Saying “Thank You” For The Gift Of Music

OCC’s Andrea Scheibel in the Musical Resource Center with items donated by Charles Fussell, a composer of contemporary classical music.

Charles Fussell’s gift to Onondaga Community College is resulting in a musical ‘thank you.’ Fussell is a composer of comtemporary classical music with impeccable credentials. His symphony, “Wilde” for solo baritone and orchestra, based on the life of Oscar Wilde and premiered by the Newton Symphony Orchestra and the baritone Sanford Sylvan in 1990, was a finalist for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Music. He was an assistant and close friend of renowned composer, Virgil Thomson.

Charles Fussell with the boxes of items he donated to OCC’s Musical Resource Center.

Fussell recently gave OCC the gift of music, presenting the College with scores, books and CDs. There were more than 2,300 items in all. How did he find the college? “David and Deirdre Stam are old friends living in Syracuse who knew of my desire to find a home for an extensive library of music that I have collected since early teen years,” said Fussell.

His gifts can be found in the Musical Resource Center where Technical Assistant Andrea Scheibel has been archiving and cataloging each item. Fussell’s generosity will benefit current and future students. “Prior to his donation when it came to musical scores we had very limited resources,” said Music Department Chair Rob Bridge. “If a student wanted to see Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, we probably had that but we didn’t have copies of the 4th Symphony. Charles’ gift was a real game changer for our music library.”

Bridge and the rest of the Music faculty will say ‘thank you’ to Fussell in person later this month when they perform some of the pieces he donated during a concert October 23 at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall. The concert is free to attend. There will be a reception afterwards for Fussell and attendees.

“I am deeply  grateful that this music, including many 20th Century scores, has found a home where it will be well cared for and in daily use,” said Fussell. “Many contain marks from conducting experience, performance indications and analysis that might be of interest to young students. My deep gratitude to Onondaga Community College along with David & Deirdre Stam for providing this home.”

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