When Heather Osowiecki graduated from the Johnsburg Central School in 2007, she was glad to have a scholarship to study at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam.
“That really meant a lot to be recognized in that way,” Osowiecki said. “It means the world to someone and encourages students to know there’s support out there.”
Now it’s her time to help.
Osowiecki, who lives in North Creek, will use her mezzo-soprano voice to perform during the Celebrate Local Talent Concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. The event will benefit the new Upper Hudson Musical Arts scholarship, offered annually to a high school senior in the region who will be studying music, either as a performer or an educator.
Osowiecki did both at Crane. Actually, she studied vocal performance, music education and music business.
“Having three majors put me a little behind schedule, but it was definitely worth it,” Osowiecki said.
She spent an extra semester at Crane, graduating in December 2011. Now she is the marketing manager at Opera Saratoga, commuting more than a hour to get to work each day in Saratoga Springs. She uses the music business and music education training during her day job, and on the side she is singing with Albany Pro Musica, a choral group based at the state capital.
Osowiecki won’t reveal her song choices for April 28, deciding instead to surprise her audience. But she does love to sing French and German art songs.
“That will definitely be reflected in my performance,” Osowiecki said.
Living in North Creek, Osowiecki finds it beneficial to have Upper Hudson Musical Arts sponsor world-class musical performances at the Tannery Pond Community Center.
“It’s so important to have a variety of musical exposure in the Adirondacks,” said Osowiecki, who took advantage of every musical opportunity Johnsburg Central had to offer, including band, chorus and the school musical, which she was the student director of during her junior year.
This will be the first Celebrate Local Talent Concert for Upper Hudson Musical Arts. All six acts are volunteering their time and will perform for about 20 minutes each. A reception will be held after the concert.
The five other acts will be: classical guitarist Sten Isachsen; the violin duo of Devin Camp and Ryan McDonnell; singer/songwriter Katy Cole; classical pianist Don Preuninger; and the Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip, featuring Frank Conti on sax, Tony Jenkins on guitar, Greg Brown on string bass and Eric Hamell on drums.
Having local talent was important to organizers because they wanted to inspire school children to go into a musical profession, according to concert co-organizer and former Johnsburg Central music teacher Denise Conti.
“We felt we’d like them to see local students who are successful,” Conti said.
Conti was the vocal teacher for two of the concert’s artists — Heather Osowiecki and Katy Cole — and remembers seeing Brant Lake native Sten Isachsen perform at the Wevertown Community Center when he was a student. Conti’s husband, Frank, is the former Johnsburg Central band teacher and will be performing during the Celebrate Local Talent Concert.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to fund a scholarship for the next three years with this concert,” Denise Conti said.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. For advance tickets, contact Denise Conti at 251-3911 or Alan Chandler at 623-9843.
Forms for the Upper Hudson Musical Arts scholarship have been sent to guidance counselors at seven schools in the region: Johnsburg, Minerva, Newcomb, Long Lake, Indian Lake, Warrensburg and North Warren.