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Skaneateles festival opens 33rd year

New additions seek to broaden audience appeal

More than 500 people attended the first of five concerts at Brook Farm as part of this year's Skaneateles Festival.

More than 500 people attended the first of five concerts at Brook Farm as part of this year's Skaneateles Festival. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— Week one of the festival was themed “Bach and Beyond,” and was a tribute to composer J.S. Bach’s genius and influence on classical music. This week’s festival theme is “We Shall Overcome,” an exploration of profound and powerful music, from the inner battles of Beethoven, Smetana and Schumann to the expressions of faith, war and social injustice from Bloch and Schulhoff.

Week two’s offerings include new events to the festival: free community concerts in Auburn and Fayetteville by Imani Winds wind quintet, and a concert at The RedHouse Arts Center in Syracuse.

Festival co-chair David Ying said new concerts and locations this year are part of the festival’s desire to broaden its appeal. “We’re trying to make sure people understand the diversity of what goes on here,” he said. “We want to be available to a lot of different audiences and showcase a lot of kinds of music — it’s not just Bach and Beethoven. We want to be broad. The Skaneateles Festival is a treasure, and not one we intend to hide.”

Mark said the festival has seen “steady growth” of 2 to 3 percent every year, and their goal this year is to continue that trend. Last year, the Skaneateles Festival welcomed visitors from 17 states and Canada.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editopr@skaneatelespress.com.

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