Pizzerias to do battle for title of region’s best pie Monday, January 31, 2011 By Marcy Velte (Contact) Gazette Reporter SCHENECTADY — A war is coming to Schenectady — a pizza war. This week, dozens of Capital Region pizza parlors will put their homemade creations to the test. More than 40 local pizzerias will be competing at Proctors Theater on Thursday. The pizzerias will vie for the title of best pizza in the Capital Region at the event put on by Townsquare Media. “It’s a countdown to the Super Bowl,” said Selena Dutcher, the company’s marketing director. “The public will be able to sample pizza from throughout the Capital Region. It should make their decision about what they will eat on the big day a little easier.” For full story and images: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/31/131_pizzawars/
The Observation Deck A blog of opinions on local, state and national issues The play really is the thing http://blog.timesunion.com/opinion/the-play-really-is-the-thing/9049/ January 30, 2011 at 6:01 am by Jay Jochnowitz, Editorial page editor From today’s editorials: The cooperative agreement between Cap Rep and Proctors is the kind of thing more arts groups — and governments and schools — need to look at. _____________________ What is so encouraging about the move by Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors to merge administrative operations isn’t the money it will save, although $200,000 for a struggling arts group like Cap Rep is certainly a nice bonus. What’s noteworthy is that the people who came up with this plan remembered what’s important — that is, the show. That the play’s the thing at Cap Rep may seem obvious to any theatergoer. But how often does preserving an institution’s core mission — whether it’s theater or some other public good — become, over time, secondary to perpetuating the institution itself? How much is the inertia and outright resistance to merging, downsizing or streamlining the bureaucracies that have grown up around our governments and schools the result of a determination by administrators and others on the inside to preserve their jobs? To see that dilemma playing out, one has only to look a few blocks away from Proctors to Schenectady City Hall, which has been looking for some time now at consolidating the city’s police force with those in the surrounding county. As a consultant reported to the City Council Monday, consolidation could save money, but there’s a hitch: other departments in the county don’t want to do it. To be sure, suburban departments have understandable concerns about merging with the Schenectady force. The city represents almost 90 percent of the county’s violent crime. Schenectady’s force has been plagued by officer misconduct and outright criminality. And the city department is twice as costly on a per capita basis to run compared with a suburb like Niskayuna. Just who would be better or worse off in a merger is a fair question to ask. Yet there is no question that there is a public good in at least sharing some services. The study by the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia University found that Schenectady could save as much as an estimated $560,000 a year by combining records, communications and training with other departments, a course the city and towns may pursue. So when police forces, other government agencies and schools warn that cutting costs will mean lost services, bigger class sizes or some other dire consequence, it’s important for citizens to look more closely. Somehow, Cap Rep in this arrangement with Proctors will be able to preserve most of its administrative employees except, most notably, the managing director, for whom Proctors is seeking a new post, and to continue the artistic side of the operation while effectively closing the roughly $200,000 annual deficit it has had in recent years. This kind of thinking beyond turf should be an example to other cultural and service groups out there, even those that aren’t in danger of closing their doors. So should each and every government and school district. Jobs are important, of course, but when they become so costly that they put the mission of any organization in jeopardy, they defeat the very purpose they’re supposed to serve.
Capital Rep, Proctors set an example for the region By Jeffrey D. STone Published: 12:00 a.m., Sunday, January 30, 2011 Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Capital-Rep-Proctors-set-an-ex... Bravo! http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Capital-Rep-Proctors-set-an-ex... The announcement last week that Capital Repertory Theatre will merge its administrative functions with Proctors is yet another sign of our region's evolution. These two wonderful organizations deserve our applause for showing all organizations -- for profit, nonprofit, and yes, even government -- that core mission matters above all. These groups have earned our plaudits by acknowledging, through this new cost-cutting and streamlined administrative model, that none of us -- not the arts community, the larger nonprofit sector or the world of government -- is immune from the effects of the ongoing economic turmoil. Our region is blessed to have so many cultural and arts organizations. They define our greatness. They make us richer. They are as much a part of our regional fabric as our infrastructure. But those organizations have been especially challenged in the economic downturn our nation is only now recovering from. Many are still struggling. Others have simply disappeared. Almost all are imperiled. It's not hard to see why. Many nonprofits depend largely on government support. But governments, at all levels, are struggling themselves to meet core obligations. They are reducing or eliminating their support for community arts and cultural organizations. No one likes this trend. But few can deny its inevitability. It's time for other sectors to draw inspiration from this example. Consider the opportunities for similar streamlining and cost-cutting in the merger of various associations, business groups, chambers of commerce and economic development groups that serve small parts of our region. The appeal has been obvious all along, but factors ranging from inertia to parochialism have often stalled progress. In our current economic circumstances, the case for consolidations has never been stronger. The excuses for stalling have never been weaker. Any lingering doubt about the necessity and inevitability of change is erased by the Capital Region government sector's increasing recognition of the need to streamline. Government provides essential goods and services that taxpayers value -- including support for the arts. But government's ability to do good things is a function of society's prosperity. If prosperity fades, so do revenues available for government investments. In the Capital Region, we all enjoy front-row seats to this coming transformation of government. The region's largest employer is rethinking how it delivers services and how it does business. Like Proctors and Cap Rep, government must show the courage to be creative, and New Yorkers need to encourage and celebrate that courage and creativity. Nonprofit organizations of all sizes, by nature and need, are often best able to adapt to change. There are thousands of such organizations in our region. Many already have been forced to rethink and retool to survive. More struggles lie ahead for those organizations; the Proctors/Cap Rep agreement should be a roadmap for survival and success. Just as we have risen to our feet so many times in praise of the brilliant performances on the stages at Proctors and Cap Rep, so must we applaud them for taking the steps to ensure that their shows go on. Their example deserves a standing ovation. Encore! Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Capital-Rep-Proctors-set-an-ex...
