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Oney TriciaA Scholarly Startup Project grant is helping one USC Upstate faculty member live out a childhood dream.

“I’ve always dreamed of being the woman in the beautiful dress performing in front of a symphony,” said Dr. Tish Oney, artistic director and coordinator of music at USC Upstate.

The Syracuse, N.Y. native was given an opportunity to do just that this month, as a touring artist with the Syracuse Symphoria.

Oney said she applied for the grant last spring and began work to produce two symphony shows with friends and mentors she had met while studying and living in Los Angeles.

“I worked with Chris Walden and Bill Conliff, both Grammy-winning large ensemble arrangers,” Oney said. “I am very fortunate to have networked and to have performed with both of them in the past. They know my abilities and were very willing to help me and to collaborate with me to produce these shows.”

Oney said the first show is a holiday pops concert. The first performance debuted Dec. 4 at the Reg Lenna Civic Center in Jamestown, N.Y. Other performances will be held in Auburn and Herkimer, also in central New York.

“It’s very exciting,” Oney said. “I performed once as a child with this symphony, after that, I always wanted to be the soloist out front. It’s very special for this to happen in my hometown.”

Oney said that a friend she taught with at Syracuse University had recommended Oney’s show to the Symphoria for consideration during their holiday program selections. Oney said she was thrilled when she was invited to come and share the show with the Symphoria.

The second show is a jazz pops symphony program, which features a compilation of jazz standards and original songs by Oney and several of her friends that have been scored for a symphony orchestra. A debut date has not been set for this show.

During the Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference in January, Oney hopes to have an opportunity to showcase the jazz pops program.

“This is the marketplace for arts throughout the world,” Oney said. “This is where the decision-makers are looking for shows that they can book, maybe not for this year, but for as many as five years out. It’s a great opportunity to present this show.

With a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in jazz studies from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, Oney maintains an active touring and recording career in addition to her teaching at USC Upstate. Her singing has been featured internationally on radio, television and online media.

To learn more about Tish Oney, please visit online.

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