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Friday, April 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

The Rocking Weekend: Open Mic in Elba

post by Paul Draper III in entertainment, music, The GCMG

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 9:00 am

BHS students and faculty show off talents in annual show

post by Daniel Crofts in Batavia HS, education, entertainment, music, schools, Talent Show

This is Batavia High School student Ross Chua busting out with his beatboxing talent at the 2014 "Batavia High School Talent Show" last night, which aimed to raise funds for Thomas Ackley, a former student of the Batavia City School District who is fighting cancer (see April 7 article).

Masters of Ceremony Amanda Schelemanow (member, BHS chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society) and Spencer Hubbard (Mr. Batavia 2013) introduced 16 entertaining performances by students and faculty. Here they are (all performances are vocal unless otherwise specified):

Tim Martin and Lauren Dunn, piano/vocal performance of "Little Talks"

Steven O'Brien doing yo-yo tricks (which the event's faculty supervisor, BHS chorus teacher Dan Grillo, called the best he has ever seen in person).

Darneisha Thomas, "Bound to You"

Mason Russ, "Boss of Me" (theme from the TV show "Malcolm in the Middle")

Nephy Williams, "Beautiful"

Kesa Janes, "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" (from "The Phantom of the Opera")

Justin Baiocco, "My My, Hey Hey" (from the Neil Young album Out of the Blue). Baiocco's talent consisted not only of the vocal performance, but also his ability to play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time.

Laura Guiste, "Hallelujah"

Marissa Carbonell, "Oh! Darlin' "

Andrea Gilebarto, "Nightingale" (vocals and piano)

Hannah Bluhm, "If I Die Young"

Dan Grillo, "Good Bye Yellow Brick Road" (piano and vocals)

Rachel Flint and Ashley Williams, "There You'll Be"

McKenna Dziemian, "Set Me Free" (sung in both English and Korean)

And finally, there was the "Faculty Dixieland Band" playing "Down By the Riverside" and "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue"

Dan Grillo (drums), Stuart McLean (bass)...

Sean Krauss (clarinet), Brandon Ricci (trumpet) and Jane Haggett (piano)

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm

'BHS Talent Show' aims to help ailing child

post by Daniel Crofts in Batavia High School, music, pediatric cancer

Thomas Ackley, pictured right, was one of the younger students in Debra Wolff’s kindergarten class at Jackson Primary School last year. He was a little bit smaller than most of the other kids, and it took him a bit longer to catch onto the lessons. But his determination left a deep impression on his teacher.

“Once you showed him how to do something,” Wolff said, “then he wanted to do it all on his own. It was an absolute joy to see his spirit.”

So much of a joy, in fact, that Wolff presented Thomas with an award for his determination at the end of the year – even though he and his family had moved to Akron in March.

Something else happened toward the end of the school year as well. In late May, Thomas was diagnosed with cancer.

Thomas has Stage 4 neuroblastoma. He is now in remission, but has about six months of treatment ahead of him to make sure the cancer does not return. Emotionally and financially, he and his family continue to struggle.

That is why Batavia High School students, under the supervision of chorus teacher Dan Grillo, are giving all the proceeds from their upcoming Talent Show to the Ackley family.

The Talent Show, which features performances from both students and faculty, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Batavia High School auditorium. The school is located at 260 State St. in the City of Batavia.

This annual event is run by students from the BHS chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. 

“They’re the ones who run everything behind the scenes,” Grillo said.

According to Grillo, they run it like a musical – complete with a stage crew, a tech and lighting person, escorts for the performers, etc.

Each year, the Tri-M students aim to raise funds for a different charity or cause.

Grillo’s son, Sam (pictured with Thomas above), was good friends with Thomas. Knowing about the Ackley family’s situation, Grillo suggested them to his students as this year’s beneficiaries.

“They (the students) liked the idea,” Grillo said.

Most of the performances will be musical/vocal in nature; but there are a few surprises as well, including someone who plays the guitar and harmonica at the same time and a young man who does what Grillo calls “some pretty amazing yo-yo tricks.”

“I’ve never seen anything in front of my eyes (with yo-yos) as good as this young man is,” he said.

At the end of the night, everyone involved hopes to have raised enough funds to give Thomas some much needed help in his ordeal.

“He is a fighter,” Wolff said. “And he does it with a smile – it’s incredible to me.”

The show is open to the public. A donation of at least $3 is requested from each attendee. For more information, call the high school at 343-2480, ext. 2000.

Photo submitted by Dan Grillo

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

Photo: Erin Sydney Welsh performs at City Slickers

post by Howard Owens in batavia, City Slickers, entertainment, music

Ken Mistler has been booking more live music into City Slickers. Friday night, Erin Sydney Welsh performed. While I was there, at least six people came up to me and said something along the lines of, "Doesn't she have a beautiful voice? Are you going to take her picture and post it on The Batavian?" Welsh does have a beautiful, strong, clear voice. She performed a variety of covers and original songs. Welsh is 18 and a senior at Clarence High School.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The Rocking Weekend: Rebel's Posse 25th Anniversary

post by Paul Draper III in entertainment, music, The GCMG

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 9:30 am

The Rocking Weekend: Bluesway at City Slickers

post by Paul Draper III in entertainment, music

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Parents band together to make up for Lottery kicking City Schools out of video contest

post by Howard Owens in batavia, City Schools, education, music, schools

After the Batavia City Schools entry into a NYS Lottery contest was disqualified, a group of parents were sharing their disappointment on Facebook when some suggested maybe there should be a local fundraiser for the music department.

Allison Chua said, "I can do that."

She's set up a fundraising page at First Giving.

While the page shows no funds raised yet, Chua said she has received $300 in checks and some parents have said they will donate when they get back from Spring Break vacation.

The NYS Lottery contest involved schools making a video of students singing "Thank You for Being a Friend." 

Students were very upset, Chua said, when the lottery disqualified their video after it had already been selected as a finalist and was leading, by a slim margin, in votes.

"This is a way for us to show them we do appreciate what they do," Chua said.

The grand prize for the contest was $10,000, but Chua said the parents are setting a modest goal of $2,500 for their fundraiser, which is equivalent to the third place prize in the contest.

To donate, visit the First Giving Web page. To donate by check, mail your check to Batavia City Schools Parent-Teacher Coalition, attention Allison Chua, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020. All donations will go to the music programs of the school district.

Friday, March 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

The Rocking Weekend Lineup features Red Creek at the Willowbend

post by Paul Draper III in gcmg, lineup, local music, music

Friday, March 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

The Rocking Weekend Lineup 3.21.2014

post by Paul Draper III in gcmg, lineup, local music, music

Friday, March 14, 2014 at 8:44 am

Your vote could help Batavia City Schools win $10K for music program

post by Howard Owens in arts, batavia, batavia city schools, music

Batavia City Schools are among five finalists in the state for a $10,000 prize from the NYS Lottery. The contest is built around the idea of students saying thank you for the support of the lottery. Choirs produced a video for the song "Thank you for being a friend." The prize money would go to the school district's music program.

To vote, click here (you'll be asked to log into your Facebook account).

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