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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

Darien Lake announces in-park concert series

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, Darien, darien lake, entertainment, music

Press release:

This summer Darien Lake will host three special in-park concerts presented by TOPS Markets that are free with a Season Pass, a hotel or camping package or daily admission. The free concerts will take place in the Ride of Steel Plaza and include performances by –  Disney Channel’s Debby Ryan & The Never Ending; the social media hip-hop star Jake Miller; and Canadian singer-songwriter, Shawn Mendes.

“With roots in the Disney Channel, Kissmass Bash and beyond, these stars resonate with many families across Western New York,” said Chris Thorpe, Darien Lake General Manager. “Along with two new rides, these concerts are part of our plan to provide extraordinary value to our season pass holders and accommodations guests while enriching the entire Darien Lake experience.”

With park admission or a season pass, guests receive access to all in-park entertainment/concerts, Dive-In Movies, special events, shows, and now more than 50 rides. A 2015 season pass has even greater value than ever before, paying for itself in less than two visits. Season Pass holders will have the opportunity to be first to ride the all-new Rolling Thunder thrill ride, and will receive free parking, three free tickets for friends on select days and a free 32-oz. souvenir mug good for $.99 soda refills all season long when purchasing and visiting prior to Memorial Day.

In-Park Concert Dates and Times:

Debby Ryan & The Never Ending: May 23, 6 p.m.
As one of the most watched young stars in the business today, Debby Ryan is known for her unmatched comedic timing, flexibility to give powerful dramatic performances, and the ability to illuminate television and film screens. She starred on the Disney Channel series “The Suite Life on Deck,” as Bailey Pickett from 2008-2011 as well as the smash hit Disney Channel Original Series “Jessie” since 2011.

In addition to incredible acting chops, Debby broke onto the music scene in 2013 with her band, The Never Ending. The band consists of singer and songwriter Debby Ryan, drummer Johnny Franco and guitarist Kyle Moore. They released their 5-track EP “One” on June 24, 2014.

Jake Miller: June 13, 6 p.m.
Ever since Jake Miller began posting his original songs on YouTube a few years ago, the 21-year-old Miami-born pop artist has been building a virtual army of fans. His 1.3 million social media community followers call themselves "The Millertary" and come to his concerts wearing camouflage and greasepaint under their eyes. They are devoted to Miller’s irresistible musical blend of pop and hip-hop, combined with the positive messages in his songs.

Miller has independently released three EP’s: 2012’s "Spotlight" and 2013’s "The Road Less Traveled," which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and 2014’s "Lion Heart," which sold 8,000 in the first week and 14,000 to date. His full-length album, 2013’s "Us Against Them," sold over 33,000 copies and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Rap chart.

Shawn Mendes: June 27, 6 p.m.
Hailed by Billboard as “Music’s First Vine Star” and TIME Magazine as one of the "Most Influential Teens of 2014," singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has emerged from teen viral sensation to major best-selling status almost overnight. Soon after artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered and introduced Mendes to now-label Island Records in early 2014, Shawn’s debut single "Life of the Party" broke records, topping the iTunes Charts and selling over 150,000 copies in its first week due to his legions of fans.

The success of the song made Shawn the youngest ever artist to break into the Billboard Hot 100's Top 25 with a debut single. Then, just a month later, Mendes released his self-titled debut EP, which also hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes once again, and entered at No. 5 on the Billboard album charts, showing the staying power of the young artist. Now fresh off of his sold out first headline tour dates, and soon to be embarking on Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour as well as releasing his debut album in 2015, Shawn has quickly become one of music's most promising young stars.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 10:43 am

Photos: Batavia HS students ready for three performances of 'Annie' this weekend

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

The Batavia High School Production Club will present the musical "Annie" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Presale, available at the school, are $8 and $7.

  • Annie ….…………...……..…..Lauren Dunn
  • Oliver Warbucks……………...Jesse Conklin (community member)
  • Miss Hannigan ……………..…Chelsea Jensen
  • Grace Farrell ……………….…Andrea Gilbarto
  • Rooster ………………………... Ross Chua
  • Lilly …………………………….. Cara Ranalli
  • Roosevelt ……………………….Alex Mott
  • Drake…………………………... Evan Bellavia
  • Mrs. Pugh ……………………...Grace Judge
  • Bert Healy……………………... Nick Piedmont
  • Ronnie Boylan ………………...Marissa Carbonell
  • Bonnie Boylan ………………...Celia Flynn
  • Connie Boylan ………………...Madison Hoerbelt
  • Star-to-Be ……………………….Madison Hoerbelt
  • Howe……………………………..Alan Johannes
  • Judge Brandeis………………..Pat Burk (Board of Education)

Orphans

  • Hannah Bluhm
  • McKenna Dziemian
  • Eryn Dunn
  • Elise Hoerbelt
  • Karissa Kesler
  • Brigid McCormack
  • Tori Nigro
  • Sarah Wetzel
  • Kathryn Fitzpatrick

Ensemble

  • Kaitlin Ange
  • Shannon Cervone
  • Rachel Flint
  • Abby Franks   
  • Taler Fonda
  • AnnMarie Georgia     
  • Kesa Janes
  • Alan Johannes
  • Olivia Judge
  • Taylor McKenzie
  • Lea Morgan
  • McKayla Stappenbeck
  • Kim Truesdell               
  • Ryan Weaver

Cabinet Members

  • Nick Bestine (BMS faculty)
  • Sean Krause (BHS faculty)
  • Andy Kiebala (BMS faculty)

Photos from Monday's rehearsal.

