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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 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.

March 25, 2015 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, darien lake.

With David Lee Roth back in the fold, a new live album, and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Van Halen is about to hit the road for a tour that will include a stop in Genesee County.

The legendary rockers will play Darien Lake on Aug. 25.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd will open the show, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., April 4.

For more information, visit LiveNation.com.

March 15, 2015 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, arts, music, entertainment.

Photos by Jim Burns.

The first of two All-County Music Festival concerts was held Saturday in Attica, with student musicians from throughout Genesee and Wyoming counties participating.

The concert is the culmination of a lot of hard work by students, including an audition process that also contributes to the grades of many students in music classes.

The next show is at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Batavia Middle School. Tickets are $4 at the door.

March 14, 2015 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, hlom, st. james.

Local musicians Rich Conroy and Don Bouchard, as "No Blarney," performed a show of new and traditional Irish music Friday evening at St. James as a fundraiser for the Holland Land Office Museum.

March 5, 2015 - 5:59pm

The summer line-up for the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center is starting to take shape, with Kelly Clarkson the latest star announced by Live Nation for a show at the amphitheater next to Darien Lake Theme Park.

The Clarkson show is at 7:30 p.m., July 21. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., March 14. Also on the bill, Pentatonix and Eric Hutchinson.

Also on the schedule so far are some Darien Lake regulars, such as Brad Paisley, Kid Rock, Def Leppard, Zac Brown and Nickelback.

The Van's Warp tour is also returning.

Those shows are listed on the Live Nation Web site.

Darien Lake's site also lists Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts.

The first upcoming show is Debby Ryan and the Neverending at 6 p.m., May 23.

Other acts scheduled are Shawn Mendes, Fallout Boy, Train, Slipknot, Florida Georgia Line, and Darius Rucker.

For dates and times, check the links above.

If you've downloaded the Reacht App for your smart phone, at some point within the next day, we'll ask you this poll question: Do you plan to attend any concerts this season at Darien Lake? To download the app, click here.

March 3, 2015 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, darien lake, Darien.

Press release:

This summer Darien Lake will host three special in-park concerts presented by TOPS Markets that are free with a Season Pass, a hotel or camping package or daily admission. The free concerts will take place in the Ride of Steel Plaza and include performances by –  Disney Channel’s Debby Ryan & The Never Ending; the social media hip-hop star Jake Miller; and Canadian singer-songwriter, Shawn Mendes.

“With roots in the Disney Channel, Kissmass Bash and beyond, these stars resonate with many families across Western New York,” said Chris Thorpe, Darien Lake General Manager. “Along with two new rides, these concerts are part of our plan to provide extraordinary value to our season pass holders and accommodations guests while enriching the entire Darien Lake experience.”

With park admission or a season pass, guests receive access to all in-park entertainment/concerts, Dive-In Movies, special events, shows, and now more than 50 rides. A 2015 season pass has even greater value than ever before, paying for itself in less than two visits. Season Pass holders will have the opportunity to be first to ride the all-new Rolling Thunder thrill ride, and will receive free parking, three free tickets for friends on select days and a free 32-oz. souvenir mug good for $.99 soda refills all season long when purchasing and visiting prior to Memorial Day.

In-Park Concert Dates and Times:

Debby Ryan & The Never Ending: May 23, 6 p.m.
As one of the most watched young stars in the business today, Debby Ryan is known for her unmatched comedic timing, flexibility to give powerful dramatic performances, and the ability to illuminate television and film screens. She starred on the Disney Channel series “The Suite Life on Deck,” as Bailey Pickett from 2008-2011 as well as the smash hit Disney Channel Original Series “Jessie” since 2011.

In addition to incredible acting chops, Debby broke onto the music scene in 2013 with her band, The Never Ending. The band consists of singer and songwriter Debby Ryan, drummer Johnny Franco and guitarist Kyle Moore. They released their 5-track EP “One” on June 24, 2014.

Jake Miller: June 13, 6 p.m.
Ever since Jake Miller began posting his original songs on YouTube a few years ago, the 21-year-old Miami-born pop artist has been building a virtual army of fans. His 1.3 million social media community followers call themselves "The Millertary" and come to his concerts wearing camouflage and greasepaint under their eyes. They are devoted to Miller’s irresistible musical blend of pop and hip-hop, combined with the positive messages in his songs.

Miller has independently released three EP’s: 2012’s "Spotlight" and 2013’s "The Road Less Traveled," which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and 2014’s "Lion Heart," which sold 8,000 in the first week and 14,000 to date. His full-length album, 2013’s "Us Against Them," sold over 33,000 copies and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Rap chart.

Shawn Mendes: June 27, 6 p.m.
Hailed by Billboard as “Music’s First Vine Star” and TIME Magazine as one of the "Most Influential Teens of 2014," singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has emerged from teen viral sensation to major best-selling status almost overnight. Soon after artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered and introduced Mendes to now-label Island Records in early 2014, Shawn’s debut single "Life of the Party" broke records, topping the iTunes Charts and selling over 150,000 copies in its first week due to his legions of fans.

The success of the song made Shawn the youngest ever artist to break into the Billboard Hot 100's Top 25 with a debut single. Then, just a month later, Mendes released his self-titled debut EP, which also hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes once again, and entered at No. 5 on the Billboard album charts, showing the staying power of the young artist. Now fresh off of his sold out first headline tour dates, and soon to be embarking on Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour as well as releasing his debut album in 2015, Shawn has quickly become one of music's most promising young stars.

