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NSW holding benefit concert Saturday

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POTSDAM - Since forming more than a dozen years ago, the Northern Symphonic Winds has hosted a number of benefit concerts for various organizations across the north country.

“In our 14 years we’ve tried to get a lot of the different organizations in Potsdam and the region that need donations,” said Theresa A. Witmer, who plays saxophone in the band and serves on its board of directors.

The band will be hosting another benefit at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Hosmer Hall; this time to benefit the Potsdam Humane Society.

“We have some real animal lovers among us, and we know they need it,” Ms. Witmer said. “They have this great big new building, which they got a grant for, but that’s still pretty expensive.”

Potsdam Humane Society President Bonnie Boyd said the band’s efforts are greatly appreciated.

“November and December are real nightmares to stay in the black, because we depend almost totally on donations to survive, and we have a huge mortgage,” she said, adding the new shelter services 11 towns and is double the size of their previous home.

Ms. Boyd also noted the shelter is conducting a campaign seeking donors to pledge $10 per month to the shelter.

The performance, titled “Zion and Other Musical Adventures,” will be led by Brian Doyle and Scott LaVine.

The concert will open with Mr. LaVine, who is a professor emeritus at Crane, directing “Savannah River Holiday,” an overture composed by Ron Nelson. Dr. LaVine will also conduct “Walking Tune” and “Zion,” a piece composed by Rochester native Dan Welcher.

A review of Mr. Welcher’s piece found by Ms. Witmer described “Zion” as a “sweeping, majestic piece reminiscent of the work of Aaron Copland with its brash, all-American sound.”

Following a brief intermission, Dr. Doyle will lead the band in performances of “Armenian Dances,” “Prelude in E-flat Minor,” “Prelude in the Dorian Mode” and “Symphony No. 6.”

Ms. Witmer said the band is made up of several Crane faulty members, public school music teachers from around the area, other local professionals and select Crane students.

Advance sale tickets are available at Northern Music & Video, Potsdam Agway and the Humane Society. Tickets, which are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students, will also be available at the door.

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