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December 8, 2018 - 9:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, news, arts, entertainment, GSO.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs its annual Holiday Concert tomorrow (Sunday) at Byron-Bergen High School featuring young artist winner Raymond Feng.

Showtime is 4 p.m.

The program includes: "Overture to the Marriage of Figaro" (Mozart), "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (Vince Guaraldi), "Concerto  No. 3 in C Major" (Prokofiev) (Feng on piano), Canadian Brass Christmas, holiday favorites, "Sleigh Ride" and "Christmas Festival" (Leroy Anderson).

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for students, and $35 for a family with children 12 and under.

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December 7, 2018 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia society of artists, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.

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CORRECTION: In the origianl version of our post, we switched the first and second place winners.  Our apologies to Rick.

The Batavia Society of Artists held its opening reception Thursday night at the Richmond Memorial Library of its Winter Art Show.

Rick Ellingham won First Place for his painting, "Adirondack Sunset."

The show runs through Dec. 27.

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Karen Crittenden won Second Place with her picture, "Bug."

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December 4, 2018 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BHS Drama Club, Batavia HS, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.

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BHS Drama Club presents a stage adaption of "It's a Wonderful Life" this weekend, featuring Cameron Bontrager as George Bailey, in the classic story of a man who stayed in his small town only to reach a point where felt his life hadn't made a difference, then learns what a difference he did make with the help of his guardian angel, Clarence.

Featured cast:

  • George Bailey - Cameron Bontrager (senior)
  • Mary Bailey - Eryn Dunn (senior)
  • Clarence - Riley Macdonough (sophomore)
  • Janie Bailey - Macayla Burke (junior)
  • Pete Bailey - Colin Dunn (freshman)
  • Tommy Bailey - Marla Schlaggel (freshman)
  • Zuzu Bailey - Kayla Stone (freshman)
  • Mr. Potter - Michael Bartz (freshman)
  • Potter's Secretary - Fay Pimlada Pattarachaidaecharuch (exchange student) 

The adaption was written by Doug Rand from the original screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert, Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors.

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November 29, 2018 - 1:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, entertainment, radio geezer, batavia.

Press release:

Batavian Mike Pettinella, longtime local journalist and fan of the legendary rock group Chicago, will be the guest of DJ Richard Beatty on Friday night on the Geezer Radio show.

The “Evening with Chicago” show airs from 8 to 10 p.m. on WGCC radio, 90.7 on the FM dial. It also can be heard on the Internet --https://tunein.com/radio/907FM-s28965/

Pettinella has been a Chicago devotee since the band released its first album, Chicago Transit Authority, in 1969. He attended his first Chicago concert on Aug. 31, 1971 at the old War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo and has seen the group perform more than 65 times since then at various venues in the Eastern United States and Canada.

He also has had the privilege of talking with band members after their show on several occasions and was among the thousands on hand at the group’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Tomorrow night’s show will feature numerous songs spanning the “rock and roll band with horns'"51-year career along with discussion about the group and other songs selected by the Geezer.

Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world's best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. To date, Chicago has sold more than 40 million units in the United States, with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and eight multi-platinum albums.

November 9, 2018 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pavilion hs, Pavilion, news, entertainment, arts.

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Pavilion High School's "Stars of Tomorrow" present a performance of "My Fair Lady" at 7 o'clock tonight and tomorrow night.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students.

Directors and Crew:

  • Director: Eric Traugott
  • Producer/Vocal Music Director: Beth Funderburk
  • Pit Orchestra Conductor: Stuart McLean
  • Choreographer: Denise Leblanc-Chatt
  • Set Design: Joe Paras

Cast List:

  • Eliza Doolittle: Katie Ehrhart
  • Colonel Pickering: Alex Stalica
  • Mrs. Eynsford-Hill: Mackenzie Blakeslee
  • Henry Higgins: Jacob Taylor
  • Mrs. Higgins: Ella Manurung
  • Freddy Eynsford-Hill: Jeremy Blakeslee
  • Alfred P. Doolittle: Anthony Brown
  • Harry: Joe Forti
  • Jamie: Zander Markek
  • Mrs. Pearce: Evelyn Northrup
  • Prof. Zoltan Karpathy: Max Whalen
  • Ensemble: Shea Amberger, Kylie Conway, Angela Davidson, Jordan Eggleston, Joy Gayhart, Cassie Guile, Aiden McConnell, Colin McConnell, Isis McLure, Ayden Taylor, Mr. Clark, Mr. Chrzanowski, Mrs. Slocum, Mr. Weaver, Mr. Webb

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November 8, 2018 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander hs, musical, arts, entertainment, news, alexander.