March 3, 2015 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, entertainment, Batavia HS.

The Batavia High School Production Club will present the musical "Annie" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Presale, available at the school, are $8 and $7.

  • Annie ….…………...……..…..Lauren Dunn
  • Oliver Warbucks……………...Jesse Conklin (community member)
  • Miss Hannigan ……………..…Chelsea Jensen
  • Grace Farrell ……………….…Andrea Gilbarto
  • Rooster ………………………... Ross Chua
  • Lilly …………………………….. Cara Ranalli
  • Roosevelt ……………………….Alex Mott
  • Drake…………………………... Evan Bellavia
  • Mrs. Pugh ……………………...Grace Judge
  • Bert Healy……………………... Nick Piedmont
  • Ronnie Boylan ………………...Marissa Carbonell
  • Bonnie Boylan ………………...Celia Flynn
  • Connie Boylan ………………...Madison Hoerbelt
  • Star-to-Be ……………………….Madison Hoerbelt
  • Howe……………………………..Alan Johannes
  • Judge Brandeis………………..Pat Burk (Board of Education)

Orphans

  • Hannah Bluhm
  • McKenna Dziemian
  • Eryn Dunn
  • Elise Hoerbelt
  • Karissa Kesler
  • Brigid McCormack
  • Tori Nigro
  • Sarah Wetzel
  • Kathryn Fitzpatrick

Ensemble

  • Kaitlin Ange
  • Shannon Cervone
  • Rachel Flint
  • Abby Franks   
  • Taler Fonda
  • AnnMarie Georgia     
  • Kesa Janes
  • Alan Johannes
  • Olivia Judge
  • Taylor McKenzie
  • Lea Morgan
  • McKayla Stappenbeck
  • Kim Truesdell               
  • Ryan Weaver

Cabinet Members

  • Nick Bestine (BMS faculty)
  • Sean Krause (BHS faculty)
  • Andy Kiebala (BMS faculty)

Photos from Monday's rehearsal.

February 27, 2015 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, theater, entertainment, Le Roy.

"Shrek: The Musical," based on the Dreamworks animated motion picture, is coming to Le Roy. Performances are at 7 p.m. March 5 and 6 and 4 p.m. March 7 at the Le Roy Junior Senior High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door.

The show is directed by Jacqueline McLean.

Photos from Thursday's rehearsal.

February 17, 2015 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, arts, music, entertainment, Genesee Chorale.

The Genesee Chorale will perform a show at 7 p.m., Feb. 20, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, south campus, built around the theme of American Bandstand.

A stage set is being built to replicate Dick Clark's old set, Pat McHanon will perform as Dick Clark, and between songs, old clips of Dick Clark interviewing some of the great artists who appeared on American Bandstand will be featured.

The musical selection will include hits by Sam Cooke, Etta James, the Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Leslie Gore, the 5th Dimension, the Mamas and the Papas, Peter, Paul and Mary, Otis Redding, among others.

The Chorale is conducted by Ric Jones.

Photos are from last night's rehearsal at St. James.

December 21, 2014 - 2:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, music, entertainment, GO ART!.

Supporters of GO ART! and local music fans enjoyed an energetic show Saturday night at GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre of the Haley & Alexis Band.

The twin sisters hail from Atlanta, but have roots in Genesee and Orleans counties, and the front row was filled with relatives.

It's the first time the band -- nominated for the Georgia Country Music “Best (Regional) Country Band Award” -- has played north of the Mason-Dixon line. 

Hiram Kasten was the evening's emcee. 

December 5, 2014 - 10:33am
posted by Paul Draper III in music, entertainment, weekend lineup, weekend.

December 4, 2014 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, entertainment, terry hills.

It's become an annual holiday event for Terry Hills Golf Course -- a great buffet lunch with musical accompaniment from Serendipity Swing, and Terry Hills had another fine turnout today for this year's lunch and show.

November 21, 2014 - 12:11pm
posted by Paul Draper III in music, entertainment, lineup, weekend.

October 31, 2014 - 11:59am
posted by Paul Draper III in music, entertainment, lineup, weekend.

October 26, 2014 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, Le Roy, Frost Ridge Campground.

Frost Ridge Campground closed out its abbreviated 2014 concert schedule Saturday night with headliner Jason Michael Carroll (pictured above).

Carroll was originally booked for a date earlier in the summer, but it was cancelled following a court order triggered by a pair of lawsuits filed against Frost Ridge. Judge Robert C. Noonan eventually modified his order after the legal process started to drag on.

Joshua Scott Jones, formerly of Steel Magnolia (below), opened the show.

Photos by Peggy Barringer.

October 24, 2014 - 11:58am
posted by Paul Draper III in music, entertainment, lineup, weekend.

October 18, 2014 - 6:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra opens its 2014 season at 4 p.m. tomorrow at St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia.

Raffaele Ponti will conduct the orchestra for a program titled "Reformation Symphony." The guest artist is organist Ann Emmans. Pieces include Felix Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 5, and Camille Saint-Saens, Symphony No. 3.

Tickets are $15 each and available at the door.

The GSO will also debut its 2014 fundraiser, a raffle for a pair of 1/4-carat each diamond stud earrings created by Lambert's Design Jewelers in Batavia.Tickets are 1 for $5 and 3 for $10.

Drawing will be at the April concert.

These photos are from today's rehearsal.

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