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SUNY Potsdam Reunion to Feature ‘76 Trombones’ with Crane Alumni Trombones (CATS) Gathering

June 24, 2022

SUNY Potsdam Reunion 2022 Features CATS, Bringing Together Trombone Alumni & Emeriti from The Crane School of Music 

Crane Trombone Ensemble directors past and present will take part in the Crane Alumni TromboneS (CATS) gathering and performance during Reunion 2022 at SUNY Potsdam, including (clockwise, from top left) Dr. Christopher Hernacki, Dr. Mark Hartman and Dr. John Upchurch.

SUNY Potsdam’s Reunion 2022 will feature a special gathering of trombone alumni and faculty from The Crane School of Music—with 76 trombones set to take the stage during their free concert on July 16. 

This is the third reunion of the former Crane Trombone Ensemble members, coming together at reunion as the Crane Alumni TromboneS (CATS). Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Hartman said that the group originally planned to meet every five years, beginning in 2010, but the pandemic delayed their last gathering. 

CATS poster for Trombone Ensemble performanceNow, 76 alumni are set to return for the CATS gathering, culminating in a free public concert during Reunion 2022, on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m., in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall. 

The program will feature traditional favorites, including 76 Trombones” from “The Music Man,” and Auld Lang Syne.”Also featured on the Saturday evening program are arrangements completed for this event by former members and professional military musicians, Master Sgt. George Father ’03 of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West, and Technical Sgt. Ethan Cypress ’15 of the U.S. Air Force Academy Band. 

Dr. Christopher Hernacki, the current trombone studio teacher at The Crane School of Music, will also be conducting and playing in the concert. Dr. John Upchurch, founder of the Crane Trombone Choir (later called the Crane Trombone Ensemble) will be in attendance, as will several of his students from the early 1970s. Upchurch will present a recording of the 1975 Crane Trombone Choir in the Ralph Wakefield Hall at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, for Reunion attendees who are interested in the early years of the ensemble's history. 

In addition to their big performance, the CATS group will take part in group picnics, a softball game, group bike ride and special rehearsals and celebrations at the Barking Dog Saloon. 

SUNY Potsdam’s Reunion is held in conjunction with Clarkson University’s Reunion Weekend and the Village of Potsdam’s Summer Festival. This year’s events will kick off with virtual activities on July 12 and 13, with the in-person celebrations beginning on Thursday, July 14 and continuing through Sunday, July 17 at SUNY Potsdam. To view the full schedule of events, visit 

Registration is still open for Reunion at SUNY Potsdam. For more information, please call (315) 267-2120 or visit 

About The Crane School of Music: 

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution and was one of the first Yamaha Institutions of Excellence. For more information, please visit 

For Media Inquiries

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke 315-267-2918

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