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The theater and music departments of Alexander High School will perform "Guys and Dolls" this weekend.

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

Tickets are $9, or $10 at the door. Students, seniors, and veterans can purchase tickets for $7 or $8 at the door. To purchase tickets online, click here.

Directors and crew:

  • Director, Kate Schrodt
  • Music Director, Mark Hoerbelt
  • Pit Conductor, Rachel Clark
  • Set Design/Builders, Jeff Houseknecht & Ethan Schrodt
  • Choreographer, Mary Loliger
  • Costumer, Loretta Stratton
  • Sound Technician, Trinity Reynolds
  • Light Technician/Stage Manager, Hunter Doran

The Cast: 

  • Nathan Detroit, Carson Daley
  • Miss Adelaide, Alyssa Lafferty
  • Sky Masterson, Nick Allen
  • Sarah Brown, Lydia Daley Nicely-Nicely, Nolan Quackenbush
  • Benny Southwest, Connlan Hotnich
  • Rusty Charlie, Shawn Calmes
  • Harry the Horse, Bradley Caudill
  • Lt. Brannigan, Kylie Shillea
  • Angie the Ox/Joey Biltmore's Voice, Ethan
  • Stroud Big Jule, Jake Day
  • General Cartwight, Kasey Smith Arvide,
  • Holly Ulrich Waitress/Actress, Erin Hess
  • Hot Box Dancers: Allison, Paige Sikorski Ferguson, Julia Francis Vernon, Emma Cline, Mimi, Emma Ferraro
  • Mission Band: Leanne Dolph, Jasmine Wessel. Morgan Burns, Sara Chase, Kathryn McClellan, Olivia Burkhardt, Mercades Koschara, Hailey Szczygiel

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October 28, 2018 - 1:34pm

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The John Gardner Society gathered at the Pok-A-Dot on Saturday night for the group's annual reading of works by John Gardner.

A Batavia-native, Gardner is an internationally acclaimed novelist and literary critic who died in a motorcycle accident in 1982.

Readers this year were Steve Lewandowski, Byron Hoot, Beth Bucchler (top photo), Richard Beatty, Bill Kauffman, David Lampe, Chris De Pasquale, Helen Maier, Terry Abrams, John Maier and Eric Zwieg.

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Byron Hoot

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Bill Kauffman

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Terry Abrams

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October 27, 2018 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, music, entertainment, arts, news.

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Celloist Marza Merophi Wilks will be the featured soloist tomorrow in a concert by the Genesee Symphony Orchestra at Genesee Community College.

The concert starts at 4 p.m. and tickets are available at the door.

Wilks, born in Peru, started playing cello when she was 5 years old and is a master student at the Julliard School. She has previously been a guest soloist for the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. 

Wilks will perform with the orchestra Samuel Barber's "Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra," a piece in three movements.

Also on the program, "Electric Dream for Acoustic Orchestra," a world premiere performance, which was written by S. Shade Zajac, the GSO's musical director and conductor. 

The orchestra will close with "Symphony No. 2 in B minor" by Alexander Borodin.

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October 26, 2018 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee valley wind ensemble, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Wind Ensemble performs at the Oakfield-Alabama Auditorium at 4 p.m., Nov. 18. It is located at 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield.

Featured works include "Beguine for Band," "Blue Moon," highlights from "Camelot," "Entry for Gladiators," "Procession for Nobles," "Abracadabra," and Symphony No. 3 by Clifton Williams.

Visit geneseevalleywindensemble.org for more information.

Photos are from last night's rehearsal.

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October 20, 2018 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, GO ART!, news, batavia.

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Artist Christopher McGee was at GO ART! on Thursday evening for the opening of his show, "The Rhythms of Nature."

Born in Jamestown, the Clarence-based artist said this is the first time he's had a show for this series of paintings.

He began the series in 2008 while observing landscapes while on road trips throughout Western New York. 

He said, "My experience playing drums in experimental and improvisational noise bands helped me to visually express some of the more mercurial, unpredictable elements in the universe: earthquakes, meteor showers, supernovas, and black holes."

The show runs through Dec. 8.

GO ART! has two other shows on display as well:

  • The Batavia Photography Club has photos on display by members through Dec. 8.
  • The Traveling Ghost by Ryan Gustman is on display until Nov. 3. Gustman was diagnosed with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder and ADHD early in his life. He specializes in photographing abandoned buildings.
October 20, 2018 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, news, arts, entertainment, batavia, Harvester 56 Theater.

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Batavia Players hosts its annual fundraising concert at 7:30 tonight at Harvester 56 Theater.