Theater review: Cap Rep’s ‘Shipwrecked!’ is simply engaging storytelling http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/28/0128_wrecked/ Friday, January 28, 2011 By Matthew G. Moross ‘Shipwrecked’ WHAT: “An Entertainment — the Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself)” WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany WHEN: Through Feb. 13 HOW MUCH: $40-$16 MORE INFO: 445-7469 or www.capitalrep.org LATHAM — “I shall impersonate a man. Enter into my imagination! Listen and watch as he lays down the melancholy burden of sanity and sameness and conceives a life imagined.” No longer will he be the sickly and plain Henri Louis Grin, but the seafaring adventurer Louis de Rougemont! Not quite Cervantes’ adventurous storyteller, but a spiritual brother in a battle to conquer the prosaic. Capital Rep is sharing the tale in “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself).” Originally commissioned by South Coast Repertory in 2007 as a children’s theater piece, playwright Donald Margulies has crafted a tale that is taller than a toddler and suitable for all. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author may have set out to create a "Man of La Mancha" for the Barney set, but he gives us something much more simple, but equally as powerful — the need to create a life less ordinary. Related story For Gazette theater writer Bill Buell's preview of this show, click here. The play is based on the real-life Henri Louis Grin — or his alias, Luis de Rougemont, a nom-de plume in a life that was embellished with all sorts of exaggerations. Read full review: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/28/0128_wrecked/
Proctors and Mazzone Management showcase new downtown Schenectady performance and banquet facility SCHENECTADY, N.Y. [January 27, 2011] - Proctors and Mazzone Management celebrated their new partnership today by unveiling KeyHall at Proctors, a 12,000-square-foot performance and banquet facility that is another significant component in the revitalization of downtown Schenectady. The former bank at 436 State St. will host musical performances, business functions, weddings, fundraisers and other special events. Proctors recently selected Mazzone Management to oversee all catering at KeyHall through its Mansion Catering division. “We’re thrilled to introduce KeyHall at Proctors and to work with Mazzone Management on this exciting new venture,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “Proctors has been a model for success in downtown Schenectady and we’re proud to further contribute to revitalization in the area through the introduction of this premier event venue.” Proctors purchased the former KeyBank in March. The three-story structure was built during the early 20th century and includes a 4,000-square-foot marble atrium with three-story ceilings. Most of the building has been left intact and remaining materials were repurposed within the facility. Upgrades include a new connection between KeyHall and the Arcade to facilitate access from Proctors. A 14,000-pound vault door from a demolished safe has also been relocated within KeyHall. Additionally, the facility has been repainted and the marble floors refinished. Mazzone Management Group brings a wealth of experience to KeyHall at Proctors, through its ownership and operation of Glen Sanders Mansion and Angelo’s Tavolo in Scotia; Aperitivo Bistro in Schenectady; Angelo's 677 Prime in Albany; and Prime at Saratoga National at Saratoga National Golf Club. Mansion Catering also oversees the catering operations at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga; provides the food services for workers building the GLOBALFOUNDRIES facility in Malta; and provides event management and catering services for weddings, fundraisers and social events. “Proctors graciously selected us as a partner in the latest downtown Schenectady revitalization project,” said Mazzone Management Owner Angelo Mazzone. “We pride ourselves on providing impeccable food and service and will bring the same dedication to KeyHall at Proctors that we display at other premier venues throughout the region. My first venture was the Glen Sanders Mansion so this project means a great deal to me on both a personal and professional level as a business owner whose headquarters are located in Schenectady County.” The ribbon cutting was the first of many events coming to KeyHall at Proctors in the near future. On Thursday, February 17, KeyHall at Proctors will host a Grand Opening Community Celebration to showcase the facility and catering services of Mazzone Management. Donations and proceeds from the event will benefit the Downtown Ambassador Program, which offers job training and skill development to individuals recruited by the City Mission of Schenectady. About Mazzone Management Group Mazzone Management owns and operates several of the Capital Region’s premier restaurants and banquet halls including: Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia featuring Angelo’s Tavolo, two ballrooms and an inn; Aperitivo Bistro, a dynamic wine bar and bistro adjacent to Proctors in Schenectady; and Angelo’s 677 Prime, an upscale steakhouse and wine bar in the heart of the theater district in Albany. Mazzone Management also owns and operates Prime at Saratoga National, an upscale steakhouse modeled after Angelo’s 677 Prime, located on the grounds of Saratoga National Golf Club. The company oversees the catering operations at the Hall of Springs, Key Hall at Proctors, and caters private weddings, fundraisers, and corporate or social events. For more information about Mazzone Management, call 518-374-7262 or visit www.onereputation.com. ### FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Mark Bardack or David Filkins Ed Lewi Associates 6 Chelsea Place • Clifton Park, NY 12065 P: 518-383-6183 F: 518-383-6755 C: M. Bardack (518) 867-7943 or D. Filkins (518) 852-0476 E: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Key Hall adds to rebirth of downtown http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/28/0128_keyhall/ Friday, January 28, 2011 By Kathleen Moore (Contact) Gazette Reporter Proctors CEO Phillip Morris speaks for a moment before the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for the opening of Key Hall at Proctors. The banquet hall is located in the former Key Bank in downtown Schenectady. SCHENECTADY — Months of work to turn an old bank into an elegant banquet hall culminated in an unveiling that left visitors wowed Thursday. The renamed Key Hall, in what was once Key Bank, is now twice as wide as it appeared to be when Proctors bought it last March. The thick marble counter that split the narrow building in two has now been painstakingly moved to the far wall — with very few pieces broken along the way, Proctors CEO Philip Morris said. The walls have been repainted to accent the ornamental columns and the richly designed ceiling. Carpet now covers the floor where the tellers worked behind their marble counter, and the vault now leads to a kitchen. The main entrance is no longer the front door. Workers cut through the back wall to reach Proctors’ arcade and have created a new entrance there. The new route is not merely a hallway. The doors open onto a wide, comfortable lobby area that leads to the banquet hall. That possible connection was one of Morris’ main reasons for buying the building. He was delighted by the final product. “It’s more comfortable than I thought,” he said. “It’s better than I thought.” Read more at: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/28/0128_keyhall/ Those who once “made fun of Schenectady” now realize they’re wrong, she added. “We showed we can make positive change,” she said. Visitors were also impressed by the building. “It’s stunning,” Councilman Thomas Della Sala said. The first wedding reception is scheduled for spring, and banquets are already being held there. Musical performances may be scheduled there as well. But the Mazzones are hoping to fill it with happy couples. Mansion Catering is offering a special to those who book the space for weddings by March. The company will also host a grand opening ceremony on Feb. 17 to showcase the facility. The admission fee is a donation to the City Mission, which the company will match. The event will benefit the City Mission’s downtown ambassador program, in which the formerly homeless offer directions and other help to visitors downtown.
