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December 12, 2017 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, arts, photography.

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Press release:

Following on the heels of a successful art show at GO ART! last month, a few employees/moms at Batavia High School (who will be remaining anonymous) decided that they wanted to make sure that the rest of Eian Windham's artwork sold out.  

Eian has had a challenging couple of years and these moms felt that this show/sale, located in the BHS library, would bring exposure to his outstanding photography and would give him the happiness that he deserves.  

These BHS employees who refer to themselves as  Moms4Good only needed to ask the BHS administration once and they were supportive and completely on board!

The public is invited to stop into BHS  anytime during the next two weeks to purchase some really spectacular photography. All of it is mounted and some are framed but all is reasonably priced and would be a perfect holiday gift!  

This Thursday, Dec. 14th, the public is also invited to a double treat. The BHS Winter concert, starting at 7 p.m. will be followed by a reception and art sale.

"Most of the prints are under $20 and they are really gorgeous," says one of the organizers. 

The event will be held in the library all day on the 14th, but the reception will be after the concert at 8:30 p.m..  The concert begins at 7 p.m., but arrive early for the best parking and seating.

Tom Redband, an entrepreneurship teacher at the high school, has opened this opportunity up to his students and they have agreed to offer their services to set up, collect money and even order prints after they are sold out. 

"What a great way to start off this magical holiday season with some beautiful music and artwork to benefit a great young man," says an organizer.

December 2, 2017 - 10:05am

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Opening night of "Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone" SOLD OUT its first performance at Batavia High School last evening. Students from the Drama Club performed their 16th annual show and had the crowd laughing and on their toes throughout the performance.

Director Caryn Leigh Wood has worked with many students but this was challenging, especially toward the finale. Sorrow was still resonating for the cast, who lost a former BHS student, Tori Nigro, in a sudden accident last week. 

The Drama Club ended the performance with a tribute honoring the memory of Tori.

There are two remaining shows, tonight at 7:30 and a matinee tomorrow at 2 o'clock. Tickets are $8, and $6 for students and seniors.

For more photos go to: http://steveognibenephotography.zenfolio.com/p419033762

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November 30, 2017 - 2:03pm
posted by James Burns in news, batavia, GO ART!, arts, entertainment.

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When was the last time you were at GO ART!? Well the Genesee Orleans Regional Art Council has been very busy over the last year. You may have noticed the Picnic In the Park on July 4th was a little larger and had more activities. 

GO ART! has been busy behind the scenes, too. At Seymour Place, where GO ART! is located in Batavia (201 E. Main St.), they have increased the galleries from one to four, tripling the amount of art on display at any given time. Currently all four galleries are filled. 

For Christmas in the City, and throughout the month of December, GO ART! has assembled more than 150 pieces of classic and contemporary art, including sculpture and jewelry that are offered for sale.

“GO ART! has been very lucky to have had many great works donated to us through the years," Director Gregory Hallock said. “So much so that we don't have room to store it all and for the first time we are offering those without stipulations and owned by GO ART! up for sale to the public."

They have not just been busy with art. GO ART! has reworked the kitchen, complete with four new Viking ranges, for culinary classes. The ovens received a bit of a workout yesterday as they made cookies for Christmas in the City.

Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday GO ART! will be hosting a Slavic Christmas complete with Santa Claus and an accordion band; sandwiches from Red Osier Landmark Restaurant will also be sold at Seymour Place for the event.  

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November 28, 2017 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, arts, music, news, batavia.

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The Genesee Chorale performs "Christmas Memories" this Saturday and Monday in Batavia and Medina.

The program includes some new, some old and some old favorites with a new twist, sung by approximately 70 singers under the direction of Ric Jones and with accompaniment by Doug Hanson.

Concerts are at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia, and at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at First Presbyterian Church, 522 S. Main St., Medina.

Tickets are $8 presale, available from Chorale members or online at www.GeneseeChorale.com.

Photos by Howard Owens from Monday's rehearsal at St. James.

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November 22, 2017 - 10:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BHS Drama Club, Batavia HS, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.

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Batavia High School's Drama Club performs "Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone," a parody by Dean O'Carroll, next weekend.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m., Dec. 1 and 2, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 3.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door.

