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May 23, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, batavia, music, entertainment, arts, news.

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Press release:

As we watch our favorite films, it is often the music that brings to life what we see on the screen. A soundtrack can tug at your heartstrings, incite a fit of giggles, bring tears to your eyes, or put you on the edge of your seat. Ric Jones, musical director of the Genesee Chorale, has created a performance that takes those moments off the screen and brings them to a live audience.

The Genesee Chorale invites the community to "Meet Me at the Movies"! This performance will feature a multimedia presentation of movie clips followed by a live performance of featured songs by individual singers, small ensembles, and the entire 60-member Genesee Chorale.

Song selections will come from some of your favorite movies, including "Grease," "The Bodyguard," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," and many more. This performance will also feature the Genesee Children’s Chorus, directed by founder Heather Lovelace. The Children’s Chorus will be performing songs from "The Sound of Music" and Disney Pixar’s "Brave."

“The last time the Chorale performed 'Meet Me at the Movies!' the event sold out,” Jones said. “The community’s response was overwhelming and we have so much great music to choose from in films, we couldn’t resist doing a second performance!”

This exciting event will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, North Campus. It is located at 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia.

Refreshments will be available for purchase by concertgoers at the concession stand. Presale tickets cost $8 and can be purchased from any Chorale member or online at www.geneseechorale.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10.

May 20, 2016 - 3:28pm

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It would probably be a stretch to say that S. Shade Zajac knew from an early age he wanted to be a symphony orchestra conductor. Like every young person, he explored lots of interests growing up.

But then, there was that time his grandfather gave him a baton and he took it to kindergarten for show and tell.

"My mom got a note from my teacher saying, 'We understand that Shade really likes his baton, but some of the other kids are not mature enough to handle sharp, pointing sticks. So, we would ask you kindly not to bring it in anymore,' " Zajac recalled with a chuckle.

Zajac's obvious passion for music, his love of leading an orchestra and his sheer talent are why, at 22, fresh from earning his Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from Nazareth College, Zajac is the new conductor of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

He was selected by the GSO Board of Directors after a season in which he and three other conductor candidates each took turns leading the orchestra for one performance. All four shows were well attended and well received, but it was Zajac who was selected to lead the orchestra as it enters its 70th year.

Not too many young conductors get the opportunity to lead a symphony orchestra right out of college and Zajac is thrilled by the opportunity.

"It's an unbelievable experience and an unbelievable opportunity," Zajac said. "There's no substitute for having living people in an ensemble for you to work with. And not just for you to experiment and fail and to grow, but to learn from them and to learn 'okay, what works? What doesn't work? There's a problem. We're not playing this. It's not gelling yet. Why? How can I fix that?' There's only so much you can do on your own, just looking at the music."

It was Zajac's professor at Nazareth, Nancy P. Strelau, who told him about the opening with the GSO, but she warned him not to get his hopes up. His resume would arrive amongst other candidates with doctorate degrees and decades of experience.

"She told me, 'It's going to be really good for you to go through this process. Let's take a look at your resume, and you know, you won't get asked for an interview,' " Zajac recalled.

Then he got an e-mail inviting him to an interview, and he thought that was great, but "they're not going to ask me to do a concert because I'm 21 years old."

In truth, Zajac said, throughout the process, with the search committee, the board, the orchestra, he never felt like his age was an issue.

"I didn't feel like they're not taking me seriously because I'm so young," Zajac said. "They're just looking at me as a musician."

He admits he was nervous at that first rehearsal. Even for conductors in their 40s, he said, orchestras can look at a new conductor like, "Ok, who is this guy?"

"There's always going to be people who don't think I know what they're talking about or 'what is this?' " Zajac said. "They think, 'I can do better than this jerk here.' And I never, through this whole process, I never felt that. I think I said at the concert that I could have been working with these people for 40 years. It just felt, you know, we could get time to work, we could have a laugh, and we could make music, which is what we're supposed to do."

Zajac grew up in Ovid surrounded by music.

His grandparents were musicians and one of his earliest memories is being at their house and hearing Ravel's "Bolero." He was captivated.

"Just about every string player in the world, and probably other orchestra musicians, hate it because it's 15 minutes of the same thing," Zajac said laughing. "I'm probably the only person who loves it."

