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spring concert

March 23, 2019 - 1:57pm

Press release:

Spring is a season when thoughts often turn to Earth. It is thus fitting that the Genesee Chorale celebrates nature and the planet in its April 5 and 7 concerts, “Voices of the Earth.”

The April 5 concert begins at 7 p.m. at Pavilion High School, 7014 Big Tree Road, Pavilion.

The April 7 concert begins at 4 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia., and will have the added feature of a display of art work by area students created in connection with GO ART!

In a time of concern about climate change the future of our planet, “Voices of the Earth” was a theme that came easily to Ric Jones, who directs the 70-member Chorale.

“As a lover of nature and spending time outdoors, I am always drawn to themes of nature in music,” he said. “As I was researching music, I found myself selecting music with themes of nature, and music that centered around beautiful poetry.

"It was a natural step from there to decide to make a program focused on the Earth. And with the devastation we are seeing in our world, I think it is important to draw attention to it, and our responsibilities for it.”

He looked for music that would challenge singers, and that would be both enjoyable and inspiring for singers and audience. Several of the selections are taken from poetry. For example, “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “The Cloud” are poems by Sara Teasdale, and “The Peace of Wild Things” is a poem by Wendell Berry.

Another poem, “Little Birds” by Octavio Paz in Spanish, was set to music by Eric Whitacre, who incorporated bird calls into the piece, as well as a surprise ending.  Listeners may also be surprised by special effects in “Whispering Waters.”

“I think the audience will really enjoy some of the nontraditional things we are doing with the choir,” Jones said. “Bird calls, sounds of water, etc. I also think they will really enjoy our special guest musicians, Bob Holley on bongos and Fran Woodworth on flute. The bongos help give 'Gently (Walk on the Earth)' a pop/world beat feel."

More traditional pieces include “The Pasture,” which invokes a pastoral America; “Linden Lea,” a Dorset (a coastal county in Southwest England) folk song; “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” an Anglican hymn; and an arrangement of “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

“I most want the audience to listen to the words,” Jones said. “The text is so important in these works. There are many moving words and much poetry designed to make us, as humans, stop and think  about the world around us.”

Tickets are $10 each. They may be purchased via credit card or PayPal through Chorale’s website box office, www.GeneseeChorale.com. They are available as “will call,” or from Chorale members, or at the door. Further information is available on Chorale’s website.

February 21, 2019 - 3:14pm

Press release:

Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will hold is Spring Concert at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 in the Warsaw Middle-High School Auditorium.

It is located at 81 W. Court St. in Warsaw.

The purpose of the GVWE is to serve and to provide the Greater Genesee Valley audience with new and familiar live music, to serve its membership with the opportunity to perform challenging wind ensemble literature and to create the opportunity for the conductor and musicians to grow their collective musical talents.

Admission:

  • $10 -- Adult
  • $8 -- Senior (55+) & Veteran
  • $5 -- Student (with ID)
  • Free -- Children 5 years old & under
  • $25 -- Family Deal- for immediate family and children as defined by mother and/or father and up to four (4) children

Featured Works:

"Kirkpatrick Fanfare" – Andrew Boysen (Member Conductor- Rachel Clark) Overture to "Candide" -- Leonard Bernstein
"Scherzo for X-Wings" -- John Williams arr. Paul Lavender
"Fantasy on American Sailing Songs" -- Claire Grundman

March “Gradioso”
"Blue Shades" -- Frank Ticheli
Highlights from "Oklahoma!" – arr. Robert Russell Bennett, A '60s Time Capsule
"Sheltering Sky" – John Mackey

Conductors:

Rachel Clark -- member conductor -- Alexander Central School
Philip J. Briatico -- conductor & founder of the GVWE -- Warsaw Central School

April 23, 2018 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Chorale, music, spring concert, news, Announcements.

Submitted photo and press release:

The world premier of "The Waking," a composition by Composer-in-Residence of the Genesee Chorale Daniel Baldwin, pictured left, is happening next month.

Baldwin will be available for a meet-and-greet with the public beforehand at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 30, at St. James Church on Main Street in Batavia. An open final rehearsal by the Genesee Chorale of “The Waking” will follow at 7 o'clock.

The work, commissioned by Genesee Chorale, will be featured in the Chorale spring concerts entitled "The Call of Humanity" at 7 p.m. May 4 at St. James Church, Batavia, and 4 p.m. May 6 at Pavilion Junior-Senior High School. Presale tickets are $8, available from any Chorale member or online at GeneseeChorale.com. Tickets at the door are $10.

World Turmoil vs. Unity and Peace

As Genesee Chorale Director Ric Jones began the process of putting together this concert program, all he could sense was turmoil in the world.