The cast perfoms a variety of show tunes in their production of "Stories, Songs & Just a Touch of Sin."

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Photos submitted by Pat Burk.

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Kaylee Dehlinger (Center) with Jocelyn Coburn and Kathryn Fitzpatrick singing "It Won't Be Long" from "Across The Universe."

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Jacqueline Morrison, Tiffany Keicher, Kristin Gelia, and Alix Young singing "I'm A Woman" from "Smokey Joe's Cafe."

October 19, 2018 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Forum Players, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Community College Forum Players present "Bakkhai" in performances tonight and Sunday at the Stuart Steiner Theatre on the GCC Batavia campus.

The play is an adaptation by Anne Carson of “The Bacchae” by the Greek philosopher Euripedes, written more than 2,400 years ago. It's a story of based on the Greek myth of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother, Agave, who are punished by Dionysus, the god of wine, madness, fertility, and religious ecstasy.

The play contains adult subject matter.

Tonight's performance is at 7:30 and Sunday's show is at 2 p.m.

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October 4, 2018 - 1:47pm

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra, with S. Shade Zajac music director/conductor, will perform at Genesee Community College on Sunday, Oct. 28.

The program for "Dare to Dream" is as follows:

  • "Electric Dream for Acoustic Orchestra" -- World Premiere, by S. Shade Zajac
  • "Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra" featuring Guest Artist Marza Wilks, cellist, by Samuel Barber
  • "Symphony No. 2 in B Minor" by Alexander Borodin.

Meet the orchestra at 3 p.m., followed by the concert at 4.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $7 for students; $10 for seniors; $35 for a family with parents and children age 12 and under.

Tickets are available at GO ART!, The YNGodess Shop, Vinyl Record Revival, Bank of Castile in Le Roy, and at geneseesymphony.com

This concert is sponsored by WBTA and is also made possible, in part, by the NYS Council on the Arts, with the support of Gov. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.

The college is located at 1 College Road in the Town of Batavia.

October 4, 2018 - 1:01pm

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

There are many promotions and schedule changes at Batavia Downs over the next nine days and here is a look at the lineup.  

This Saturday (Oct. 6) has an early post of 4:45 p.m. and promises a full night of entertainment. 

The featured race on the live racing card is the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, named for the longtime Western New York trainer/driver whose specialty was diagonal-gaited Standardbreds. Schroeder raced some of the best trotters of his era at Batavia Downs and even competed in the 1993 Hambletonian with Collier St. Joey. 

Among the entrants of that race is the French-bred trotter Bioness (Sam Bourbon-Quiradelle D’hilly) who was purchased and imported this spring through the French American Trotting Club program developed by the Standardbred Owners Association of New York. Since coming to the U.S. Bioness has won three out of seven starts, taking a mark of 1:54.3 at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs and has earned $88,970 in the process. 

Fans attending the races Saturday can take advantage of the Match Play promotion. Wager a minimum of $25 with a mutuel clerk on any Batavia Downs Gaming live harness race at the same time between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and receive $25 in gaming free-play. 

After the races on Saturday, there will be a live tribute concert to the classic film "American Graffiti" in the Paddock Room. Tickets are $10 and seating is on a first-come basis.  

Then on Columbus Day Monday (Oct. 8) enjoy Batavia Downs annual matinee racing card with a special 1:15 p.m. post. Purchase a chicken barbecue (provided by the Center Street Smoke House) for $10.95 from noon to 3 p.m. in the clubhouse and receive $10 in gaming free play. 

If chicken isn’t your pleasure, there will also be $1 Sahlen’s hot dog, draft beer and soda at the Homestretch Grill and on the apron from noon until after the last race. All live racing programs will also be only $1.  

Then there is a schedule change that needs to be noted. There will be no racing on Wednesday (Oct. 10) and Thursday (Oct. 11). Wednesday was cancelled due to a lack of horses and Thursday was simply moved to Saturday (Oct. 13), which was not originally scheduled. Saturday’s post time will be 4:15 p.m. 

Friday (Oct. 12) will remain as scheduled with a 6 p.m. post time.  

Saturday (Oct. 13) will feature a special Texas Barbecue in the clubhouse with pulled pork and chicken and all the fixings to go along with it for only $16.95. And everyone buying the barbecue will receive $15 in gaming free play. The clubhouse and buffet both open at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday. 

For more information on live racing at Batavia Downs, please log on to www.bataviadownsgaming.com.

September 6, 2018 - 6:56pm

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Since 1969, English heavy metal band Judas Priest has sold more than 50 million copies of their albums worldwide.

