Schoharie Valley Concert Band

Music - Life-Long Appreciation


Schoharie Valley Concert Band 40th Annual Pops Concerts
Friday 2/28 at 7:30PM and Sunday 3/1 at 3PM

Pops Concert Soloists

Soloists for the 2020 Pops Concert from l. to r.: Samantha Baldwin (flute), Chelsea Gentner (vocalist), Chris Pahls (flugelhorn)

The Schoharie Valley Concert Band (SVCB) has scheduled two Pops Concert performances. The first will be on Friday February 28th at 7:30PM in the Schoharie HS Auditorium with the repeat concert set for Sunday afternoon March 1st at 3:00PM in the Cobleskill-Richmondville HS Gymnasium. Both performances are open to the public with no admission charged for students.

Conductor Martin Zavadil's 40th Annual Pops Concerts will feature 3 soloists. Samantha Baldwin will be the flute soloist on Sammy Nestico's mellow "Persuasion". Samantha attended Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District (CRCSD), began studying flute at age 9 and by age 12 Samantha joined the SVCB. She was a 3-time winner in the SVCB's Donald Webster Solo Festival and played a senior solo with the band in 2008. Samantha was the first CRCSD instrumentalist selected for both the NYSSMA All-State Symphonic Band and Orchestra. At Syracuse University Samantha earned her BA plus two MA degrees in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting. Samantha began teaching music 6 years ago and is the Shaker HS band director.

Chris Pahls will be the flugelhorn soloist on Hoagy Carmichael's "Star Dust". Chris started playing trumpet in elementary school and flugelhorn in his college jazz ensemble. Since joining the SVCB 20 years ago Chris's main instrument has been the tuba, which he will play on the remainder of the Pops Concert program. Chris also plays trumpet with the Small Town Big Band from Cooperstown, the Cobleskill College Jazz Ensemble, and the Middleburgh Summer Band.

Chelsea Gentner, the Cobleskill-Richmondville MS and HS Choral Director, will be the vocal soloist in Kern and Hammerstein's "All the Things You Are". Chelsea graduated from Middleburgh CS, earned a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance at SUNY Purchase, and holds a teaching certificate in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University. While at SUNY Purchase Chelsea performed leading roles in numerous opera productions and continues to sing while pursuing a career in education.

The brass and percussion sections will be featured prominently in 3 pieces: "Galactic Fanfare" by Randall Standridge, in "At the Movies with John Williams" arranged by Justin Williams, and in "Pirates of the Caribbean Symphonic Suite" by Klaus Badelt.

"Big Band Spectacular" is Jack Bullock's medley of 12 big band pieces including "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You", and "Little Brown Jug". "Tribute to Irving Berlin" arranged by Warren Barker includes 14 Irving Berlin melodies. Known to be Sousa's favorite encore, "The Roosters Lay Eggs in Kansas" by Mayhew Lake will round out the program.

The Schoharie Valley Concert Band is open to all area residents including high school and college students. Rehearsals are held on Thursdays from 7-9:30 PM at Cobleskill-Richmondville HS or MS. The March 5 Spring Concert rehearsal will be at Golding MS. For information on how to join the band, please contact Conductor Martin Zavadil at or Ed Truax at 518-925-0745.

Heather Black Rachel Zeh Paul Munson Heidi Collischonn
The winners of the 21st Annual Donald Webster Solo Festival from l. to r.: Heather Black (Grade 6-8, Alto Saxophone), Rachel Zeh (Grade 9-11, Flute), Paul Munson (Senior, Percussion) & Heidi Collischonn (Senior, Flute)

On February 1 st the Schoharie Valley Concert Band (SVCB) sponsored its 21st annual "Donald Webster Solo Festival" to recognize outstanding middle and high school instrumental musicians. The annual festival is open to musicians from area school districts which belong to the Schoharie CountyMusic Teachers Association. The SVCB sponsors the solo festival to develop musical excellence in soloperformers, to encourage the performance of solo literature, and to foster the continued study of music by graduating seniors. The festival is named for Donald Webster, who conducted the SVCB for 13 seasons.

Cash prizes were earned by winning student soloists in the Grade 6-8, Grade 9-11, and Grade 12 categories. The Grade 6-8 category was won by Heather Black, a Grade 8 alto saxophonist from Duanesburg CS, who played “Three Romances” by Schuman. Grade 6 flutist Kerrington Bellinger from Gilboa-Conesville CS also competed in the Grade 6-8 category.

In the Grade 9-11 category the winner was Rachel Zeh, a Grade 11 flutist from Duanesburg CSD, who played “Fantaisie Op.79” by Gabriel Faure. The three soloists from Schoharie CS who participated in this category were Grade 9 flutist Emily Lehoe and two Grade 10 clarinetists, Scarlett Rose and Mary Palmieri. There also were two contestants from Cobleskill-Richmondville CS, Grade 9 xylophonist Ananda Wilding and Grade 10 flutist Natasha Hitchcock.

At the SVCB’s Friday February 27th 7:30PM Pops Concert at Schoharie CS, the band will award Heather Black her Grade 6-8 $250 winning prize and Rachel Zeh her Grade 9-11 $375 winning prize.

In the Grade 12 category there were two senior co-winners of $500 each, Paul Munson from Duanesburg CS and Heidi Collischonn from Cobleskill-Richmondville CS.

Paul Munson performed two pieces on marimba, “Children’s Prayer” by Engelbert Humperdinck and “Rain Dance” by Alice Gomez. He will play a xylophone solo with the SVCB on its Friday April 24th Spring Concert at 7:30PM in the Schoharie HS auditorium, where he will receive his prize of $500.

Heidi Collischonn performed “Concertino” by Chaminade as her flute solo. She will play that same piece with band accompaniment on the SVCB’s Sunday April 26 th Spring Concert at 3PM in the Cobleskill-Richmondville HS auditorium, where she also will receive her prize of $500.

Both winning seniors plan to pursue music majors in college. Heidi Collischonn is deciding whether to attend the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam or Hartwick College. Paul Munson will attend Virginia Tech University, which is well known for its regimental drum corps and marching bands.

The SVCB extends special thanks to solo festival judges Ellen Rizzo and Lori Hershenhart, to music teachers Carrie Styles (accompanist) and Sarah Becker from Schoharie CS; to Maxwell Horning (accompanist) and Marc Bachorik from Cobleskill-Richmondville CS; and to Isabella Schultz from Gilboa-Conesville CS for turning out to support the student soloists. Thanks also go out to Alan Ginsburg for taking photographs of the soloists.

The SVCB is a community band open to community, high school and college instrumental musicians. Band rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 7-9:30 PM at Cobleskill-Richmondville HS. If you would like to join the band, please contact Conductor Martin Zavadil at or Ed Truax at 518-925-0745.