The cast:

  • Sally Cotter, Eryn Dunn
  • Sally's Mother, Tanner Kolb
  • Reubenon Ryebread, Cameron Bontrager
  • 1st Censor, Madeline Keenan
  • 2nd Censor, Alicia Scroger
  • Dave, Pierce Corbelli
  • Harmonica, Elise Hoerbelt
  • Ursa Malaise, Parise Ricks
  • Ed Molar, James Weatherbee
  • Professor Athena McDonaldsa, Tanner Kolb
  • Professor Shiftia Shape, Aubrey Towner
  • Professor Albatross Underdrawers, Evan Bellavia
  • Aaron A. Ardvarkovich, Gavin Tucker
  • Shea'mon Canavan, AT Thatcher
  • Navel Longfellow, Samuel Rigerman
  • Polly Pixie, Emily Kilner
  • Poppy Pixie, Riley MacDonough
  • London Liverwurst, Lillian Whiting
  • Val Crabby, Courtney Lougheed
  • Gerry Boyle, Oliver Havens
  • Freesia Chestnut, Jordyn Mott
  • Kitty Ball, Macayla Burke
  • Chloe Crane, Claire Griffith-Sarkis
  • Patty Petronia, Laura Lepkowski
  • Hedgerow the Owl, Phoebe Fryer

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October 31, 2017 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56, theater, arts, news.

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Batavia Players presents "Frankenstein: A New Musical" this weekend and next weekend at the Harverster 56 Theater in Batavia.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and Nov. 10 and Nov. 11, and at 2 p.m. this Sunday only. Tickets are $15 per adult or $12 for students and seniors. 

The cast is Pat Burk, Richard Ferris, Cale Dehlinger, Erin Stamp, Liam Crawford, James Barcomb, Heather Ferris, Petyon Woeller, Derrick Crawford, Emily Crawford, Jocelyn Coburn, Norah Crawford, Steve Coburn, Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Kaylee Dehlinger, Jessie Pierce, Lucine Kauffman, Rose Bower, Isaiah Merrill, Samantha Rychlicki, A.T., and Gabriel Flanagan.

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October 29, 2017 - 2:19pm

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The 21st annual John Gardner Society gathering at the Pok-A-Dot to remember Batavia's most famous novelist at his favorite local restaurant brought people in from some distance this year. There were two people who drove in from Pennsylvania, two from Indiana, and one of Gardner's best friends, who drove up from Binghamton (playwright Jan Quackenbush). Among the travelers, a former student and a former dorm mate of Gardner's. First-timers to the reading also included a couple from Buffalo.

Reading in the top photo, Beth Buechler, who was one of Gardner's students in Binghamton and traveled to Batavia from Indiana.

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Tracy Ford

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Bill Kauffman

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Terry Abrams, of Basom, reading, as he does every year, from "On Becoming a Novelist."

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Norm Morford, a dormmate's of Gardner's while in college.

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Helen Maier

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Other readers included Byron Hoot, from Pennsylvania, Lucine Kauffman, Steve Lewandowski, JoNelle Toriseva, and John Maier.

October 20, 2017 - 10:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., the Batavia Players will present "Broads, Boys & Broadway Backwards" at the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue, Batavia. 

Tickets are $15 and include a champagne reception after the show.

The players will perform songs from Broadway musicals, but with gender roles reversed. The men will sing the women's parts and the women will sing the men's parts.

Performers are Pat Burk, Amanda Taylor, Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone, Cameron Bontrager, Colin Fleming-Stumpf, Jerrod Baldwin-Giambrone, Joe Kusmierczak, Erin Stamp, Kathryn Fitzpatrick and Wendy Williams.

The show is directed by Pat Burk. Musical direction and accompaniment, Kathy White.

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October 4, 2017 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, GO ART!, arts.

Here is a list of current members of the GO ART! board of directors:

  • Tammy Hathaway (Genesee County) - President
  • Thomas Jennings Sr. (Orleans County) - Vice President
  • Brad Eddy (Genesee County) - Secretary
  • Jennifer Neroni-Trupo (Orleans County) - Treasurer
  • Shane Ashton (Genesee County)
  • Karen Crittenden (Genesee County)
  • Julia Garver (Genesee County)
  • Tracy Jennings (Orleans County)
  • Stuart McLean (Genesee County)
  • Patti Pacino (Genesee County)
  • Barbara Pierce (Genesee County)
  • Idris Salih (Orleans County)
  • Mark Scarborough (Orleans County)
  • Mary Jo Whitman (Genesee County)
September 15, 2017 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.