Last evening at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien, the band opened for Deep Purple and had the crowd revved up and rockin' to classics like "Living after Midnight," "Breaking the Law," and "You’ve Got Another Thing Coming."

Judas Priest is ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and singer Rob Halford's voice projected robustly throughout the hour and a half set at Darien Lake.

Deep Purple, named the planet's loudest band in 1972, was formed in 1968 and has had decades of success. The English band opened with "Highway Star" and "Pictures of Home."

A poll on the British radio program Planet Rock ranked them fifth among the "most influential bands ever" in the early 2000s. One of their biggest hits, "Smoke on the Water," from their 1972 Machine Head album, was ranked number 4 in the United Kingdom's Total Guitar magazine list of songs with the "Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever."

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Photos below of Deep Purple.

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August 29, 2018 - 2:12pm

Submitted photo and press release:

In 2010, Erinn Diaz founded Letters From Home in Winston-Salem, NC, with a mission to tour the country honoring our nation’s veterans, active military heroes and their families, by reviving patriotism through music. Since that time it has become one of the fastest-growing musical movements in the nation, touring over 40 states.

The show is coming to Batavia at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, for the residents and families of the New York Veterans’ Home, 220 Richmond Ave.

Letters From Home is a group that travels the country on a mission to revive patriotism (not politics)...through MUSIC! The performers present high-energy singing and dancing reminiscent of the USO shows of years ago, all in support of veterans, active military and families. This show is PERFECT for your veteran neighbor, friend, or relative.

The incredible singing harmonies, charming personalities and phenomenally energized tap dancing will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter and reviving your patriotic passion!

Diaz produced the show at the suggestion of her late father, Pat Dearth, a Coast Guard veteran. She is currently touring several versions of Letters From Home, and is also the founding artistic director of Spring Theatre in Winston-Salem, a published author, a national tap dance champion and has been seen in more than 200 productions and movies.

The show will not only feature Diaz, but also Dan Beckmann, of Minneapolis, who has performed in six of seven continents. Dan currently resides in New York City, and will be joining Diaz as her duo show partner in the charming tribute, “Voices of Victory.”

August 15, 2018 - 3:26pm

Press release:

After a three-year break from touring on the East Coast, arguably one of America’s great songwriters brings his stories and melodies back to select East Coast locales this month.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, Walt Wilkins will be at Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn, located at 1 Main St. in the Village of Le Roy. There is a $15 cover charge at the door.

Since he was last on the East Coast, Wilkins has put out three new records:

  • "Streetlight,” perhaps his most poignant solo effort to date with all new songs;
  • “Watch It Shine,” a harmonic masterpiece with his Texas supergroup the Mystiqueros;
  • “Live at the Rock Room: Walt Wilkins & Kevin Welch,” a touching and overdue collaboration from two master storytellers, recorded over two nights in Austin, Texas.

This eight-stop tour, will give old fans and new friends a chance to see and hear a master songwriter in intimate venues and concert houses.

About Walt Wilkins:
San Antonio, Texas-born Walt Wilkins has been called a genius, more than once, and a writer the caliber of John Steinbeck and his voice as comfortable as a pair of old blue jeans, and he is, and has, all of that.

His crafting of story-songs, hard-edged vocals to sing them and a plaintive guitar have made him a fixture of the Texas music scene (and Nashville before that). He’s put his magical touch on recordings by new and veteran artists, too many to count.

His songs have been recorded by the likes of Kenny Rogers, Kellie Pickler, Ricky Skaggs, Pat Green, Brandon Rhyder, Ty Herndon, Cory Morrow and Kevin Welch. He has recorded 12 records, some solo, some with his Texas super-group The Mystiqueros and some with his singer-songwriter wife, Tina. His latest record is a live CD with fellow Texas songwriting master Kevin Welch.

Walt Wilkins: "I am fortunate that I play my songs across a wide region that is filled with people who find comfort, enjoyment and meaning in coming out to listen to folks like myself. I am fortunate that enough they come out, generally, that I can come back to those places and play my songs again. I am lucky, I think, that I knew my calling at an early age, and at one point in my life, I took the necessary steps to follow that calling out into the world.

"I am still learning how to listen to, and stay true to the voice, and true to the work I am given. I try not to take myself too seriously, but I do try to take seriously this work; this calling. I play some nights just me and my guitar, and some nights with my talented and funny wife, Tina. And some nights with the The Mystiqueros, a living art collective, a hill country jukebox, one of the bands on the bill in honky-tonk heaven.

"I drive, I play, I sleep and dream. I have had a fair share of songs recorded by other folks, which was my dream all along, and I have played shows with heroes and real poets and the deepest of cats. But I live for the gig tonight, and tomorrow. I am fortunate... and I hope to see you down this road.”