Editorial: Proctors-Capital Rep deal good for region Wednesday, January 26, 2011 http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/26/0126_edit1/ While most politicians continue to act parochially and refuse to consolidate or share services even as their finances erode, two of this region’s most respected nonprofit arts institutions, Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors, are showing how it’s done. Their just-announced partnership promises to stabilize the financially struggling Cap Rep, the region’s only professional theater, while enhancing Proctors’ regional presence and reputation. There are risks for Proctors, but they will be mitigated by the fact that the two entities won’t be merging, just sharing management duties. More specifically, duties like fund raising, marketing, ticketing, finance and group sales, which Proctors has proved particularly good at. For Capital Rep’s managers, these tasks have tended to be viewed more as distractions, taking time and energy from the job of producing plays. And they have become harder and more crucial with the recession and loss of government aid. Letting Proctors handle the financial side will allow Capital Rep to concentrate on the artistic side, while saving money for Capital Rep — if not the theater itself. And it’s very important for the region that Cap Rep survive and thrive. It has been producing quality professional theater for many years, which is not only good for the region’s theatergoers but its image. Culture is one of the things that will make business owners want to come here and young professionals want to live here. Fortunately, Proctors CEO Philip Morris and his board recognize this, feel a responsibility for their fellow arts organization and have the capacity to help. And we suspect that, by opening up new arrangements with producers and directors, and assisting Cap Rep with its education program (which can perhaps pick up the slack for the shut-down New York State Theatre Institute), it will help Proctors as well.
Exhibit opens hearts, homes Gallery showing photographs of youngsters in need of permanent homes on display at Proctors By Paul Nelson Staff Writer http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Exhibit-opens-hearts-homes-977... Published: 12:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 26, 2011 1 of 4 Ann Jackson looks at the photographs of children in the Capital Region Heart Gallery on Friday, Jan. 21, at Proctors in Schenectady. The gallery, featuring portraits of children who need permanent families, is on display courtesy of Schenectady County Office of Children & Family Services. Go to their website, www.schenectadycounty.com, to find out more about some of the local children and how to become a foster or adoptive parent. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) Lorena Robinson of Schenectady takes in the photographs of children in the Capital Region Heart Gallery on Friday, Jan. 21, at Proctors in Schenectady, N.Y. The gallery, featuring portraits of children who need permanent families, is on display courtesy of Schenectady County Office of Children & Family Services. Go to their website, www.schenectadycounty.com, to find out more about some of the local children and how to become a foster or adoptive parent. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) Aurelia Colamarino, director of the Office of Children & Family Services, left, speaks during the opening night of the Capital Region Heart Gallery on Friday, Jan. 21, at Proctors in Schenectady. At right is Kimberly Greenwell, 15, of Albany, who is featured in the gallery and is looking for a permanent families. The portraits are on display courtesy of Schenectady County Office of Children & Family Services. Go to their website, www.schenectadycounty.com, to find out more about some of the local children and how to become a foster or adoptive parent. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) Lori Pirrone, adoption supervisor of the Office of Children & Family Services, center, reads a letter from an adoptive parent during the opening night of the Capital Region Heart Gallery on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, at Proctors in Schenectady. At right is Susan Savage, chairwoman of the county legislature. The portraits of children looking for permanent families are on display courtesy of Schenectady County Office of Children & Family Services. Go to their website, www.schenectadycounty.com, to find out more about some of the local children and how to become a foster or adoptive parent. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) Page 1 of 1 SCHENECTADY -- Twelve-year-old Breanna knows exactly the type of family life she wants. "It means I can feel safe and they can love me back," said the preteen, smiling broadly at the prospect of having a younger or older sister. Now living in a group home, she is a fan of country music, and her favorite subjects are social studies and math. Breanna is part of the Capital Region Heart Gallery exhibit at the Delack Guild Room at Proctors that opened Friday and runs through Feb. 28. Bob and Patty Tansey of Niskayuna were among those in attendance during a recent gathering at the Schenectady theater to support the gallery that focuses on getting children placed in loving homes, either foster or adopted. This time, the gallery features mostly teenagers. The Tanseys are currently going through the required 11-week certification process that is among the steps on the road to adoption. "It's just something I've always wanted. The children are all grown, and we have a lot more to give," said Patty Tansey. "If you have room in your home, love in your heart, there are many children in the area that need what they have to give," said Bob Tansey. "It's not hard to love a child." Donna Vande knows firsthand the sheer joy of foster care, having had an 8-year old foster son, and is thinking about taking another child into her home. "It's brought laughter. He's an adorable kid, and it's been a wonderful thing," said Vande as she looked at the display of portraits taken by professional photographers. She listed sense of humor, willingness to grow and adapt, and willingness to love someone new and open your heart to them as key coping skills. The original Heart Gallery was held in New Mexico in 2001. The exhibits are made possible through contributions of professional photographers and local businesses, local social services agencies, charitable groups and foster families. For Fred Elia, one issue that often gets overlooked is that some youngsters struggle with their sexual identity. As a result, he founded a group called A Thousand Moms, which strives to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the foster care system. "They don't have an identity because they don't know who their family is, and then on top of that they're gay," said Elia, a 53-year-old social worker who became a foster child when he was 2 years old and is himself gay. "I've lived it." He said training, education and policy reform will help improve the lives of those children for whom his group advocates. Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage said the goal is to find "loving, permanent and safe homes" for the youngsters. "Everybody deserves to be part of a family," Savage said during her remarks at the gallery opening last week. Currently, 46 children are in the Capital Region Heart Gallery, including 10 from Schenectady County. Since the Capital Region got involved in the program in 2005, 40 children have been placed in foster homes or adopted, and the number of adoptions has risen annually, said Dennis Packard, commissioner of the Schenectady County Department of Social Services. The youngsters come from homes where they have either been abused, neglected or given up voluntarily by their biological parents. During Friday's event, Lori Pirrone, adoption supervisor for the Schenectady County Department of Social Services, read a letter that illustrated the trials and tribulations of one family who had adopted. She emphasized that for foster and adoptive parents a sense of humor, commitment, knowing how to meet a child's individual needs and building on the child's strengths are important to ensure the experience is an enriching one for all. A second Heart gallery reception is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 18. Go to http://www.schenectadycounty.com to find out more about some of the local children and how to become a foster or adoptive parent. Reach Paul Nelson at 454-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Exhibit-opens-hearts-homes-977...
