six Français” – the “six french composers” in contrast to the famous group of “five Russian composers” of the previous generation (which included such names as Rimsky-Korsakov and Musorgsky). This forged a true comradeship amongst the six, who published a collective book of piano pieces and collaborated on a controversial ballet called "The Eiffel Tower Wedding." After the early 1920s the six young composers embarked upon more individual paths, but the name of the "Six" stuck and the group never really ceased to exist. Over the course of time, Poulenc went on to become the most prolific and arguably the most successful of the six. We will follow his footsteps further.

~ William Cowdery, Chorus Conductor

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Power of $27...

For the most part we created the OSFL Blog so that our patrons can read more about the artistic elements of our programming. As Executive Director I happily leave the artistic aspects to Toshi and contently focus on the administrative needs of all of CEMA's many programs. To me donations have a huge impact on what is artistically possible for our organization and, like all of you, I am excited to see what our new Music Director and Conductor will be able to bring to our stage. And we want to give him the stage as often as possible....

What is needed to gain our fifth concert back...

Often we think if we can only give a little are we really making a difference?" YES. Every gift is important. And often we forget the importance of how small gifts or just a little extra can really add up...

For Example, if everyone on our email list donated an extra $27, or an extra $2.50 a month, or an extra $1 every other week we could afford five concerts next season. If every season subscriber sent us an extra $1 every week we could add back our fifth concert. If every season subscriber brought 2 friends to an OSFL concert just once this season we could afford another concert.

I don't like to ask people to do things that I can not do. These things I could make work. I tell myself at least once a week I don't need that candy bar or cookie ($1). Think of the power of all those dollars added together.

Think of the power of loose change. Did you know that in the Unites States it is estimated that there is over $5 million dollars in loose change laying on the streets or stuffed in our couch cushions?

A friend of mine donates $50 every month to a charity. Each month she sits down and thinks about where her money could best help someone. Sometimes she gives to the same organization several times a year; sometime she gives to different organizations each month. If you can not afford $50, which I know is sometimes a stretch on my non-profit salary, could you afford $25? I could justify not eating out for lunch 3 times a month to help make a difference somewhere. And why not make a pledge and pay small amounts each month? If you felt dedicated to one organization (and I of course hope it is OSFL) and you donated $25 a month you could be a $300 donor in one year. $50 a month would show support at $600. Even $10 a month would have you at $120. Those amounts that seem small to each of us when we start can really add up to make a huge difference.

And again, if we each did it without any major notice to our pocket books our community could have the benefit of another OSFL concert.

JOIN the Movement! What does "JOIN the Movement" really mean? It is about being a part of something great. It is about taking action in an organization you believe in and cherish. It is about spreading the word and continuing to show your support. It is about knowing you are valued and an active participant, not just a passive listener.

Non-profit organizations exist not just because of financial support but also because of hard work and committed, active donors and patrons. Your involvement is what makes our organization special and possible. It is why we were able to attract an internationally renowned conductor, why we have so many committed musicians, how we can help so many students to play in their first orchestra, give so many educational experiences to the residents of our area, why so many people attend our concerts... You can help us not only by making a donation yourself but by telling your friends about our valued organization and encouraging them to become involved.

Your generosity helps deliver powerful and vibrant Orchestra programs and ensures an enduring tradition of artistic excellence on stage and off in our community.

We recognize and appreciate the many contributions made to The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes each year.

Please feel free to contact The Orchestra Office at (607) 936-2873 or if you have questions about donations for The Orchestra, Youth Orchestra, Junior String Ensemble, Chorus, Musicians' Choice, or any of our other special programs.

Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Audrey J. Szychulski
Executive Director

Click here for more information about our annual fund.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Elements of Style at Galusha Gardens

Every year the Orchestra chooses a distinctive area home for the first- and we like to think- the best party of the season.

This year's party has it all: First there's the antique main house, brimming with charm and antiques. It's surrounded by the Galusha's justly famous gardens; more than five acres of lawns, flower beds, pond, tennis courts- the works. Brigid writes a weekly column called Garden Paths. Now you can see those paths that inspire her. Both Brigid and Neal team up to design, plant, and maintain the picturesque property.

The house started life in the early 1800's. A retired barge captain, who plied the nearby Chemung Canal between Watkins Glen and Elmira, bought the house and property in 1875 and enlarged the house, creating an Italianate country villa with impressive craftmanship throughout.

