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January 21, 2017 - 2:25pm

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The owners of The Ridge NY (aka Frostridge Campground) enter the 2017 outdoor music season for the first time in a couple of years knowing there are no obstacles that might inhibit concert nights.

The renewed freedom allows David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell to aim high for some of the stars they might book and this week they were able to announce a big one: Clint Black.

One of the most accomplished recording artists and songwriters in Nashville, Black will take The Ridge stage Aug. 12.

"We've been in negotiations since November," David said. "It was kind of a back and forth but one we had hoped for a long time, so this is really great to finally have someone with the kind of history that Clint does. We can bring that classic country sound to Western New York."

Black emerged top of his class among wave of new-traditionalist country singers to come out with chart-topping hits in 1989. He went triple-platinum with his debut album, "Killin' Time," and repeated the feat with his follow-up, "Put Yourself in My Shoes." 

Killin' Time contained five #1 songs, all of which Black wrote or co-wrote. He's written or cowrote every one of his dozens of #1 singles over the years.

It's apparently been a long time since Black came to WNY, so David said they were excited to sign him for a show early in their process of lining up acts for this summer.

There will likely be other big names announced before winter ends, David said. 

There will also be some up-and-coming acts added to the calendar, such as the Swon Brothers, scheduled to appear at The Ridge on July 22.

David and Greg are also putting together a blowout two-day event as a fundraiser for veterans June 2 and 3 called the American Warrior Concert. Nearly two dozen musical acts from throughout the region will perform over the two days.

This summer will also include the annual fundraiser for the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department (probably Aug. 5), and in July, David and Greg will put the frost back in Frostridge with ice skating -- yes, ice skating in July -- as well as snowman building.

It's great to be able to run a business again, David said, without the cloud of litigation hanging over all their plans. 

"Now we're working with folks knowing that we don’t have to try to figure out a plan B or plan C in case something comes up," David said. "We know what we have and we know how to make it work and it just flows."

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January 10, 2017 - 9:06am

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It will be the 25th season of concerts at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center this summer and Live Nation has started to release the names of some of the bands scheduled to perform, including Green Day.

As part of the band's Revolution Radio Tour, Green Day will take the stage Aug. 26, a Saturday. Also on the bill, Catfish and the Bottlemen. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Some classic rock bands have also been booked.

Chicago and the Doobie Brothers will be in town July 18. 

Foreigner and Cheap Trick will share top billing July 21, with special guest Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience.

January 4, 2017 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, arts, batavia, corfu, news.

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The way Laura Kauppi sees it, every child, regardless of income, should have a chance to learn piano.

The Corfu native who teaches piano to a lot of higher income kids in Amherst, decided recently that she wants to give back to her local community and has partnered with Roxy's Music to offer piano lessons to low-income children.

"Every child should be able to learn piano," she said.

She's calling the program, "Every Child Music School."

For qualifying students, classes are three times a month for 20 minutes at $3 per lesson. To qualify, parents need to show a benefits card, such as a WIC card, at the first lesson.  The lessons are available to children 18 months and older.

She's looking for donations of touch-sensitive keyboard (press hard for a louder note, soft for a softer note) to help ensure students have an instrument to practice on.

Kauppi studies piano performance at Geneseo while pursuing an undergraduate degree in another field, but put herself through college teaching piano.

"When I started teaching, I realized I absolutely loved teaching piano and I wanted to keep doing it, so I’ve been teaching for 12 years now," Kauppi said.

To donate or register, call Kauppi at 585-861-0153.

January 3, 2017 - 8:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in T.F. Brown's, batavia, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Rock star Joey Belladonna returns to Batavia Jan. 14 for a show at T.F. Brown's with his cover band, Big Chief Way.

Belladonna is best known as lead singer for the popular thrash metal band Anthrax. Anthrax, with frontman Belladonna, has released 10 albums that have sold 8 million copies worldwide. The band was nominated for three Grammy awards.

From Western New York, Belladonna occasionally plays shows in the area with Big Chief Way.