Change http://blog.timesunion.com/philipmorris/change/618/ January 25, 2011 at 12:02 am by Philip Morris A few pretty big things were announced today for and about Proctors. Most importantly, we announced that we have entered a formal management agreement with Capital Rep. In the online article by Steve Barnes in the TU pages, he used an adjective that really struck me. He called it ” a profound administrative change.”. For as simple as it is from a certain perspective, it is a profound change in another. Readers are used to the assessment I make of our region’s culturals: we are the inheritances of four small towns trying to compare ourselves to the inheritances of cities far larger but at the core of metropolitan areas quite similar to the Capital Region. Greater Buffalo or Rochester are not substantially larger or wealthier than the greater Capital Region, the the cultural inheritances, from the Eastman House to the Buffalo Zoo are wildly different. They are the inheritance of one large place within a metro region. So it is profound to cross those lines in some ways. To say to both Albanians and Schenectadians that two of the culturals they have nurtured are joining forces to think and act and secure our futures as if we were the inheritances of that larger community. We believe that our region cares enough to want us to succeed and prosper and by aligning our futures, we believe we are matching the region’s ambitions. Social service organizations have merged and collaborated, hospitals have, even bus systems have. They have had substantive inducements by the government sector, though. Our inducement is far more dependent on individual people, as donors and ticket buyers, expressing collectively that this is the future they desire. We think it is, but time will tell. Late today, as noted on the blog, “Table Hopping,” we also announced that the Muddy Cup coffee shop, located on the Robb Alley portion of our facility will be closed for the week as we, that is Proctors itself, adjusts it and takes it over to reopen on Sunday. It is a bold step for us, but, from our frequent survey of our patrons, an important one. While the folks at Muddy Cup took the gamble to come to our space when we were just reopening and before some of our successes, the cafe has not been able to keep pace with our audiences expectations and needs. This will be a new endeavor for us. We will, inevitably, make mistakes. We think, though, not unlike our other announced initiative, that his is the future our customers desire. We have never been afraid of change, but, again, time will tell.
Blink of an Eye Brings More Changes at Proctors: New Coffee Shop to Open by Weekend Schenectady, NY -- Riding high on the upward trajectory that brought robust audiences to recent performances of Fiddler on the Roof and yielded the new partnership with Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre, Proctors has yet another milestone in view -- in addition to the official opening of KeyHall later this week: a new meeting/greeting/eating place in Proctors lobby adjacent to the Box Office. The yet-to-be named business (Cafe at Proctors or Intermission at Proctors are among the names under consideration) will replace the former Muddy Cup Coffee Shop. At Proctors request, Muddy Cup transferred operations and all equipment back to Proctors. Proctors will rebrand the location for business with a fresh look and a new name before the start of next Sunday’s Green Market in the lobby of Proctors State Street complex. “Muddy Cup wanted to stay on as an operator,” said Morris, “but we reached an agreement for Proctors to assume control of this space, which is next to our ticket office and is used and enjoyed by show patrons and community members at events like the Green Market.” According to Morris, the plan is to enhance the space, perhaps extend the hours, and to make it generally more inviting to the increasing number of people finding their way to events at Proctors and to downtown Schenectady. Morris said that he was pleased to be able to retain the services of the present shop manager, Joy Albert of Schenectady. “Patrons know her and like her. Her easy smile brings continuity to the transition. “Tens of thousands of people pass through our lobby every year to attend one or more of the hundreds of entertainment events and GIANT screen movies that play at Proctors,” he added. “Looking ahead, we anticipate that people who have never been to Proctors will soon want to come to see what the excitement is all about. We intend not to disappoint them.” - 30 -
A man & his amazing adventures ‘Shipwrecked’ calls on audience to use imagination as character Louis de Rougement’s story unfolds Saturday, January 22, 2011 By Bill Buell, Gazette Reporter Little Boy Albert (Michael Satow) is given a toy boat by Louis de Rougemont (Martin LaPlatney) in “Shipwrecked.” The play is about de Rougement recalling his adventures after being marooned by a typhoon. (photo: Joe Schuyler) ALBANY — Audiences that take in playwright Donald Margulies’ “Shipwrecked” at the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany are going to see quite a production. Not only will they enjoy the storytelling aspect of the show, they also will witness costume changes, sound effects, lighting changes and other various tools of the theatrical world that Margulies intended to be put on display. Subtitled “An Entertainment — the Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself),” the play first opened in 2007 at the South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, Calif. “Margulies wrote that he was tired of the audience just sitting there being passive, so he wrote a play that they would have to participate in,” said Terence Lamude, who is directing the Capital Rep production. “The spectacle of theater is in your imagination, and this is a show where the audience has to use that imagination because they’re going to see everything; the costume changes, the lighting changes, the sound effects.” Holding the stage “Shipwrecked” is the story of Louis de Rougemont, who was happily experiencing life on the high seas until his ship met with a typhoon and he was marooned on an island in the South Pacific not too far from Australia with only a dog for company. De Rougemont had been a sickly child, and his mother had given him numerous books about Shakespeare, his plays and traveling around the world. ‘Shipwrecked’ WHAT: “An Entertainment — the Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself)” WHERE: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., Albany WHEN: Previews 3 and 7:30 p.m. today, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and runs through Feb. 13 HOW MUCH: $40-$16 MORE INFO: 445-7469 or www.capitalrep.org READ ALL ABOUT IT: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/22/0122_ship/
Proctors, Capital Rep announce new partnership Monday, January 24, 2011 By Bill Buell (Contact) Gazette Reporter http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/24/0124_caprep/ Text Size: A | A | A SCHENECTADY — Now, all Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill has to worry about is the fun stuff. That may be overstating things a bit, but the new partnership announced today between Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany and Proctors in Schenectady should go a long way toward easing the financial concerns at Capital Rep, a professional producing theater located at 111 North Pearl St. in Albany. “Supposedly, artistic directors don’t deal directly with all the financial stuff, but that really isn’t true,” said Mancinelli-Cahill, who was named producing artistic director at Capital Rep in 1995 after co-founders Peter Clough and Bruce Bouchard left the company they created back in 1981. “You have to worry about donors and fundraising, you have to stay within budget, and there are all kinds of other financial concerns. Bringing all the resources that Proctors has available to our table is going to make a big difference. Our production staff will remain intact, but we’re going to be sharing administrative duties. We’re going to be able to put our money where you want it most, which is on the stage and in marketing.” Jim Morrill, president of the Capital Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees, and Rick Carlstrom, president of the Proctors Board of Directors, said in a joint statement released today that the two venues “have reached an agreement to increase efficiencies, reduce duplication, improve Capital Rep’s financial prospects and increase its artistic opportunities -- while enabling Proctors to continue to develop a more regional vision. According to Proctors CEO Philip Morris, the changes for Capital Rep audiences will be subtle ones. “We’re not even going to change their box office number; it will just ring at Proctors,” said Morris. “The tickets will look a little different, and over time some of the programming might be a little different. At Proctors we are interested in a strong and vital Capital Region arts community, and we thought doing something like this makes sense. Capital Rep is an important institution and we need to help keep them healthy.” While the partnership has actually been in effect since Jan. 18, some of the details are still being worked on. Mancinelli-Cahill said she doesn’t expect any full-time employees to lose their jobs, while at Proctors, Morris said the partnership may even create a few new positions.
