By CHARLIE KRAEBEL
and REBECCA WEBSTER
Recorder News Staff
Amsterdam's United Presbyterian Church will once again play host to the Rug City's wealth of musical talent.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, Winter Showcase XV will feature around two dozen artists performing selections from a variety of musical styles.
Several classical numbers are part of the bill, but the concert will also feature several ethnic and cultural pieces. One of the performers, Theresa Jackson, taught in the Greater Amsterdam School District for 35 years and will bring her talents to the stage on Sunday with the accompaniment of a trumpet and piano.
"It's always been part of my life," Jackson said. "My father was a musician."
Jackson has been a part of the Winter Showcase since its birth and each year she looks forward to what the program has to offer.
"It's always very interesting because it's unexpected," she said. "I think it's going to be quite good. It always is."
Co-director Stephanie Boice said Thursday the concert was started 15 years ago with co-director Margaret "Peg" Lazarou, who has been involved with Amsterdam's music community for more than 50 years.
"The idea is to highlight the talent in the greater Amsterdam area," Boice said. "It's a nice celebration of that."
Boice said the showcase has "built up a clientele" over the years, and this year's concert will feature performances by artists who regularly participate in the event along with new musicians.
Vocalists and instrumentalists from across the region, not just from Amsterdam, will delight the audience, Lazarou said, a few even hailing from New York City.
"It's not the same ol', same ol', at all," Lazarou said. "I think probably the unique part about it is that there's such a variety as there always is, but there's a lot of new talent that's going to be presented that the community has not been privileged to hear before."
All of the musicians are professionals, Lazarou continued, and big part of the showcase is to really "show them off."
Along with putting Amsterdam's musical talent on display, the concert also has another purpose. Part of the proceeds go toward a musical scholarship in Lazarou's name, which is given to a graduating high school senior.
Last year's scholarship was $500, Boice said, adding that the student who won last year's award, Amsterdam High School graduated Giovanna Savoie, will be among Sunday's performers.
She will perform with Lazarou as the second half of the program opens.
Though the performances in the showcase are limited to professional musicians, the students in the community will usher at the event and will be given the opportunity to listen and learn as the professionals show their craft.
Tickets for Winter Showcase XV are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $5 for students. A cookie-and-punch reception will follow after the concert, which is scheduled to last about two hours.