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Wyoming County writer and photographer Barbara Knight was on hand Thursday night at GO ART! for an artist's reception featuring her photos of Ireland. Knight has worked for 25 years as a writer and photographer and she traveled to Ireland in April. The photos on display at GO ART! capture the beauty and grandeur of what she saw during her visit.

GO ART! also opened its latest member show, "Guilty Pleasure."

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Alex Segouia, of Avon, with his painting, "Lust." 

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Lydia Zwierzynski with "Dreams of Fortune." 

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Top picture, "West of the Fields" by Kevin Hammon, and "The Fishing Shack" by Julie Lambert.

September 13, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia society of artists, batavia, arts, news.

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The monthly meeting of the Batavia Society of Artists last night featured a demonstration by Patricia Tribastone in a style of painting known as Alla Prima.

The Alla Prima style of painting is a technique in which the artist completes a painting in one sitting. The painting is done “wet into wet” and the main characteristics are fresh color, minimized detail, and brush work. 

Tribastone, who is involved in numerous national art organizations and has won several awards for her pastel and oil paintings, set up a still life scene for the demonstration and explained how she arranged her subject and the materials she used to complete the painting.

Tribastone has a gallery and studio in Canandaigua at 32 S. Main St.

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September 13, 2017 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, Harvester 56 Theater, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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This weekend the Batavia Players present at Harvester 56 a three-act play, "The Laramie Project," which is based on the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Shepard was a 22-year-old student at the University of Wyoming when he was beaten and robbed and left tied to a fence post in the fall of 1998. Two friends of Shepard's soon after claimed he was killed because he was gay and Shepard's death gained national attention and led to the creation of hate crime laws in most states. Whether Shepard was killed because he was gay has been called into question during the intervening years.

The play is written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York City.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and students.

The show contains content that may not be suitable for young children.

The cast: Dorothy Gerhart, Michele Stamp, Joe Kasmierczak, Anthony Giambrone, Micheal Flanagan, Wendy Williams, Kathy Johns, Lucine Kauffman, Peggy Marone, and Norm Argulsky. All cast members play multiple roles.

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August 22, 2017 - 9:43am
posted by Becky LeFevre in Batavia Players, theater, dance, arts, news.

The Harvester 56 Theater, home of the Batavia Players, is opening a new dance school this fall. Classes will be held at the Robert Morris School in Batavia. 

The Theater has sponsored summer dance camps in the past, but the new academy will offer semesters of professional dance instruction to students of all ages. Patrick Burk, president of the Board of Directors of the Batavia Players, is enthusiastic about this new venture.

He said, “A dance academy seemed like the next step. Many of our productions need dancers of all ages and yet, there was no performance-based dance company in the area -- all dance studios were designed to provide a recital piece or pieces for their students at the end of the year. We want our dance students to obtain dance skills so they can learn a dance and perform it at any time. It allows us to be skills based and not recital based.”

Classes are not just for current theater participants, but are open all members of the community. Weekly lessons will be offered in Ballet, Tap, Jazz/Contemporary, and Theater Dance, as well as the opportunity for private lessons and one-time master classes on specific dance styles or techniques.  

The Harvester 56 Theater Dance Academy is directed by Rochester native Brianna Blair Kelly. Kelly began her training in Irish Dance and attended the School of the Arts in Rochester. Kelly holds a BFA in Musical Theater from SUNY Fredonia and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from The College at Brockport. Kelly’s connections at the School of the Arts and the College at Brockport have helped her to recruit an array of diverse teachers for the 2017-2018 season.

Instructor Alyssa Bourgeois was born and raised in Houston and will be getting her master’s in Choreography and Performance from the College at Brockport in the Fall of 2017. Instructor Kaitlyn Owens is also a Rochester School of the Arts graduate and is currently a sophomore BFA dance major at SUNY Brockport. Instructor Tatiana Amaye-Obu hails from Brooklyn and brings with her extensive training in Classical Ballet but is also well versed in Hip-Hop and African Dance. 

Kelly said, “I’m very excited and proud to be starting the Harvester 56 Dance Academy. It’s thrilling to know that we are establishing a creative environment that offers a new kind of dance education -- hopefully it will become the go-to place for comprehensive, supportive and affordable dance education for Batavia and the surrounding areas.”

More information about the academy can be found online at bataviaplayers.org.

