The Catskill Symphony Orchestra raised $44,572 Saturday night at the orchestra’s annual cabaret fundraiser. Almost 500 people attended CSO’s Cabaret Concert at SUNY Oneonta’s Alumni Field House.

The show opened with an acknowledgment of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The orchestra performed the Ukrainian National Anthem — “Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished.”
Two members of the 52 players in the orchestra are Ukrainian. The audience stood respectfully during the anthem.

The first half of the show featured the orchestra performing Johann Strauss’ “A Night in Venice: Overture” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances,” conducted by Maestro Maciej Zoltowski.

Following intermission, singer Mandy Harvey fronted the cabaret portion of the show., combining the talents of her band and the Catskill Symphony Orchestra. She sang some standards from the Great American Song Book along with a few of her own original songs. Harvey has a unique personal story. She is a deaf singer-songwriter. Due to a rare disorder, she lost her hearing while studying music at Colorado State University.

Harvey has overcome her disability with a successful career as a musician, singer, motivational speaker, and writer. After appearing on "America's Got Talent" and ending up as a finalist on the show, her career took off. Her message is for people to hope, dream, and believe — no matter what.

A popular feature of the cabaret concert is the competition for guest conductors. Jake Patterson, filling in for his father Paul Patterson who was unable to attend the evening's events, ending up winning by way of raising the most funds. Patterson beat out Tracy Allen and Matt Grady.

The show concluded with Jake Patterson conducting a rousing rendition of John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Townsquare Media radio host Leslie Ann (Classic Hits 103.1fm, 100.3fm, 94.7fm) was the master of ceremonies for the evening's inspirational program.

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