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Conductor Glen Cortese and the SSSO present ‘A Tribute to John Williams’, the prolific composer of many of the last century’s most popular movie scores including Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park.

The Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra is a community-based symphony orchestra founded in 1934 to provide cultural enrichment, music education and appreciation, and a home for the talents of accomplished musicians in the community.

The orchestra gave its first concert on February 5, 1935. Its second concert on May 7th was broadcast on General Electric stations W2XAF and W2XAD, making it one of the first American orchestras to be heard overseas.

Glen Cortese, who has been music director of the Western NY Chamber Orchestra since 2005, was named Artistic Director of the Symphony beginning with the 2019-2020 season. He has just been named Artistic Director of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra and continues his work as interim orchestra director at Skidmore College. He was previously music director of the Greeley Philharmonic and the Oregon Mozart Players and has appeared as guest conductor both in the United States and abroad with the Symphonies of New Jersey, Syracuse, the Florida Philharmonic, Austin, Mexico City Philharmonic, North Carolina, Colorado Springs, Bangor, Meridian, Queens, New Amsterdam, The New Orleans Philharmonic, the International Chamber Orchestra, the RTF Radio Orchestra Tirana, the Belarus State Philharmonic, Sofia Philharmonic National Romanian Radio Orchestra, Noorhollands Philharmonisch, Orquesta Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, San Francisco Conservatory, Cleveland Institute, and the Altenburg Landeskappele Orchestra.

The musicians of the orchestra, then as now, are drawn from the local community and comprised of both paid professional and volunteer amateur musicians.


Mary Darcy is delighted to be a part of SSSO’s Music Haven concert. A radio, television and podcast producer and your classical companion weekday mornings at WMHT, she finds great joy in telling stories that help connect audiences to the stories of the conductors, composers and performers they hear each day at WMHT. Her documentary “No Ordinary Lives: The War Years in Troy New York,” a local companion to Ken Burns “The War,” earned a New York State Broadcasters Award for best documentary. She took home two Gracie Allen Awards from American Women in Radio and Television for her original series on great women of science, “Herstory,” featuring Star Trek’s Kate Mulgrew. Mary was a founder and executive producer of the news, culture and community website,, and spent 8 years as producer and host of the nationally syndicated public radio program “51%.” She is passionate about the theater, and loves performing, writing, hosting, and connecting people to each other through story.

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