Photos: Heart Gallery opens Updated:09:28 p.m., Saturday, January 22, 2011 http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Photos-Heart-Gallery-opens-97208... 1 of 4 View: Larger | Hide Ann Jackson looks at the photographs of children in the Capital Region Heart Gallery on Friday, Jan. 21, at Proctors in Schenectady. The gallery, featuring portraits of children who need permanent families, is on display courtesy of Schenectady County Office of Children & Family Services. Go to their website, www.schenectadycounty.com, to find out more about some of the local children and how to become a foster or adoptive parent. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) SCHENECTADY -- Schenectady County is again hosting the Capital Region Heart Gallery until Feb. 28. Proctors theater on State Street is partnering with the county to showcase the photographic exhibit of local children who need permanent families. The Heart Gallery is an exhibit of portraits of local children from Schenectady, Rensselaer, Albany and other counties in the region who need permanent, adoptive families. Volunteer professional photographers took the portraits of the children, hoping to move families to get involved. Many children have been adopted through the display. An opening reception was held at Proctors on Friday. See www.schenectadycounty.com for more information. Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Photos-Heart-Gallery-opens-97208...
Did You Shake His Hand? January 22, 2011 at 9:29 am by Philip Morris http://blog.timesunion.com/philipmorris/did-you-shake-his-hand/608/ Like a few others, I was surprised and delighted to be invited by the good people at GE to be part of President Obama’s visit to Schenectady. Working at a place like Proctors you learn to keep celebrity hysteria in check; nonetheless, the President of the United States is a pretty rare celebrity to witness up close. So, of course, I accepted. I It crossed my mind that I, like Barack Obama, and many others invitees were invited for the positions we each held in the communities that we each served. We were representatives. Symbols, if you will. And a day of symbolism it was. Jeff Immelt and the GE laborers, Jeff and the President. The 100 year old factory and it’s connection to Edison, to critical and heroic mid century war efforts, to America’s industrial decline, and, now to a modern and important renewable role. Ray Gillen, the Chairman of the Schenectady Metroplex, sitting next to me, looked up and noted the 400 ton rating on an overhead crane being used like a theatrical line set to fly the American flag. He guessed there were only three or four such high capacity interior factory cranes left in the country. I was, of course, impressed by our President. Watching him up close confirmed the sense I had from the media only knowledge I had had of him before: thoughtful, honest, direct. I was equally impressed with Jeff Immelt: comfortable in his own skin, rightfully proud of a company that continues to groom and stand by it’s key leadership. The CEO of a multinational powerhouse that we might hope for. An old fashioned yet modern titan. An old fashioned company man training and leading other long term company people showing off an old fashioned building doing what some some see as old fashioned work. But what’s old becomes new again. Building things, exporting things, being loyal, honoring work and workers. In lots of ways, the event meant to symbolize the President’s new export initiative and to announce Jeff Immelt’s role chairing the national commission on growth and jobs, really went deeper in the psyche of a community and a country that is deciding to claw it’s way back to a future it must make to remain vital and relevant. I was not giddy after the event but quite thoughtful. I had been seated in the front row, a number of rows in front of the lottery selected GE workers whose factory floor we had taken over. As the President walked around the podium shaking hands with those up close, I could see and feel a couple of the GE guys trying to get close. I held my position at the rail until the President was near, then backed off and got the GE guys to squeeze into my place. When the President faced us, I pointed to the guys. The President shook both their hands. They turned, smiling broadly, thanked me and moved away. As person after person emailed or asked me the question, I felt stumped. No, I did not shake the President’s hand. Better than that. I got to watch two people, who in the framework of the symbolism of the day were the real celebrants, shake the President’s hand on our collective behalf.