August 14, 2018 - 3:50pm

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Monday night at Genesee Community College, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra rehearsed for Sunday's third annual Summer Serenade.
 
The garden party event is a combined fund-raising event for the United Way's Backpack Program and the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.
 
It will be Aug. 19th from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Mercy Grove Event Center, 7758 E. Main Road (Route 5) in Le Roy.
 
During the three-hour Garden Party, guests can enjoy hors-d'oeuvres, grazing stations, beer, wine, and a cash bar, all catered by the Le Roy Country Club. 
 
The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will play a concert from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. under a large white tent, which is set up off the back patio of Mercy Grove. The stately mansion was built by Donald Woodward in 1927 and sets amid beautifully landscaped grounds with expansive views.
 
Le Roy Historian Lynne Belluscio will conduct mansion tours during the Garden Party.
 
Bright-colored, garden-party attire recommended.
 
The orchestra will feature "Summer Songs" with their concertmaster, GSO Conductor S. Shade Zajac. Kiran Rajamani is the featured violin soloist. Some other musical surprises will also be played.
 
Theresa DeMars, an account manager with Lawley Insurance, chairs the event for United Way.
 
Tickets to support this combined fundraiser are $75 per person; $40 of that ticket cost may be claimed as a donation to these two nonprofit organizations.  
 
Tickets may be purchased at the door or as follows:
  1. Le Roy Country Club
  2. Roxy's Music Store
  3. United Way or GSO Board Members
  4. Online at: www.uwrochester.org/summer serenade
  5. www.geneseesymphony.com

(Photos by Howard Owens.)

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August 12, 2018 - 3:00pm

The third annual Summer Serenade is a combined fund-raising event for the United Way's Backpack Program and the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.
 
The Garden Party will be held Sunday, Aug. 19th, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the Mercy Grove Event Center, 7758 E. Main Road (Route 5) in Le Roy.
 
During the three-hour Garden Party, guests can enjoy hors-d'oeuvres, grazing stations, beer, wine, and a cash bar, all catered by the Le Roy Country Club. 
 
The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will play a concert from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. under a large white tent, which is set up off the back patio of Mercy Grove. The stately mansion was built by Donald Woodward in 1927 and sets amid beautifully landscaped grounds with expansive views.
 
Le Roy Historian Lynne Belluscio will conduct mansion tours during the Garden Party.
 
Bright-colored, garden-party attire recommended.
 
The orchestra will feature "Summer Songs" with their Concertmaster. Kiran Rajamani is the featured violin soloist. Some other musical surprises will also be played.
 
Theresa DeMars, an account manager with Lawley Insurance, chairs the event for United Way.
 
Tickets to support this combined fundraiser are $75 per person; $40 of that ticket cost may be claimed as a donation to these two nonprofit organizations.  
 
Tickets may be purchased at the door or as follows:
  1. Le Roy Country Club
  2. Roxy's Music Store
  3. United Way or GSO Board Members
  4. Online at: www.uwrochester.org/summer serenade
  5. www.geneseesymphony.com
We hope to see all of our wonderful United Way and GSO supporters at Summer Serenade lll next Sunday!
August 10, 2018 - 1:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, batavia, music, arts, entertainment, news.

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Press release:

As part of the last concert, Dave Lumberg, owner of Tim Hortons, of Batavia, received the annual Pam Frisby Friend of the Band Award.  Pam was a longtime board member and president for the Batavia Concert Band, and the Band honors her memory every year with a Friend of the Band Award. 

Tim Hortons was recognized for their generous donation each season of baked goods for the concession stand, of which the proceeds are used to fund a scholarship program for college students who play in the Batavia Concert Band. 

Pictured is Dave Lumberg, a Tim Hortons Batavia franchise owner, Anne Arent, BCB Board member, and Jason Smith, BCB general manager.

Tim Hortons received a certificate for display in their restaurant, and their name will be engraved on a special plaque displayed at every concert. Tim Hortons also donated the prize award back to the Batavia Concert Band.

The Band also thanks GO ART!, WBTA, the City of Batavia, and Genesee Community College for their support of our entire season, as well as the following concert sponsors: The Zehler Family, Rotary Club of Batavia, HE Turner & Company Funeral Home, Batavia Lions Club, Bailey Electric, GCASA, The Insurance Center, UMMC, friends of Neil Hartwick, the Pacino family, Michael Kubinec D.D.S., and Brighton Securities.  

Thank you to all our audience members who faithfully attended each week, and plans are already underway for the 2019 season!

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