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Musicians Of Note

March 18, 2023 - 5:15pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in news, music, Batavia HS, Musicians Of Note, batavia.


The 4th Annual Musicians of Note celebrates five inductees to the Class of 2023

Last evening at Batavia High School, the fourth annual “Musicians of Note” paid tribute to honorees of the Class of 2023.

This year’s honorees were:

  • Diana Dipson Class of 1929, 1911-1997
  • Melanie  “Melzie” Lakin Case, Class of 2012
  • Deanna Spiotta, Class of 2005
  • Brian Fontaine-Isaac, Class of 2001
  • Gloria McLauglin, retired music teacher, 1970-1989

The 2022 Musicians of Note honoree Mark Hoerbelt was recognized last evening, as he was unable to attend last year.

Each candidate was recognized for their music successes in high school, college and post-education studies by a tribute video narrated by the Master of Ceremonies Paul Spiotta.  Some of the candidates each performed on stage with their music of choice, accompanied by students and staff.

The school district honored two very dear colleagues and supporters of the Batavia Music Department.

First was James Owen, son of Frank E. Owen, a strong supporter of the music department at BHS.  He contributed scholarships, served on the Committee of Musicians of Note and was praised for his kindness, generosity, passion and sense of humor.

Second was previous BHS band director, 2001 Musicians of Note honoree, Ken Hay, who taught many students at BHS and made a strong impact for 20 years.  He was remembered by many for his inspiration, talent and nurturing of the students he taught.

Superintendent Jason Smith spoke highly and dearly of both Jim Owen and Ken Hay, who recently passed away in his opening remarks along with congratulating the Class of 2023 inductees, ending with a quote from Jimi Hendrix, “Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.”

The Musician of Note Committee is accepting nominations for next year's honorees though October. You may find the application for the Musician of Note on BCSD Website or email [email protected] to have one emailed to you personally for future nominations or click here.

The above photo is provided. Pictured left to right, Gloria McLauglin, Mark Hoerbelt ( Class of 2022 inductee ) Deanna Spiotta, Brian Fontaine-Isaac, Melanie Lakin Case “Melzie”, not pictured Diana Dipson.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene


Pictured left to right, Jane Haggett-Paladino Music Department Chairperson, Jason Smith BCSD Superintendent, Paul Kesler, BHS Principal, Melzie Case, Class of 2023 Inductee


Melanie "Melzie" Case, Class of 2012


Deanna Spiotta, Class of 2005


Brian Fontaine-Isaac, Class of 2001


Gloria McLaughlin - Retired Music Teacher 1970-1989


Mark Hoerbelt - 2022 Musicians of Note Inductee

March 8, 2023 - 3:44pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia HS, Musicians Of Note, batavia, news.

Press release:'

Musicians of Note, a wall of fame to honor past Batavia High School graduates in music, will host its 4th annual ceremony on March 17 in the Batavia High School auditorium at 7 p.m.  Nominations were accepted until November when our committee followed through with selecting four talented and deserving recipients.  

Nominées will be recognized with a video presentation.  We will also have High School ensembles perform to celebrate those specific honorees.  A plaque featuring their accomplishments will be displayed on the new Musicians Of Note wall at the High School. 

The 2023 honorees include Diana Dipson, 1929; Gloria McLaughlin, Retired BCSD music teacher 1970-1989; Brian Isaac, 2001; Deanna Spiotta, 2005; and Melzie Case, 2012.  All five nominees have outstanding resumes.  Since Mark Hoerbelt was ill during the last Musician of Note 2022, we will be having a performance celebrating Mark’s acceptance into Musician of Note last year.

The Musician of Note committee looks forward to receiving nominations for the prestigious honor in the next six months.  You have until the end of October to nominate for the 2024 Musician of Note Ceremony. You may find the application for the Musician of Note on BCSD Website or email [email protected] to have one emailed to you personally for future nominations.

May 4, 2022 - 3:36pm
posted by Press Release in Musicians Of Note, batavia, Batavia HS, music, arts, education, news.

Press release:

Musicians of Note, an event honoring past Batavia High School graduates who have made an impact in music, will host its 3rd annual ceremony on Friday, May 13, 2022, in the Batavia High School Auditorium at 7:00 pm. 

Honorees will be recognized with a video presentation and performance ensembles to celebrate their achievements. A plaque featuring their accomplishments will be displayed on the new Musicians of Note wall at Batavia High School. 

