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      Musicians hope old faces and a new plan equal harmony for a symphony in Syracuse

      Musical Associates of CNY rehearse Thursday afternoon

      The distinct hum of a single violin's tuning note resonates throughout Crouse-Hinds Theater, more violins join, followed by the rest of the strings, the woodwinds and finally the brass, filling the theater up to the ceiling with a full, single note.

      Victoria Krukowski sits toward the back of the stage, eyes focused underneath the ever-present stage lighting, as she finds her way to the proper pitch with her Clarinet. The sounds of an orchestra tuning, inside the Crouse-Hinds Theater, is music to her ears.

      A musician in the newly formed Musical Associates of Central New York, Krukowski, was a part of the old Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. When the SSO went bankrupt, Krukowski admitted it was difficult for her and the other musicians, as they loved music, but even more importantly, loved playing in an orchestra in Syracuse. Now in a newer, and hopefully more stable version of the orchestra, Krukowski believes the past 18 months have brought the group together.

      "In many ways, we're a closer knit family now, this orchestra," Krukowski says. "I got to know my colleagues in ways I never knew them before, and we're very passionate about music, and we're passionate about Syracuse."

      More than 50 former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra musicians are a part of this new venture called the Musical Associates of Central New York, a cooperative venture, where musicians like Krukowski are putting up their own money to keep it going.

      "The members of the orchestra are participating in the financial risk of operating this business," Jon Garland, a French Horn player and a new board member, says. "As a result, we have a lot on the line to make sure these performances happen as we plan them."

      Today, the Crouse-Hinds Theatre in Syracuse lit up with music, as the new orchestra prepared for their first two performances at that venue this Saturday, October 27th.

      The first is a family program with a Halloween theme at 10:30 Saturday morning, featuring music and a parade of costumed concert goers. The second starts at 7:30 p.m., as guest pianist Jon Nakamatsu will share the stage with the group. Those concerts are just the beginning as well, as this time around, the orchestra wants to connect and interact with the community, forming a bond that keeps concert goers coming back throughout the year.

      "We want to be more deeply rooted, and have relationships, that will be fostered over time," Krukowski says.

      The group hopes to do so by bringing in popular performances like the Nutcracker, The Messiah and Holiday Pops in the coming months.