A Valentine’s Day State of Mind ----- Free MVP Health Care Organ Concert Series Featuring CARL HACKERT, ROBERT KLEINSCHMIDT AND GUESTS Trio of singers makes Proctors debut Presented by Hudson - Mohawk Theatre Organ Society Schenectady, NY - MVP Health Care invites all Capital Region residents and visitors to attend a free, noontime organ concert featuring "Goldie" -- Proctors mighty Wurlitzer Organ on the Mainstage of the historic theatre. The Tuesday, February 1 event will feature two performers: Carl Hackert, Robert Kleinschmidt -- and guests. Carl Hackert is a Crane School of Music graduate and Music Director at St. Gabriel's Church in Rotterdam. He has been performing on Goldie as well as helping to maintain Proctors famous 3/18 Wurlitzer pipe organ since 1983. Mr. Hackert has served a classical keyboardist with area chamber music groups, orchestras and choruses, is a composer and teacher, and a representative for Allen Organ Company. He has played theatre organ programs and silent films throughout the northeast and helps to organize the MVP sponsored monthly Noontime programs for the Hudson-Mohawk chapter of the ATOS. Robert Kleinschmidt developed an interest in the organ at a young age and was heavily influenced by listening to the records that his father would play on the stereo along with listening in on his dad’s weekly organ lessons. Eventually Rob became house organist for Saint Theresa’s School located in Briarcliff Manor, NY, as well as playing the organ for one of the masses in his parish. Mr. Kleinschmidt is a mechanical engineer from Yorktown Heights and a dual member of New York Theatre Organ Society (NYTOS) and the Hudson - Mohawk Theatre Organ Society (HMATOS). . Rob is currently one of the volunteer organists who play the “house in” for the movies at Proctors along with performing at the noon time Organ concerts. For the February 1 concert, Mr. Kleinschmidt plans to focus on the Valentine’s Day theme along with playing a few songs made famous by the organist he listened to most as a boy ….namely “Mr. Blackpool,” Reginald Dixon. TRIO Debuts on Mainstage Mr. Hackert will accompany three guest singers who are making their collective Proctors debut. All are longtime friends from his college experiences at Crane and at RPI in Troy. Their classical voice training will be put to work performing selections from Oklahoma: Jennifer Johnson, soprano, recently relocated from the Santa Barbara, CA area. She has enjoyed singing in musical theatre productions for the last 30 years. Her most current credits are as a lead soprano with the Quire of Voyces (www.quireofvoyces.org), and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the Capital District. Susan Hitchcock, mezzo soprano, has performed in every music medium from rock bands to jazz ensembles to early music to opera. While living in New York City, she was soloist in numerous oratorio and opera productions in New York and Boston, and travelled overseas to sing early music in the Halle Handel Festival. Susan also directs choirs, is a college voice teacher, and just finished her interim position at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as choir director and organist, where she is currently a cantor and choir member. Tenor Richard Bopp, husband of Susan and a popular RPI professor, is a cantor and choir member at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is Albany. He first sang a medley from Oklahoma 50 years ago as a boy soprano; this will be a second attempt. . The audience also will enjoy a few technical improvements that have been made to Proctors organ, technology that will assist in Mr. Hackert's portion of the program as he is recovering from serious injuries suffered in a fall 1 1/2 years ago. These popular organists and their guests will share the hour, offering selections of their own choosing. Both will demonstrate the marvels of "Goldie", an 18 rank, three-keyboard instrument that includes a full set of percussion instruments and a grand piano that can be played from the organ console. All events in the free MVP Health Care Organ Concert Series at Proctors begin at noon and are sponsored by MVP Health Care - helping Capital Region residents to take on life and live well. The series showcases the artistry of area organists and the versatility and the power of "Goldie," Proctors mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. The Golub Foundation and members of the Golub family -- in memory of Bernard and Sunshine Golub -- gifted the mighty Wurlitzer to Proctors. Since the installation of Goldie, Proctors has maintained a chapter of the American Theater Organ Society, which provides the services of the Organists who perform Proctors noontime concerts, as well as the crewmembers who maintain Goldie. Plan ahead. 2011 MVP Health Care Organ Concert Series: TUESDAY, MARCH 29: PAUL ROBERTS TUESDAY, APRIL 26: CHARLES JONES, SCOTT RICHARDS TUESDAY, MAY 24: JIM BROCKWAY, JOHN WIESNER TUESDAY, JUNE 28: ROBERT FREDERICK, GREG KLINGLER For more information on the MVP Health Care Concert Series at Proctors, contact Frank Hackert at (518) 355-4523; email@example.com. - 30 -
Proctors: On & Off Stage Proctors: A worldly gathering place By Robin Wiley http://www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/proctors-stage/2011/jan/19/proctors-... Wednesday, January 19, 2011 ________________________________________ It amazes me still how a simple act of kindness can rebound in such an unexpected and divinely sensational way. But this story may curl the hair on even the baldest head! When a passionate architect who had recently visited Proctors requested a tour for his wife prior to Sunday's performance of "Fiddler on the Roof," I hesitated -– but for only a second. Could I comply with this request and still make my hair appointment and movie plans? I decided not to forgo a chance to witness a theatre enthusiast experience Proctors for the first time, so with a shift of my plans, we agreed to meet at noon. The couple brought a guest, another theatre buff from Florida. He identified himself as a Navy SEAL, temporarily stationed in Pennsylvania. Interestingly, he had been in the cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" while in college. As we wound in and out of the hundreds of people patronizing the bustling Schenectady Green Market that takes place at Proctors during winter months, alternating giant-screen film showings and the 2,700 people gathered to see "Fiddler," my guests could see that Proctors had truly become a significant community gathering place. Little did I realize just how huge that community was! We ended our tour with a glass of wine in the Delack Guild Room. That is when I received one of the most wonderful surprises of my life! While relaxing before the show, the Navy SEAL mentioned that he had participated in a piracy mission off the coast of East Africa. I told him I had grown up there, in Mogadishu, (aka Mogadiscio), Somalia. Long before the American military arrived in Somalia, government diplomats like my father were there working on the Foreign Aid Program. It caught him by surprise. "Where did you live?" he asked. "In Lido Compound," I responded. "Which house?" "The one on the right, just inside the guard gate," I said. "Which bedroom was yours?" "The last one on the left,” I answered with some hesitation. “My back window faced the Indian Ocean, and my side window faced the guard gate." "That was our commanding officer’s office!" he informed me. "I've had many meetings in your bedroom!" If you have seen the film "Gone With the Wind," you might comprehend the emotions that coursed through me. Trying to stay "in character" as a professional representing Proctors was out of the question. I stood there, hands trembling, heart racing and tears flowing down my cheeks. The American military had set up camp in my childhood home; one I had not been able to revisit since leaving in my young teens, and yet here on the other side of the world, at Proctors, stood a man who had attended military debriefings in my bedroom! He'd seen my favorite places, the ones that only lived in my memories: the tree outside my sister's window where I spied on neighbors from my fort; the sand dunes and caves where I played and swam; our tennis court that doubled as an outdoor theatre at night. In those moments, through a purely coincidental encounter in an embracing gathering place called Proctors, I relived my youth -- with a stranger from another place and time. A stranger, but now a friend, who really understood. Robin Wiley is the director of corporate relations at Proctors. She uses her marketing background to help her sponsors gain strong returns on their investments in Proctors. Robin can be reached at 518-382-3884, x115. To learn even more about Proctors, visit www.Proctors.org or click HERE.
