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Letters to the Editor

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - Updated: 6:30 PM

The sounds of the season

To the editor:

Let me preface my remarks by saying I am not qualified to be a music critic in any way. I do love music and, at this time of year, love the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah. It seems to be the way to start the Christmas celebration.

This [Sunday] afternoon, St. Ann's presented the 50th performance of this wonderful music. Over 300 people attended and I would be very surprised if you found anyone who did not think this performance was outstanding. The late Otto Miller started this tradition 50 years ago and conducted it until his passing. Richard McKee, a former parishioner now affiliated with the Syracuse Opera, has been the very able conductor for several years now but health problems prevented him from carrying out this duty this year and Mr. Donald Ingram filled in for Mr. McKee. The soloists were absolutely marvelous. The addition of two trumpeters (Michael Perry and Dylan Canterbury) to the violins and organ added such dimension to the music. The choir was excellent and the whole performance was just breathtaking. The caliber of the soloists each year absolutely amazes me. Should you have any doubts about my statements, look up Julia Ebner, Melisse Weber, Kirk Dougherty and/or Jimi N. James on the Internet. You can hear samples of their singing on some of their websites. I can't help but think God and Mr. Handel would both have been pleased with this performance today.

This event is held on the second Sunday of December every year at 3 p.m. The only cost to hear this magnificent performance is a free will offering. Refreshments are served following the program. If you don't go, you are missing possibly the best performance you could see and hear in Amsterdam at any price and for the price of a free will offering, it cannot be beat.

Thank you to those at St. Ann's who bring this performance to us year after year. This is the beginning of my Christmas.

Anne DeGroff,


Get your cancer screening

To the editor:

The Cancer Services Program of Fulton and Montgomery Counties wants to remind men, women, family members and friends of the importance of encouraging the men and women in your life to have their annual cancer screenings. With Christmas and the New Year upon us, and family and friends coming together to celebrate this wonderful occasion, it is a perfect opportunity to do just that: remind them to get screened.

The Cancer Services Program of Fulton and Montgomery Counties offers men 50 to 64 and women 40 to 64, the opportunity to get a free breast exam, mammogram, pap test and/or a colorectal cancer screening kit if they do not have health insurance.

Despite advances in prevention and treatment, cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in New York state, exceeded only by heart disease. Prevention and early detection are key reducing cancer incidences and cancer deaths.

According to the state cancer registry, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in New York, after lung cancer. Every year, nearly 14,500 women in the state are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 2,700 women die from the disease.

The program also offers a colorectal screening kit to eligible men and women 50 to 64. Colorectal cancer still remains the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. It is one of only a few cancers that can actually be prevented through the use of regular screening tests.

Cancer is a disease that doesn't discriminate, and touches all families. If you do not have health insurance and need your annual screenings, please contact Suzanne Hagadorn, program coordinator, at (518) 841-3726 for more information.

Suzanne Hagadorn,



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