Riches at hand

I’ve thought so much about the column I want to write on the riches the college campus has to offer that I admit to being surprised it wasn’t written or even begun.

It was simply happenstance (or a wiser being than I) that brought me to this area. I wanted water, land (a reasonably livable house initially with hopes to build eventually) and a view. My search took me to more desolate impossible areas in all directions out of Warren before I found “it” outside Cassadaga.

It was love at first sight. I’ve never looked back.

That said, my proximity to Fredonia was never a factor in my decision. I’d been to the school I took lessons for years and was even an enrolled student for one semester and had enjoyed Rooney’s and Sidey’s but, basically, the town seemed on the far side of the moon compared to Cassadaga country.

Ultimately (I doubt if I was in any great hurry), I explored Fredonia, found my church and did begin to attend offerings at the college. Since my primary interests are music, then theater, it was in those directions I traveled and which I’ll stress today.

I’m talking specifically of the musical offerings, most in Rosch Recital Hall with some in King. The music can be a single recitalist, faculty or student, a single or grouping of ensembles, orchestras and, within that framework, can vary from singing to jazz to any one instrument or a combination of many.

Some offerings do have a price attached, some of the others might ask a dollar or five but the great majority are free. Absolutely free. Faculty recitals (the professors here are world-class) are worthy of all superlatives and the students are well-trained and rehearsed, deserving of attention. I simply cannot say enough about the bands or, even more to my taste, the two orchestras. Again: free. They present challenging music certain to entertain. The active theater deserves a column all its own.

For those not particularly interested in performances, there are sports galore (I definitely enjoyed the hockey I attended) and excellent lectures, probably in all departments. I’m sure most are open to the public. The Web site, www.fredonia.edu/calendars will open their world to you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

I probably attend a good majority of the musical events: concerts and recitals, student as well as faculty. I mustn’t neglect guest artists either. The riches continue. A listing, updated weekly, can be found at musicnews@fredonia.edu. Take a peek.

My point is that this coterie, while enthusiastic, is sadly limited. Not by exclusivity but simply because so few attend. Students aside, I’ve gotten to know most of the regular “townies” by name since we see each other so often.

Are you interested in the strings (the guitar, included, is very active)? Winds? Vocal talents? These range from opera to jazz, all amazingly good. Pick an instrument any instrument, one you know or, perhaps, one you’d like to learn more about. I hadn’t known there was a contrabassoon or the big baritone saxophone.

Goodness, people, rustle your bustle. School is just beginning. Your taxes pay for it get out there and enjoy!

You’ll definitely be the richer for it.

Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. “Her Reason for Being” was published in 2008 with “Love in Three Acts” released in June. Copies are available at Papaya Arts on the Boardwalk in Dunkirk and the Cassadaga ShurFine. Information on all the Musings, the books and the author can be found at Susancrossett.com.