Arts gains have outweighed losses, leaders say Arts gains have outweighed losses, leaders say By TOM KEYSER STAFF WRITER FULL STORY: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Arts-gains-have-outweighed-los... Published: 12:33 a.m., Sunday, January 16, 2011 1 of 20 View: Larger | Hide Massry Center at The College of Saint Rose (Paul Buckowski / Times Union) The arts landscape in the Capital Region is an ever-changing aggregation of openings, closings, cutbacks and expansions. Looking back over the past five years, how have we fared? "I'd say the last five years have been pretty good for the arts in the Capital Region," says Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors, which completed a $30 million renovation and now operates three theaters and attracts more than 500,000 people per year. The crown jewel, of course, is EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center), the $200 million, 220,000-square-foot spectacle at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. It opened in 2008. The Massry Center for the Arts at The College of Saint Rose in Albany opened the same year. In early 2010, the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs opened. "We now have top-notch, world-class performance venues," says Michele Desrosiers, managing director at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. "I went to the Joshua Bell concert at EMPAC, when Dr. Jackson had her 10-year anniversary, and he made a comment about how this was one of the top three halls in the world." Those additions, coupled with Proctors' ability now to present Broadway-quality shows, have changed the nature of arts offerings in the Capital Region, she says; they're increasingly sophisticated, more cosmopolitan. "The good news is, we've just gone through a major cycle of capital investment in structures," Desrosiers says. "Now, as the economy has faded, we're at a time when we really can't afford those investments." A cautionary note, Morris and others say, is that most of the major investments happened at colleges. Their priorities tend to be students and faculty, and they don't offer as many mainstream events for the public or involve the community as much as nonprofits or other arts organizations do, they say. "Placing our cultural life at the college institutions, a migration like that, I don't think is the best thing for the community," Morris says. "It's a positive thing, but colleges are not about community engagement. They might open their doors for performances or exhibitions, which is great. But you don't see community people volunteering. You don't see community board members challenged with tough ethical issues or tough financial questions." The economy, in the guise of state cutbacks, and scandal involving its director cost us the New York State Theatre Institute and its vast programming for children -- which for 36 years also engaged adults. The Troy-based theater company ceased operations on Dec. 31 and, arts leaders say, will be impossible to replace. We also lost Revolution Hall in Troy, which held its final concert in June 2010. Tess' Lark Tavern in Albany burned down the month before. Other music venues and art galleries closed, and others opened. We lost some First Nights but gained monthly Arts Nights in Albany, Schenectady and Troy as well as the Schenectady Art Attack, which in its first year drew 10,000 people to see 500 artists. We lost some summer concert series and some exhibition space, and some museums reduced hours. But we gained the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, which offers an array of arts and music events, and WEXT, which, musicians say, is one of the most significant additions of the past five years. The FM station at 97.7 showcases local music. "All in all, things do tend to even themselves out in the long run," says Sean Allen, marketing director at the Palace Theatre in Albany. "You lose some great ones, and others come in to fill the gap. "I think given the size of the Capital Region, we can still consider ourselves very lucky with what we do have. This is not a huge city/area by any means, and I have seen much larger areas that didn't offer half of what we have for the arts." After losing Gallery 100, an important exhibition space in downtown Saratoga Springs, to closure in 2008, Joel Reed, executive director of Saratoga Arts, says he fears that other arts groups will follow suit. Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Arts-gains-have-outweighed-los... Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Arts-gains-have-outweighed-los...
Dead Cat Bounce a homecoming for Matt Steckler Steckler returns to region with Dead Cat Bounce By Michael Eck Special To The Times Union Published: 12:00 a.m., Thursday, January 13, 2011 Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Dead-Cat-Bounce-a-homeco... Call it a "horncoming." Schenectady-bred saxophonist Matt Steckler is returning to the region Saturday night to show off his chops and his compositions with Dead Cat Bounce, an adventurous Brooklyn-based horn band featuring a front line of four saxophones. The group's appearance is part of Proctors' Party Horns NYC series, which Steckler curated for the downtown Schenectady arts center. "That neck of the woods doesn't necessarily get to see or hear a lot of the bands that I'm listening to," Steckler says. "There are a lot of contemporary horn bands that are based out of Brooklyn and the other boroughs, all making great music, often on a weekly basis with residencies at local venues." Dead Cat Bounce is the second offering in Steckler's three-part series. In November, Red Baraat turned Proctors' GE Theatre into a Punjabi bazaar with its distinctive blend of Indian Bhangra and New Orleans second-line funk. In February, Slavic Soul Party will embrace other ethnicities with its fusion of Balkan brass, Gypsy accordion and New York hip hop. Dead Cat Bounce, Steckler says, may be a little less dance-conscious than the other acts, but he's selecting the most groove-heavy stuff from the band's catalog for Party Horns NYC. "As far as the concepts and aesthetics go, our sound is a little more fluid in terms of genre-hopping, but not as heavy on the beat." Steckler got his start musically in the Schenectady city school system, studying singing, piano and saxophone at Elmer Avenue Elementary and also at Linton High School. Jazz didn't enter his vocabulary until later, as his schooling focused on rudiments and theory. He credits a specific visiting teacher, "Mr. Stancampiano," with being a direct inspiration to pursue the saxophone. "He came to the school and demonstrated a number of instruments, but sax was his main thing and he made it look cool. He had that long Gato Barbieri type of hair, like they do with Zoot the Muppet. He really sold it with that whole classic saxophone allure and the mystique of sax playing." Once Steckler became aware of a wider vocabulary, he did burrow into jazz and other forms, stepping out into the local music scene while still attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He was most visible as a member of the Smokehouse Prophets, a six-piece funk-and-blues combo that made the rounds of regional clubs in the mid-to-late '90s. Steckler also remembers working out his early jazz changes at the obscure You R Us jazz club on Barrett Street in Schenectady. But Steckler -- son of artist/stage designer Charles Steckler -- didn't stick around the scene for long. Following graduation at Wesleyan, he moved on to studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he lived for six years before relocating to New York City in 2003. In addition to his current performing and teaching, he's now finishing up a doctorate in composition at New York University. Dead Cat -- one of a number of outfits Steckler works with -- was born as a recording project in 1997, but long ago expanded into a popular live act. The band's name comes from the financial term for a brief recovery from a stock's steady decline. Steckler says he adopted the moniker before it had become well-known, and while he's aware that a few other music and comedy combos now sport the tag, he doesn't worry about it. "It's all fine," he says. "I know I was the first; as long as no one gives me a problem, I don't care." Steckler is enormously proud of the fact that Dead Cat's work has been compared to that of artists like Charles Mingus and World Saxophone Quartet (whose four-sax front line it echoes). "Mingus was very passionate about how he wanted his music to sound," he says. "Perhaps my methods differ from his, but he's still a prime inspiration." Like Mingus and WSQ, Dead Cat Bounce features all the improvisatory glory of jazz, but works out of a strong compositional base. This allows the horns to function in classical and jazz functions at once, while embracing every stray influence Steckler wants to tackle. "We do share a certain methodology. Mingus depended on his players to re-imagine his material and bring it to life. He was also very interested in collective improvisation at a time when that was not the norm in the mainstream. He was looked at as an avant garde iconoclast by some, even if compared to some of the later guys, he wasn't that out there. "Some of that kind of stuff comes into play in my writing, like leaving windows for single and collective improvisation. The fact that there's no piano or chordal instrument in Dead Cat Bounce really opens up the harmony in the middle as well, and there's a nice balance with the four saxes." The lineup includes Steckler, Jared Sims, Terry Goss and Charlie Kohlase on various saxophones, along with bassist Dave Ambrosio and drummer Bill Carbone. Steckler notes that curating Party Horns NYC wasn't simply a way to snag a gig for his band in his hometown. He wanted to showcase the breadth and incredible energy of the current New York scene, which in some ways, these days, translates to Brooklyn; although the fabulous, similarly horn-driven Budos Band hails from Staten Island. Steckler, 36, met Proctors' Executive Director Philip Morris through his father, and immediately sensed that Morris would be open to open to the idea of a well-planned series. As noted, Steckler is aware that his own act pushes the "party" aspect of the program a little less than Red Baraat and Slavic Soul Party. But he feels the GE -- which will boast a dance floor for the event -- is the perfect place for those who want to move their feet as well as those who simply want to listen. "It's kind of like a mini-big band. I'm very interested in composition first of all, and I'm interested in transitions and how the sections follow from one to the other. I like things that bridge that fine line between commercial appeal and headier stuff." Michael Eck is a freelance writer from Albany and a frequent contributor to the Times Union. At a glance Dead Cat Bounce When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: GE Theatre, Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady Tickets: $15 Info: 346-6204; http://www.proctors.org Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Dead-Cat-Bounce-a-homeco... Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Dead-Cat-Bounce-a-homeco...