August 10, 2017 - 10:10am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in batavia, news, arts, entertainment, music.

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(Submitted photo)

Alexander Davis found a place for himself when he started playing the bassoon at Batavia High School.

Now, at 27 years old, he is completing his fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center in Boston.

Davis went to SUNY Fredonia for music education and completed his master’s degree at Stony Brook University. He started playing bassoon because he said it was a weird instrument.

“At first, I was playing saxophone,” Davis said. “When I started going to All County Festivals, I saw a bassoon for the first time, and said I had to play it.”

Davis said he was drawn to the instrument, but that his mom really pushed him to play music.

“She taught me that music was something that connected to me easily,” Davis said. “When she had me start band in eighth grade, I was hesitant. Now that I’m here, I couldn’t be more thankful for how much she loved me.”

Throughout his career, Davis said he has looked up to multiple professionals, including Laura Koedke, Frank Morelli and Monica Ellis, all bassoon players. Each bassoonist, influenced him in a way no other person did.

“Each one taught me something about myself that I didn’t know,” Davis said.

Davis is part of Xelana Duo, which has brought him to play in venues such as The National Opera Center, and played with ensembles such as the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra.

Davis said he pursues every opportunity he can. He would like to see himself in a chamber orchestra, teaching at a college, playing a lot of chamber music, or having his own studio in the future.

Batavia gave Davis the opportunity to have many experiences, he said.

“Kids that grew up in New York City and Rochester, there are more kids auditioning to be in groups, trying to be in ensembles,” Davis said.

During a musical at Batavia, Davis was able to be a character on stage during the first half, and a member of the orchestra pit during the second.

“Because it was a very intimate setting, I was able to do everything I wanted to do,” Davis said.

Growing up in Batavia helped shape Davis into the musician and person he is today.

“Batavia was the perfect place,” Davis said. “You could be a big fish in a small pond.”

August 10, 2017 - 10:08am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Bethany, business, news, arts.

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In the end of July, Terry Weber opened a new art gallery and antique shop in the Old General Store in East Bethany on Route 63, where she displays and sells her artwork, and sells antiques.

Bethany Arts is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 5 p.m., and whenever there is an open flag hanging outside of the store.

"I sell to a lot of antique dealers because my prices are quite low," Weber said. "There is no middleman, I go out and find the stuff myself."

Weber was an art major in college and taught art for most of her life. She started playing around with the idea of opening an art gallery and selling antiques a year and a half ago.

She has been doing watercolor painting for 12 years and has recently started alcohol ink painting on tiles, but has used other media, including oils, acrylics, needle felt and wool.

“I've always drawn," Weber said. "When I closed the grocery store, I started painting and didn't stop."

Weber will begin holding art classes on request with four or five people in each. Those interested, can contact her at 993-0509.

"If you want to have an evening class in needle felting, alcohol ink painting, or even regular painting we could do that," Weber said. "I've got enough easels and tables and everything else."

The facebook page is located here and Weber just created a website located here.

The building Bethany Arts is located in was a grocery store owned by Weber when she bought the building in 1988. She closed the grocery store in 2005, and it became her art studio.

The profits from the antiques and her art, are going toward restoring the building, which was built in 1835, as a store.

"I want to hopefully make enough money to finish restoring the building," Weber said. "I would like to put the front porch back on it. I would like to do the roof and I have a lot of brick repairs."

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August 10, 2017 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, music, entertainment, news, Batavia Concert Band.

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Press release:

The Batavia Concert  Band concluded is 2017 Summer Concert Series in Centennial Park with some fantastic music, a great crowd, and two special awards.

In 2016, the Batavia Concert Band established the Pam Frisby Memorial Friend of the Band Award. Pam was the former board president and long-time enthusiast and support of the Batavia Concert Band.

At the Aug. 9 concert, current Board President Jill Franclemont presented the 2017 award to Genesee Community College, who has graciously provided rehearsal space and a rain venue for the Band for past 20 years.

In Pam’s honor, the Band donated $50 to the Genesee Community College Foundation. Accepting the award on behalf of the Foundation is James Smith, a member of the Board of Directors.

In addition, the Bob Pastecki, Batavia Concert Band finance director also presented the 2017 Scholarship to Cheya-Rain Eagle on behalf of the Board of Directors. Cheya is a Music Therapy major at Fredonia and has been a member of the Batavia Concert Band for several seasons.   

