Press Release ~July 12, 2005
David Beale and John Sikora

Arts Festival in Cortland

On Saturday July 30th , artists and musicians will join forces at the ďArts in the Park FestivalĒ in Cortlandís Courthouse Park. Local artists will exhibit and offer their works for sale, while a festival of live (mostly classical) music is presented from 10AM until 4PM. The Cultural Council of Cortland County is organizing the event, under the leadership of Executive Director David Beale. The music component of the festival is being organized by John Sikora, who put together two Classical Music Festivals at The Blue Frog Coffeehouse earlier this year.

Jane Zogg and Harry Davis, two visual artists from Cortland, will be among the participants. Both are founders of the Cortland Art League and have been contributors to the culture of Cortland County for decades. Their paintings have a flowing quality that only comes through years of working with and understanding the medium. Their work has gone beyond the mastery of technique to the expression of their personalities. Harry Davisís keen sense of humor shines through many of his works. Jane Zogg has focused on landscapes and has painted many local scenes including a local barn series. Both artists are enthusiastic about the Arts in the Park Festival. They are hopeful it will as an opportunity for local artists to display their craft and for members of the community to own original works by local artists.

The music component of the festival will combine the talents of professionals, amateurs, students (secondary, college and graduate students), as well as teachers and semi-professionals. The style of music will be as varied as the participants. There is a significant emphasis on classical music: keyboard Partitas by Bach, classical guitar works by Fernando Sor, and vocal music from the Renaissance to the 20th century. But there will also be some original compositions, music for the pedal harp and Celtic harp, jazz piano works and songs from musical theater.

Stephen Wilson, Professor of Music at SUNY Cortland, will be accompanist for two very different soloists. Laurel Sciortino will be playing works for flute by Teleman and Handel. They will then perform a set of traditional Gaelic pieces, arranged for flute and piano. Prof. Wilson will also accompany Gina Sikora, who will be singing songs from Spanish Zarzuelas. The Zarzuela is to the Spanish-speaking world what the works of Gilbert and Sullivan are to English speakers. Wilson and Sikora are not new to Cortland area stages; their most recent concert was this past May at the Center for the Arts in Homer.

The Arts in the Park Festival is a great opportunity to see the work of local artists and to enjoy some good music. For the music part of the festival, bring a lawn chair or blanket and perhaps a picnic lunch to enjoy as you listen. For further information, check the event website at or call David Beale at the Cultural Council (607) 753-1188.