There are a limited number of VIP tickets available that includes a chance to meet Belladonna between 8 and 9 p.m. for $10. Tickets must be purchased at T.F.'s by Jan. 13. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $5 pre-sale or at the door. Tickets may be purchased at T.F. Brown's.

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December 19, 2016 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, music, entertainment, arts.

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The Batavia High School Choir is singing Christmas carols all over Batavia, mostly at businesses that made a donation to help cover the $50,000 it will cost for them to travel and participate in a competition in Washington, D.C.

We happened to catch up with them while they were at Valle Jewelers.

December 12, 2016 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, arts, music, news.

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St. Mary's yesterday held a capacity audience for the annual Genesee Symphony Orchestra holiday show, which featured performances by Emily Helenbrook, of Alexander, and Young Artist Competition winner Amelia Snyder.

The family of conductor Shade Zajac also dedicated a new podium his grandfather made and donated to the GSO.

When it came time for the orchestra to play "Sleigh Bells," Zajac invited a young member of the audience to step onto the podium to conduct the orchestra. Shannon Campbell stepped forward (photo below provided by her mother).

The GSO's next concert is at 4 p.m., March 12, at Genesee Community College, and will feature pianist Brian Preston. Music will include Brahms, Concerto No. 1 in D Minor and Marquez, Danzon No. 2.

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December 10, 2016 - 12:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GSO, music, arts, St. Mary's, batavia, news.

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Emily Helenbrook, of Alexander and a soprano, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, who has performed from Buffalo to California, will be a featured artist tomorrow during the Genesee Symphony Orchestra's annual holiday concert at St. Mary's Church.

For more about Helenbrook, see our previous story: Emily Helenbrook dreams big, works hard as she seeks career as opera singer

Also featured will be Amelia Snyder, on alto saxophone, and one of GSO's Young Artist Competition winners.

The program includes:

  • Ukrainian Bell Chorale, arrangement by Nancy Strelau
  • Fanfare from La Perri, Dukas
  • Concerto for Saxophone and Strings, Glazonov
  • Christ at the Movies, arranged by Krogstag
  • Emily Helenbrook singing several selections
  • Canadian Brass, arrangement by Custer
  • Sleigh Ride, Leroy Anderson
  • Christmas Festival, Anderson.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. To purchase tickets online, please make your purchase by 1 p.m. tomorrow. Visit GeneseeSymphony.com

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November 30, 2016 - 9:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Christmas, music, entertainment.

As he's done each of the past couple of years, Carmen DelPlato has sent us over a Christmas song to share with the community. The song is written by Mary DelPlato and performed by Anthony DelPlato.

November 29, 2016 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, batava, Le Roy, music, arts, news.

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The Genesee Chorale performs a Christmas concert called "The Rose" this Friday at Our Lady of Mercy, 44 Lake St., in Le Roy.

Showtime is 7 p.m

The performance, conducted by Ric Jones, will be repeated at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia.

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November 29, 2016 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, arts, music, news.

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Conductor Shade Zajac leads the Genesee Symphony Orchestra through a rehearsal Monday night at Batavia High School as the GSO prepares for its annual holiday concert at St. Mary's on Dec. 11.

The program includes: 

  • Guests: Emily Helenbrook, soprano, and young artist competition winner Amelia Snyder, alto saxophone
  • Ukrainian Bell Chorale, arrangement by Nancy Strelau
  • Fanfare from La Perri, Dukas
  • Concerto for Saxophone and Strings, Glazonov
  • Christ at the Movies, arranged by Krogstag
  • Emily Helenbrook singing several selections
  • Canadian Brass, arrangement by Custer
  • Sleigh Ride, Leroy Anderson
  • Christmas Festival, Anderson

To purchase tickets, click here.

November 11, 2016 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee valley wind ensemble, music, arts, news.

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Philip J. Briatico conducts the Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Elba Central School.

The concert will include pieces by Samuel Barber, Danny Elfman, John Philip Sousa, Mark Camphouse, among others.

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October 17, 2016 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Announcements, news, music, genesee valley wind ensemble.

