Seagle Music Colony Receives $118,000 Grant
Seagle Music Colony announced that it has been awarded a $118,100 grant as part of the North Country's Regional Economic Development Council Strategic Plan. "In 2015, Seagle Music Colony will celebrate its 100th Anniversary, and this is a wonderful early-birthday present for all of us involved in this magical place," says Tony Kostecki, General Director of Seagle Music Colony.
The grant award represents support for two projects at Seagle Music Colony that will help make 2015 a milestone year for the organization. Part of the funds support campus improvements including replacement of an aging housing unit, and renovation work on the historically significant Oscar Seagle Memorial Theatre. The other part of the funds will support Seagle Music Colony's efforts to market and publicize its upcoming Centennial across the region, state and country, in an effort to boost Schroon Lake's tourist economy during this significant milestone year in the company's history. "These funds will assist us in making preparations for new and long-time visitors to enjoy the beautiful Seagle Music Colony campus in comfort, and in spreading the word about our unique program, inspiring more people to make Schroon Lake a destination in their summer vacation plans," says Kostecki.
The grants fund approximately 20% of the full budget for the two projects, and this endorsement of the impact Seagle Music Colony has on the North Country and the world of Opera is testament to the work accomplished every year by the artists, faculty and staff. The Colony will raise the additional funds to complete the projects in 2014. "We have a very generous group of supporters, and many of them have already made commitments to support us in these and other future projects. Being awarded this grant is an excellent catalyst to continue our fundraising efforts toward our pending centennial," says Seagle Music Colony board president, Joe Kelly of Olmstedville. Seagle Music Colony is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization and relies primarily on donations from individuals to fund its summer vocal training and performance program each year.
Praised as the "Best Summer Vocal Training Program in the United States" (Classical Singer Magazine), the Seagle Music Colony was founded in 1915 by world-renowned opera singer, baritone Oscar Seagle. The Colony has provided training and experience to some of the best young singers around the country for 98 years. The Seagle Music Colony Singers were one of the first groups to perform before television cameras. The Colony Opera Guild was formed in 1941 and performed for several years at the Wikiosko Barn Theatre on Lake George, which was the Bolton Road home of Mrs. Charles Peabody. After Oscar Seagle's death in 1945, his son John directed and taught voice at the Seagle Music Colony from 1945 to 1985. The old barn that was Oscar Seagle's studio in Schroon Lake was extended into a theatre in his memory. Under the Seagle family stewardship, which continues to the present, of John's son Peter, his wife, Dodie, and their three sons, the Colony continued in many of the same traditions. In 1996, Darren K. Woods was hired as General Director. Under his leadership, and with a core staff consisting of distinguished experts in the field, including Richard Kagey, Keith Wolfe, John Mueter, Richard Williams and Tony Kostecki, the Colony has continued to grow. Today over 500 applicants vie for the opportunity to attend the Colony each summer. In the past ten years, the Colony has grown from two productions and eight performances per summer to six full productions and over thirty-five performances. Since 2008, Tony Kostecki serves as full-time resident General Director and Darren Woods has transitioned to part-time summer Artistic Director.
More information on the New York Regional Economic Development Councils can be found at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.
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