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Concert brings opera singer back home

You might know Holly McCormack as the gal who belted out Italian opera tunes at your table at the Macaroni Grill on Wolf Road when it opened several years ago.

Now, the New York City resident, well known in several opera theatres throughout the country, is coming back to her hometown of Colonie this summer to participate in Colonie's Thursday Night Concerts at the Crossings series.

The series is in its third year at the Crossings of Colonie and is sponsored by the Vellano Brothers Inc., a Colonie-based company that sells water pipes.

The Vellano Brothers has been sponsoring the concert series each year, because, as Joe Vellano said, the company saw it as a way to give back to the community in which they have been working for 63 years.

I think the Crossings is a great location and the town, with their budgetary problems, wasn't really in the position to do additional things, said Vellano. "The music scene seems to have lost a lot of venues for live music. So, the Vellano Brothers Inc. decided to sponsor those concerts."

The Vellano Brothers pay for all of the performers to come to the park and play before the audience, as well as an ice cream truck that offers soft-serve ice creams for audience members.

For the past three years, the concert series has featured local bands coming from different genres of music, including classic rock and big band orchestra music. But this year, Vellano said they are adding a few twists to the series.

One new act is McCormack, who will bring opera to the crowd at the Crossings.

Vellano said he decided to bring in an opera act to see if the audience would like it. If the audience responds well, opera acts could become a regular part of the concert series, he said.

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