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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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November 22, 2017 - 9:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Forum Players, entertainment, music, news.

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Genesee Community College's Forum Players will perform "Strong Kids" Children's Theatre at 7 p.m., Dec. 1, at the Stuart Steiner Theater. 

The musical celebrates confidence and believing in one's self while simultaneously addressing bullying, peer pressure, and rejection often faced by children today. It is a musical compilation of poems, new and original monologues, and some classic favorites from "Hairspray," "The King and I," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Wicked," and "The Lion King."

The cast of "Strong Kids" are all GCC students and includes singers, dancers and soloists. 

The cast:

  • Abanoor Abdi, Vocal Ensemble, Rochester
  • Celeste Brownell, president of Forum Players 2017-2018, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Bergen
  • Chrisjon Canty, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Rochester
  • Marissa Carbonell, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Batavia
  • Emily Carey, Vocal Ensemble, Medina
  • Joseph Cartwright II, Dance Ensemble, Hunt
  • Jamie Crawford, Dance Ensemble, Mount Morris
  • Jack Diskin, Vocal Soloist, Le Roy
  • Kayla Lander, Dance Ensemble, Dance Soloist, Mayfield
  • Troy McCrorey, Vocal Ensemble, Chester, S.C.
  • Liliam Montilla, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, New York City
  • Rebecca Naber, Dance Ensemble, Hamburg
  • Erin Phillips, Vocal Soloist, Batavia
  • Cameron Sanzo, Dance Ensemble, Batavia
  • Jennifer Schreiber, Dance Ensemble, Rochester
  • Cody Taylor, Vocal Soloist, Dance Ensemble, Vocal Ensemble, Medina
  • Taylor Wilson, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Dance Ensemble, Cheektowaga
  • Maki Ishikawa, Vocal Soloist, Vocal Ensemble, Japan
  • Sayaka Miura, Vocal Soloist, Chiryu City, Japan
  • Natsumi Sasabe, Dance Ensemble, Vocal Soloist, Japan
  • Akane Hagiwara, Dance Ensemble, Japan

"Strong Kids" is directed by Maryanne Arena.

Tickets to see "Strong Kids" are available now and are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (55+) and GCC faculty/staff. Students and children pay $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket. To reserve seats, contact the GCC box office at [email protected] or (585) 345-6814.

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November 21, 2017 - 5:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, charity, music, entertainment, jamboree, Announcements.

There will be a Jamboree Benefit Fundraiser for Mark Dougherty at the Stafford Fire Hall from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Admission is free; donations accepted.

Five bands will perform:

  • Scott / Ryan
  • Front Porch Pickers
  • Tonk ! Bros.
  • Rick Howe Band
  • KW Does Country

There will also be a basket raffle, 50/50 and Bell Jar tickets.

Special thanks to Bill Pitcher.

The Stafford Fire Hall is located at 6153 Main Road in Stafford.

November 21, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, music, entertainment, charity, Stafford.
Event Date and Time: 
December 3, 2017 - 2:00pm to 7:00pm

There will be a Jamboree Benefit Fundraiser for Mark Dougherty at the Stafford Fire Hall from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Admission is free; donations accepted.

Five bands will perform:

  • Scott / Ryan
  • Front Porch Pickers
  • Tonk ! Bros.
  • Rick Howe Band
  • KW Does Country

There will also be a basket raffle, 50/50 and Bell Jar tickets.

Special thanks to Bill Pitcher.

The Stafford Fire Hall is located at 6153 Main Road in Stafford.

November 20, 2017 - 4:59pm
Event Date and Time: 
December 21, 2017 - 7:00pm

The Genesee Chorale Ensemble, a select group of 20 singers, will perform at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1 E. Main St., Le Roy on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.

The group, under the direction of Ric Jones, will perform sacred and secular music of the season. The evening will also include a vocal quartet of Kim and Tom Cox, Jim Ellison and Pat Fussell.

November 18, 2017 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, music, entertainment.

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More than 500 music students from the eight-county region were at Batavia High School today for the NYSSMA Zone 2 Area All-State Music Festival.

NYSSMA is the New York State School Music Association.

There were performances by the orchestra, concert band, treble choir, and mixed choir.

Participating local students were:

Alexander: Nicholas Allen, Cayna Bliss, Carson Daley, Kathleen Nolan, Eric Stroud.

Batavia: Margaret Andersen, Cameron Bontrager, Eryn Dunn, Lydia Geiger, Elise Hoerbelt, Madison Hoerbelt, Karissa Kesler, Mary Murphy, Adeena Riedel.

