PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is a community orchestra comprised of musicians from the community and surrounding areas. It was organized by Erich J. Miethner in 1976 to address the needs of the community by expanding the opportunities for cultural entertainment. This new symphonic orchestra was founded with the help of Guideposts and the Putnam Arts Council, both of which are major supporters of cultural activities within Putnam County.
The first performance of the PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA took place in the spring of 1977. Approximately 50 musicians ranging in age from 13 to 73 participated in that performance. Students, professionals, and amateurs made up the musician roster, and that element of the orchestra continues to this day. The diversity in talent and backgrounds of the individual members of the orchestra provides an opportunity for each to learn from the other as they work together and perform on stage.
As the orchestra developed and grew, it was eventually incorporated as a non-profit organization, to be led by a Board of Directors. The organization continues to be led by the Board with the assistance of a broad base of volunteers. Members of the Board have included musicians, conductors, philanthropists and ardent supporters, and community members.
The PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA performs a broad spectrum of music utilizing various ensembles as well as the full complement of musicians. Performances have included the classics of Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, and Salieri as well as more conterporary works by such composers as Vaughn Williams and Copland. Repertoire for each performance is selected on the basis of the ensemble that will perform, and will vary from that which is appropriate for a small chamber ensemble to that suitable for a full symphonic orchestra.
The orchestra has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform under the guidance of a number of conductors over its history that spans over a quarter of a century. Each has brought a unique quality of direction, artistic ability, and enthusiasm that has allowed the group to grow, learn, and achieve a level of performance that has had a positive impact on developing and improving cultural opportunities in Putnam County and the surrounding communities. The current conductor is Christine Smith, a professional flutist and a charter member of the PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
All musicians with a desire to perform are invited to join the PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. Section leaders and other qualified individuals frequently assist students, and others with special concerns or needs will find the conductor and members of the orchestra to be fully supportive. Please feel free to contact us to discover what opportunities are available to you.
PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
P.O. Box 534
Carmel, NY 10512
THE CONDUCTOR of the PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is Christine Smith. Christine holds a BFA Degree from SUNY at Stonybrook, she is a 1981 graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division, and she holds a Master's Degree in Education. She has also received a Certificate of Commendation for Meritorious Achievement from the School of Orchestral Studies. As a professional flutist, Christine has toured England with the Stonybrook Wind Ensemble, and has performed at Paul Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. She regularly performs as a soloist with the Doansburg Chamber Ensemble, of which she is a charter member. Her solo appearances have also included performances for U.S. Forest Service personnel at the Harding Ice Field in Alaska. She has performed at Grace Church in White Plains on their Noontime Series, as well as performing with the St. Peter's Chamber Orchestra. In addition to being conductor of the Putnam Symphony Orchestra, Christine is the conductor of a number of vocal ensembles. Her principal teachers have been Alan Cox, Jeff Khamer, Samuel Baron, and Julius Baker.
With a strong background in performance, Christine not only conducts the PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, but she works closely with the musicians to develop a stage presence and enthusiam of presentation that has earned the orchestra standing ovations.
The PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA receives funding through charitable contributions, ticket receipts at individual performances, and through grants provided by the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program and administered by the Putnam Arts Council. Corporate funding is received in the form of matching grants, direct charitable contributions, and musician sponsorship.
In-kind services and donated time and materials by members of the orchestra also contribute to the financial well-being of the orchestra.
CONTRIBUTIONS are accepted in any dollar amount at any time of the year. Donors are recognized in concert programs. If you are a long-standing supporter of the orchestra, we cannot thank you enough, and we look forward to your renewed support. If you wish to become a new supporter this season, your assistance will be greatly appreciated. If you wish to assist in the financial well-being of the orchestra, please contact us.
MUSICIANS are the heart of the orchestra. PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is always looking for energetic, talented musicians with a desire to perform as part of a highly commited group of community musicians. Joining is as easy as 1, 2, 3 !
There are no formal requirements for joining the orchestra. There are, however, operating principles that the orchestra follows and that musicians are asked to abide by.
1. The orchestra maintains a schedule that includes anywhere from 8 to 10 rehearsals, plus a dress rehearsal, prior to each regularly scheduled performance. The rehearsals are for the benefit of the musicians as well as the benefit of the orchestra as a whole. As a practical matter, it is not expected that every musician will be able to attend every rehearsal. Musicians are, however, asked to attend at least 75% of the rehearsals. If a rehearsal must be missed, musicians are asked to notify the conductor before hand so that the rehearsal can be planned around the absence.
2. Musicians that perform with the orchestra are, with the possible exception of guest soloists and on other rare occasions, volunteers. Professionals who perform with the orchestra do so without compensation.
3. Because the orchestra relies on the help of volunteers for its daily activities, rehearsals, and performances, all members and supporters of the orchestra are encouraged to assist, if possible, in activities that are related to preparation for, set up, and break down for rehearsals and concerts. As a group working together, the work load is light.
5. THE BASIC PURPOSE OF THE ORCHESTRA IS TO ENJOY MUSIC WHILE FULFILLING THE GROUP'S MISSION TO BROADEN THE CULTURAL HORIZONS OF THE COMMUNITY.
If you have an instrument and are looking for a place to join other musicians with a desire for personal satisfaction, you are right for PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. If you haven't played in years, but would like to get going again, you are like many of the musicians in the orchestra.
We are looking for musicians in all sections. As with any orchestra, it may not be that every musician will play every movement of every piece, or that every musician will play in every piece. But you will be guaranteed an opportunity to participate to the greatest degree possible based upon the available orchestration and the overall makeup of the orchestra.
Simply call us to find out how you might fit into the orchestra. It's that easy. Oh, and bring a friend !
The PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA can always benefit from your Financial Support. If you would like to assist in the financial support of the organization, please contact us to find out how you can help.
There are also opportunities for participation on the Board of Directors. We would be happy to discuss these opportunities with you. Simply call us to find out how you can help the PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
The benefit of your Physical Support would be most appreciated, and the value of that support cannot be overstated. Whether you are a musician or simply a Friend of the orchestra, there are opportunities to lend a hand in a variety of areas. PUTNAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA has a place for individuals with talent and time to lend in lighting and sound, publicity, art work, fundraising, grant writing, the music library, transportation, word processing and administrative work, as stage hands, and a variety of other areas.