The Batavia Concert band wishes to thank all of our sponsors, patrons, and GO ART! for their fantastic support for the 2017 Summer Concert Series!

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August 8, 2017 - 10:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in theater, arts, entertainment, news.

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Story and photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

Debbie Packard is well known in the Genesee County area.

She taught kindergarten at Jackson Elementary School in Batavia for a long time and has touched so many.

This past weekend Packard hosted her annual three-day trip to NYC for those interested in attending a Broadway play.

This trip, however, was not like the others. This year their flight was canceled at the last minute and they could not get another plane.

So the group of 24 women got creative real quick.

Taking to the rails on an Amtrak train, the group of women made their way to the Bernard Jacobs Theatre on West 45th Street to see "Bandstand," which opened on Broadway on April 27 after a successful run at Paper Mill Playhouse in the fall of 2015.

The Genesee County/Brockport assembly of women made their way past the excited fans and learned an after-show “meet and greet” was set up for family and friends of both Geoff Packard and Joey Pero, who are co-stars in the new musical which takes place in 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Tony Award winning musical is directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler and centers around the journey of a band made up entirely of veterans who are returning home from World War II hoping that things will be the same.

Lead character Donny Novitski (Cory Cott) is held with the responsibility of checking in on his friend’s wife, Julia Trojan (Laura Osnes), after he died in a friendly fire incident.

The two quickly form a bond as they share a chemistry through music and lyric writing. Julia joins the band as their singer and the band enters a nationwide competition where the winner will be featured on a live NBC televised segment and eventually a Hollywood movie.

“The Donny Nova Band” performs live jazz orchestrations throughout the show.

The musical gives a glimpse into the world of soldiers returning home who feel like underdogs that have been left behind battling for normalcy while fighting PTSD, loss, and the secrets of war.

“Just a lot of connections here tonight,” says Elaine Watson, of Batavia.

” I absolutely loved the show. I worked for years at the VA and PTSD is very very real and a sad thing. Good to have it addressed.”

In a stairwell, backstage near the dressing rooms, a memorial wall has been created for each soldier who has had a show dedicated.

There are eight shows per week.

In his dressing room before a show, Joey Pero reflected on his own battle to overcome being struck by a van on Feb. 12 and after three surgeries on his leg and countless hours of physical therapy was able to make a return to the show on June 30th.

“I’m getting stronger and stronger, going to take some time to be back to my old self, but I’m in pretty good shape right now.”

This is Pero’s Broadway debut.

“I hope the show runs until I’m 70,” says Pero.

“I kind of developed the role as Nick Radel over the past couple of years, I have been very fortunate and you know it’s kinda of tough because I’m not that gruff in real life.”

Pero says he draws a few things from family and friends and people he knows into the role. He has had a lot of support from his hometown of Batavia.

“It always makes me more nervous to perform in front of people from my hometown, I love it though, it gives me some good energy.”

Visit the Bandstand website 

Top photo: Geoff Packard, Debbie Packard and Joey Pero.  

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Bandstand cast members from left: Geoff Packard (Wayne Wright), Joey Pero (Nick Radel), James Nathan Hopkins (Jimmy Campbell), Laura Osnes (Julia Trojan), Cory Cott (Donny Novitski), and Brandon James Ellis (Davy Zlatic). Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

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July 17, 2017 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake performing arts center, darien lake, arts, music, news.

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Photo submitted by Chad Hilchey.

July 14, 2017 - 9:53am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Art Ah La Carte, batavia, arts, news.

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The first of three sessions to spread kindness throughout Batavia was on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. where participants painted rocks, which will be placed throughout Batavia.

Participants pay $5 to cover the cost of paint and supplies, and bring a rock. Two more sessions -- July 27 and Aug. 17, from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. -- will be held at Art Ah La Carte in Batavia at 39 Jackson St.

Kim Argenta, owner of Art Ah La Carte, started the project after her friend, Kelly Carlie, told her about a project she runs in Le Roy, called “Le Roy Rocks.” Both are part of the nationwide “The Kindness Rocks Project.”

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July 12, 2017 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, music, entertainment, arts, batavia, news.

Because of the rain, the Batavia Concert Band's regular Wednesday evening show at Centennial Park has been moved inside to the auditorium at Batavia High School.

Downbeat is 7 p.m.

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