Byron-Bergen: Stephanie Buell.

Le Roy: Margaux Carmel, Katie Dessert, Caleb McGee, Megan Privatera, Alex Wynn.

Notre Dame: Sam Bowman.

Oakfield-Alabama: Jules Hoepting, Justina Pruski, Lauren Reding.

Pembroke: Eli Fox.

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November 17, 2017 - 10:24pm

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A three-year legal battle for the owners of The Ridge (aka Frost Ridge Campground) appears to have come to a close with a state appeals court upholding prior court decisions allowing the campground to host live music concerts, rent campsites and run a restaurant.

The ruling was handed down today by the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department.

David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell haven't missed a concert season since 2010, even though the legal challenges to their concert series -- Jam at the Ridge -- started in 2014 when the Town of Le Roy, and David and Mary Cleere, and Scott and Besty Collins, first brought legal action to stop live music at the campground.

They were able to continue after winning motions in 2014 to allow an already-booked season to go forward, and as they continued to win court decisions -- including a Sept. 2016 decision by Judge Emilio Colaiacovo, presiding at the time over Genesee County Supreme Court, that ruled in favor of the owners.

The Town of Le Roy had dropped out of the lawsuits after losing a prior decision.

At the heart of the defense of Luetticke-Archbell's use of the property is that Frost Ridge -- going back to the ownership of David Frost, father of Mary Cleere and Betsy Collins --and its campground long hosted live music, rented campsites and served food, and that these uses fit within the meaning of a recreational area. The property was used in this fashion, they argued, before the Town of Le Roy changed the area's zoning to residential-agriculture in the 1990s.

In ruling in favor of Luetticke-Archbell, the appellate division concluded that contrary to the plaintiffs' contention, the Zoning Board of Appeals did not reach an arbitrary and capricious decision when the board ruled that the owners' use of Frost Ridge was a prior, non-conforming use. The plaintiffs contended that the ZBA failed to follow its own precedent and did not explain their reasoning. 

"We reject that contention," the court ruled. "In 1998, the ZBA interpreted the Code to provide that a preexisting nonconforming use of land as a campsite runs with the land pursuant to section 165-13, notwithstanding section 165-39 (B), which requires that an existing campsite of record be brought into compliance with the Code upon being sold. Contrary to petitioners’ contention, the ZBA’s determination is consistent with that precedent."

The court ruled that there was substantial evidence for the prior, non-conforming use.

"That evidence included the affidavit of a former employee of Frost Ridge’s predecessor, who averred that the Property had been used for skiing and other recreational purposes since the 1950s," the court wrote. "He averred that he began working there in the 1960s and observed numerous recreational activities on the Property, including winter sports, live music, and campsite rentals."

It's common sense, the court concluded that the term "campsite" includes recreational activities, which might include live music, and this definition complies with the Town's own codes.

"The ordinance does, however, require that any large campsite “provide a common open area suitable for recreation and play purposes” (§ 165-39 [C] [8]), and thus expressly contemplates that a campsite is a place for recreation," the court ruled.

"Although the kind of recreation is open to interpretation, it is rational in our view to conclude that live music, along with swimming and other outdoor activities, is the kind of recreation to be enjoyed at a campsite."

The court also cited evidence of witnesses who said live, amplified bands played every summer at the campground in the 1970s and 1980s, and the plaintiffs failed to prove that use ever stopped for an extended period of time to constitute a break in the prior, non-conforming use.

"Here, it is undisputed that the Property functioned continuously as a recreational facility and campsite since the 1950s," the judges wrote. "To the extent that petitioners contend that use of the Property to host live music was abandoned in 2008 and 2009, we note that there is evidence in the record that live concerts were hosted on the Property during those years."

Photo: File photo of David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell

November 17, 2017 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, entertainment, news, jim burns.

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GO ART! hosted an opening reception Friday night at Seymore Place for a show of work by artist Jim Burns.

Burns, a photographer, created a series of works with a hammer, nails, twine, and wood called "Cabal and Zen."

The show runs through Feb. 3.

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 28, 2017 - 10:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, music, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs tonight at Perry High School and again tomorrow at Genesee Community College.

Mia Fasanello, a winner of the Young Artist Competition, on oboe, is one of the featured performers in a show titled "Festivals, Techno, and Fate!"

The program includes "Academic Festival Overture" by Brahms, "The B-Sides," "Five Pieces for Orchestra and Electronica" by Bates, and "Symphony no. 5 in C Minor" by Beethoven.

