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Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Photo: Solo singers at Batavia Middle School

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, education, music, schools

Jules Hoepting, a student at Oakfield-Alabama, warms up before her graded soloist performance at Batavia Middle School on Saturday.

Vocal soloists from throughout Genesee County converged on the school for a series of performances that could be part of their grade (depending on the school) and used to determine who will be part of an all-county music recital in March.

The program is organized by the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators Association.

Sarah Wether, from Batavia, warms up with her instructor David Grillo.

The hallways were filled with students waiting their turn to perform, and parents.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Photos: Area student musicians evaluated for solo performances at Le Roy HS

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, education, music, schools

Young musicians from throughout Genesee County traveled to Le Roy High School throughout the day Saturday to show off their chops as soloists for area music instructors.

Some schools use the soloist evaluation as part of the students' grades, but the primary purpose is to help select the musicians who will play in the all-county music festival in March (performances at Attica and Batavia middle schools).

The event is organized by the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators Association.

Above, Ashley Carli, from Pavilion, practices in the Le Roy gym prior to her solo session.

Katelyn Brown, from Pembroke, plays her solo in the gym prior to her audition.

Dylan Fisher warms up in the bleachers while waiting for his turn to play.

The Le Roy gym served as a rehearsal hall.

Taylor Schofield, from Pavilion, in one of the classrooms where students played their solo for a teacher who evaluated the performance.

Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 10:23 am

Fine Arts Festival at GCC

post by Cathy DeBellis in arts, free

Experience art by participating in your choice of numerous workshops demonstrating creative endeavors such as drawing, painting, photography, origami, printmaking and much more!  Free and open to the public!

GCC Batavia Campus Forum

www.genesee.edu

Event Date and Time

March 5, 2015 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 7:05 am

Batavia drama club marks 100th year of theater at school with Shakespeare

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Batavia HS, theater

Theater-in-the-round, Shakespeare, celebrating 100 years of live stage performances at your school. These are all heady things to take on for a group of young thespians, but the Batavia High School Drama Club is pulling it all together nicely, says advisor Caryn Burke.

It was actually a student who suggested the club perform Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" this year after noticing the comedy was the first public stage performance by BHS students in 1914. Though none of the students had much experience with Shakespeare, they've all taken to it like sprites to pixie dust.

Burke admits she was a little apprehensive once it was settled that they would perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The first step was for them just to get through a reading of the play.

"A lot of them had no idea how to read or even comprehend Shakespeare," Burke said. "Once they got it, they just ran with it. Once they understood what the show was and what all the dialogue meant and they had a good understanding of it they just took it from there."

The version the students will perform this Friday and Saturday is an adaption suitable for a high school performance by Ken Womble. None of the language is changed and the plot and themes remain the same, Burke said. It's just a slightly abridged version.

Even so, taking on Shakespeare, especially in the theater-in-the-round format Burke prefers for the winter show could be a bit daunting. She says the club has been able to remain focused on its primary goals.

"It's supposed to be fun," Burke said. "It's supposed to be educational, but there's a time and place for Shakespeare and that's not always necessarily in a high school drama club. The kids rose to the challenge."

The lead cast is Ross Chua, Andrea Gilebarto, Chelsea Jensen, Evan Bellavia, Lauren Dunn, Cara Ranalli, Alex Mott and Nick Piedmont.

Show times Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 each and only available at the door. Seating is limited to 100 patrons.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Swinging version of a locally written Christmas song

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, music

On WBTA's Talk of the Town, starring Hiram Kasten and Lucine Kauffman, this morning they had as guests Carmen DelPlato, a teacher at Jackson School in Batavia, and Laura Dubin. They introduced a new recording by the Laura Dubin Trio, with Sage Melcher on vocals, of "Real Old Fashioned Christmas."

The song was written by Mary DelPlato and Anthony DelPlato.

Carmen asked Laura Dubin if she would record the song, and she said she would if she liked it. Obviously, she did. She reworked the arrangement into a more traditional Swing vibe and brought in Melcher to sing it. Both Dubin and Melcher are from Rochester.

Monday, October 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

Raffaele Ponti announces this is his final season as conductor of GSO

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, music

Conductor Raffaele Ponti, who has been the musical director of the Genessee Symphony Orchestra for 15 years, announced yesterday prior to the start of the season-opening concert, that this will be his final season with the GSO.

Ponti recently relocated from Rochester to Florida as his career continues to advance.

The GSO board will announce soon plans for hiring a new conductor, its 14th in its 67-year history.

Above, Ponti with GSO Board Chairman Paul Saskowski.

Below, some photos from yesterday's performance at St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia.

Monday, October 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

Photo: Annual GO ART! award winners

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, GO ART!

The full lineup of award winners on Saturday, includes, from left: Michael Bonafede, of Albion, for his role as a musician and his work in planning many community events; Kim Buczek (Linda Blanchet Award) for earning doctorate in music arts and performing in the Cincinnati area; Jim Hancock, of Medina, for his volunteer work with many community causes and events; Albion native Lance Anderson, president of the Lake Plains Players – a community theater group; Cassandra Prong (daughter of honoree Bill Hayes – honored for his years of support for GO ART!); Vincent Pastore, a lifelong Batavian and accomplished musician; and Leslie DeLooze, accepting on behalf of the Richmond Memorial Library, which offers many arts and cultural programs throughout the year.