His next musical stepping stone was Yanni.

"My grandmother had a VHS -- whatever those are -- of 'Yanni Live at the Acropolis,' " Zajac said. "Say what you will about the man and his music but it was very helpful. It taught me that if you're going to be a cool drummer you need to have a lot of drums," which Zajac laughs at now. "So I actually really first started kind of drumming, and I was banging on pots and pans to Yanni. It sounds cliche, but I'm told it's true, and I was given a toy drum set when I was 2 or 3."

His grandfather taught in the Ithaca College School of Music and at his grandparent's house were more than Yanni -- there was Beethoven and Bach, too.

His father was a rock musician, playing guitar in bands, so he also heard a lot of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Rush.

"So I had these two very different musical paths and all of which I enjoyed," Zajac said. "Very rarely do I find something I don't like. When I was, I think, 3, my grandfather took me to my first orchestra concert at Ithaca College, and I barely remember it. It was the Stravinsky 'Firebird Suite' and apparently I went home and I just was all about, 'Oh, the timpani was so loud. I love that cello thing.' And I kept talking about the cello and I really wanted to play it, I guess. I started taking lessons when I was 3 or 4."

There was no string program at his middle school, so Zajac started studying with professors in Ithaca, but that duel interest in classical and rock came up again in seventh grade when some other boys asked him to be the drummer in their rock band, and they played together for several years.

"It's amazing how everyone always would freak out," Zajac said. "They only knew me as a cellist, classical music. 'You like rock music? You like jazz?' Absolutely. And it helps me so much with classical music, especially because playing in the rock band was, in a weird way, my first form of chamber music."

Nazareth College was a natural pick for Shade, both because he wanted to study under Nancy Strelau and it's perhaps the only college in the nation that allows undergraduates to conduct. As a result, he's already conducted a few symphony and chamber performance, including the Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra, the Finger Lakes Summer Festival Orchestra and the Greater Rochester Women's Philharmonic. He's also participated in workshops, master classes and apprenticeships with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.

"All throughout high school, I had other interests," Zajac said. "I enjoy reading, and probably in another lifetime, I would fancy myself a writer, or a painter, but I have always known that somehow I wanted to do music for my life, whatever that meant. If that meant being a rock drummer and touring the world, or being an orchestral musician, or being a conductor. If any of those things happened, I would be happy.

"Conducting," he added, "what really drew me to conducting, I think is, for one, there's so much music in the world, that even if I listened to something new, if I just spent each day for the rest of my life listening to something new, I probably wouldn't begin to scratch everything that's out there. I didn't want to just limit myself to say, just the cello solo repertoire or the quartet repertoire because that is just a skin cell in a body of music that I'm sure is out there."

That vast body of music -- centuries of composers from all seven continents -- will give Zajac much to choose from as he begins to chart out each season of GSO's four performances. He must balance each performance to ensure the pieces work together, that there is the right mixture of audience-pleasing hits as well as new, challenging or unfamiliar works to help spark exploration and interest. That's important both for the audience and the orchestra members, who can grow even more bored than the audience if the same pieces are performed year-after-year.

He knows he's gotten into something special with the GSO, an orchestra that consistently performs at the highest levels and attracts talent from throughout the region, something rare for the few small community orchestras that still survive. He wants to cherish that and nurture it, providing pieces that both please and challenge orchestra members, but not take them further than they're able to go.

"Me and Professor Strelau sat down and said, 'Well, what's good for this orchestra?' And what I chose was a little risky to do. Capriccio Espagnol and Polovtsian Dances. They're meaty pieces. And, quite frankly, they played the hell out of them. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with me. I mean I can only do so much. The conductor is there to inspire and to guide, but they do all the hard work. I just wave my hands. You have to have good players, and then you have to pick a smart repertoire, an engaging repertoire. I think it's a great group."

So good, in fact, that Zajac went through, after the performance last fall, a spell of "post-concert depression." It's a real thing most conductor's experience, he said, because there is so much work and anticipation that go into preparing for a performance, and then just like that, it's over. It's done.

"You're on cloud nine for a little while if it went really well, and then the next day you go, 'Ugh. When do I get to do another one?' And I have not experienced such post-concert depression as after the concert in September. Not only because it was such a great experience, and I felt such a connection, and they played so well, and I thought, 'Even if I get this, I have to wait so long before I get to work with them again.'"

