Cooperstown Summer Music Festival Pro AmCooperstown, N.Y. - How many concerts feature a neurosurgeon, a judge, a color scientist and a molecular biologist performing with professional artists? That's what happens at the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival Pro Am. The performances, which will include works by MENDELSSOHN, MOZART, HAYDN, BRAHMS AND REYNALDO HAHN, WILL TAKE PLACE June 23 in Edmeston, June 24 in Cherry Valley, and June 25 at Hyde Hall.

"After a weekend of coaching sessions, which also include great conversations and laughs, combinations of professional artists and non-career musicians take the stage," explains Festival artistic director Linda Chesis.
Chesis, a flutist and chair of the woodwind department at the Manhattan school of music, pianist Shirley Irek, cellist Kirsten Jermé, and violinist Marc Uys will coach and perform with Barbara Gaden, cello; Bruce Harris, piano; Jonathan Phillips, viola; and Mark Ptashne, violin.

"It's a unique opportunity to perform alongside world-class musicians in concert," says Jonathan Phillips. "Linda Chesis has provided an environment in which the pros coach the ‘ams' while playing their own part. Sitting next to a pro elevates my own musicianship in a way that would never happen while only playing with other amateurs--it's the best feeling!"

Barbara Gaden is a judge in Richmond, Va; Bruce Harris is an attending neurosurgeon at Bassett Healthcare; Jonathan Phillips is a color scientist; and Mark Ptashne is a molecular biologist.

"The people who participate in the pro-am are truly inspiring," says Chesis. "While excelling in their professional careers, they continue to foster their musical passion."

The pro-am performances will be held on Monday, June 23, 7:00 pm at Pathfinder Village, 3 Chenango Road, Edmeston; Tuesday, June 24, 7:30 pm at the star theater, 44 Main Street, Cherry Valley; and Wednesday, June 25, 7:30 pm at Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Road, Cooperstown. The festival has performed at Pathfinder Village for years; this is the first pro-am at Star Theater and also at Hyde Hall.

"We're happy to bring the pro-am to Star Theater and to Hyde Hall, and look forward to our return to Pathfinder Village," says Chesis.

"Hyde Hall is delighted to be a partner in the arts with the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival," says Jonathan Maney, Hyde Hall's executive director. "Our drawing Room is a perfect venue for the Pro Am Concert."

No tickets necessary for these performances. Donations welcome at the door for the June 24 and June 25 performances. The Pathfinder Village concert is free. For more information, email, call 877/666-7421 or see

About the Festival
The 16th season of the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival features three classical concerts on August 6, 10 and 24, and a jazz concert on August 17. In addition to the Pro Am concerts, the Festival's pre-season includes Flutes in the Drawing Room at Hyde Hall on July 31. To find out more, go to, call the Festival at 877/666-7421, or email
Flutist Linda Chesis started the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival with three events in 1999, and since then the Festival has offered the region nearly 100 concerts, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret to kids' concerts. The Festival has featured: Midori, Hank Jones, the Tokyo String Quartet, the American String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Kurt Elling, Tim Fain, Bill Charlap, Keisuke Wakao, Hilary Kole, Simone Dinnerstein, and Mark O'Connor.

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.