Everywhere You Look You'll Find Treasures
Original glass panels on the front door are etched and cut. The interior woodwork is all chestnut or black walnut with baseboards a foot high. In one room, the larger Langdon fireplace faces an impressive built-in china cabinet.

The Galushas have furnished this rambling home with 19th century family portraits, a period highboy, an heirloom petit point picture- even carved teak curtain rods, also from the Langdon house. A large up-to-date kitchen blends seamlessly into this venerable home.
A large deck, built around a large locust tree, overlooks the gardens, and is accsessible from the major ground floor rooms.

This is a property that's made for a party, and the Galushas offer all of us the warmest of welcomes.

Join your friends and come see this remarkable place!

For more information go to

~Neal O'Donnell

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Toshi's favorite Tchaikovsky....

Symphony No. 5, in E minor, Opus 64

Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Although Tchaikovsky showed talent for music as a child, he was trained first in jurisprudence. In 1863, he left that endeavor and devoted himself to his music. When Tchaikovsky began this symphony in 1888, he was plagued with self-doubt and uncertainty. He thought he had no inspiration, no ideas, that perhaps he was “written…out.” Nevertheless, this sentimental, theatrical, pessimistic composer wrote to his benefactor only a month later that “inspiration is coming. We shall see.”

I. Andante; Allegro con anima. The symphony has a motto theme, a melody used in each movement to create the emotional foundation of the whole. Two clarinets in their lower range announce this first theme, which seems to be a menacing theme of Fate. The movement proper then opens into a march theme, lively and filled with spirit. The second theme brightens the atmosphere a bit, but essentially, this is a dejected, pessimistic movement that vanishes in darkness.

II. Andante cantabile con alcuna licenza. Perhaps one of the most familiar slow movements in the entire symphonic repertoire, the theme is mournfully sung by solo French horn over sustained strings. This theme is even more nostalgic than the motto theme previously heard. The emotionalism intensifies and the horn solo becomes a duet, followed by oboe and clarinet melodies portraying melancholy. Suddenly, the lyricism is disrupted by the motto theme in a trumpet blast. The opening melodies return in a passionate outpouring before a terrifying eruption of the motto, this time in the trombones. The movement fades away with pleading, broken phases.

III. Valse: Allegro moderato. The charming melody is based on a Florentine street song Tchaikovsky heard 10 years earlier. The waltz has an undercurrent of melancholy that never disappears. The trio section has a rapid staccato figure that skips through the orchestra and then accompanies the returning waltz tune. At the end, a hollow-sounding, deep reminder of the Fate motto returns, much like an unhappy memory.

IV. Andante maestoso: Allegro vivace. The motto leads off the finale, but in E major, not E minor, suggesting a final triumph. The melody is ceded to the warm tones of the strings and marches to the woodwind choir, with a background of flowing triplet rhythm, a symbol of rejoicing. The timpani announce the final allegro. Joyous in outlook, the movement surges until it reaches the coda, when the motto is proclaimed in trumpet fanfares, irresistibly ebullient and victorious.

Program Notes by Joy S. Perry

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Lone Ranger....

"An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger." -Dan Rather

"I think Lone Ranger." - Audrey J. Szychulski, OSFL Executive Director

Overture to William Tell

Gioacchino Rossini

Rossini wrote 38 operas, all of them by the time he was 37 years old. His mastery of the opera buffa—opera based on real people who could be subjects of spoofs—was incomparable. His most famous of this genre is The Barber of Seville. In contrast, William Tell, his last and grandest operatic work, is far more serious and profound than anything else he composed and was his only attempt at French grand opera. Less ornate than his Italian operas, Rossini sticks to French traditions of lyricism, patriotic songs, ballets, and recitatives. The opera is seldom performed because it lasts nearly 5 hours and requires an exceptionally rare voice to sing the difficult tenor role. Yet, the overture remains with its well-known melody, the theme brought into homes by the Lone Ranger and “Heigh-ho Silver.”

First performed in Paris in 1829, William Tell is based on a play by Schiller. The opera recounts the story of Tell, the tyrant-killer in Switzerland and leader of his country’s revolution against the hated Austrian foreigners. It contains the famous trial of marksmanship when Tell was forced to shoot an apple placed on his son’s head.