The ideas of what to perform in the coming seasons are already running through his head. Perhaps a whole show of orchestral pieces from movies.

"John Williams is obvious, but Bernard Herrmann is one of my favorite composers," Zajac said. "He did most of the Alfred Hitchcock movies. "Psycho' is obviously the one you think about, but "North By Northwest" and "Marnie" and "Vertigo," they have really stunning music."

He's also interested in exploring local composers.

"Dana Wilson, for example," he said. "I guess he just retired this year, actually, from Ithaca College. Very important composer, relatively local, in the area, and he wrote some really phenomenal stuff. One is called, "Shortcut Home." It's a three or four-minute overture that's vibrant. It's got some jazz influence in it and I think the orchestra would really like it, and it's exciting as a listener. Even for someone who's not into classical music, it's cool. There are trumpets with plungers."

Perhaps, someday, the GSO will even perform one of his own compositions. He wrote his first piece in seventh grade. But he isn't considering that any time, soon, he said. The performances should be about the music and the orchestra, and he's afraid that if he programs one of his own compositions, it will look like it's about him.

There's also a very good chance one of the professors from Nazareth, a world-renowned pianist, will perform Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1. The pianist was in Batavia for Zajac's performance with the GSO and was impressed with the orchestra. He said if Zajac got the job, he would perform.

At 22, with his first appointment as conductor for a symphony orchestra, it's hard not to think the GSO could be just a stepping stone for a young, passionate and talented musician, but Zajac said he doesn't look at it that way. He doesn't even like the term "stepping stone," he said. Maybe there will be opportunities down the road that are too good to pass up, but he said he's committed to helping the GSO grow and thrive, if not for the sake of the GSO, just for the sake of his own enjoyment of music.

"As long as I'm working with musicians who want to be working, and who are just as passionate as I am about what we're doing, I could be conducting the Berlin Philharmonic or I could be conducting the East Podunk Orchestra with five people in it," Zajac said. "My goals are just to make music every single day until I physically can't or die. I think it's very easy to set these goals, like, 'I want to be the new conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic or the Berlin Philharmonic,' and although they're really wonderful names, the name is not what's most important.

"I'm convinced that I can experience just as beautiful of an experience at the GSO or another orchestra."

DISCLOSURE: Howard Owens is a member of the Board of Directors for the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

May 14, 2016 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in appraisal fair, GO ART, news, arts, Antiques.

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Modeled after Antiques Roadshow, GO ART! hosted its second annual appraisal fair today at Seymore Place. Area residents were able to bring in the rare, the antique and the unique to have experts give their best estimate of the piece's value and quality.

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May 4, 2016 - 10:44am

Live Nation's concert line up for 2016 at Darien Lake looks pretty much like it's set for the season.

Here it is:

  • Bad Company & Joe Walsh – Tuesday, June 7th
  • Miranda Lambert w/ Kip Moore & Brothers Osborne  – Thursday, June 23
  • Zac Brown Band – Sunday, July 3
  • 5 Seconds of Summer – Wednesday, July 6th
  • Vans Warped Tour – Thursday, July 14th
  • Toby Keith w/ Eric Paslay – Friday, July 15th
  • Disturbed w/ Breaking Benjamin – Sunday, July 24th
  • Josh Groban w/ Sarah McLachlan – Tuesday, July 26th
  • Heart & Joan Jett w/ Cheap Trick – Wednesday, July 27th
  • G-EAZY with Logic – Friday, July 29th
  • Darius Rucker with Dan + Shay and Michael Ray – Sunday, July 31st
  • Brad Paisley w/ Tyler Farr – Friday, Aug. 19th
  • Goo Goo Dolls w/ Collective Soul – Saturday, Aug. 20th
  • ZZ Top & Gregg Allman --Tuesday, Aug. 23
  • Blink-182 w/ A Day to Remember & All Time Low – Wednesday, Aug. 24th
  • Florida Georgia Line w/ Cole Swindell – Friday, Aug. 26th
  • Kidz Bop Kids Live! – Sunday, Aug. 28th
  • Def Leppard w/ REO Speedwagon & Tesla – Wednesday, Aug. 31st
  • Jason Aldean w/ Thomas Rhett & A Thousand Horses – Thursday, Sept. 22nd
April 28, 2016 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emily Helenbrook, Genesee Chorale, batavia, arts, entertainment, music, news.

