News in Cortland NY

Cortland Old Timers Band Names New Directors

Edward O'Rourke, Cortland Old Timers DirectorEdward J. O’Rourke, a Syracuse City Schools music teacher, has been named by the Cortland Old Timers Band as its new Music Director/Conductor. Following the retirement in 2011 of Donna Yacavone, and an intensive search for qualified candidates in the region, the band members selected O’Rourke after interviews and concert auditions with the leading applicants.

O’Rourke holds a Master of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University, and taught instrumental music for 26 years in the Syracuse city schools. He is currently employed by the Syracuse Teachers Association as Treasurer and Benefits Fund Administrator.

Performing on the clarinet, he is active in several wind ensembles, including the Central Winds Music Educators Wind Ensemble, Highland Winds Clarinet Quartet, Silverwood Clarinet Choir, and the Skaneateles Community Band. He has held active roles in numerous professional organizations including the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), and the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA).

Michael Poole, Old Timers Band Assoc. ConductorThe search committee, led by Ken Briggs of Homer, determined that a unique opportunity existed to also establish an assistant conductor position. As a result, Michael Poole has been selected by the Band as its new Associate Conductor. Poole is a current member of the band’s trombone section, and has occasionally directed the band in recent years. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and studied graduate-level music theory at the University of Buffalo. In addition to playing with the Old Timer’s Band, he is a performing member of several local classical and jazz ensembles, including the Crown City Brass, St. Mary’s Brass, and the JazzHappensBand. Poole is an active music arranger in the community, and has also produced and directed several Antiphonal Brass Concerts at St. Mary’s Church in Cortland.

The conductors are currently selecting music for the 2012 season, and rehearsals will commence on February 23. Community residents are invited to inquire about joining the band by calling Dick Martin at 749-7137 or email at

The Band is currently booking performance dates for 2012. Those interested in scheduling the Cortland Old Timers Band to play at your community event should contact John Folmer at