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Catskill Symphony Orchestra announces Cabaret Concert and Guest Conductor Competition

Written By Editor on 2/22/22 | 2/22/22

Event to feature pop-jazz vocalist Mandy Harvey on March 26 at SUNY Oneonta, silent auction at 6 p.m., concert at 7 p.m. 

ONEONTA, NY, Feb. 21, 2022—For the first time since 2019, The Catskill Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will present its annual Cabaret Concert and Guest Conductor Competition Fundraiser with headliner Mandy Harvey on Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. and a silent auction at 6 p.m. at SUNY Oneonta’s Alumni Field House.

“We’re thrilled to have the Cabaret again after three years. It’s an event the community really looks forward to, not just to hear our impressive orchestra perform popular music with a headliner, but because people love the guest conductor competition,” said Sarah Patterson, CSO board chair. “This year’s candidates are Dr. Tracy Allen, a dean at SUNY Oneonta aka ‘The Geologist’;  Co-owner of Stagecoach Coffee Matt Grady aka ‘The Connoisseur,’ whose brother was a guest conductor several years ago; and former Director of Oneonta Public Transit Paul Patterson aka ‘The Fleetmeister,’ who also happens to be my husband. It’s a fantastic group. Whoever raises the most funds will win the privilege of guest conducting the symphony in the finale at the Cabaret concert.”

This year’s Cabaret, the first conducted by new CSO Music Director Maciej Żółtowski, will be emceed by Oneonta radio host Leslie Ann Parmerter and include a silent auction beginning at 6 p.m. with more than a dozen items, including fine art, jewelry, and vacation getaways. The concert starts at 7 p.m. with Maestro Żółtowski leading the CSO in Slavonic Dances by Dvořák and A Night in Venice Overture by Strauss. The three guest conductor candidates will make their appeals before intermission, followed by the second half of the concert, which features jazz-pop vocalist Mandy Harvey singing popular songs ranging from favorite standards like “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” to contemporary classics like “Creep,” backed by the orchestra. 

Harvey was the Golden Buzzer winner on America's Got Talent and is an award-winning jazz and pop singer, songwriter, and inspirational speaker who lost her residual hearing at the age of 19. Mandy tours the world performing her original music and presenting her inspirational story of never giving up and continuing to try – she calls these messages “Wisdom For Life.” After Harvey’s set, the winner of the guest conductor competition will be announced and lead the CSO in a rendition of John Philip Sousa's “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

“This event is stacked with entertaining elements–not only do we have the impressive, beautifully emotive and pitch-perfect Mandy Harvey performing crowd-pleasing songs, we also have a new silent auction component and are bringing back the popular guest conductor competition,” said Cassandra Miller, executive director of the CSO. “Every past guest conductor candidate I’ve talked to has such fond memories of the event, and people really do look forward to supporting their fellow community members, and in turn, supporting the CSO. It’s going to be a great event.”

Tickets are $50 and include the concert and light refreshments. Voting for guest conductor candidates can be done at or at the event. For more information and tickets, visit All attendees are required to wear masks when not eating or drinking. 

About the Catskill Symphony Orchestra

The Catskill Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was founded in 1953 for the purpose of providing access to live symphonic music to area residents, who otherwise would have to travel great distances in order to enjoy such performances. In 1974, the committee filed for articles of incorporation, applied for tax-exempt status, and oversaw the transition from a volunteer community orchestra to a professional organization that has grown steadily in the quality of its musicians and programming. Maestro Charles Schneider served as the orchestra's conductor from 1973 until 2017. After an international search, Maciej Zoltowski became the new conductor, and 2021-2022 will be his first season with the orchestra. The CSO is an unparalleled resource to entertain, educate, and inspire  audiences of all ages in upstate New York—by presenting an ensemble of the highest artistic quality performing the full range of symphonic literature. The CSO typically holds four concerts this ‘22-’23 season to an audience of over 3,500 patrons offering a diverse repertoire.  

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