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Press release:

The Genesee Chorale, under the direction of Ric Jones, is excited to offer a performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 29th, in the beautiful sanctuary of St. James Episcopal Church, located at 405 E. Main St. in Batavia. 

“Performing this amazing work will truly be a memorable experience for us and for the audience,” said Jones, director of the large, talented community chorus based in Batavia. “This performance will run the gamut of human emotion; excitement, intrigue, humor, and love all rolled into one amazing work."

“Carmina Burana” is a scenic cantata composed by Orff and based on a collection of 24 medieval poems. You might recognize the exciting “O Fortuna,” which was first introduced to mainstream media in the 1981, John Boorman film, "Excalibur." Other appearances in movies include "Glory" (1989), "The Hunt for Red October" (1990), "The Doors" (1991), "Natural Born Killers" (1994), and "The General’s Daughter" (1999).

Orff’s Carmina Burana is based on 24 of the 254 poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana, a manuscript composed of 11th – 13th century poems and dramatic texts, believed to be written by clergy in Italy and Western Europe for traveling scholars, universities and theologians. The collection of texts was discovered in 1803 in the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuern in Bavaria (Germany).

The Chorale will consist be accompanied by several three outstanding soloists: Emily Helenbrook, soprano; John Clayton, tenor; Joe Finetti, baritone.

Hellenbrook is a senior at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Carol Webber. Helenbrook has performed several times as a featured soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and in several appearances with Ars Nova Musicians in the Viva Vivaldi Festival. She also appeared twice on the nationally acclaimed show, From the Top, recorded at the Chautauqua Amphitheatre and Kodak Hall at Eastman.

Clayton is a tenor based in Buffalo. He has been described as “One of Buffalo’s top vocalists” who performs “gallantly.” He studied music and voice at SUNY College at Buffalo and has worked with vocal coaches from across America and Europe. Clayton is a frequent soloist with choral ensembles in Western New York. He has also been featured in concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Nickel City Opera. Clayton has sung the National Anthem for Buffalo Bills' home games and is a current member of the Harmonia Chamber Singers.

Finetti, bass – baritone, enjoys various performing opportunities in the Rochester area. He recently appeared as the beleaguered Herr Schlendrian in Bach’s Coffee Cantata at Nazareth College, interpreted the Bass role of Haydn’s "Creation" in several performances with the Finger Lakes Chorale, and sang Broadway favorites as a guest of the Irondequoit Chorale. A longtime member of the baroque ensemble The Publick Musick, he has sung solo roles in numerous Bach cantatas and masses as well as period performances of Handel’s "Messiah." Finetti performs regularly with the Renaissance group Musica Spei, the annual sponsor of the Rochester Early Music Festival as well as the well-known local chamber choir Madrigalia. He has a practice of family medicine in Greece, NY, and lives with his wife Maria Mastrosimone, also a family physician, in the Highland Park neighborhood of Rochester.

The performance will also feature two talented pianists, Doug Hanson and Howard Spindler. Five percussionists from the Batavia and Rochester area will accompany the work.

Tickets for the performance at St. James are available on the Genesee Chorale Web site, www.GeneseeChorale.com, from any Chorale member, or at the door. For more information please contact the Chorale president, Heather Lovelace at (716) 531-8986.

The Genesee Chorale is directed by Ric Jones, owner of Imagine Music Publishing. In addition to being the musical director of the Genesee Chorale, he also serves as musical director of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra and The Middleport Community Choir. Jones is also the organist at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina and Trinity Lutheran Church in Wolcottsville.

The Genesee Chorale is a community choir comprised of singers from all walks of life. It draws membership from Genesee County and seven surrounding counties. The repertory of the Genesee Chorale encompasses a wide variety of music in various styles from motets and madrigals of the Renaissance, to folk, musicals and jazz. Over the years, the Chorale has championed contemporary works for choir as well as larger liturgical settings including Bach's St. Matthew's "Passion," Charpentier's "Midnight Mass for Christmas," the Mozart and Brahms requiems, and several masses by composers such as Schubert and Mozart. Additionally, the Chorale has performed "Die Fledermaus," Mendelssohn's "Elijah," Handel's "Solomon," Haydn's "Creation," Vivaldi's "Magnificat," and Vaughan William’s "Hodie."

