When the Genesee Symphony Orchestra was presented with an opportunity to perform at Encore 2020 for the GCC Foundation, there was a harmonic and resounding "YES!" from members and board members alike. With that commitment, the virtual celebration which raises critical funds for student scholarships, began to take shape.
With the generous sponsorship from Tompkins Financial Advisors, Tompkins Bank of Castile, and Tompkins Insurance Agencies, the Encore 2020 committee, cochaired by Tom and Kim Cox, have built a spectacular event that everyone can enjoy on Saturday, Dec. 12 -- without having to go out in the snowy weather!
The entire event is available completely online and ticket access is on sale now.
As the "Be the Light" program details came into focus, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra (GSO) learned more and more about the time and efforts the staff at Genesee Community College had implemented to ensure the health and safety of the GSO members during rehearsals and filming.
"The members and I were honored to be asked to perform at GCC's Encore 2020," said GSO Music Director and Conductor S. Shade Zajac. "The care and consideration for our health and safety that GCC put into the preparations for this program allowed us to perform as a full orchestra, maintaining safe distances and even to magically perform a selection or two that include special appearances by members of the Genesee Chorale."
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, the program will be broadcast for those with ticket access. Amongst the mix of holiday favorites, the GSO has included a special arrangement entitled "Christmas at the Movies" full of popular tunes from movies such as "The Polar Express," "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "A Miracle on 34th Street."
Through the magic of modern technology, the Genesee Chorale will "join" the GSO for two special pieces, a union that hasn't been made in quite some time.
The Conductor's Prediction: 'There Won't Be a Dry Eye'
"I am particularly excited about my personal selections for this performance which embody Encore's Be the Light theme," Zajac said. "The journey from darkness into light that is felt through the last movement of Beethoven's Symphony is so representative of this moment in time when we can be a light for someone's dark journey. It is indeed fitting for the end of 2020 as the 250th anniversary of his birth.
"My second selection, composed by Gustav Mahler, is called 'Resurrection' (Symphony #2). It is a gorgeous movement meaning 'primal light' that features the orchestra and a soprano soloist Brittany Burgess. It is only truly fantastic artists and musicians that can bring feeling to a piece -- and she has done that. There won't be a dry eye. On behalf of the GSO, I'd like to thank GCC for asking us to do this, it has been a gift to make some music as a group."
"Be the Light" is more than musical excellence, more than a performance, this will be a true audio and visual treat -- viewers will enjoy a unique and exclusive perspective to this show as only cameras can provide.
Encore 2020 is a critical component to the scholarship fundraising the GCC Foundation does every year to ensure students in need can continue to achieve their college dreams.
For ticket access, please visit https://gccfoundationinc.org/ or contact the Foundation Office at (585) 345-6809, or [email protected] today.