CAZENOVIA — This year’s Cazenovia Counterpoint Festival of the expressive arts runs the entire month of July. The musical events, which are mostly free, continue to be focused on opportunities for young musicians in the region, alongside newly created music, recent poetry collections, film, and art throughout the village, which is now celebrating its 230th anniversary.
Musicians will be performing at the Farmers’ Market in Memorial Park in July from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Rising Stars recitals, which are free to listeners, are held Wednesdays at noon in the First Presbyterian Church and run for approximately an hour.
The final concert on July 26 will feature 14-year-old violinist Eric Lee, who will play music from Bach to a world premiere by Jacklyn Breeze titled “FLIGHT.” Lee is a student of Symphoria’s concertmaster, Peter Rovit, and a prize winner in many young artist competitions.
Cazenovia baritone and 2023 grad Elijah Gebers will perform pieces by Mozart, Weill, Verdi, and a world premiere “Immortal Sails” by Samuel Evans. This summer, Gebers will be singing at Glimmerglass Festival before heading off to the Eastman School of Music in the fall in pursuit of a BM in Classical Vocal Performance.
Organist Michael Guarneiri, son of Caz Presbyterian Church organist Vince Guarneiri, will play pieces by Bach, Boellmann, Mulet, and a world premiere by Emmanuel Sikora titled “Symphony for Organ in d minor.” Guarnieri placed second last month in a national organ competition held in Connecticut. He serves as the organist at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville.
Improvisational “Meditative Music – Sound bath” will feature healing vibrations of Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, Native American flute and Shamanic drum led by Leigh Parry-Benedict in St. Peter’s Church’s Parish Hall on July 19 at 7:30 p.m.
“Resounding Earth” features Steve Reich’s “Music for Pieces of Wood,” Juri Seo’s “Shui” for crotales and water, Raquy Danziger’s “Dokuz” for middle eastern percussion instruments (doumbek and riq), and a percussion quartet celebrating community across cultures with compositions featuring bells from around the world by Augusta Read Thomas, a 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist, in the First Presbyterian Church on July 23 at 4 p.m.
“CREATION, A CELEBRATION” will be held on July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at St. James Church in Cazenovia. The program includes dance; poetry by David Hitchcock and Shakespeare; music by Diane Jones, Peter Allen, Persis Vehar, Sami Seif, and Nick Gianopoulos; music videos by Paul Leary and the late Sam Pellman. Performers include Sar-Shalom Strong, piano; Lana Stafford, flute; Laura Enslin, soprano; and members of Dominique’s Dance Creations.
But Cazenovia Counterpoint is more than music. It fosters a love for literature with its annual sunset “Poetry Round-Robin” open to all budding poets on July 18 at 36 Albany St. The July 25 “Writer’s Corner” at St. Peter’s is a collaboration with the YMCA of Central NY and features poets Ross White, whose anthology “Charm Offensive” won the 2019 Sexton Prize, and Cindy Day, whose first full-length book “Complicated Thanks” is brand-new in 2023.
Visual arts will be celebrated with original works displayed at St. Peter’s Parish Hall and in shop windows along Albany St. (Route 20) throughout the month. These include pieces by regional artists such as Peter and Sherry Allen, Linda Bigness, Ellen Blalock, Faithanne Flesher, Bobbie Flintrop, Shawn Gilmore, Judith Levins, David Robertson, Penny Santy, Dan Shanahan, Eric Shute, Pam Steele, Lucie Wellner, and Julius Williams.
One of the festival’s cornerstone projects, the Young Composers Corner, is a free weeklong mentoring workshop from July 17-21 for budding composers roughly ages 12-18. This workshop is mentored by SUNY Oswego composition professor Paul Leary. The new compositions by the young composer participants will be performed by professional musicians, the Society Players, at the Lakeland Park pavilion in Cazenovia on July 30 at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
For further information on all events, visit societyfornewmusic.org.