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September 22, 2015 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GSO, arts, music.


The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will be conducted in the season-opening performance on Sunday by S. Shade Zajac.

Zajac is one of four conductor candidates auditioning for the position for next season.

The graduate of Nazareth College in Rochester is a cellist and composer who currently works as a freelance conductor. His awards include the John Phillip Sousa Award and he's twice won the Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra Concerto/Aria Competition.

Of Sunday's show, he promises a "showcase of sound," with pieces from Korsakoff, Copland, Grieg and Borodin.

The concert will also feature Raymond Feng, of Rochester, on piano. Feng was winner of the Young Artist Competition.

To purchase tickets, visit the GSO Web site.










August 15, 2015 - 11:25am


Joey Belladonna, lead singer of the metal band Anthrax and native of Oswego, brought his cover band Chief Big Way to Center Street Smoke House on Friday night. The room was packed with fans as the trio, with Belladonna on drums, powered through big rock hit after hit. Tom Mazurkiewicz, who became friends with Belladonna after meeting him at Darien Lake, helped arrange the appearance.








August 12, 2015 - 9:53am


Batavia Society of Artists and Batavia Players teamed up Tuesday night for a unique arts event in Jackson Square. The artists made art, the players were the models, in character for an upcoming performance of "Alice in Wonderland." Artists were encouraged to paint or draw in whatever medium they preferred. Some sketched, some used acrylics and others put chalk to cement. The players also rehearsed their parts for the show. There was also a wine tasting featuring Midgard Winery, of Corfu.








August 12, 2015 - 8:37am
posted by James Burns in batavia, genesee, batavia photography club, arts, photography.

Rochester has had the nickname of “Image Capital of the World” due to its famous industries. It is also well known as a center for visual arts, particularly photography. The premier photography-only gallery in Rochester is Image City on 722 University Ave. Every month they rotate their exhibits featuring the best photographic art the city has to offer.

This month Batavia is more than well represented. Works from seven local photographers belonging to the Batavia Photography Club are hung on the walls. They are in a special exhibit in the East Gallery that will remain open until Sept. 6th. The first Friday art walk exhibit opening party is this week, Aug. 14th, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All of the local photographers are expected to be in attendance; come on out and show them your support. Admission to the gallery is always free.

For more information, a preview of the show and normal gallery hours please click here.



July 9, 2015 - 8:07am
posted by Steve Ognibene in GO ART!, photography, arts, Muller Quaker Dairy.


Local photographer Jim Burns is featured for the next three months at Muller Quaker Dairy with some of his photos. 

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) rotates photos at the dairy for people that come to visit to take tours and also for employees to view. 

The display will be up until Sept. 30th

More of Jim Burns' work can be found here: Jim Burns Photography




July 5, 2015 - 10:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batava, music, arts, entertainment, Ramble Music & Arts Fest.














July 2, 2015 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, GCC, batavia, music, arts.


The 90th season of the Batavia Concert Band got off to a soggy start Wednesday evening, forcing musicians and audience members to seek the warmth and comfort of the Stuart Steiner Theatre at GCC.

Here's the schedule for the remainder of the season:

  • July 4th at noon, Guest Conductor David Keller. Picnic in the Park sponsored by GoArt!
  • July 8 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey
  • July 15 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey
  • July 22 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey
  • July 29 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey, Annual Chicken Barbecue

All concerts are at Centennial Park, unless weather forces a relocation to GCC.





June 16, 2015 - 6:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Batavia Centennial, Jackson Square.


It turned out to be a beautiful evening for some really fine art in Jackson Square. The Centennial Celebration art and artisan show runs until 8 p.m.






June 16, 2015 - 6:31pm
posted by Traci Turner in Le Roy, gallery, arts, coffee shop, business.


(Shaina Czudak and Jim DeLooze)

58 on Main, the art gallery and coffee shop in Le Roy, has been providing locals with art, coffee and a friendly place to chat for a year now.

In celebration of its one-year anniversary, the shop handed out free birthday cake and gave customers a chance to win a photo booth party.

Jim DeLooze, local artist and photographer, and Sean Valdes, co-owner of D & R Depot, run the shop together.