This concert is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Genesee Regional Arts Council.

April 22, 2016 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee valley wind ensemble, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble performs a spring concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Elba Central School, 57 S. Main St., Elba. 

The performance will feature the Rockwell Brass Quintet and include pieces by Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Hamlish and Kleban, Frank Tichelli and Gustav Holst.

The wind ensemble is conducted by Phil Briatico.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students, and families are $25.

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April 9, 2016 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, winter, photography, poetry, news, arts.

Press release:

Finding beauty in a Western New York winter is not always an easy thing to do. For Genesee Community College's JoNelle Toriseva, director of English, Communications and Media Arts and assistant professor of English, channeling the sometimes treacherous outside conditions into works of poetry and photography recently earned her recognition from the public charity Writers Rising Up.

It named her the Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest Winner, Writers Rising Up to Defend Place, Natural Habitat, Wetlands for 2015.

The contest required a submission of six original, unpublished poems about witnessing some everyday occurrence in winter and additional photography, which is not Toriseva's strong suit.

"When I received the email that I had won, I was surprised," Toriseva said. "I was also very happy; however, they told me that I needed to take pictures of what I considered winter and I am more apt to be the person who gets a photograph of someone's feet or the back of their head, so I sought help."

Toriseva called on Joseph "Joe Z" Ziolkowski, GCC instructor of Photography, who guided her through taking shots outdoors with surroundings that included freshly fallen snow. The photographs, candid's of crab apple trees on the GCC Batavia Campus and a few of brush in the Bergen Swamp at dusk, were accepted by the organization as part of her winning submission.

Writers Rising Up is a public charity that focuses on nature education and writing through the literary arts at community events, contests, workshops, literary performances interpretive installations and publications. The organization hosts numerous poetry and literary contests, competitions and events for writers to submit and perform literary interpretations related to place, natural habitat and wetlands.

Toriseva's award-winning work included original poems titled "Perceive," "Dart," "Talking in Snow: A Short History of Sound," "The Benchmark of Winter," "Crossing" and "Winter, December #73," and can be viewed online at http://www.writersrisingup.org/all-contests/essay-winners/j-r-toriseva-bill-holm-winner.

A native of rural Minnesota, the home state of the award-honoree Bill Holm, Toriseva grew up an admirer of the author of nine books of both poetry and essays.

"I have known about Bill Holm for a long time. He is a staunch supporter of nature, which greatly interests me," Toriseva explained. "The fact that the Writer's Rising Up organization and the award raise awareness about wetlands and natural habitat makes this very special to me."

For further information about Writer's Rising Up and to view Toriseva's award-winning work, including her photography, visit the organization's Web site: http://www.writersrisingup.org/.

April 5, 2016 - 11:14am

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Batavia Photography Club member Don Fryling talking to Club President Scott Neumann about his photo display.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

Don’t be afraid to show some photographs 'cause you never know, you might have some good ones, said Batavia Photography Club President Scott Neumann on the opening gala night for its month-long exhibit at the Richmond Memorial Library.

The club holds this annual event so local photographers can showcase various prints of people, landscapes, animals and more, for the public to view and enjoy.

This year, three studio nights were offered instead of two, Neumann said. Some club members show off their expertise by teaching things like fantastic photography, neutral density filters along with guests from various clubs in the vicinity, too.

The Batavia club meets the first and third Monday of each month -- September through May -- starting at 7 p.m. at the Northgate Free Methodist Church, located at 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia. Come as a guest and to learn more go to http://batavia.photoclubservices.com/

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March 19, 2016 - 12:21pm

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The second production of Shakespeare’s "As You Like It" finishes up the last show tonight at 7:30 at Harvester 56 Theater, located at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. The show is directed by Michele Stamp who has directed two shows there.

It’s one of Shakespeare’s comedies, placed in the Forest of Arden. A mother was a duchess who had a sister whose younger sister had usurped the kingdom and banished the older sister. Her daughter remains in court because she is best friends with the usurping duchess's daughter. 