He said he felt that there was a large divide in the world, a divide that seemed to grow larger every day. He wanted to counteract that divide, and encourage people to embrace unity and peace.

Thus was born “The Call of Humanity,” a mix of contemporary, Gospel, choral and classical music, including the debut of one piece written specifically for the Genesee Chorale -- "The Waking."

“I tried to do a variety of mini-themes within the program,” says Jones. “In the words of Mother Teresa, 'Prayer is about helping the needy.' Other selections, such as 'We Shall Overcome,' 'Harriet Tubman' and 'MLK,' address civil rights and some of the mega figures who have had an impact on that movement."

Anchored in Poetry

The lyrics of "Across the Bridge of Hope" come from a poem written by a group of young friends in Ireland; one of the boys was killed in the fighting shortly after their poem was written.

Two pieces form the foundation of the concert program, "Song of the Universal” by Ola Gjeilo from a Walt Whitman poem, and Baldwin's “The Waking,” from a Theodore Roethke poem. 

“Song of the Universal” was the first piece to “grab” Jones as he went through the selection process.

“The text is beautiful,” he said, “and I love the composer. I kept going back to it. I decided I’d make it the centerpiece.”

“The Waking” stems from Jones’ desire to find “something different that inspires the Chorale and brings the community into Chorale.” Luckily, GO ART! grant money was available, so, with the blessing of the Chorale’s Board, Jones began the fun and frustrating process of choosing text and composer for an original piece.

He and his wife, Karen, pored over “a ton of different poems,” but kept coming back to Roethke’s famous poem. (To read Roethke's poem "The Waking," click here.)

“I liked the rhythm in the text,” says Jones, “and I like the overall message.”

The text was also an inspiration for Baldwin.

“The majority of text chosen for me to set is older and in the public domain,” Baldwin said in an e-mail interview. “The poem (Jones) sent was contemporary and very well done, but also spoke to me in a way I was not expecting.

"When writing vocal or choral music, text is the most important element and must flow naturally (speech, even conversational speech, has its own rhythms, etc.).”

It Begins with Text

For Baldwin, the text is the beginning.

“I always write out the poem by hand and apply rhythms to the text based on what feels natural when reading the poem aloud,” he said. “Then, based on the message and perceived mood of the poem, I assign themes to these rhythms, harmonize, etc. It’s a process!”

Baldwin said he hopes that people “read through the wonderful text in advance of hearing the piece. A vocal or choir performance is the musical equivalent to a dramatic reading.  I set the poem how I heard it and how the text affected me. I hope the audience enjoys my interpretation.”

Director Jones has published some of Baldwin’s other works as part of his Imagine Music business.

“I love his music,” Jones said, “and I’ve watched him evolve. His music feels cinematic to me usually – that epic sound with grandiose chords. I wanted to see what he’d do with this text.”

What Baldwin did was surprise Jones.

“This was more on the contemporary side,” Jones said. “It is different than I expected, and the first time I heard it, I went ‘hmmm,’ but as I listened, there was something haunting about that motif.”

It is, he notes, a challenging piece and Chorale members have had to work hard to prepare it for concert.

March 17, 2018 - 3:16pm

The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will perform its 2018 Spring Concert in the auditorium of Oakfield-Alabama Central School beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 29. The school is located at 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield.

Conductors are: Mark Flynn, guest conductor, high school band director at Akron Central School; Dan Klinczar, member conductor, elementary band director at Alexander Central School; and Philip J. Briatico, conductor and founder of the GVWE, Warsaw Central School.

Admission cost: Adults -- $10; Seniors (55+) & Veterans -- $8; Students (with ID) -- $5; Children age 5 and under -- FREE; Family Deal -- $25 -- for immediate family and children -- mother and/or father and up to four children.

These works will be featured:

  • "Arabesque" -- Samuel Hazo
  • "Flourish for Glorious John" -- Ralf Vaughan Williams
  • "Joy Revisited" -- Frank Tichelli
  • "The Chimes of Liberty" -- Edwin Franko Goldwin
  • "My Fair Lady" -- Lerner & Loewe
  • "Cherish" -- The Association
  • The Music of Carly Simon
  • "A Childhood Remembered" -- Rossano Galante
  • "Prelude, Siciliano & Rondo" -- Malcolm Arnold

This program is made possible in part by the Reach Grant program administered by GO ART!

The purpose of the GVWE is to serve and to provide the Greater Genesee Valley audience with new and familiar music, to serve its membership with the opportunity to perform challenging wind ensemble literature and to creat the opportunity for the conductor and musicians to grow their collective musical talents.

Contact: [email protected]

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