GLOVERSVILLE - Josh Thompson teaches people how to play wind instruments, and he noticed many of his advanced students had no place to perform their music.
He came up with an idea: a local wind ensemble that combines his students with professional performers around the area.
His idea turned into the Gloversville Community Music Wind Ensemble, and its first concert will take place Sunday at the Glove Performing Arts Center.
Tabatha Dougherty, left, 17, of Amsterdam is given a french horn lesson from Josh Thompson Thursday on the second floor of the Glove Performing Arts Center in Gloversville.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
"This is a great opportunity for the community to experience the rich tradition of concert bands. It is something that you normally don't see in places that are off the beaten path like Gloversville," Thompson said.
This hybrid 50-person ensemble consists of professional musicians and talented high school and college students.
Thompson is a freelance musician who teaches privately in the city. He operates a private music studio called Gloversville Community Music on the second floor of the Glove Performing Arts Center. He also works as an adjunct faculty instructor at Adirondack Community College in Queensbury.
If you go...
Performance: The new Gloversville Community?Wind Ensemble will play its first concert.
When: 2 p.m.?Sunday.
Where: Glove Performing?Arts Center, Gloversville.
Admission: $5 at the door.
Thompson, the conductor in charge of the new ensemble, said there are other ensemble groups for students in the area such as the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra, but it's often too difficult and expensive for them to get to the rehearsals during the week.
The Gloversville ensemble gives local performers a convenient and inexpensive opportunity.
He said the group has had four rehearsals since getting started and will have a final one before the event Sunday.
Thompson said he began to piece together the ensemble about two months ago.
He got his inspiration for the ensemble from his former professor, who is in charge of the Capital Region Wind Ensemble. Thompson said that once a year, the Capital Region ensemble invites selected Capital Region high school students to perform in a concert.
A third of the Gloversville ensemble features students from Northville, Amsterdam, Fonda-Fultonville, Mayfield and Gloversville, Thompson said.
One of the professional musicians who will be performing is Stephanie Boice, a retired teacher who now teaches music privately. She was the former band director at Amsterdam High School and will play bass clarinet for the ensemble Sunday.
"The wonderful thing about this ensemble is the blend of musicians," said Boice. "It allows students to gain great knowledge and be a part of a higher-level ensemble. The caliber of this ensemble is amazing, and I really hope people will come witness the work we have put into this."
Katy Svatek, a professional musician who has a private studio called Rural Soul Studio in Greenwich, will play french horn for the ensemble.
"Music is being cut in schools left and right, so to have an opportunity like this is perfect," said Svatek. "I really enjoy playing with this group because of the variety of people within the ensemble."
Mary Dickey and her two children, Katie and Sarah, have been taking lessons with Thompson for a year and will perform together in the ensemble.
Mary spoke highly of the ensemble and explained it gives her and the children an opportunity that doesn't come often.
"I think this is a great opportunity and allows my kids to see that music goes beyond just school," Mary said. "I played music in high school and college, but this is a great experience to play along with my children and other musicians in the area."
Katie Dickey, 17, plays french horn. Her sister, Sarah, 15, plays the tenor saxophone. Both attend Northville Central School.
Thompson said the ensemble is almost like an orchestra, but with all wind instruments.
The ensemble will perform songs by Leonard Bernstein, Eric Whitcare, Coldplay and Ron Nelson, among others.
Thompson said the ensemble features a variety of woodwind, percussion and brass instruments.
The group will perform from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Glove. Admission will cost $5 at the door.
The ensemble will perform a smaller version of the concert at the Discover the Glove event Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. and will have another full ensemble event April 13.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org