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Sage City Symphony to Present Spring Concert May 19

May 19 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

A bassoonist and harpist

Bennington, VT — On Sunday, May 19, at 4 p.m. Sage City Symphony will present a Spring Concert at Greenwall Auditorium in the VAPA Building at Bennington College. Admission is free and open to all.

On the program: Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98, by Johannes Brahms; Concertino for Contrabassoon and Small Orchestra, by Allen Shawn, with bassoonist William Safford (premiere); Danses Sacrée et Profane for Harp and Strings by Claude Debussy, with harpist Karlinda Caldicott; Fanfare for Brass and Percussion by Jack Clay.

About Bassoonist William Safford

An active freelancer, bassoonist/contrabassoonist William Safford has performed in various capacities, from orchestras to solo recitals, regionally and throughout the U.S. He is a founding member of the woodwind quintet Quintocracy, and also performs frequently with the Catskill Symphony, Albany Pro Musica, and other ensembles.

A proponent of the contrabassoon as a solo and chamber music instrument, Safford has commissioned several new works for the instrument by composers who include Mathieu Lussier, Allen Shawn, and James Cohn. He has performed at conferences of the International Double Reed Society (Ithaca, NY, Oxford, OH, New York City, Appleton, WI, and Tampa, FL), and the Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp (NC). An especially noteworthy performance was a quintet recital with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Cleveland Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony.

About Harpist Karlinda Caldicott

Karlinda Caldicott is principal harpist with the Catskill Symphony and the Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony, as well as Albany Pro Musica’s Orchestra Pro Musica. She also appears periodically with the Syracuse Orchestra (formerly known as Symphoria), Musicians of Ma’alwyck, and the Binghamton (NY) Philharmonic, as well as other regional and/or pickup orchestras and chamber groups as needed. Caldicott is in her 12th year as church musician (harp) at State Street Presbyterian Church in Schenectady, NY. In addition to her orchestral, chamber, and church music activities, Caldicott enjoys performing at lighter functions such as weddings and other special events ( As a harp teacher, she has had the honor and pleasure of filling in as harp instructor at Hamilton College for the 2023–24 academic year; she is also actively teaching at Hartwick College this year, and she teaches periodically at RPI, SUNY–Schenectady, and SUNY–Oneonta when the need for a harp instructor arises, and she was also previously harp instructor at the College of Saint Rose. Caldicott teaches harp privately as well, with students of varying ages, harp types, and interests. She currently owns three pedal harps and two lever harps, all of which are used for various purposes. She lives in Saratoga Springs, NY, with her husband and their two slightly insane cats, Koko and Widgit.

About Composer Allen Shawn

Composer Allen Shawn (b. 1948) grew up in New York City and moved to Vermont in 1985 to join the music faculty of Bennington College. His teachers included Leon Kirchner, Earl Kim, Nadia Boulanger, and Jack Beeson. Among his many compositions are a symphony, concertos for piano, violin and oboe, two cello concertos, a double concerto for clarinet and cello, music for string orchestra and other large ensembles, four chamber operas, choral, vocal, and chamber music, nine piano sonatas, and many additional piano works, including music for piano four-hands and two pianos. His music is published by Galaxy Music/E. C. Schirmer, among other publishers. Recordings of his work include five CDs of piano music, three of chamber music, his “Piano Concerto,” performed by Ursula Oppens with the Albany Symphony, conducted by David Alan Miller, and works performed by the Palisades Virtuosi, the Chamber Music Conference, and Composers Forum of the East. Additional recordings include the Chamber Opera “The Music Teacher,” with a libretto by his brother, playwright Wallace Shawn; “Three Dance Portraits,” performed by the piano duo ZOFO (Sono Luminus); “Improvisations,” with bassist Michael Bisio; and his recent solo piano “Improvisation Diary 2020.” An active pianist, Shawn is also the author of four books: “Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey”; “Wish I Could Be There”; “Twin”; and “Leonard Bernstein-An American Musician.”

About Music Director and Composer Michael Finckel

Having served as principal cellist during Sage City Symphony’s early years in the 1970s, and later as a commissioned composer and cello soloist, music director Michael Finckel continues the unique traditions and musical standards of the orchestra’s cofounder, Louis Calabro.

A native of Bennington, Vermont, Finckel’s formative studies were with his parents, both prominent musicians well known throughout the state. He later attended Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Bennington College, where he studied composition, conducting, and orchestration with Louis Calabro and Henry Brant. He has taught cello and composition at Bennington and Marymount Colleges, and at Princeton and Cornell Universities. As a member of the faculty of the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts, he taught gifted junior and senior high school students from around the state. Currently living in New York City, Finckel is engaged in an active multiple career as soloist, chamber musician, composer, teacher, and conductor. As a cellist he has performed with orchestral and chamber ensembles in venues from coast to coast and across Europe. He performs and coaches each summer at the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East at Bennington College.

About Sage City Symphony

Cofounded in 1972 by composer Louis Calabro and Christine Graham as a community and college orchestra with close ties to Bennington College, Sage City Symphony gave its first concert in 1973. At the time, it was one of only a handful of orchestras in the country to commission and premiere new works. Today the symphony performs the traditional classical repertoire as well as contemporary music, commissioning and premiering new pieces each season, with the mission of presenting programs that are beyond the usual ambition of community orchestras and that offer a challenging playing opportunity to local musicians. The symphony attracts a high caliber of dedicated amateur and professional players who travel from throughout Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts for weekly rehearsals during the concert season. Auditions are not required, and academic credit is available for Bennington College students who participate. Information about joining the symphony, as well as COVID protocols observed at rehearsals and concerts, is available at

Sage City Symphony is a registered federal non-profit organization in the State of Vermont that relies entirely on generous donations, gifts in kind, grants, and volunteer services from individuals, local foundations, businesses, and sponsors. Donations are gratefully received by mail at Sage City Symphony, PO Box 547, Shaftsbury, VT 05262 or online via Concerts are always free and open to all.


May 19
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Sage City Symphony
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Creative Zone
Southern Vermont Zone (Bennington and Windham Counties)


Greenwall Auditorium, VAPA Building, Bennington College
One College Drive
Bennington, VT 05201 United States
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