This year’s five recipients of the 3rd annual Musician of Note Award include: 

Lyle Mark: Class of 1938,  

  • US Navy, WWII, Leader of Mellville, Rhode Island Naval Base Dance Band
  • 27-year career as music director for Elba Central School
  • A 34-year member of Genesee Symphony
  • A more than 50-year member of Batavia Concert Band
  • Private music instructor and mentor to area students and musicians

Beth Ann Lambein Hooker: Class of 1963  

  • Julia E. Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, BS Music Education-Voice Major, graduated 1967
  • Taught Grades K-12 Vocal Music Oak field-Alabama, Baldwinsville & LeRoy, New York 33 Years (1967-2000)
  • Methodist Church Youth & Sanctuary Choir Director (16 Years)
  • Directed/Produced/Appeared in 132 Theatrical Productions over 54 years (1968-2022)

Mark Hoerbelt: Class of 1986

  • Baritone In All-State Chorus (1985)
  • Area All-State Chorus and Orchestra (violin) (1983-1985) 
  • Teacher at Alexander High School/Middle School (2005-present) 
  • Music minister at Resurrection Parish (1999-present)
  • Genesee Chorale conductor (2000-2005) 

Jacqueline Siegel McLean: Class of 2002

  • Choir Director at Newfield Central School District (2006-2010)
  • Choir Director at LeRoy Central School District (2010-present)
  • Golden Apple Award Recipient 2018
  • LeRoy Musical Artistic Director of Stars of Tomorrow, award-winning musical program (2010-present)\
  • Proud music educator of several Conference All-State, Area All-State, and All-County students  (2006-present)

Cindy Baldwin: Retired Music Teacher BCSD 1984-2011

  • Batavia String Teacher (1984-2011)
  • Department Chair (2001-2011)
  • NYSCAME President (2006-07)
  • RPO String Educator Of The Year (2008)
  • Active Performer (1964-present)

Tickets for the May 13 event are on sale in the Main Office at Batavia High School for $10. You may also email Jane Haggett at [email protected] to reserve your tickets, which will be available at the will-call table the night of the event. 

May 13, 2021 - 8:08am
posted by Press Release in BHS, Musicians Of Note, batavia, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

Musicians of Note, a wall of fame to honor past Batavia High School graduates in music, will showcase the 2020 honorees in a ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20, at the high school.

The selection committee for Musicians of Note received numerous outstanding nominations in January 2020 prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Rather than have a virtual ceremony in 2020, the Musicians of Note committee decided to postpone the celebration until they were able to properly honor the 2020 recipients.

They are now able to hold the event live by following CDC guidelines and with limited seating. Honorees will be recognized with a video presentation.

The BHS Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Beauty Shop Ensemble, and the BHS String Ensemble will perform for the first time since December 2019.

A plaque featuring the honorees' accomplishments will be displayed on the new Musicians of Note wall at the High School.

The 2020/2021 recipients for the Musician of Note Award are: Ken Hay, Melinda Hay, Joseph Robusto, Harold McJury, Marc Schumann Ferrari, Patrick Jee and Alexander Davis.

Kenneth Hay (1982-2003) -- Former BHS Band Director:

●  Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators President;

●  Conducted All-County Bands in Genesee and Orleans County;

●  Pit Orchestra Conductor for 18 Batavia Rotary Club Productions;

●  Named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Batavia;

●  Presented with the GO ART! Genesee-Orleans Community Arts Award 2003.

Melinda Hay (1983-2003) -- Former Elementary Band Director:

● Helped to organize the First Elementary All-County Festival in Genesee County;



●  Conducted an Elementary All-County Band;

●  Enjoyed starting many young musicians on their first Band instrument;

●  Created “Tour Day” for the Batavia Advanced Band;

●  Was honored to “pin” a flower on each graduating senior at the Batavia Pageant of Bands.

Joseph Robusto -- Class of ‘65:

●  Exemplified his Batavia High Yearbook designations of “Friendliest” and “Best Smile”;

●  Talented classical accordionist and disciplined competitor who attained the Alternate National Accordion Championship title as the youngest recipient at age 16;

●  Competed and adjudicated nationally and internationally;

●  Outstanding musician and dedicated instructor, a loving and supportive family man, a well-known local business owner and community supporter, and a friend to everyone he became acquainted with;

●  Amazing accordion and piano performer whose fine tuned technique and interpretative skills would captivate you by drawing you into the moving story he was telling through his music.



Herald McJury -- Class of ‘68 (inset photo, right):

  • Guest Soloist with Genesee Symphony Orchestra;
  • Batavia Youth Bureau Adult Volunteer of the Year;
  • Drum Corp International Volunteer of the Year 1995;
  • Buglers Hall of Fame 2016;
  • Navy submarine service during the Vietnam War.


Marc Schumann Ferrari -- Class of ‘80 (inset photo left):

●  Salutatorian BHS Class of 1980;

●  Member of major label recording artists Keel and Cold Sweat;

●  Guitarist in the hit movies "Wayne's World" and "Wayne's World 2";

●  Two-time published author -- "Rock Star 101" and "Don't Dilly Dally Silly Sally";

●  Father of the most awesome daughter Sierra.



Patrick Jee -- Class of ‘96 (inset photo left):


●  Joined the New York Philharmonic in 2012.


●  Performed at the United Nations in 2003.


●  Editor for the International Music Company.


●  Performed as music therapist for endangered elephants in Thailand.




Alexander Davis -- Class of '08 (inset photo right):

●  Founder & Artistic Director of Sugar Hill Salon Chamber Music for Black and Brown Classical Musicians;

●  Performed with Detroit Symphony Orchestra;

●  Toured with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra;

●  Administrative Manager for Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival;

●  Teaching Artist at The Park Avenue Armory.

