‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ star to visit SUNY Potsdam

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POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A cast member from the award-winning television series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” will be making an appearance in the North Country this week.

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is preparing to welcome storyteller, artist and educator, Dr. Francois Scarborough Clemmons, for a campus residency. Dr. Clemmons is most known for his role as Officer Clemmons on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He will visit the campus on October 14 and October 15.

Throughout his career, Dr. Clemmons is noted to have “touched the hearts of thousands,” all during his time as an opera singer, his role on “Mister Rogers’,” and later as an award-winning conductor, performer and educator.

Highlights from his career in vocal performances include singing professionally with the Metropolitan Opera for seven seasons and winning a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Clemmons also founded the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble in 1986.

While at SUNY Potsdam, Dr. Clemmons will present a keynote address on October 14 titled, “Won’t YOU Be My Neighbor?” This address will be held at the Sara M. Snell Music Theater beginning at 8 p.m.

Following this address on October 15, Clemmons will lead two Q&A sessions and interactive workshops. Here he will discuss the intersection of race and culture in music educations. The workshops will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Schuette Hall Room A323 and at 11:30 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center Lobby.

Additionally, Dr. Clemmons will lead an open rehearsal and masterclass on the Negro spiritual with the Hosmer Choir and Eclectic Ensemble. This will begin at 3 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.

Clemmons is also set to attend an open rehearsal of the Phoenix Club and join a social gathering for the Crane School of Music Blck, Indigenous. People of Color Affinity Circle. All events at SUNY Potsdam are free and open to the public.

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