The combination of art and coffee has been a hit in the community. Customers can take painting, pottery and photography classes as well as enjoy a coffee and pastry. Paint nights and pottery painting classes are offered on Friday nights. Photography classes for beginners are offered on Saturday mornings.

The shop also has room for events like small parties. The parties come with the option of catering from D & R Depot and a photo booth.

"It's a real accomplishment for a small startup business to survive a year," DeLooze said. "The art gallery and coffee shop really complement one another and I don't think I could have ran the gallery as a stand alone business."

In the future, the shop hopes to offer pottery birthday parties for children and welcomes any local artists who would like to teach a class to contact them.

June 4, 2015 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, arts, schools, education.


Le Roy High School hosted a student Fine Arts Festival yesterday evening. Here are 12 photos from the event.












May 13, 2015 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Antiques, GO ART!.


Lori Doeringer is the chairperson of the GO ART! Appraisal Fair, which is this Saturday, with her own interest in getting a couple of items appraised by one of the eight experts who will be on hand to provide those who bring antiques and items of value that need appraised to the fair.

The fair will be held at Seymore Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Appointments are encouraged. Call (585) 343-9313.

The event is a fundraiser for GO ART! The first item is $20 and a second item is $10. GO ART! members can get a third item appraised for free.

May 10, 2015 - 9:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, arts, music, elba.


Photos from yesterday's rehearsal of the Genesee Chorale. 

Here's a press release about the upcoming performance:

On Sunday May 17 at 3 p.m. at Elba MS/HS Auditorium, the Genesee Chorale will present its Spring Season, “Music in Motion.” In the past, the Chorale has shared the stage with other musicians, ranging from a full orchestra to other chorale groups and soloists. This time, Director Ric Jones thought to try something entirely new: why not share the stage with live dancers? The Genesee Chorale Board applauded the notion and unanimously gave the go-ahead, and Jones went from there.

He first approached Dan Doctor, of Medina’s West Side Academy, asking him, “So…what do you think of choreographing a show entirely to live chorale music?” And Doctor responded quickly in the affirmative: “Yes!  We’re in.” And after reviewing the repertoire, he committed his dancers to six songs.

They weren’t the only ones. Dancers from Batavia’s Divine Dance, directed by Erin Martin, were in as well, happy to join the Genesee Chorale in such a unique endeavor. Though May is a busy season for every performing group, they were pleased to share some of their best performers to feature in “Music in Motion.” And finally, the Greycliffe Quartet, a renowned string ensemble from Buffalo, committed to accompany the singers, too.

The Genesee Chorale is accompanied on piano by Doug Hanson. The concert will also feature soloists Mark Christenson, Rachel Chrostowski, Janine Fagnan, Yvonne Freeman (also featured as a flutist), Merry Lou Holley, Carl Schoonover, Heather Lovelace, and Norm Woodworth.

Presale tickets are $8 and are available online at Tickets will also be available at the door for $10.




May 8, 2015 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia society of artists, batavia, arts.


Batavia Society of Artists opened its Spring Show Thursday evening at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Kathy Roblee, above, won Best of Show with her work, "Tonawanda Creek," which is an acrylic.


Linda Metcalf, First Place -- "Where's Mary," watercolor.


Marilynn Palotti, "Napa Valley Sunset," acrylic.

Amber Motzer (not pictured) won the Virginia Carr-Mumford GCC Art Award.






May 6, 2015 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, arts, batavia, Richmond Memorial Library.


Alec R. Sass, a sophomore at Clarence High School, performed a 45-minute bagpipe show at the Richmond Memorial Library last night. In all, 50 people attended the performance, which included the songs "Scots Wha Hae and "Amazing Grace."

Photos submitted by Craig Gillard.



April 24, 2015 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, schools, education, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame High School hosted its annual spring concert at the school Thursday night with jazz ensemble and concert choir performing such pieces as the "Overture of the Magic Flute," highlights from "Harry Potter," Disney movie tunes and a portion of Pachelbel's "Canon in D." Theresa Kehl is conductor of both the ensemble and the choir.

April 23, 2015 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, GCC, photography, Bethany, Genesee County Park.