Joanna Smith writing her own songs, will perform in WGNA Rising Stars concert Thursday, January 13, 2011 By Brian McElhiney, Gazette Reporter Joanna Smith’s performance at the GE Theatre at Proctors is part of WGNA-FM’s Rising Stars series. Joanna Smith has been singing — and telling people she is a famous country singer — since she was 5 years old. Oddly enough, though, she didn’t write her first song until about six years ago, after moving from her parents’ farm in Georgia to the country music mecca of Nashville at age 19. Looking back, Smith herself can’t even explain why she never tried her hand at songwriting before then. “My daddy wrote songs when I was growing up, and I listened to him write,” she said recently from her home in Nashville. “And I love to write in general; I’ve done a lot of creative writing, and I wrote for some magazines and newspapers, so it was something I was good at growing up. But for whatever reason, I just never put all of it together.” Her background ended up serving her well in Nashville, where she soon landed a weekly gig at the famed honky-tonk, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, that lasted for four years, eventually landing a publishing contract and writing songs for artists such as Billy Ray Cyrus. Joanna Smith When: 7:30 tonight Where: GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady How Much: $17 More Info: 346-6204, www.proctors.org, wgna.com/rising-star-concert-series FULL STORY: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/13/0113_wgnastars/
Dead Cat Bounce aims music at both head, heart Thursday, January 13, 2011 By Brian McElhiney, Gazette Reporter Dead Cat Bounce play at the GE Theatre at Proctors Saturday night as part the Party Horns NYC concert series. (photo: Charles Steckler ) Text Size: A | A | A Despite the name, Proctors’ three-show series, Party Horns NYC, is not just about party music. When Schenectady native, saxophonist and bandleader Matt Steckler first approached Proctors CEO Philip Morris last year about co-curating the series, he knew he wanted it to have something to do with horns. But thematically, he was leaning toward something a bit more serious. “I sort of started off by saying I wanted a horn-based series, something that emphasizes the horn players as kind of the tie-in,” Steckler said recently from his home in Brooklyn. “And I had some obscure title for it that referenced Greek mythology; it was something weird. But then we reined it in a little bit and made it more into a fun, almost butt-shaking kind of event.” Party Horns NYC: Dead Cat Bounce When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady How Much: $15 More Info: 346-6204, www.proctors.org The bands in the series — Red Baraat, which performed on Nov. 13; Steckler’s Dead Cat Bounce, performing Saturday night; and Slavic Soul Party, playing Saturday, Feb. 19 — all create dance-worthy music, of course. But all are musically adventurous, as well, drawing on Indian (Red Baraat) and Balkan (Slavic Soul Party) influences. Dead Cat Bounce, which Steckler has led since 1997, features a unique instrumental lineup for a jazz group — the sextet includes four saxophone players, all of different ranges. The music, primarily composed by Steckler, draws influence equally from Charles Mingus and world music traditions from Brazil to West Africa and beyond. “It works well, because our band kind of straddles the line between groove-oriented material, and headier stuff,” Steckler said. “It’s stuff for the head as well as the heart.” It’s been a while since he has returned home to play a show. His last Schenectady performance was about three years ago, by his reckoning, and before that he was performing in the city every year. Needless to say, he’s looking forward to returning. Hometown feeling “You get a little bit of a hometown — not hero, but hometown — love coming from people you know more, and there should probably be some alums from high school that will maybe come out and check out what I’ve been doing since I’ve been an adult,” he said. Steckler and the rest of Dead Cat Bounce — bassist Dave Ambrosio, drummer Bill Carbone and saxophonists Jared Sims, Terry Goss and Charlie Kohlhase — will have plenty of new material to showcase for the hometown crowd, as well. “Chance Episodes,” the band’s fourth studio album and first since 2004’s “Home Speaks to the Wandering,” is currently in the final mastering stages, although it won’t be ready for the Proctors performance. The new compositions find the band continuing to grow as a collaborative performing and improvising unit. Steckler is still the group’s main composer, but the album’s songs were greatly influenced by the players. “This is the one where I feel like the band is most in tune with each other,” Steckler said. “I depend on the players a lot to come up with the quality of the music, its essence. My drummer, for example — I give him free rein to interpret the songs with those groove ideas he comes up with that give him a larger role. In a lot of ways, the players are sort of the co-composers, or the vice composers. It gives the music a little more live adaptability and a lot more room for improvisation, I think, and different kinds too — not just solos, but collective improvisation, different ways to interact with each other.” FULL STORY: http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2011/jan/13/0113_dcb/