February 25, 2020 - 2:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in City Schools, news, Musicians Of Note.

Press release:

Six alumni and two retired Batavia teachers will be inducted into the Batavia City School District’s Musicians of Note Wall of Fame on the evening of Thursday, March 26.

Those being honored for making a significant impact in their field include:

  • Joseph Robusto, Class of 1965;
  • Harold McJury, Class of 1968;
  • Mark Schumann, Class of 1980;
  • Patrick Jee, Class of 1996;
  • Brian Isaac, Class of 2001;
  • Alex Davis, Class of 2008;
  • Melinda Hay, former music teacher in the District;
  • and Kenneth Hay*, former music teacher, BHS band director and BCSD Music Department chairperson for 21 years. 

The celebration will be held at the high school and begin with appetizers from 5-5:30 p.m., followed by dinner.

The awards ceremony and concert will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature select alumni performing with BHS ensembles. Kenneth Hay will conduct a musical number performed by the BHS Jazz Ensemble, and Harold McJury will perform with the BHS Jazz Ensemble.  

Tickets for the event are $25/person. Tickets to attend only the awards ceremony and concert are $10/person.

To reserve tickets, please contact Lisa Brown at Batavia High School (585-343-2480, ext. 2000).

Payment can be made by cash, or by check payable to Batavia Music Boosters.

Ticket with dinner reservations must be made by March 13. If only attending the ceremony and concert, tickets will also be available at the door.

Those wishing to make a donation for the Musicians of Note can do so through the Batavia City School Foundation Inc.

Batavia High School is located at 260 State St.

*Ken Hay was nominated last year but deferred his award until now.

November 14, 2019 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Musicians Of Note, BCSD, news, batavia.

From the Batavia High School Music Department:

Musicians Of Note, a Wall of Fame to honor past Batavia graduates in music, debuted at Batavia High School last May. The Music Department's Musicians Of Note Committee spearheaded the long-overdue recognition of the excellence of musicians who have graduated and made careers all over the world in the music field.

“We want to keep recognizing the outstanding musicians that Batavia High School has graduated for many years," said Jane Haggett, chair of the Batavia City School District Music Department. "Along with these excellent musicians, we have had outstanding music educators throughout the years that we will continue to recognize.”

Sean Williams, Middle School Band director, said: “Many famous musicians have graced our stages and our city over the past 90 years, including the inaugural performance last May. Many returning alumni performed a top-notch concert with Batavia High School students to the great delight of the crowd! We will continue to be recognize and salute great musicians from Batavia High School!”

The Batavia Music Department and community members will be working once again as a committee to go through the nomination and selection process.

It will culminate in honoring five alumni and one former faculty member of BCSD. They will be recognized on Thursday, March 26 during the Second Annual Musicians Of Note Ceremony with a dinner for the honorees and guests, the presentation of plaques, and a concert open to the public.

Honorees will have a plaque with their visage and their accomplishments hung from the Musicians Of Note wall in the High School.


  1. Recipient should have been an active performer or music educator We will also be including deceased musicians/educators from BCSD in the honor.
  2. Potential recipient must be 10 years out of High School.
  3. Recipients who have passed had a successful musical career in either performance, composition, education, theater, or audio recording.

To nominate a Batavia graduate in music for this prestigious honor, please contact the Music Department through the high school, or click here and go to the fourth link down ("nomination") to access the Batavia City School District's nomination form.

To visit the BCSD's new Musicians Of Note website, click here.

To learn about the inaugural inductees of the Musicians Of Note, click here.

April 24, 2019 - 2:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in BCSD, batavia, Musicians Of Note, news.

Press release:

Four alumni, one retired teacher, and one posthumous Batavia teacher will receive the Batavia City School District's first Musicians Of Note Award on Tuesday, May 14, at Batavia High School.

The alumni to be honored are: Robert Sullivan, Class of 1950, George Whittier, Class of 1951, Derek Reiss, Class of 1971, and Joey Pero, Class of 1999.

Former Batavia teachers honored are: Frank E. Owen, BCSD first director of Music for 37 years; and Kenneth Hay, BHS Band director and BCSD Music Department chairperson for 21 years. Ken Hay will defer his award until the Spring of 2020 and we will celebrate his success at that time.

They will be honored on the Wall of Fame for making an impact in their field.

From 5 to 5:30 p.m., there will be appetizers for guests and recipients in the cafeteria, with dinner to follow. The awards ceremony/concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Dinner and awards concert will be $25 per person. You may attend just the 7 p.m. concert/awards ceremony for only $10, either in advance or at the door.

To reserve tickets for the event, please call Batavia High School (585-343-2480, ext. 2000) and ask for Lisa Brown. She will either reserve or mail them once they have been paid.

Please pay either cash or check, made payable to Batavia Music Boosters. Ticket reservations must be made by May 1st.  

The awards ceremony/performance will feature Joey Pero and Derek Reiss performing with the BHS Jazz Ensemble and BHS Brass Ensemble. Robert Sullivan will conduct a musical number performed by Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Corp.

Donations for the Batavia High School Musicians Of Note can be made through the Batavia City School Foundation Inc.

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