Combining environmental awareness with a photography assignment, Genesee Community College instructor Joe Ziolkowski asked his students to create sustainable still life photographs. From plastic cups to light bulbs, images about carpooling and recycling shoes, students responded in interesting and thought-provoking ways.

The community is invited to view the works as the exhibit, Sustainable Still Life, moves to the Genesee County Park and Forest. An opening reception is planned May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Park's Interpretive Nature Center, 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Since he came to GCC, Ziolkowski has developed an excellent relationship with the staff at the Genesee County Park and Forest. This is the third exhibit of GCC student work that will be shown at the Park's Interpretive Nature Center. Previous displays have included "Around the Bend: The Shared Landscape" and "Environmental Portraits of Western New York."

"The exhibits have been very well received by the community and are an excellent opportunity for our students to show their work beyond the campus," Ziolkowski said. "This particular show is especially fitting for the Park setting as we think about preserving the Earth and reducing our carbon footprint."

The works have been on view in the Lobby Art Gallery of GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre and were a part of the College's annual ECO-Fest celebrating Earth Day. The pieces represent work by students in Ziolkowski's COM 118 (Introduction to Digital Photography) and COM 103 (Introduction to Black & White Photography) classes.

They will be on view in the Gallery at GCC through April 29. Ziolkowski will install them at the Interpretive Nature Center on Saturday, May 2. They will remain there through the summer. The exhibit will close on Friday, Sept. 11.

"We're excited to once again show student work at the Nature Center," Parks Supervisor Paul Osborn said. "We hope many people will join us for the Opening Reception on May 8th. It's a great way to celebrate a long-awaited Spring!"

Megan Ange / "Saving Water"
On a day-to-day basis, we use water for many things. We use water to wash our hands after using the bathroom, to wash dishes, brush our teeth and take a shower. We all forget to turn the water off from time to time when we are not using it, myself included. There could be a faucet leaking, and if that is the case then maybe you should check to see if you turned the knob of the faucet all the way so it is turned off instead of wasting the water. Everyone takes water for granted, but if you do the little things to save it, then you will be less likely to have a high water bill and not have to worry about problems that might happen if you leave it on. "Water is the driving force of all nature." - Leonardo da Vinci

Ellen Fridman / "Pin It"
REDUCE. Line-drying is back! Dryers are not going to go away any time soon but it seems like more people are returning to the use of the sun and wind to dry their clothing and linens. There are several benefits to clothesline drying. Hanging laundry out to dry instead of turning on the dryer lowers carbon emissions, reduces gas or electric bills, helps clothing and linens last longer, and establishes an excuse to get outside. Experts say that if all Americans line-dried for half a year, 3.3 percent of the country's total residential output of carbon dioxide would be saved. For those in colder climates, try using drying racks inside. Go Green!

Miguel Ortiz-Teed / "The Legend of Books"
As time progresses -- technology advances. This progression has lead from hand-held books where you can flip a page with your hands to tablets where you swipe to turn the page and have a massive library in the palm of your hands. This causes bookbinders to lose their jobs and technology takes their place. Eventually books will revert into a legend where only the wealthy will be able to afford them. This also produces a risk for all the knowledge that is stored within technology to be lost if an Electrical Magnetic Pulse were to hit either by a solar flare or warfare.

Paul Thater / "Light at the End of the Tunnel"
The photo was based off of the joke: "The government had to turn off the light at the end of the tunnel due to budget cuts." The light bulb has a black background to symbolize darkness in a tunnel with the light bulb off. This photo shows saving money by not using and saving electricity, which makes your bill smaller and gives you more money to spend on necessities.

April 20, 2015 - 5:24pm

Batavia Players just finished their third production this year directed by Anthony Giambrone. This past weekend, five performances were held at the Harvester 56 theater. Each performance had five sections of range from different types of broadway theater.  

We have a family friendly show, "Annie," that will make your heart melt when hearing the song "Tomorrow." Then we have a wild story of "Kinky Boots" where the challenge of singing modern pop music and still try to get the message across to the audience.  

"Wicked" has a reputation of being a showstopper and the cast had to live up to that. A challenge of women in "Leading Ladies" had a task of singing five different songs from five different musicals and had to find a way to make them flow together nicely.