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

Le Roy students set to perform Shrek: The Musical

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Le Roy, theater

"Shrek: The Musical," based on the Dreamworks animated motion picture, is coming to Le Roy. Performances are at 7 p.m. March 5 and 6 and 4 p.m. March 7 at the Le Roy Junior Senior High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door.

The show is directed by Jacqueline McLean.

Photos from Thursday's rehearsal.

Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm

GCC hosts several events to celebrate the arts

post by Billie Owens in arts, GCC

Press release:

Anyone needing to take the edge off this long winter should head to Genesee Community College for unique opportunities that celebrate the performing arts and visual arts!

SHOWCASE 2015 offers a medley of performances designed to illustrate the diverse and dynamic talent of GCC's students including singing, music, dance and choreography, theatrics and original drama.

Two complete shows are scheduled, Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m. all at the Stuart Steiner Theatre at GCC's Batavia Campus.

Tickets for SHOWCASE are $8 for general admission, $5 for seniors (55+) or students (16+), and all GCC alumni with ID receive $2 off the general admission price. To reserve a seat, call the Box Office, (585) 345-6814 or [email protected].

In addition, GCC's Fine Arts Committee and Art Club are delighted to present the Third Annual Fine Arts Festival on Thursday, March 5 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Forum of the Batavia Campus. Art enthusiasts, artists of all ages and persuasions and anyone who wants to have fun exploring the visual arts are invited to share this creative opportunity. Experience art by participating in your choice of numerous workshops demonstrating creative endeavors such as drawing, painting, photography, origami, printmaking and much more!

"This year's Fine Arts Festival promises to be the most vibrant and exciting opportunity to explore the visual arts," Maureen (Moi) Dugan, associate professor of Fine Arts and Ceramics, said. "We hope the wider community will join us!" The Fine Arts Festival is free and open to the public.

Another exciting opportunity for local music lovers is the just-announced performance of The Rochester Gay Men's Chorus on Friday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Since 1982, members of the RGMC have pursued the dream of using music and "harmony of voice to create a harmony of the spirit." Today, more than voices share their talent and proudly unite in seeking a better world through the universal language of music. For further information go to: http://www.thergmc.org/

Finally, the Roz Steiner Art Gallery will have Fine Arts Student Exhibit on exhibit from Tuesday, Feb. 24, through April 9. Two artist receptions will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 12:30-2 p.m., and again from 5 - 6:30 p.m.

Among the musical selections of SHOWCASE are:

•    "Till There Was You" from "The Music Man," performed by Samantha Bell (North Tonawanda)

•    "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables," performed by Maria Albanese (Kendall)

•    "This is the Moment" from "Jekyll and Hyde," performed by David Wysocki (Hamburg)

•    "O Del Milo Dolce Ardor" performed by Samantha Marchisin (Alexander)

•    "Air Romantique" performed by Maryssa Peirick (Batavia)

•    "Where I Want to Be" performed by David Wysocki (Hamburg)

•    "I Carry Your Heart" performed by Maryssa Peirick (Batavia)

SHOWCASE dance numbers were choreographed by Tara Pocock and Amy Taravella and will be performed by: Kayli Wilson (Canastota), Blake Carter (Batavia), Shelby Waterman (Byron-Bergen), Katerina Lynch, Christian Hoffman (Hilton), Michael Stewart (New York City) and David Wysocki (Hamburg).

SHOWCASE dramatic performances, directed by Maryanne Arena, GCC's director of Fine and Performing Arts, include:

•    "Lives of Great Waitresses," by Nina Shengold, performed by Maria Albanese (Kendall), Alexis Wilson (Rochester), Amiyah Johnson (Kenosha, Wisc.), Shelby Waterman (Byron-Bergen) and Blake Carter (Batavia)

•    "Death Knocks" by Woody Allen, performed by David Wysocki (Hamburg) and Bill Rupp (Batavia

•    "Love in Chains," an original dramatic work written and performed by Jerry Jordan (Bronx) with Kayli Wilson (Batavia)

At the Fine Arts Festival, among the artists and their media who will be participating:

•    Melita Gill – Weaving

•    Lance and Amanda Taylor – OATKA School of Glass

•    Sue DiMartino – Watercolor Painting

•    Shawna Hawkins – Henna Tattoos

•    Nate Hodge – Painting, Mixed Media Demonstrations

•    Debbie King-Frisby – Kirlian (energy field) Photography

•    The Pratts – Chainsaw Carving Demonstration

•    Joyce Chizick – Felting

•    Diana Martin – Caricature Drawings

•    Art Club – Hands-on Art Projects

Friday, February 20, 2015 at 11:08 am

Photos: ECS Drama Club performs CATS

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, elba, elba central schools, theater

The Elba Central School's Drama Club held a dress rehearsal Thrusday night for their performance of the hit Broadway musical "CATS."

A performance originally scheduled for tonight has been moved to 2 p.m. tomorrow. The cast will perform a second show at 7 p.m., tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

Genesee Chorale rehearses for 'American Bandstand' show Feb. 20

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, entertainment, Genesee Chorale, music

The Genesee Chorale will perform a show at 7 p.m., Feb. 20, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, south campus, built around the theme of American Bandstand.

A stage set is being built to replicate Dick Clark's old set, Pat McHanon will perform as Dick Clark, and between songs, old clips of Dick Clark interviewing some of the great artists who appeared on American Bandstand will be featured.

The musical selection will include hits by Sam Cooke, Etta James, the Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Leslie Gore, the 5th Dimension, the Mamas and the Papas, Peter, Paul and Mary, Otis Redding, among others.

The Chorale is conducted by Ric Jones.

Photos are from last night's rehearsal at St. James.

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.

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