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More than 100 musicians answer call for Saturday concert to fund Sacci scholarship

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More than 100 north country musicians answered the call for a Saturday concert that will fund the establishment of a scholarship in the name of renowned Northern New York bandleader Frank J. Sacci.

The Frank Sacci Instrumental Music Scholarship concert at 3 p.m. at Watertown High School was co-organized by Canton resident and 1973 Watertown High School graduate Keith A. Shult. He is among those whose musical lives have been touched by Mr. Sacci and who will form the concert band at the event.

“It’s been a labor of love,” Mr. Shult said of working on the concert, which he says will be held annually. “It’s been a joy because we all get to give back just a little bit what Frank has given to everybody else.”

Mr. Shult is one of a handful of conductors who will direct on Saturday.

Mr. Sacci, who nearly 50 years ago formed the Frank Sacci Big Band, retired in 1989 from Watertown High School as music director after teaching music at the school for 25 years and earning its concert band scores of awards.

The Watertown High School Wind Ensemble is hosting Saturday’s event. Members will sell concessions in the lobby of the high school auditorium. Some members of the wind ensemble will perform with the concert band.

The band will open the concert followed by the Jefferson Community College String Orchestra, which will perform one selection. The Frank Sacci Big Band will close the concert.

“It’s an excellent variety,” Mr. Shult said. “There’s something for everybody.”

Mr. Sacci and his orchestra have performed in and around Watertown and the north country at gala events and have performed at the summer Concerts on the Waterfront series in Sackets Harbor since its inception 30 years ago.

Mr. Sacci, Copenhagen, created the Jefferson Community College Wind Ensemble in 1990 and the JCC Orchestra in 1991. He retired as director of both in 2007.

Mr. Sacci also is respected on the national and state level and is well known for his work as a judge and adviser with the New York State School Music Association.

The first Frank Sacci Instrumental Music Scholarship will be given to a student at Watertown High School’s commencement ceremony June 28.

The emcee of Saturday’s concert is scheduled to be Watertown High School music director Russell J. Faunce.

The details
WHAT: Benefit concert for the Frank Sacci Instrumental Music Scholarship
WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. Saturday at the Watertown High School auditorium, 1335 Washington St.
COST: Free, but donations to the scholarship fund will be encouraged
OF NOTE: The Northern New York Community Foundation is administering the scholarship. Donations to the scholarship also can be sent to the NNY Community Foundation, 120 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601 in care of Rande S. Richardson.
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