The last section, "Hairspray," proved to be the largest section for both cast and director and it was the longest section in the show that called for the most dancing. The directing and choreographing of this show took a bit of extra time needed but was aimed to have the audience leave with smiling faces.

Batavia Players next show is "Xanadu" and runs from May 14-16th. For more upcoming events go to:

April 11, 2015 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors hosted a farewell luncheon at GO ART! this afternoon for Raffaele Ponti, the musical director and conductor of the orchestra for 18 years who will conduct his final concert with the GSO tomorrow.

The luncheon was attended by board members and several longtime orchestra members, including Helen Grapka, pictured above with Ponti and his daughter, Sofia.

Sofia is holding the violin Grapka played for 46 years with GSO. She sold it to the Ponti family, along with the violin of her late husband, John, when she retired from music a few years ago. Sofia will play it during her featured performance at tomorrow's concert.

Grapka is the last surviving founding member of GSO.

In the 1940s, she and her husband played with a small orchestra organized by a local man who wanted to be a conductor each Jan. 1 at the old folks home in Bethany. At the 1947 show, Helen and John had a conversation with two members of their string quartet and decided they should start a local orchestra.

The GSO's first concert was later that year, in November, at the old Dipson Theater. Some 1,400 people attended and hundreds more were turned away at the door. Grapka remembers men showing up in tuxedos and the women dressed in long gowns and minks.

From the beginning, the orchestra attracted the finest musicians in the area and had a dozen first violinists that first season.

John Grapka was musical director at the New York State School for the Blind and after teaching at a public school for six years, Helen taught music at the School for the Blind for 20 years.

She's proud that what she and her husband started has lasted into the 21st Century.

"If anything ever happens and it all falls apart, it will never happen again," Grapka said. "It's important to keep it going because it's such an important cultural thing for the community."

Tomorrow's concert is at 4 p.m. at Batavia High School.

Ponti with an award presented to him by Board President Paul Saskowski and Board Member Roxanne Choate. 

Below are pictures from yesterday's rehearsal at Batavia High School. Dave Mancini is also performing with the orchestra tomorrow. The Rochester resident will perform on some of his own compositions, including "A Piece for Him," which he wrote and dedicated to his father. Members of the Student String Workshop (featured in some of the photos below) will also perform with the orchestra.

April 9, 2015 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Jonathan Jaeger, music instructor at Roxy's Music in Batavia, practices with students Lucia Sprague, John Patt and Kirk Ellison. The students are preparing for Sunday's performance with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra of the "1812 Overture" and "Concerto Grosso."

Showtime is 4 p.m. at Batavia High School.

The concert will also feature drummer Dave Mancini and his original compositions of "A Peace For Him" and  "Symphony of Peace." 

It is also the final concert under the direction of Conductor Raffaele Ponti.

Photo submitted by Debbie Patt.

April 7, 2015 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Nationally renowned drummer and composer Dave Mancini joins the Genesee Symphony Orchestra on Sunday afternoon in a performance that will include popular pieces such as "Caravan" and the world premier of Mancini's own "Symphony of Peace."

The 4 p.m. performance at Batavia High School will be the last GSO concert under the direction of Conductor Raffaele Ponti.

Ponti's daughter, Sofia Ponti, will also be featured on violin.

Mancini composed "Symphony of Peace" and dedicated it to his father, a World War II veteran.

The Rochester resident is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has performed with Chuck Mangione, Rosemary Clooney, Maureen McGovern, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis and Bop Hope, as well as Doc Severinsen, the Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, New York Pops, Vancouver Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and the Milwaukee Symphony.

Other pieces in the concert include Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," Vivaldi's "La Primavera," Fiesta Latina, Concerto Grosso by Antonio Vivaldi, the "1812 Overture."

There will also be a performance by participants in this year's string workshop.

Tickets are available at GO ART!, Roxy's Music, Batavia Senior Center and the Bank of Castile branch in Le Roy, and are $15 for adults, $7 for students, $10 for seniors and $35 for a family with children 12 and under.

Photos are from Monday's rehearsal.





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