The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will perform its Autumn Concert "First & Final Steps" beginning at 4 p.m. in the Elba Central School Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The school is located at 57 S. Main St.

The purpose of the ensemble is to serve and provide the Greater Genesee Valley audience with new and familiar live music, to serve its membership with the opportunity to perform challenging wind ensemble literature and to create the opportunity for the conductor and musicians to grow their collective musical talents.

Admission is:

  • $25 -- Family Deal -- for immediate family and children defined a mother and/or father and up to four children
  • $10 -- Adult
  • $8 -- Senior (55+) & Veteran
  • $5 -- Student with ID
  • Free -- Children age 5 and younger

Also, printed on the back of the tickets will be a coupon for Chap's Elba Diner, which can only be used immediately following the concert for 10 percent off their bill.

To contact the ensemble, email    [email protected] 

The concert will feature these works:

"A Movement for Rosa" by Mark Camphouse

"Music for a Darkened Theatre" by Danny Elfman

"Over the Rainbow" by E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen

"Commando March" by Samuel Barber

"A Fifties Time Capsule" -- arrangements by Paul Jennings

"Chorale and Shaker Dance" by John Zdechlik

"Library of Congress March" by John Philip Sousa

"Star Trek: Into Darkness" -- arrangements by Michael Brown

October 15, 2016 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, S. Shade Zajac, batavia, news, music, arts.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra, led by new conductor S. Shade Zajac, opens its 2016-17 season tomorrow at 4 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia.

The concert will feature performances by the winners of the annual Young Artists Competition, Jackie Hager, cello (top photo), and Jarod Yap, piano (second photo).

The program includes a piece by New York composer Dana Willson, "A Shortcut Home," along with Concerto in D Minor, by Lalo, Concerto in A Minor, by Schumann and "Scheherazade," by Rimsky-Korsako.

Purchase tickets online on the GSO website.

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September 22, 2016 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, music, entertainment, news, Austin Moody.

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Austin Moody, billed as an up-and-coming country singer/songwriter from Nashville, so up-and-coming, his first CD won't be out until the end of the year, played GCC for a couple hundred appreciative country fans.

Moody said he's played Upstate before and likes coming up here. It reminds him of home. There are real country fans here, he said. 

"And I mean, real country fans," he said. "Not bro-country fans. Not, 'I'm hot. You're hot. We're in a pickup truck,' country fans, but real country fans."

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September 13, 2016 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, news, music, entertainment.

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It was the first official rehearsal Monday night for S. Shade Zajac as the new conductor and musical director for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

The season opens Oct. 16 with a concert at St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia. The concert will also feature winners from the GSO young artists competition, Jackie Hager, cello, and Jarod Yap, piano. The program includes: "Shortcut Home," Dana Willson; Concerto in D Minor, Lalo; Concerto in A Minor, Schumann; and "Scheherazade" by Rimsky-Korsako.

Tickets are on sale now through GeneseeSymphony.com

September 11, 2016 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vinyl Record Revival, GSO, music, entertaiment, batavia, news, Asteria Quartet.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra hosted a special performance in Batavia Saturday night at Vinyl Record Revival of the Asteria Quartet.

The quartet includes Shade Zajac, the GSO's new conductor and musical director, along with Evie Boughton on the viola, Kiram Rajamani and Leah McCarthy on violin.

The quartet performed Mozart’s 8th Quartet K. 168, Stostakovich’s 8th Quartet, and Zajac’s own composition, “Willard.”

Between each piece, the members took questions from the audiences about the pieces, the performance and the history of the music.

The evening including a wine tasting hosted by Chris Crocker, owner of the YNGodess Shop.

August 28, 2016 - 10:42am

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In five years of covering concerts at Frostridge, there are four shows I'm sure I'll always remember: Marty Stuart in 2011, which was my introduction to Jam at the Ridge, The Farm, featuring Alexander native Krista Marie, the time Blackjack Billy upstaged the night's headliner, Blackberry Smoke, that same year, and finally, Blackjack Billy's return to Le Roy last night.

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