Photo and caption courtesy Tom Rivers, Orleans Hub.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Little free library blooms on Washington and Lewis, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, books, Literature

Jen Reardon loves books and wants to encourage people to read more, so she set up a little free library in front of her house on the corner of Washington Avenue and Lewis Avenue.

She got the idea after learning about a web site called LittleFreeLibrary.org. In fact, she bought her brightly colored box from the web site. The site also tracks locations of little free libraries, and hers is the first one registered in Genesee County.

"I knew of nothing in area, at least on the map, so why not do this?" Reardon said. "I love books. I seem to always have lots of readers around me with lots of books and they're like, 'what can I do these,' so I thought we'll put them out and let people take a book, leave a book."

That's the whole concept of the little free library right there -- there's no fee, no library card to sign up for, you take a book and leave a book. Return what you take whenever you like, nor never return it if you like it that much. Just put something else in its place.

Yesterday was the first day for Reardon's little free library and quite a few people stopped and took books. Not too many have been added to the collection yet.

"Yesterday was a busy day at the little free library," Reardon said. "There was definitely more borrowing than trading, but since it's the first day, I don't think people really knew what to make of it."

Reardon already has one of the most colorful front yards in Batavia, with a cornucopia of flowers growing all spring, summer and fall. Her green, orange and purple box fits right in.

Her neighborhood is perfect for something like this, Reardon believes.

"We have all income levels within like a three block area," she said.

"I think people don't read enough and some people might not have access to books. You can always go to the library, but if you have books in your home, you're more likely to pick it up and read it, kids especially.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Works by GCC Arts faculty on view at Roz Steiner Gallery, opening reception is Sept. 11

post by Billie Owens in announcements, arts, GCC, Roz Steiner Gallery

Press release:

They teach their craft to students every day, but they are also practicing artists outside of the classroom. This fall, see the work of the Fine Arts faculty at Genesee Community College in an exhibit entitled "Art Matters: GCC Arts Faculty Exhibit."

The show is now on view in the Rosalie "Roz" Steiner Gallery in the Genesee Center for the Arts on the GCC Batavia Campus. Opening receptions for the exhibit are planned on Thursday, Sept. 11, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and again at 5:30-7:30 p.m. The afternoon opening will include a performance by Music instructor Jennifer Sisbarro.

The show will feature the works of six GCC faculty members. They include Joe Ziolkowski, Instructor of Photography, who is coordinating the exhibit; Moi Dugan, associate professor of Ceramics and 3-Dimensional Design; Heather Jones, assistant professor of Fine Arts; Pamela Swarts, assistant professor of Digital Art; Jennifer Sisbarro, instructor of Music, and Ed Hallborg, Theater technician.

Ziolkowski, who teaches digital and film-based photography, creates unique self-portraits that use multiple formats, including 35 mm, 4 x 5 inch pinhole, digital SLR, mirror-less and iPhone digital cameras.

"In a world filled with the effortless 'selfie,' my work is effort filled," Ziolkowski notes. "As the artist, I select the vantage point and frame the subject, making my lens the viewers' eye. As subject, I place myself within the frame and guide the viewer through the frame with my own gaze. Within this gaze, I join the viewer, experiencing the joy of gazing myself."

Moi Dugan's new work is inspired by the woodlands surrounding her family's new home.

"My wheel thrown and handbuilt ceramics act as canvases for my painted narratives. While my work is functional, I strive for each piece to stand alone as a work of art when not in use," Dugan said.

She uses brightly pigmented slip and the sgraffito ("scratch") technique to produce the layers of color, texture and pattern on each of her one-of-a-kind pieces.

The mixed media creations of Heather Jones integrate glass, metal, paint and untraditional materials to "create social commentaries that speak of environmental issues.

"My current artwork focuses on the ethics of patenting life and the scientific processes of changing plants, animals and humans at a cellular level," Jones said.

Pam Swarts features graphic artwork on posters and event design materials.

Cultural debris is the focus of Ed Hallborg's work entitled "Remnants," which "is meant to be consumed in passing, like digital graffiti." Automated slide projectors display the words and images.

And musical sound bites featuring vocal performances by Jennifer Sisbarro will play continuously. Sisbarro's selections come from classical, jazz, and musical theater genres. She's an experienced performer who's been singing since the age of 3. Sisbarro will perform jazz standards with Deborah Sorenson accompanying her on piano during the opening reception from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Sept. 11.

The exhibit will be on display through Nov.  20. The Roz Steiner Gallery, located in the Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College, is open Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by special appointment. GCC's Batavia campus, located at One College Road, is just a short drive off exit 48 of the New York State Thruway. Directions to the campus are available at http://www.genesee.edu/about/visit/maps.cfm.

Monday, August 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Photos: Fire hydrant painting downtown

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, downtown, Vibrant Batavia

Local artist Brandi Bruggman has been comissioned by Vibrant Batavia to paint two of the fire hydrants downtown. Here she paints the one at Main and Bank, in front of Seymour Place (GO ART!). She said this hydrant will have a colorful paisley design on it. Her other hydrant will be painted like a lighthouse.  

Below, a hydrant on Center Street completed by another artist.

UPDATE: Amanda Earl submitted these photos of Brandi's hydrants from later in the day.

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