The overture is in four sections, with the first three depicting Swiss mountain scenes that form the opera’s background. They foretell the dramatic progression of the opera, from innocence through the storm and strife to the dawn of liberty. The quiet opening using five solo cellos suggests a mountain sunrise. The second section portrays a mountain storm, using the trombones in full force. In the third portion, a Swiss cattleman’s call to the flocks is played by the solo English horn. Then, the final section begins with a fiery trumpet fanfare, a call to revolt, with the magnificent concluding gallop that merges into a revolutionary march for the Swiss patriots.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Did you hear blue catherdral on WSKG last week?

Bill Snyder had played this piece right after his interview with Toshi last Tuesday morning. It's beautiful! For more information hear is a sneak peak at the Program Notes on it from the upcoming October 10th Concert.

blue cathedral

Jennifer Higdon
(b. 1962)

Jennifer Higdon is a native of Brooklyn, grew up in Atlanta and rural Tennessee, and currently lives in Philadelphia. She wrote blue cathedral (her spelling, all lower case) in 1999 on a commission for the 75th anniversary of the Curtis Institute of Music; it was premiered by the institute’s orchestra in March 2000. Since then, on its way to becoming a classic, the work has been performed by more than 150 orchestras. She had a “late start” with no involvement in music until she began teaching herself to play the flute at the age of 15. She majored in flute performance at Bowling Green State University and then earned an artist’s diploma in flute from the Curtis Institute. She received a doctorate in composition from the University of Pennsylvania.

The work has the standard orchestration with some fascinating additions, including crotales, marimba, tam-tams, vibraphone, glockenspiel, bell tree, sizzle cymbal, suspended cymbal, chimes, triangles, bass drum, and eight crystal glasses tuned by adding water (à la glass harmonica); and at the end of the work most of the musicians play about 50 Chinese bells (“Chinese Health Reflex Balls”).

Higdon wrote the work during a time of personal devastation and transformation, indicated by the inscription “in loving memory of Andrew Blue Higdon.” She explains the genesis of the piece: “The recent death of my younger brother, Andrew Blue, made me reflect on the amazing journeys that we all make in our lives, crossing paths with so many individuals…. In tribute to my brother, I feature solos for the clarinet (the instrument he played) and the flute (the instrument I play). Because I am the older sibling, it is the flute that appears first in this dialogue. At the end of the work, the two instruments continue their dialogue, but it is the flute that drops out and the clarinet that continues on in the upward progressing journey.”

Yet, blue cathedral is not mournful, but has an uplifting quality, with a bit of wistfulness. The flute and clarinet duet leads to the exuberant energy of the percussion section in the middle of the work and then is joined by the brass and strings. The horns have a beautiful chorale before the flute and clarinet soloists recall their earlier conversations over the glass accompaniment. The musicians not playing then sound the Chinese Health Reflex Balls used in acupressure. An altered piano then sounds 33 times, reminiscent of a clock chiming in the distance, once for each of her brother’s years.

The work is named not only for her brother, but blue, like the sky, where all possibilities can soar, and cathedral, a place of thought, growth, spirituality, and a symbolic doorway. “I found myself imagining a journey through a glass cathedral in the sky. … The listener would float down the aisle, slowly moving upward at first and then progressing at a quicker pace, rising towards an immense ceiling which would open to the sky. … I wanted to create the sensation of contemplation and quiet peace at the beginning, moving towards the feeling of celebration and ecstatic expansion of the soul, all the while singing along with that heavenly music.”

Program Notes by Joy S. Perry

Toshi's Artistic Vision

Each symphony orchestra, large or small, needs to periodically go through a vision cycle which is vital to its survival in the present rapidly changing culture.

1. Clarifying the orchestra’s Goal, and Dream
2. Verifying the strength, value, asset, resource, and identifying threats and weaknesses.
3. Refining a particular vision
4. Strategizing concrete action to bring the artistic vision to life.

My artistic vision derives from three fundamental principles of music.

I Music must be an evidence of living.

Music is not an acquired culture, but an active part of natural life.
The communication between the musicians and the audience is unique only to the human.
The value of a live concert is infinite.
The composer is resurrected through the live performance.

II Music is the universal language of mankind

Music is the inarticulate speech of the heart, without words.
When the speech of man stops short, the art of music begins.
So-called “Classical” and “Popular” music should not be separated by a boundary.
Music should be available to everyone in the community.

