One of the things I love about summer is the ability to do almost everything outside. Enjoying an outdoor concert is a beautiful thing, and in Canandaigua, we are fortunate to have the CMAC venue at the Finger Lakes Community College. This large and popular locale draws some pretty big names from all kinds of musical genre. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) comes to perform each summer, and I had a front row seat for their early July “Red, White, and Boom!” concert. If you enjoy the sound of a full orchestra, the RPO is not to be missed. Their concert series typically covers classical, pop, movie soundtracks (live music while you watch the movie – very cool!), show tunes and more. RPO Music Director Ward Stare, who
conducted this concert, is energetic, engaging, and quite entertaining. This highly polished group of musicians is also committed to giving back to the community. In 2017-18, more than 40% performances were educational or free community concerts.
The concert started out with the Star Spangled Banner and ended with Stars and Stripes Forever. Having spent my high school and college years in marching bands, I am a sucker for a good Sousa march. They also played the Armed Forces Medley, and since I am a vet, I stood up for the Air Force song. But in addition to those Fourth of July standards, they also played several selections written by American composers including Bernstein, Williams, and Gershwin. One particularly moving piece, “Lincoln Portrait” by Copland, featured a narrator who quoted excerpts from several of President Lincoln’s speeches. It was powerful and moving, and his words are still quite applicable today. And how can you have a Fourth of July concert without the 1812 Overture, and a spectacular fireworks show?!? Thanks to my friend Amy Ogden for this photo!
But what I really want to tell you about is how CMAC handles its waste. I frequently cringe when I go to large events and I see the amount of waste that is generated. So I was delighted to see very large recycle bins next to small trash and compost receptacles. Next to the bins was a gentleman whose job it was to make sure that all waste ended up in its proper place. Being an enthusiastic composter myself, I was thrilled to see that the compost bin was for not only food waste (ALL of it!), but also the utensils and food containers, all made out of compostable materials. My humble backyard composting operation is limited to raw fruits and veggies, so I just had to ask what they do with their compost. It turns out they send it all to Organix Green Industries of Seneca Castle, a large-scale vermicomposting facility that has 100 trenches filled with worms that are able to process 2,000 tons of biodegradable waste every year. This keeps food scraps, paper products and other compostable materials out of landfills, and puts all of those nutrients back into the ground in the form of soil amendments and fertilizers. This helps to keep the nutrient cycle going – because in nature, there is no waste.
I suppose everyone has their own idea about what patriotism is. So let me share my point of view: CMAC cares enough to preserve the land for future generations – now what could be more patriotic than that?!?