Since its inception, NYS Baroque, through the ministration of NYSEMA, has sought to infuse new life into the music of the 17th and 18th centuries, and to illuminate the significance and passion in the works of art that form the core of a cultural heritage. NYS Baroque aims to delight and educate audiences with the ensemble's fresh and often startling interpretations of the well-known masters, and to introduce them to more obscure musical treasures as well. Through the use of instruments and techniques of the period, we attempt to communicate faithfully the power and truth of the music to our listeners. NYSEMA is dedicated to educational outreach, seeking to excite and illuminate new audiences of all ages, through evocative NEH-sponsored lecture/demonstrations, open rehearsals, collaborations with live theater, puppets, slide shows, semi-staged opera with historic gestures, dance, poetry readings, film, and even a fencing demonstration.
In its fourteen-year history, our orchestra has presented over 200 public events throughout the Northeastern United States. NYS Baroque presents an annual concert series in both Ithaca and Syracuse, as well as an annual performance of Handel's Messiah with the Men and Boys' Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral in Buffalo. NYS Baroque has actively pursued and initiated opportunities to bring the arts of the Baroque era into classrooms throughout the region and we plan to expand our participation in arts-in-education programs. From 1994-1996 we presented twenty-nine lecture/demonstrations funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities at various venues around the region, including a lecture/demonstration on French court dance at The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC in May of 1996.
The performances of NYS Baroque are made possible by, and planned in conjunction with NYSEMA, which functions both as NYS Baroque's Board of Directors and as presenter for its Ithaca-Syracuse-Buffalo concert series. The relationship between the performing ensemble and its organizational underpinnings is without current parallel: in addition to fulfilling the usual duties of board chairs, NYSEMA Executive Co-Directors Peter and Elizabeth Hedrick, respectively the principal oboist and bassoonist of NYS Baroque, collaborate closely with Music Directors Michael Sand and Richard Stone in the research and interpretation of historical documents and programming conception.