During Friday's rehearsal, young music students were invited to sit next to orchestra musicians and experience the music from within the orchestra.

This evening's Perry performance starts at 7 p.m. and Sunday's GCC performance is at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door or through GSO's website.

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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 15, 2017 - 11:53am

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Invictra, comprised of four young men from Le Roy, is the Battle of the Bands champion in the annual summer-long contest sponsored by Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew.

Invictra and The Travis Prinzi Band battled in the finals last night in a tent outside the tavern in Le Roy and the judges and audience picked the heavy metal quartet as the winner.

Invictra is Josh Zalar, vocals and guitar, Alex Dunn, guitar, Dylan Thompson, drums, and Steve Stephany, bass.

The band released a single in July, "A Cardinal Sin."  

The band was the first entry to perform this summer and the growth of the band from June to October was apparent in last night's performance. There's a real polish to their performance now. They are tighter, more confident, more polished and perform with greater energy.

In addition to the championship title and a chalice, the band received a $1,000 cash prize.

The Battle of the Bands raised $3,000 for Golisano Children's Hospital.

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October 3, 2017 - 8:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
October 19, 2017 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Join us for a game night at Moonjava Cafe in Batavia! We will have over 40 board and card games for you to play: you only need to bring your gaming spirit and be prepared for hours of fun! Don’t know how to play a game or want to learn a new game? Decks, Dice, and Meeple’s Gaming Guides will be happy to teach you any of the games.
Moonjava Cafe’s friendly staff will be selling baked goods, coffees, and sandwiches. There will be a $5 cover charge to play as many games as you would like!

September 23, 2017 - 8:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GCC, news, entertainment, music.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs today as part of Genesee Community College's 50th Anniversary Fall Gala in the brand new Richard C. Call Arena.

The concert starts at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

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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 - 11:09am
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 27, 2017 - 1:59pm

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Punk rock band Green Day, along with special guest Catfish and the Bottlemen, performed last evening at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in front of a nearly sold-out, jumping crowd. The band is on their Revolution Radio Tour opening with "Know Your Enemy," during which they asked a fan to join them on stage.

Billy Joe Armstrong and his head-spinning members have not lost the beat of their multi-decade followers, who continued to shake the venue to new levels. The explosive pyrotechnics of white and orange sparks heated up the zoo of many faces to be entertained.

The crowd was outspoken for singing lyrics of songs like "Welcome to Paradise," "American Idiot," "21 Guns" and "Good Riddance." The two-plus hours fueled an energetic night for all who attended.

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August 26, 2017 - 9:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in religion, news, music, entertainment, austin park, batavia.

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Austin Park was filled with praise and worship this weekend for the Here and Now Festival, featuring several Christian music acts and pastors along with dozens of vendors and activities for families.

More than 3,000 people turned out for last night's music and the festival continues today through 10 p.m.

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August 21, 2017 - 1:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, entertainment, batavia, news.

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Growing up, Carmen DelPlato got to know just about all of the 200 or so songs his older brother John wrote, which he describes as very Beatlesque.

"John used to sing me when I was a kid frequently so I could sing along with him," DelPlato said. I'm a bit biased but I think the songs are pretty good."

They're good enough, DelPlato thinks, that more people should hear them, so he's created a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1,800 to pay for studio recordings of eight of the songs. For a contribution of $10 or more, you could own a bit of Batavia's rock music history.

"We're doing this to share his music so it can be heard because when he goes the music goes with him," DelPlato said. "We're not out to make money. You can't make money in the music business unless you have a lot of money and we don't have a lot of money."

The DelPlato family is a musical family. Carmen's maternal grandfather, Francesco Marcello, was a musician and composer who wrote marches. One of them, family legend has it, was played for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

His mother, Mary, was also a songwriter. Some of her Christmas songs have been featured on The Batavian the past couple of years, such as this one.

Carmen is the youngest of nine children -- John, Charley, Danny Jr., Joe, Vincent, Mary Ellen, Michael and Carmen. Carmen professes to no musical talent. John, Charley, Mary, and Vinny all played music. Mary Ellen is also a songwriter.

The boys in this large family often had to share rooms, two and three to a room, in their house on Hutchins Street, but there was still space for a music room with drums, guitars and keyboards. There was also a piano in the living room.

The musical talent has been passed down to Carmen's nephew, Anthony, who will produce and play on the recordings of John's songs. He has a degree in recording.

"He can play many instruments," Carmen said. "He can sing, which makes it easier and cheaper than otherwise to pay other musicians."

To make your contribution to the recording effort, click here.

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.”

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