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Warner Library Hosts A Really Terrible Orchestra

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester might need to change its name. It wasn't so terrible according to the audience members who heard them recently at Warner Library.

The orchestra, along with the Really Terrible Dixieland Jazz Band, performed in front of a packed room at the library. Conductor Benjamin Niemczyk got a few laughs after the orchestra finished performing Bizet's “Farandole.”

“You see,” he said, “that wasn't so terrible.”

The Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester is a group of amateur musicians. The orchestra and its jazz band exist to give ordinary people the chance to improve their musical ability, no matter their skill level.

The orchestra welcomes any willing musician, saying “all you need is an instrument and a pulse.” The orchestra rehearses every other Monday night at ArtsWestchester in White Plains.

Tarrytown resident and Library Board of Trustees member Patricia Pinckney was part of the Dixieland Jazz Band on Sunday, playing the keyboard. She said she joined after seeing the band play “When the Saints Go Marching In” at a farmers market.

Pinckney and the other members of the jazz band had audience members singing and dancing in their seats. The band had a few bumps in their performance, such as when vocalist Maria Martir told the crowd the next song they would play was one of her favorites.

Turns out Martir and the band had different songs in mind. The band stopped briefly to confer with Martir and straighten everything out. Martir laughed and joked with the audience that they got “a really terrible singer with this really terrible band.”

Bandleader Les Krasnogor explained the group's philosophy after starting off in the wrong key for “Georgia on My Mind.” It wasn't how the musicians started that mattered, he said.

“It's how you end it,” he said.

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