By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor
The Glens Falls Symphony is changing it up this year for its winter fund-raiser in advance of its annual holiday concert.
Rather than the long-standing conductor contest in which local notables battled via $1 votes for the opportunity to stand at the podium and swing a baton while the orchestra played Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” — the Symphony has planned a high-end raffle.
The first raffle prize is a wicker basket filled with $1,050 worth of gift certificates, bottles of wine, chocolates and two souvenir Symphony wine glasses.
The other prize is a three-person round of golf at Glens Falls Country Club,
Raffle tickets cost $10 each or 3 for $25. Purchase is specific to your desired prize.
Also, the Symphony is selling wine glasses custom-etched with their logo for $15 each, two for $25.
The raffle will continue through the first half of the Sunday, Dec. 15, Yuletide Around the World concert. The winner will be drawn after intermission.
Guest artists at the concert include Irish Step Dancers from the School of the Arts at the National Museum of Dance. Young Drake Belrose, the vocal soloist featured in last May’s performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, will sing “O Holy Night” and other music with the orchestra.
Meanwhile, the Adirondack Theatre Festival will forgo its usual January gala in 2020. Instead, they are planning a local celebrity bartender contest-pub crawl on Thursday night, April 2, in Glens Falls.
“The plans are still in the works,” ATF director Chad Rabinovitz says. “It doesn’t even have a name yet.”
Working plans call for several teams of eight guest “bartenders” to raise pledges in advance, and then solicit tip donations to benefit ATF, all while serving drinks during a two-hour event at four or five participating downtown establishments.
“It’s like a celebrity bartender event that other people have done, but with pledges — like a walkathon, but without the walking, and with drinks — with also a contest and a pub crawl,” Mr. Rabinovitz touts. “We’ll also want to have entertainment, maybe a jazz ensemble or magician, and food.”
He said, “We are still deciding the details, but we want it to be a lot of fun, with fun, crazy rules to make it competitive, and incentives so people want to win.”
Admission is free, rather than a $100 gala admission, he said. Restaurants will retain the cost of food and beverages sold, “so they benefit, too,” Mr. Rabinovitz notes.
ATF will continue one piece of the former January gala — still holding its annual benefit auction in January, but online, “So anyone who goes to Florida for the winter, or a filmmaker in L.A. who came to the Film Fest can also bid,” Mr. Rabinovitz says. “It’s cold! Stay home!” he adds. “The gala model, which we’ve done for 25 years, that’s old, and we’re new,” he adds.
The board is still considering how to conduct the annual season announcement that typically also took place at the gala.
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