III Music influences the community it exists within.

Music has a power to unite.
Music asks for harmonious cooperation of mind and soul as an artistic creation.
Music is the most social, the most affecting, the purest of the arts, and it is most
connected with the moral side of civilization, and it promotes the perfection of human

Based on these principals, Here is my artistic vision of a symphony orchestra:

1. Build the finest orchestra the community can support.
2. Perform for as many people in the community, through the diversity of musical
3. Create a sense of welcoming and belonging.
4. Enhance the enjoyment of life.
5. Adapt to the changing climate of the particular audience, and reinvent the product.
6. Work together within the constituents of the organization, and with the citizens.
7. Be the leader of the artistic community, and form partnerships.
8. Be financially responsible.
9. Celebrate the goodness of the community.

Toshiyuki Shimada
Music Director and Conductor

Monday, August 10, 2009

Be Toshi's Paparazzi!

Do you ever wonder what is like to be a Paparazzo, hunting the Stars to get that perfect Shot? Well here is your Chance to try it out! The “Be Toshi’s Paparazzi” contest starts TONIGHT! Toshi is in Corning and Elmira this week (August 10th – 16th). Post your Pictures of you and Toshi on our wall on facebook or make it your profile picture and let us know where your found Toshi and you will in a pair of tickets to any OSFL Concert this season. Good Luck and Find TOSHI!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Letter From Toshi

Each year at the beginning of the every concert season, I have been asked by many audiences, “How do you come up with the works for the concerts?” Well, each music director has his or her own secret; however, I am willing to share how I create my programs. The secret is that I program for the entire season in mind, using very conventional formulas.

Comparatively speaking, it is more challenging to program four-concert season programs than thirty-concert programs. Every day, some composers in the world are producing new pieces; thus, the repertoire for symphony orchestras increases on the top of an immense number of works, written all the way back to the pre-Baroque period. So, how does a music director of a small orchestra create a program for a season? The key to the successful season is balanced programs regardless of whether for four or thirty concerts. I classify the entire symphonic repertoire into two categories: the musical period and the country. So, the classification by the country of the composer’s origin will divide the composers, such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, Wagner, and Richard Strauss, all into Austro-Germanic composers. Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi, Respighi, into the Italian group; Lully, Berlioz, Gounod, Lalo, Saint-Säens, Bizet, Faure, Debussy, Ravel Honegger, Poulenc, Messiaen, and Boulez all fit into the French category. Slavic composers are Smetana, Chopin, Dvorak, Janacek, Penderecki, and Lutoslawski, and Hungarians are Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly, and Ligeti. I separate Russians from Slavs; thus Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, and Shostakovich are all in the same group. And how many composers do you know who are Spanish, British, Scandinavian, Asian, or Latin American. Enesco? He belongs to Rumania (“Other” country) and Romantic/20th century.

Another way to classify music is by the musical periods. Baroque, Classical, early and late Romantic, early and late 20th century, and contemporary periods separate the entire repertoire. Thus, Beethoven is classical and Austro-Germanic, and Tchaikovsky is late Romantic and Russian. Stravinsky would be a 20th century and Russian composer. Prokofiev and Shostakovich will fall into the same category.

Gustav Mahler was born in Bohemia but was educated in Vienna, so he might be a crossover composer, a Slavic-Austro-Germanic and late Romantic composer. Most of the American composers will be categorized as 20th century composers, such as Barber, Gershwin, Copland, Piston, Carter, and Bernstein. Now, there is one additional category very important to me, which classifies composers as either male or female. As all of us know, the majority of composers from the past were men. If you can name ten woman composers of the Romantic period, then you should be a musicologist. Without Googling, I can only name four: Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Cecil Chaminade, and Amy Beach, who was an American. Luckily, the late 20th century produced a great number of very prominent woman composers: Vivian Fine, Sofiya Gubaydulina, Barbara Kolb, Libby Larsen, Tania Léon, Thea Musgrave, Nancy Van de Vate, Marta Ptaszynska, Shulamit Ran, Kaija Saariaho, Hilary Tann, Augusta Reed Thomas, Joan Tower, Gwyneth Walker, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Melinda Wager, and Jennifer Higdon. Do you know any of these composers?
Looking through this season’s program of the OSFL, you will find that a variety of music is being represented. I know that there is some void, or deficiency, in certain categories, but I will try to make up for them in the future seasons. Our first concert in October will feature music by Rossini, who was a Italian and early Romantic composer, by Barber who was an American 20th century composer, by Higdon who is an American contemporary female composer, and by Tchaikovsky who was a Russian and late Romantic composer. In December’s concert, you will hear two Russian late Romantic composers, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, Poulenc, who was a French and 20th century composer, Handel, who was German/British and Baroque, and Mozart who was an Austrian Classical period composer. In addition, other works will be featured from British, American (Jewish), and American (Irish) composers of the 20th century.