Another story line is where a father has died and his three sons are left to their estate and the oldest son is supposed to be taking care of the younger sons, but he is only taking care of the youngest so he is banished.  All of these people end up in the Forest of Arden. 

The next production at Harvester 56 will be "On Broadway VII" with five musical hits running for two weekends in April. The dates are on April 1-2, with a special dinner theater at Terry Hills Restaurant on April 3, then again at Harvester 56 on April 7-9.

Tickets for tonight’s final show of "As You Like It" can be purchased at the door; $13 adults $10 students/senior citizens or online at Showtix4u, search Batavia Players. Also go to: Batavia Players for more info.

For more photos go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

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March 8, 2016 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, arts, entertainment, theater, news.

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The Alexander High School Drama Club presents "Big Fish: A Musical" this weekend.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students, pre-sale, and $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and students at the door. Children 5 and under can attend for free.

Photos are from yesterday's rehearsal.

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March 3, 2016 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Region Independent Living Center, batavia, arts.

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Clients of Independent Living of the Genesee Region in Batavia have a new option for getting involved in artistic creation thanks to a donation of an Artcovz by the University Heights Arts Association in Buffalo.

Lawrence Kinney, who founded the association with is wife, Mary, made the kiosk with a 100-year-old humidor as the foundation and was on hand Wednesday for the donation ceremony.

Mary Kinney explained that a primary goal of the association is to make art accessible to communities that are underserved in the arts, such as those with limited ability to get around or limited finances.

"Anybody who passes by is welcome to take a project," Mary said. "The projects are free they contain everything from drawing to small sculpture projects, garden art, adult color sheets, CD samples, lectures, and we change out the art frequently. Also we have little donation box at bottom to allow people to pay it forward. We do accept donations of paper, pencils and old craft supplies."

Lawrence Kinney said part of the inspiration for the idea comes from the Little Free Library movement, were people set up boxes that act as roadside lending libraries.

One of his specialities as an artist is reclaiming old furniture, especially pieces made from hardwoods, and turning the furniture into art projects.

The one at the Independent Living center at 113 Main St., Batavia, began as an old humidor and he built it up into a kiosk with space for a varity of art materials.

The association is interested in connecting with any location, including local businesses, that would like to host a kiosk.

"Western New York has a wonderful art communtiy, but a lot of the art organizations serve seasoned artists and we want to serve underserved populations, like people with disabilities, who might not otherwise access programs as easily," she said.

March 1, 2016 - 6:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gensee Region Independent Living Center, batavia, arts.

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) has been selected to be a hub of inspiration and resources for those who wish to explore their artistic side, with an emphasis on disability-friendly activities. Following the official unveiling at 2 p.m. on Wednesday March 2nd, in the lobby of ILGR’s 113 Main St. office, Batavia, an ARTcovz self-serve kiosk will be available to all who want the packets of free art and literature supplies. The booth’s pockets, hooks and shelves will offer: colored pencils, watercolor pencils, drawing (graphite) pencils, watercolor/ drawing paper, craft paper, origami paper, polymer clay, and art-oriented audio books on CD. Eventually, artists with disabilities will come to ILGR to offer workshops and display examples of their work.

This opportunity is being made possible thanks to the North-Buffalo-based University Heights Arts Association (UHAA), a group of artists that serve as a driving creative force and educational resource to make a positive difference in people’s lives through the arts. Each ARTcovz booth caters to the demographic it serves; UHAA has partnered with ILGR to expand their outreach to people with disabilities.

Please contact Rae Frank at (585) 815-8501, ext. 406, or e-mail her at [email protected] with any questions.

ARTcovz is part of UHAA’s ARTboothz program, which offers sit-down art projects to passersby at community events. Each mini-art kit contains materials and a set of directions for completing a project, a link to further UHAA resources, including online databases of additional projects, and a schedule of upcoming programs. Designed/fabricated by sculptor/furniture maker Lawrence Kinney of UHAA, each ARTcovz includes a bin at the bottom of the booth to accept donations of art materials.

ARTboothz program served 2,427 people of all ages in 2015 at farmer's markets, festivals, community centers, and special events throughout Western New York. University Heights Arts Association plans to unveil a total of 10 ARTcovz in 2016. UHAA members offer donations, devise projects, put kits together at a series of "Potluck Packaging ARTraiser" events. These events are open to the public or anyone wishing to help or contribute supplies.

