ESU Syracuse Branch

A Message from the Syracuse Branch President

Established in 1948, The Syracuse Branch of the English-Speaking Union is a very active group. Our programs reflect our members who are spirited, thoughtful and concerned about intercultural and international communications. They share a genuine interest in people and community affairs. The Syracuse Branch meets the second Saturday of each month - September through May - at a private club.

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News And Events

ESU Syracuse Branch Annual Meeting

May 8th, 2021 - The Syracuse Chapter has been able to resume in-person meetings following covid protocol.  We were happy to have our May annual meeting to enjoy each other's company and to give member approval of our slate of officers and committee chairs for 2021-2022.

We were fortunate to be entertained by Ernest Musquiz of Syracuse Symphoria, who presented his program "Mallet Keyboard Instruments in the Orchestra."  Mr. Musquiz joined the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, now "Symphoria," in 1974 and is now in his 47th consecutive year with that organization serving as percussionist and timpanist as well as directing the Youth Orchestra. His mallets fly with fantastic precision when he plays the keyboard instruments.

 

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2021 Syracuse Branch Shakespeare Competition

The Syracuse Chapter held its Shakespeare Competition virtually this year with ten finalists who won their local competitions at Central New York School Districts.   Contestants are required to perform an excerpt of a monologue from a Shakespearean play along with one of the bard's sonnets.

Students participating, along with their school districts, were Lillyanna Whipple (Camden),  Bel Lazarsky (Cazenovia), Emilee Edick (CBA), Kalysta Donaghy-Robinson (Fabius-Pompey), Rachel Bouwens (Homer), Anka Chiorini (Jamesville-Dewitt), Andra Benson (Lansing), Arman Nizam (Manlius Pebble Hill) , Moira McAnich (Tully), and Alexandra Dubaniewicz (Westhill).

The first place winner was Anka Chiorini.  Anka will be competing in the national competition, normally held in New York City but this year held virtually. The national winner receives a trip to London to attend the British American Drama Academy Mid-Summer Conservatory Program.  Second place went to runner-up Emilee Edick and 3rd place to Lillyanna Whipple.  Honorable Mentions were given to Andra Benson and Rachel Bouwens.

Anka's and Emilee's performances are below.  Anka's monologue is from a speech by Pucelle (Joan of Arc) in Henry VI, Part 1, Act V, Scene iv, and her sonnet is Number 134.  Emilee's monologue is from Constance's speech in King John, Act III, scene iv, and she recites Sonnet 25.

 

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2020 Syracuse Branch Shakespeare Winner

E-SU, Syracuse Branch's 2020 Shakespeare Competition's winner Emilee Edick stands proud at her high school Christian Brothers Academy.  She holds our Branch's Shakespeare's winner plaque where her name and that of her school are engraved and join those of others in the past who share her honor.  By tradition, the plaque will hang in CBA for the school year.

Everyone notices Emilee's mask that adds much to the story of her participation and ultimate win.  Only a few days before our March 21 scheduled Shakespeare Competition did she and sixteen other students learn that area schools were closing.  So, too, was Syracuse Stage's Archbold Theatre, our venue for both our student workshop and competition.  Baldwinsville Library offered us space, but we realized quickly that we were headed for a virtual path.

 

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July 2020

Although the coronavirus has interrupted our normal schedule, the local officers and board members are discussing ways to keep us informed and connected during this time. 

The national organization has some current interesting programs for us to enjoy while we're waiting for in-person meetings. Click on this link to see a full listing and details of the ESU Happy Hour series. 

The ESU Online Happy Hours series offers several online speakers on topics including:

  • "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know, the Bronte Sisters,"
  • "Ron Whitehead, Outlaw Poet,"
  • "Shakespeare Scandals and Scoundrels," and 
  • "Downton Abbey in the Kitchen."

Meanwhile stay healthy, and we'll all look forward to meeting again as soon as it's safe for all.

 

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May Meeting

The Syracuse chapter had to cancel our March and April meetings due to the coronavirus, but thanks to Zoom we held our annual election meeting on schedule on May 9, 2020.

Thirty-one members attended. We were happy to see each other and say hello. We then moved through the annual meeting steps to elect the leaders for next year. In honor of the Queen's birthday we all wore festive hats. Celebrations followed with toasts to ESU's Centennial, the Queen's birthday,  and the new officers and board members.

 

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The English-Speaking Union

Syracuse Branch

Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.