How about the concert in March 2010? You will be hearing works predominately by the Germanic composers Beethoven and Brahms, in the Classical period and Romantic period, respectively, and the late Romantic/20th century Hungarian composer Dohnányi. Our last concert of the season in May is represented by Austrian, Polish (Slavic), and American composers of Classical, Romantic, and 20th century periods. Can you place these composers into their designated categories?

To get the full benefit and impact of the diverse symphonic music from all over the world, and from the past and present works performed by the OSFL, audiences would need to attend all four concerts. The orchestra and I are very excited to present these masterpieces to you throughout the season. Please try not to miss any of these great concerts and make sure you JOIN the Movement.

Toshi Shimada

"Thank yous" are in order

Hello everyone. I would personally like to say thank you for everything you have done for us here. In the Social Media Makeover contest we came in 21 out of 2,000. That is something we could have never done alone.

Also again a big thank you to everyone who was involved in the "Where is Toshi" contest.

Keep visiting for more updates!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Help us win $25,000 Social Media makeover!

Hey everyone!

Just found out we can win $25,000 for a social media makeover! Only issue is we need a little help! So head on over to and vote! It only takes a minute to do so please, if you could spare a minute and help us out it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and keep on visiting for more updates :D

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Wrap up of "Where is Toshi"

So everybody, here we are with the last days of "Where is Toshi" fondly in our minds, but one burning question is still there... WHO WON!?

But before we get to all that nonsense I would like to say from all of us at the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes thank you. Thank you for playing, for following along and just being involved!

So, without much more to say I am pleased to announce that our big winner is....

Marty from Glaswerk Optical!

Thank you everyone for playing and please please please keep visiting this blog, posting comments, join our Facebook, Myspace or Twitter for more of our events, more contest info and of course for more about our upcoming year!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 3 of "Where is Toshi"

Hello everybody and thank you for taking the time to come back to the blog. I wanted to do an update for everybody in regards to the "Where is Toshi" contest.

So far there have been a lot of winners, with many more to follow. I think it is a wonderful thing knowing that we have so many people participating in this huge event, and that even more people are joining in every day. Whenever I log onto our Twitter, Myspace or Facebook and see that the people following us has jumped over 10 or 20 people per day it makes all of us here happy to know how much we have had an impact. It wouldn't be at all possible without the amazing people who make up our music community!

We here ask you though to please invite your friends in onto our contest. Bring them along or do whatever is needed to make sure we can get more people! Show them our Twitter or Myspace. Make them a fan on our Facebook! Get them involved and make them JOIN the movement.

So to sum this up I can say thank you to everyone who has ever donated, came to one of our concerts, let their kids play in the youth orchestra or just even picked up an instrument or helped us in anyway. You are the best.

Keep it here for more information and updates.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Where is Toshi?

If you have been following our MySpace, Twitter, or Facebook you might have seen an announcement about our upcoming “Where is Toshi?” Contest. Well all of us at The OSFL are pleased to announce the “Where is Toshi” Contest! The rules are simple and everyone can play!

Here how it works: Between the days of July 20-25, we will be moving our giant Toshi picture around the Gaffer District in Corning. He will be moved everyday and each day clues will be announced on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter as to where he is. Clues will be different on each site so be sure to “be our friend” everywhere for the most help in finding him. All you have to do is be one of the first 5 people to tell us where he is in an email to and you will win a pair of angel passes for any OSFL concert!

Everyone is eligible each day so make sure to go looking Monday through Saturday. That isn’t all though! Everyone who sends us a correct answer will also be entered in a drawing for a BIG PRIZE! Dinner with Toshi AND an autographed giant poster! :D So get ready for adventure, and help us find Toshi!!!