February 25, 2016 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, theater, arts, entertainment, news.

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Batavia High School's Production Club will present a musical product of Mary Poppins next week with Nick Piedmon playing Bert and Andrea Gilebarto as Mary Poppins.

Photos are from yesterday's rehearsal. 

Caryn Burk Wood is the director and Dan Grillo the musical director.

The cast includes Ross Chua as Mr. Banks, Chelsea Jensen as Mrs. Banks, Eryn Dunn as Jane Banks and Colin Dunn as Michael Banks.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., March 4 and March 5, and 2 p.m., March 6.

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February 24, 2016 - 3:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, entertainment, theater, arts, news.

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Le Roy High School is presenting "The Addams Family: A Musical Comedy" on March 3, 4 and 5.

Director Jacqueline McLean said:

The story is inspired as a continuation of the Addams Family from the original comic strip and TV series. In the show, Wednesday Addams has gone off to college and fallen in love with a "normal" boy. When the "normal" family comes to meet the Addams, things get out of hand. This show is full of wonderful, dark comedy and will feature all of the characters that you remember in addition to some new ones. We hope you will join us at one of three performances and get ready to be "Pulled in a New Direction!" with this quirky story.

Books are by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on characters created by Charles Addams.

All show times are at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at leroycsd.org, in the HS main office or at the door. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door.

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December 5, 2015 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GSO, arts, music, batavia.

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Yunn-Shan Ma will conduct the Genesee Symphony Orchestra at 4 p.m., Sunday, through a program that includes holiday music and performances by the Oakfield-Alabama School Chorus, directed by Danielle Mileham, and Lars Kirvan on cello.

The program includes Leonard Bernstein's Candide Overture, Dvorak's Silent Woods, Hayden's Cello Concerto No. 1, Rimsky-Korsakov's Selections from the Snow Maiden Suite and the Polar Express Suite, among other numbers.

Ma is one of four guest conductors this season under consideration for a permanent position as conductor of the GSO.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for students, $10 for seniors and family packages are available for $35. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at GeneseeSymphony.com.

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December 2, 2015 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, BHS Drama Club, arts, theater, batavia.

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The Batavia High School Drama Club will present a special adaptation of "Peter Pan" called "Peter and Wendy" this weekend on the stage -- a theater-in-the-round setting -- in the school's auditorium.

The adaptation, by writer Jeremy Bloom, explores some of the deeper themes of "Peter Pan," including the relevance of time.

There are 28 students in the cast and four more working as stage crew. The production is directed by Caryn Burk.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students.

Pictured are: Shannon Cervone, Eryn Dunn, and Elise Hoerbelt as Lost Boys; Alex Mott as Peter, Chelsea Jensen as Tiger Lily and Sarah Wetzel as Tinker Bell.

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November 24, 2015 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, batavia, music, arts, entertainment.

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The Genesee Chorale held a rehearsal Monday night in preparation for its show at 7 p.m., Dec. 4, at St. James Episcopal Church.

Directed by Ric Jones, the show is Christmas-themed and the performance is titled "Our Hope is a Child." Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door, and can be purchased online at geneseechorale.com.

The show will include what is billed as an "energetic" version of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!" with four-handed piano accompaniment, with Doug Hansen and guest pianist Henry Emmans. The Genesee Children's Chorus will also be featured on a number of pieces. Fran Thomas also performs a solo.

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November 18, 2015 - 9:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, arts, entertainment, Talent Show, batavia.

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Cameron Bontrager performs "Sweet Child of Mine" during the 2015 Batavia HS talent show Tuesday night in the school's auditorium.

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Tzyonah Scheffield-Reese performs "Photograph."

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Madison Hoerbelt and Eryn Dunn perform "For Good."

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Ross Chua and Chelsea Jensen perform "I'm Yours."

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Hannah Bluhm performs "Dear Future Husband."

November 17, 2015 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, Talent Show, arts, entertainment, batavia.

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Batavia High School hosts its annual faculty and student talent show tonight in the auditorium starting at 7 o'clock.

Pictured during yesterday's rehearsal are Tzyonah Sheffield-Reese (top) and Kesa Janes.

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